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Football Finance


County secure loan

Stockport County FC have secured a £180,000 loan from the local council against an outstanding tranche of a transfer payment.

Whilst this will deal with any immediate cash flow problems, questions remain surrounding the football club's finances.  The wage bill has been slashed following the departure of a number of players and recent average attendances have increased to 3,700, well above a supposed 2,500 break even point in the club's business plan.

Vale late with loan repayments

Port Vale have been late with two monthly repayments on a £2.25 loan from the local council.   The December instalment of £19,616 was paid almost a month late and the club have said that the January instalment will be paid when cash flow permits.   Around £1.8m is outstanding on the loan.

The council have made it clear that they do not wish to push the club over the edge, but have to pay attention to their obligations to council tax payers.

Pompey on the brink

It''s not often that a question is asked at Prime Minister's Question Time in the House of Commons about a football club, but that is what happened last week.   David Cameron gave a sympathetic reply to one of the Portsmouth MPs, expressing the hope that talks could take place with Revenue and Customs about the club's tax debt and noting that he realised that Pompey fans could not switch their allegiance to rivals Southampton.

Ridsdale: I saved Argyle

Never one of football's shrinking violets, and now attempting to turn round Preston North End's finances, Peter Ridsdale reckons that it was his intervention that saved Plymouth Argyle from going bust.   There's certainly a book in his involvement at different clubs.

Blaming the manager

When Warwick University's Sue Bridgewater brought out her book on Football Management in 2010, it seemed that there was a lot of scapegoating of managers going on.   The average tenure of a manager is still only about a year, but now she thinks that the blame for blips in management seems to being shared more by the board and owners to judge from recent protests at Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers.

Forest owner dies

Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty has died at the age of 54 from natural causes.  He was found in his gym at his home in Lincolnshire.

He bought the club in 1999, saving them from administration.   It is estimated that he put £100m of his personal fortune in the club.   He announced in October that he would be standing down as chairman at the end of the season.

Go away snow

As I am currently in Montréal it's perhaps difficult to take the threat of a snowfall in England on Saturday too seriously, but it is timely to recall that postponed matches can cost clubs a lot of revenue.  It can be particularly serious for lower league clubs who face cash flow problems. 

Concerns grow about Rangers

Concerns are growing about Craig Whyte's stewardship of Rangers.  Admittedly, the old regime, who have been criticising Whyte, are not free from blame for the precarious state of affairs.  It was David Murray that came up with the Employee Benefit Tax Scheme which could yet land the club with a tax bill of millions that it would find it difficult to pay.

New football tournament in India

The Indian market is potentially a huge one for football but the country remains devoted to cricket and other sports.   However, football has a big following in West Bengal and it is there that a new tournament has been based.    It is modelled on the franchise sysyem of the successful Indian Premier League format in cricket and has started with an auction of players and coaches.

Transfer window spending down by 70 per cent

The transfer window report from business advisory firm Deloitte calculates that Premier League clubs spent around £60m, a decline of 70 per cent on the record level of £225m in January 2011 (admittedly something of an aberration).

Dan Jones, a partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, saw Uefa's financial fair play rules as a factor in the comparative restraint of clubs and a more sober level of spending among Premier League clubs.