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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Finance


Big operating loss at Charlton

Charlton Athletic made an operating loss of just under £7.5m in its League 1 promotion season, compared with £6.13m the preceding season according to accounts lodged at Companies House.   Profit of just over £1m on the disposal of players reduced the operating loss to £6.45m.   However, the preceding year, £2.8m in profit was realised from player sales, reducing the operating loss to £3.3m.

Successful but bankrupt: the story of La Liga

Spanish football is undoubtedly successful.   Six of the seven La Liga clubs in European competition advanced to the knockout phase, including all four Champions League representatives.   It is not only about Barcelona and Real.   La Liga clubs have won five of the nine past Europa League titles.

Fulham are debt free

Mohammed al Fayed has shown that he is the ultimate benefactor owner by effectively wiping out the club's debts of £212m owed to him.   He has converted the debts into equity.

Usmanov opens fire at Arsenal

The underlying tensions within Arsenal's ownership structure have resurfaced as time ticks down towards the transfer deadline after the major shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, claimed the board's lack of spending and inability to hang on to the club's best players have effectively rendered them a feeder team for their rivals.

Fleet ask fans to dig deep

Cash flow at Ebbsfleet United has been hit by the postoponement of two home games due to the winter weather and the club has launched a 'Lose your pounds or Lose your club appeal to fans.'  Fans have been asked to donate £30 each.

Does money buy success?

This is the question that football economics guru Stefan Szymanski poses in his latest blog posting.  His broad answer is yes in terms of domestic leagues, but not to anywhere near the same extent in relation to club competition at international level for a number of reasons.

Szymanski argues that the influx of money into the Premier League has improved the quality of play.  But some foreign players and managers are reluctant to relocate to the UK and have to be paid above the odds to be persuaded to come.

Is austerity in Arsenal's culture?

Simon Kuper has a long and (as one would expect) very interesting article about Arsenal in the Financial Times yesterday.   He argues that austerity is in Arsenal's culture.   Once known as the Bank of England club, it has been run cautiously for decades.   That has been reinforced by Wenger''s typically French suspicion of rootless international capital.

He quotes Billy Beane of the Oaklands A's baseball team who said, 'When I think of Wenger, I think of Warren Buffett.   Wenger runs his football club like he is going to own it for 100 years.'

Bradford's Wembley bonanza

Bradford City expect to make £1m through television and gate receipts out of their trip to Wembley for the Capital One cup final.   Winning would add £100,000 in prize money. The club had expected to overspend on wages by £600,000 this year, but they have already cleared at least £1.3m from their quarter and semi-finals.   The players will receive £250,000 of the Wembley receipts in bonuses.

Real Madrid break through €500m revenue threshold

Real Madrid has become the first club in any sport to surpass the €500m revenue threshold in a single year, according to the 16th edition of the Football Money League from Deloitte, the business advisory firm. The Spanish club achieved a €33.1m (7%) increase in revenue to €512.6m, and in doing so has claimed the top position in the Money League for a record equalling eighth year, matching Manchester United’s reign from 1996/97 to 2003/04.

Bundesliga breaks through €2bn barrier

The Bundesliga broke through the €2bn barrier in terms of revenues in the 2011-12 season, a 7.2 per cent rise on the prevous season.    Clubs recorded an aggregate of €55m in post-tax profits with 14 out of 18 clubs showing a profit.

What is particularly significant is that the ratio of expenditure on playing staff and coaches to revenue was 37.8.   Most clubs in England do not achieve the 50 per cent level recommended by Deloitte with many recording figures in the seventies or eighties.