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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

English Leagues

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Can football learn anything from Rugby League?

Rugby's two codes were traditionally associated with the north and south.   Rugby league had a gritty, working class image.   Rugby union was associated with the south of England and the established middle classes.   When visiting a fee paying boarding school I know quite well, I was surprised that they had hired a prototypical Scouser as a teacher until I discovered that he was the rugby coach.

Every cloud has a silver lining - Cheltenham Town FC

Cheltenham Town may have been defeated in the play off finals, but their financial position has improved considerably.   Not so long ago they were recording losses of £800k, were dicing with administration and looked as if they might return to the non-league.   Now, helped by a good FA Cup run and the revenue from the play-off final, they are set to record a profit for the third consecutive year.

Sports Direct likely to bid for Umbro

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is likely to bid for Umbro, the UK-based football brand that sponsors the England team kit.   The discount sportswear chain owned a 30 per cent stake in Umbro before Nike took it private.

Nike bought Umbro in 2007 for £285m in an effort to increase its football revenues, but results were disappointing.   Revenues were $276m in 2006 but $224m last year.   Analysts believe that Nike will struggle to get back what it paid.

American takeover at Leeds?

A mystery American consortium may make a bid for Leeds United.   They are understood to have toured Elland Road and the Thorpe Arch training facility this week.

Leeds finished 14th in the Championship last season and supporters voted with their feet as the average home attendance fell by more than 4,000.   Fans consider that the club has been languishing in the Championship for too long and would welcome solid new investment that would underwrite a sustained bid for promotion.

Football market continues to grow

Against a background of recession and economic turbulence in Europe people are continuing to enjoy their football.   The latest report from Deloitte Sports Business shows that the football market is continuing to grow, although the Bundesliga remains the most profitable league.

Here are some highlights we have not covered in earlier reports:

Football League also doing well

The latest annual review of football finance from Deloitte Sports Business understandably focuses on the Premiership, but also points out the achievements of the Football League are sometimes overlooked, although there also grounds for concern.

Revenue in the Football League Championship increased by £17m (4%) to £423m, prompted by an increase in the solidarity payments from the Premier League and the promotion of some larger clubs into the division.  

Ground share proposed for Orient

Ground shares have never been popular with football fans and have usually happend as an emergency measure when clubs have been deprived of their normal home, e.g., Brighton and the Goldstone Ground, Charlton and The Valley.

Revenue up but profits down in Premiership

The publication of the annual review of football finance by Deloitte Sports Business is always a major event for those interested in the business side of football.   The latest review shows that, against a very difficult economic background, Premiership clubs have boosted revenues, showing the continuing appeal of the competition.

Kettering quit Conference

Kettering Town's debts have led them to resign from the Blue Square Bet North where they had been relegated.  They will play in the Southern League Premier next season.

The club's debts total £1.2m.   Former chairman Imraan Ladak and other directors owed money have agreed to write off their loans and to leave £402,000 outstanding.   Creditors will get about 10p in the pound as part of a three year company voluntary arrangement.    

Football creditors rule: league win battle but not war

Although the High Court found in favour of the Football League in a ruling on the football creditors rule, it does not finally resolve the issue.   The rule allows clubs and their employees to be paid ahead of other creditors if a club becomes insolvent.

Revenue & Customs, who have an obvious interest in overturning the rule, have failed in an attempt to have the rule declared null and void.   The Revenue is considering an appeal, a move it was given permission to take.