What Relegation From The SPL Means

The impact of relegation from the English Premiership is a familiar story, but what about the implications of being relegated from its Scottish counterpart? The absence from the fixture list of matches against the Old Firm can create a serious financial shortfall for relegated clubs. Relegation leads to an almost immediate loss of £1.5m. Relegated clubs are provided with a £250,000 parachute payment by the SPL during their first season in the First Division, followed by £125,000 the following year.

The Financial ‘Meltdown’ and Football

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has talked this weekend of a ‘meltdown’ in the world’s financial system which could lead to a further 20 per cent being wiped off stock exchange values. We don’t claim to be economic forecasters on this page, but one of the difficulties with statements of this kind is the so-called ‘Oedipus effect’: making the prediction increases the chances of it occurring. Some of the commentary in recent days has come from people whose agenda is the failure of the Premiership.

Dubai Bid For Charlton

On a day in which global markets have been in turmoil, unfashionable south-east London club Charlton Athletic have received a bid from a Dubai-based investment group headed by His Excellency Mohammed Ali Ali Hashimi. Apparently the group considered a number of football clubs but thought that Charlton offered the greatest potential. In a statement, the prospective new owner has praised the passion of the club’s fans, its heritage and its commitment to the community. He also expressed his determination to get the club back to the Premiership.

UEFA Threat To Debt Ridden Clubs

Uefa are threatening to ban debt ridden clubs from their competitions. This is a major threat to leading English clubs to whom Champions League football is a key slice of their income. Some might feel that the move is motivated by continental jealousy at the success of English clubs in the Champions League. Others might feel that Uefa are trying to tackle a genuine problem facing football.

Lord Triesman Blasts Football Debt

Lord Triesman, the chairman of the FA, and Richard Scudamore, the chairman of the Premiership, got in an argument yesterday about the effect of the credit crunch on football at the Football Leaders conference, ironically held at Stamford Bridge. What a lot of this is about is a power struggle between the FA and the Premiership over who has the biggest influence on the game.

Success Against the Odds

A new footballing force has risen in Germany rapidly and rather unnoticed over the past few years. TSG Hoffenheim were competing as an amateur team back in the early 1990s, with the team in disarray on and off the playing field. Drastic measures were needed. Step foward local businessman Dietmar Hopp, one of the richest men in Germany. The club has been nurtured slowly and with the correct infrastucture put in place, TSG Hoffenheim are now deservedly punching above their weight, competing alongside the giants of Bayern Munich.

Calm At West Ham As Icelandic Economy Collapses

Iceland could be the first country to go bankrupt since Newfoundland was absorbed by Canada after the Second World War. But at Icelandic-owned West Ham an air of benign calm reigned today, although below the surface there may be more turbulence. The Icelandic bank chaired by the club’s billionaire owner was put into receivership by the Icelandic government. The family of Bjorogolfur Gudmundsson are reported to have owned over 40 per cent of Landsbanki, so their personal finances have taken a hit. Gudmundsson is Iceland’s second-richest person, after his son Thor.

Blatter Hits Out At Foreign Ownership

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has called for stricter rules on foreign ownership of clubs in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. On a visit to the European Parliament, the football supremo stated, ‘Something has to be done about these billionaire owners. These days you can buy a club as easily as a football jersey. This is not just about England where the problem is acute. This will spread across Europe.’ Blatter is, however, less clear about what the solution is to what he perceives as a problem.

Credit Crunch Could Hit Non-League Football Clubs

There has been a lot of speculation about whether the credit crunch will hit a leading Premiership club, but it may be non-league clubs that will be first in the firing line. The sums involved are smaller, but such clubs are often dependent on the patronage of local businesses. Smaller businesses are very reliant on cash flow and banks are reluctant in present circumstances to cut their overdrafts or give them new loans. A number of non-league clubs are currently facing difficulties.

Minor Set Back For Sky TV

Decisions by the media regulator Ofcom on live television rights represent a setback for Sky, but not the major blow they could have been. It has been proposed that the satellite television operator should sell its live football to rivals at regulated wholesale prices. But following an 18-month investigation, OfCom declined requests by BSkyB’s rivals to immediately refer the company’s allegedly unhealthy dominance of the pay TV market to the Competition Commissioner.

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