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Football Finance


Hope for Hearts as the year ends

It's been a tough few months for Hearts on the financial front with the club being threatened with liquidation at one stage,  Although challenges remain, the picture is brighter as the year draws to a close.

It was ever thus

On 18th February 1933 the writer and broadcaster J B Priestley went to the derby game between Nottingham Forest and Notts County.   Apparently, there was a 'huge crowd' in attendance, although Priestley was puzzled by how one decided to be a Forest or County supporter.

City plan clearout of players

Manchester City are planning to restructure their player recruitment policy with a summer clearout of players.  Their wage bill has risen above £200m and threatens their ability to comply with Uefa's financial fair play rules.

New owners of Leeds will not splash the cash

GFH Capital, the new owners of Leeds United, will not spend 'crazy money' in the Januray transfer window.   'January is not a great time to do business and we already have quite a good squad with others coming back from injury,' said GFH executive Salem Patel.   'What we want to do is to make the investment sustainable and make the club successful.'

Manager Neil Warnock has said that he does not want to spend 'stupid money', although Southampton's Ricky Lambert is said to be among his targets.

Successful launch for Rangers

Rangers Football Club won a favourable reaction from investors on its Aim debut, trading above its 70p flotation price.  The club exceeded its £20m fundraising target, raising £22.2m and gaining a market capitalisation of £45.6m.   Shares reached a high of 77p during first day trading before closing at 76p.

Although there was considerable institutional interest, about 11 per cent of the shares went to some 5,000 ordinary Rangers fans from whom about £5.2m was raised.   Chief executive Charles Green is the biggest shareholder with 8 per cent.

Premier League clubs agree to curb spending

Premier League clubs have voted in principle to curb spending, but they still cannot agree on what form of financial regulation to apply.   There will be a further discussion on February 6th.

The decision in favour of the principle is a setback for the strongest opponents: Aston Villa, Fulham and Manchester City, all of them benefactor clubs.  West Bromwich Albion have also aligned themselves with this group.

Will GFH be the saviours of Leeds?

Will Dubai-based investment group GFH, who are scheduled to take control of Leeds United on Friday, be the saviours of the club?   Will they enable Leeds to return to the Premier League from which they have been absent for so long?   It appears to be a qualified maybe, at least from the perspective of the Leeds United Supporters' Trust.

Decision day for Premier League

Premier League clubs meet today to discuss a paper on how various forms of financial regulation might work.   The approval of 14 clubs is needed to approve any change and although there is broad agreement that something needs to be done to bring spending under control, there is disagreement on how it might be done.    Some schemes would be more beneficial to particular clubs than others.

Rangers launch on AIM

Rangers International Football Club are to issue new shares at 70p each on the Alternative Investment Market next week, raising £24.5m after expenses,   The minimum investment is £500.

Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, will own a 5.20 per cent stake in the club, while leading institutions such as Artemis, Cazenove and Legal & General have also subscribed for shares.   The accounts value the club's property at £43m and it is now debt free.

Big spenders City cut losses

Manchester City are the first club to have a wage bill (once PAYE and National Insurance are added in) of over £200m a year, but they cut their losses by £100m in 2011-12.   The losses of £97.9m are still by far the highest in the Barclays Premier League, but it is still a big reduction in the £197.5m reported last year.

Turnover soared  50 per cent from £151.2m to £231,1m, the fourth highest in the Premier League.   The net spend of £69m in the year to 31 May was down from £141m the previous year.   However, £169m had to be issued in new equity.