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Football Finance


Coventry City FC deny liquidation rumours

The outgoing deputy chairman of Coventry City FC, John Clarke, has denied rumours that the Sky Blues are in imminent danger of liquidation.   There is no sign of a resolution to their year-long rent dispute with ACL who run their stadium at the Ricoh Arena.

Coventry sources had suggested that one option being examined was liquidating one arm of the business - Coventry City Football Club Limited.   Coventry City Football Club (Holdings) Ltd would then continue as the club's operating and trading company.

Rangers make operating loss

Newco Rangers made an operating loss of £7.1m in the seven months to 31 December 2012.  This turned into an overall profit  before tax of £9.5m due to a one off accounting credit of £20.4m described as 'non-recurring release of negative goodwill' and there is certainly plenty of that around in Scotland as far as Rangers are concerned.

Debt up and a hefty loss at Liverpool

Net debt at Liverpool now stands at £87m and the club lost £40.5m in the ten months to 31 May 2012. This compares with £49.3m in the previous twelve month period with the club changing its accounting dates to coincide with the football season.

Essentially the club is paying out for expensive signings in the first year of Fenway Sports Group's ownership with the emphasis now on what managing director Ian Ayre described as a 'frugal' and 'prudent' transfer strategy in which talented players are brought in on sensible contracts.  

Arsenal bid downplayed

Arsenal are downplaying the prospect of a bid for the club from an unnamed Middle Eastern consortium, saying that no one has been in contact with either the club or majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.   They are also dismissive of the idea that Kroenke would sell which make sense.   He doesn't need the money and turned down an offer for his American franchises two years ago.

Gloucester City AFC get eviction warning

Gloucester City AFC have been told by Cheltenham Town to pay £20,000 they owe in rent and other expenses or they will be evicted from their ground share at Whaddon Road by the end of the month.

The club are thought to owe three months' rent.   They have had difficulty in attracting more than a few hundred to midweek games.   As the most southerly football club in the Blue Square North they also face long away trips such as the 500-mile round trip to Workington in Cumbria last Saturday.

Most top footballers go broke

Three out of five Premier League footballers go broke within five years of retirement, according to research by football charity XPro.

Despite earning an average of £30,000 a week, many footballers get bad investment advice. A further financial drain results from the fact that one in three gets divorced within a year of retiring.

Even if they manage to get some media work or on the after dinner circuit, income drops rapidly, but expenditure does not. Players often fail to put enough money aside to meet tax obligations.

£1.5bn bid from Middle East for Arsenal

A Middle Eastern consortium is expected to launch a £1.5bn bid for Arsenal in the next few weeks.   The bid would value the club at twice the valuation of two years ago.   It is interesting that the news has come out on the morning of the North London derby with Tottenham.

Villa cut losses

Aston Villa have cut their annual losses to £17.7m in the year to 31 May 2012 compared with £54m the previous year.  The wage bill was cut by £13,8m and £26m was made from the sale of players.  Owner Randy Lerner waived £20m of interest he was due on £107m of loans.

Football journalist David Conn has tweeted that this looks like a process of downsizing.   Income was down £11.6m or 12.6 per cent to £80m.  Attendances were down by an average of 3,500 to 33,783.   It looks like a case of a club whose ambitions no longer match its history or its potential.

What future for Wolves?

Wolves fans fear that their club faces relegation to League 1 and chairman Steve Morgan faced a three hour grilling from fans on Wednesday night.   The chairman has offered to walk away given the club's decline, saying 'If it gets to the point where I feel am not wanted, I will go.'

But Morgan's exit would only compound the club's problems.   Morgan revealed that the only prospective investors he had talked to 'had disappeared in a puff of smoke' when asked for proof of funding.

Will Magpies benefit from Sports Direct sale?

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has raised £100m by selling 4 per cent of his stake in Sports Direct. There have been a number of explanations advanced for the move which took the stock market by surprise.  At one time he was interested in House of Fraser, but this has now waned, and if he wanted to bid for retail assets he could do so through Sports Direct.   Some think it was just intended to improve liquidity in the stock.