A Trust IssuePrint This Post

cash.gifI found this article on a football blog called Twohundredpercent, and I had to read one sentence twice before I believed it: the top four in the English Premiership, who dominated the latter stages of the “world’s greatest sporting spectacle”, the Champion’s League, have combined debts of almost £2 billion. Yep, £2 billion. What price success? Well, now we know.

Meanwhile, four Trust-owned clubs (Stockport County, Exeter City, AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester) achieved promotion further down the English footballing pyramid, and have arguably got a more secure future than the clubs at the top of the pyramid.

Read the full article here: Twohundredpercent: A Trust Issue

The Independent’s article (not much more than facts and figures, but worth reading after Twohundredpercent’s commentary) is here: What’s in the kitty? How the Premier League clubs shape up financially – Transfers, Football – The Independent


  • Tam says:

    Good article and I think we all know about the massive debt these clubs have. I get sick fed up hearing about the worlds richest football club list when they are mostly in huge debt, how on earth can this be right.
    I think UEFA should make a rule that football clubs must be trading in the black AND there should be absolutely no cooking of the clubs accounts by some mega rich guy (who has probably robbed his own countrymen)or rich company.

    I listened to the guys who run Stockport County on Radio 5 the other day and what a refreshing bunch they are. Great ideas, great academy and wonderful business plans.
    The average age of the players was 21! The two midfield generals are both 19, incredible.
    I think we should be modelling Raith Rovers FC on these clubs.

  • Incredible that clubs can get away with this, when any other organisation would simply have folded.
    The sad thing is that whilst these clubs amass more debt for themselves singing the ‘top’ players in the world, their increasing popluarity as a result robs local teams of potential supporters, harming other teams as well.

  • oops, typo, meant “signing” not singing!

  • Alan Russell says:

    The worrying thing for me is that this trend will only continue, and probably accelerate, until there’s a massive crash. Player’s wages are growing faster than inflation, which means that gate prices have to follow, pricing all but the most affluent supporters out of attending matches of the top teams. The next tier of clubs try to keep up (e.g. the likes of Newcastle, Everton, Aston Villa and Tottenham trying to break the stranglehold that the top four have on the Chumps League places), and the tier below that try to keep up with the second tier (e.g. the middle of the table clubs pushing on to try and snatch a UEFA Cup spot).

    That leaves the teams at the bottom, scrapping desperately against relegation and over-spending in order to avoid the drop (e.g. Fulham in £150m of debt, Derby having spent their parachute payment before even going down), and then continuing to spend too much in order to get back up. The next domino in the chain are the ambitious clubs in the Championship who want more than mid-table mediocrity… and open up another chain of dominoes by out-spending the top clubs north of the border!

    All this means that potential fans are priced out of the game, and can either afford to watch lower division football or just enjoy “the greatest league in the world” from the comfort of their sofas. Look at the crowd shots from these matches – how many youngsters do you see? How many pensioners do you see? And although you can’t see their wealth, how many people on low incomes do you think are there? In ten or twenty years time what will the crowds look like when ticket prices have multiplied, the current fans who can afford to attend games are older and starting to retire, and the youngsters who could never afford to attend in the first place are deciding what to spend their income on?

    Fortunately there is another way, and I hope the Trust-run clubs that are currently enjoying success lower down the pyramid manage to retain their ideals as they grow from strength to strength.

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