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FCBusiness

Man City’s Losses and Financial Fair Play

January 13th, 2012|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]My latest piece in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business looks at manchester City’s record losses, UEFA’s Financial Fair Play initiative and why the system they’ve brought in must be the start of a process, not the end of it.[/author_info] [/author]

What wasn’t said about Manchester City running up English football’s largest ever annual loss was perhaps as instructive as a window into the modern game than what was. It wasn’t said that the £197m would cover the equivalent of the Premier League’s contribution to the Football Foundation for the next 16 years. Nor was it said that it was over £30m more than the combined spending of 5 other teams in the Premier League the year before, nor that it was more than the entire TV deal for the Football League for the next three years. […]

Too Big to Fail to Notice

October 14th, 2010|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in October 2010 as Liverpool FC ownership under Tom Hicks and George Gillett came to an end following a transatlantic court battle between them and the club’s creditor bankers.[/author_info] [/author]

When clubs like Chesterfield and Exeter became owned by crooks, people who ran football and who wrote about it didn’t seem to care that much, because neither were big clubs, like Liverpool.

When Portsmouth’s owners turned out to have been functionally innumerate, or broke, or maybe to not even exist (or maybe all of those things), people who ran football and who wrote about it didn’t seem to care much because Portsmouth were just a small club which seemed bigger just by dint of the league it played in. It wasn’t a big club like Liverpool. […]

We’ll Support You Until We Change Our Lifestyle

August 14th, 2010|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in 2010, the article addresses research showing that behind the pervasive idea of supreme fan loyalty lay a high degree of flux in fans’ attendance at matches, and suggests how clubs can use greater engagement to insulate themselves from the impact of this flux.[/author_info] [/author]

One of the things you hear most often about football is that fans’ loyalty to their clubs is what makes the game special. They stick with their clubs through thick and thin, and thinner still. They turn up week in, week out, in all weathers, regardless of results and ever-rising ticket prices, cheering on mercenary players who don’t deserve such adoration and support. There’s only one problem. So far as the club’s coffers are concerned, it’s a myth. […]

Grasping the Nettle of Football Reform

January 10th, 2010|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in January 2011.
The article was published as the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into the finances and governance of English football began.[/author_info] [/author]

There’s already been several reactions to the news that a parliamentary select committee will be conducting an inquiry into football governance, taking into double figures the number of reports commissioned about the game since England won the World Cup, all of which focussed on the problems English football has in spending its money wisely and making its decisions soundly. […]

Chickens Come Home to Roost at Pompey

November 14th, 2009|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in November 2009 as Portsmouth FC were imploding following a series of changes of ownership, and looked likely to become the first Premier league club to enter formal administration in the league’s 20 year history.[/author_info] [/author]

By the time you’re reading Portsmouth could be alternatively bankrupt, in administration, under their fifth owners of the season, have spent next year’s parachute money from their inevitable relegation, and quite probably a combination of several of these. It’s both a tragedy and farce as history repeats itself for a club in administration 10 years previously.

Reading some of the commentary on the events at Fratton Park, you would get the impression that these unfolding events are an unpredictable development. That would be wrong for several reasons. […]

Judge Dread Shows Need for Sports Law

November 14th, 2009|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in 2009, making the case for a sports law to empower sports’ governing bodies to regulate without fear of being sued, a significant factor in the general drift to regulatory timidity in recent years.[/author_info] [/author]

It might seem strange to say that what game really needs is a sports law. After all, aren’t there sports lawyers already at work and featured in this magazine?

Those lawyers specialise in doing law within sport, helping clubs, players and governing bodies navigate their way through a framework of laws crafted for different reasons and different sectors of activity. There’s no real sports law though, made for sport and only applying to sport, helping it manage its affairs.
We have some, for sure – the Football Spectators Act, passed after Hillsborough, or the Safety of Sports Grounds Act passed in response to the Ibrox disaster of 1971. It is telling that these are responses to major problems, reacting to failures in sport. What about law to enable sport to, to set it up to face the challenges specific to it? […]

Unfit and Improper

October 14th, 2009|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in October 2009 as Portsmouth’s meltdown continued apace, touching on the ‘fit and proper persons’ which several of Portsmouth’s owners had passed.[/author_info] [/author]

The Premier League’s version of the fit and proper person test was beefed up in the summer, to the extent that it’s probably the toughest and best of the three varieties in operation. Even so, the fact that Sulaiman Al-Fahim passed it suggests there’s more work to be done. […]

That Sinking Feeling, or How Not To Waste a Crisis

May 14th, 2009|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in May 2009 as the UK entered recession and, for the first time since the creation of the Premier League, English football would not be buoyed by the wider economic climate.[/author_info] [/author]

In the last two months of the season, four Football League clubs entered administration, and in the space of one week, three non-league clubs were wound-up. Nobody believes that’s anything but the start. Football Conference Chairman Brian Lee says he can’t remember a more challenging time for clubs at that level, and he’s right to be worried. The issue is not whether clubs will be insolvent, but how many, how far up the leagues the problems will go. […]

Another Year, Another Inquiry

April 14th, 2009|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in April 2009 as the All-Party Parliamentary Football Group commenced an Inquiry into Football, following an earlier Inquiry it had undertaken in 2004.[/author_info] [/author]

Another day, another report calling for football to examine the way it runs itself. This time it’s the All-Party Football Group (APFG) whose latest investigation into the governance of the game has just been released.

It’s the latest in a series of reports that have been written over the past 40 years all grappling with a concern that things haven’t been what they should be with the game. […]

There May Be Trouble Ahead

January 14th, 2009|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’]http://daveboyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fcb.png[/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in January 2009, focussing on how the likely recession might impact on the football sector, given the game’s poor record at managing its finances in good times.[/author_info] [/author]

Every day brings more depressing economic news, and it’s clear that no-one has any idea of when or how this will play out; people who failed to spot the greatest economic collapse since the 1930s now confidently predict it will all be over by next Christmas. Sounds familiar. […]