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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Finance

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A new source of funding

Retail bonds have become increasingly popular with investors as the returns from bank and building society savings accounts have become derisory.   They generally offer a return of around six per cent, but there is a higher risk, as there is no compensation if the business you are lending to goes bust.

The model is now being adopted by football clubs in the form of bonds that cannot be resold and are offered in small amounts to consumers.   The ability to repay is not always clear, but if you are a fan, and the amount involved is small, why not take the risk?

The £120m game

They used to call it the £100m game, now they are billing it the £120m game.   Of course, these headline figures never take account of the increased payments on players and other expenses that arise from attempting to compete successfully in the Premiership.

Ashley Gateshead rumours denied

Rumours that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley was interested in buying Gateshead have been denied.   The notion was that the Conference side would be used to develop young Magpies players, but that could be achieved anyway through a link up.

Five potential buyers have come forward, including ones from Texas and the south of France.  Current chairman Graham Wood has put £10m in the club over the last ten years.

Crystal Palace takeover fails

Talks over a planned takeover of Crystal Palace FC by a group of American businessman have broken down.   Advanced discussions between the club and an investor group led by US billionaire Josh Harris, co-founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, have unravelled in the past several weeks.  

Arsene Wenger's explanation of FFP changes

Arsene Wenger thinks that the reason that Uefa's financial fair play rules have been relaxed is in response to the Premier League's new television deal.   As a consequence, European clubs want more headroom to invest in players.

Financial fair play rules to be eased

Michel Platini has announced plans to relax some aspects of the financial fair play (FFP) regulations with the aim of stimulating competition and growth.   The rules have been criticised for making it harder for new entrants to breach the elite cartel of top European clubs.

AC Milan look for investors

AC Milan president Silvio Berusconi is looking for investors in the club from abroad, particularly it seems from China.   This is somewhat paradoxical as he also argues that there are too many foreigners in Italian football.

Fear of qualifying for the Europa League

Fear of qualifying for the Europa League is gripping Premier League clubs.  It's the one contest nobody wants to win.

Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs believes that the experiences of Manchester United and Liverpool in recent years prove it is more of a hindrance than a help.   'You have the opportunity to stay closer to the top four if you only have to focus on the Barclays Premier League and the cup,' he said.

Ashley could sell if Newcastle are relegated

Freddy Shepherd has claimed that Mike Ashley would try to sell Newcastle if they are relegated on Sunday.   The club's former chairman, who sold the club to Ashley in 2007, said 'He would try to sell the club, I am sure' when asked about the impact of a second relegation in six years.

It would, however, be irrational to sell the balance sheet champions if they had been relegated as the club would attract a lower price than if it was stlll in the Premier League, despite its sound finances and potential.

Leeds close to breaking even

Leeds owner Massimo Cellinio has claimed that the next set of accounts for the club will show it close to breaking even.  In the 2013/14, Leeds United recorded a loss of £23 miillion.