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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Finance

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£2m a point

The rewards of just being in the Premier League are emphasised by the latest figures for the sums distributed to clubs.   Chelsea receive £99m for coming top, £2.5m more than Manchester City last year.

United cut debt interest

Taking advantage of the lower interest rates prevalent in today's markets, Manchester United have managed to refinance their remaining 2010 debt.    They were paying an interest rate of 8.375 per cent, but will now pay 3.79 per cent.

This will bring about a reduction of $10m a year in interest payments which are anticipated to reduce to four per cent of their total revenue in the 2015 fiscal year.

Lerner ready to quit

Randy Lerner is ready to stand down as chairman of Aston Villa this summer if he does not manage to sell the club.   He has already made moves to put a new board in place if a takeover is not completed.

In a rare in depth interview in The Times, Lerner accepts that he should have stood aside years ago because of family and work commitments in the United States.   His original plan had been to move to England which would have made the role of executive chairman more feasible.

QPR's finances

The impressive Swiss Ramble blog has taken an in depth and detailed look at the finances of Queens Park Rangers.

As one might expect, it doesn't make for happy reading.   The club has lost £156m in the last six years, £218m if one adds in exceptional debt write offs.   There is a £185m mountain of debt and very little of that has been spent on infrastructure.

A new source of funding

Retail bonds have become increasingly popular with investors as the returns from bank and building society savings accounts have become derisory.   They generally offer a return of around six per cent, but there is a higher risk, as there is no compensation if the business you are lending to goes bust.

The model is now being adopted by football clubs in the form of bonds that cannot be resold and are offered in small amounts to consumers.   The ability to repay is not always clear, but if you are a fan, and the amount involved is small, why not take the risk?

The £120m game

They used to call it the £100m game, now they are billing it the £120m game.   Of course, these headline figures never take account of the increased payments on players and other expenses that arise from attempting to compete successfully in the Premiership.

Ashley Gateshead rumours denied

Rumours that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley was interested in buying Gateshead have been denied.   The notion was that the Conference side would be used to develop young Magpies players, but that could be achieved anyway through a link up.

Five potential buyers have come forward, including ones from Texas and the south of France.  Current chairman Graham Wood has put £10m in the club over the last ten years.

Crystal Palace takeover fails

Talks over a planned takeover of Crystal Palace FC by a group of American businessman have broken down.   Advanced discussions between the club and an investor group led by US billionaire Josh Harris, co-founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, have unravelled in the past several weeks.  

Arsene Wenger's explanation of FFP changes

Arsene Wenger thinks that the reason that Uefa's financial fair play rules have been relaxed is in response to the Premier League's new television deal.   As a consequence, European clubs want more headroom to invest in players.

Financial fair play rules to be eased

Michel Platini has announced plans to relax some aspects of the financial fair play (FFP) regulations with the aim of stimulating competition and growth.   The rules have been criticised for making it harder for new entrants to breach the elite cartel of top European clubs.