Skip to main content

"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


Hope for football in Uganda?

It was interesting to see the following article in Red Pepper Uganda:

The challenges facing the Welsh Premier League

Tucked away at the back of The Non-League Paper one can find brief reports for the Welsh Premier League (WPL).   The league is currently headed by The New Saints, the only full-time professional club in the league.   They play in Oswestry and their full name is The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club (Clwb Pêl-droed y Seintiau Newydd).  

Morecambe becomes first Brazilian owned club

With teams in the Premier League and the Championship snapped up, the attention of foreign investors is turning to Leagues One and Two where they hope there may be bargains to be had.   Morecambe was put up for sale in March and has become the first club to be acquired by a Brazilian investor.

French football row erupts again

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has renewed his criticisms of the finances of Paris Saint-Germain, earning himself a public rebuke for denigrating another club.

The story behind the £1 billion headline

Media attention has focused on the fact that the 2016 summer transfer window was the first in which over £1 billion was spent (£1,071.5m in total), but it has to be remembered that this is a gross figure. The net figure was £612.9m, still very substantial.  For example, in summer 2014 the net figure was £374m.

Power grab by top European clubs

Uefa will guarantee more places for clubs from Europe's top football leagues in the Champions League, in a power shift towards the wealthiest teams.  The move, which follows threats from rich clubs to create a breakaway competition, will ensure more places for teams from Europe's largest television markets, but to the detriment of smaller nations.

A list and B list Chinese investors

As clubs looking for buyers and investors welcome the new wave of Chinese investors, it is as well to remember that not all of them may be of high quality.

The tale of Birmingham City is a cautionary one.   Acquired in 2009 by Carson Yeung, a former hair salon proprietor, the team was relegated to the Championship and remains there for now.  Yeung was jailed in Hong Kong in 2014 for money laundering and the club remains barely known in China.

A toxic brand

Foreign owners sometimes acquire clubs in order to boost their brands, both in their domestic market and globally.   However, when the Indian conglomerate Venky's took over Blackburn Rovers, it quickly became apparent that, while they might know something about chickens, they didn't understand much about football.

The one time Premier League champions have been effectively run into the ground.  At the bottom of the Championship, attendances are falling and financial problems are increasing.   Turnover has fallen from £58m a year to £12m a year under Venky's.

Liverpool bid confirms interest of reds

We have been focusing a great deal in the last month or two on the state-led long march of Chinese investors into English football.   This has been confirmed by the interest of China Everbright, a state-backed investment company, in making a bid for Liverpool.

Debunking football finance myths

The Guardian has published an interesting blog that seeks to debunk a number of football finance myths in the context of the transfer window.  The article contrasts the lack of transparency in terms of transfer fees in English football with the NBA and the NFL but, as is pointed out, they operate salary caps so full financial disclosure is essential.