Posts Tagged "football finance"

Bullshit Rodeo

Posted on August 10th, 2013 in Football (6 comments)

Posted without comment, in reference to news that Hull City AFC propose to change their name. This piece of genius and more like it can be found at David Squires’ site.

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The meaning of Manchester City and Chelsea’s successes

Posted on May 21st, 2012 in Football, Published Writing

I’ve just done a quick piece over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free on the portents of Chelsea and Manchester City’s successes this season. It’s not as developed an argument as I’d like given the word constraints, but I think it gets to the essential point – that sport everywhere is demonstrating that when it comes to the challenges of our age, it at best doesn’t care, but more regularly takes the side that puts it against democracy, human rights, equality and environmental...

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Would your football club be better run as a co-operative?

Posted on May 9th, 2012 in Co-ops, Football (2 comments)

I’ve done a piece for  The Guardian on football clubs and co-operation, making the case for why it’s the best form for them to take, what progress has been made in the last decade, and what challenges they still face to become a successful part of the landscape. Co-operatives offer a sustainable model for football clubs – just ask Champions League finalists Bayern Munich What’s the point of a football club? If we look at the motives of its owners, we’d get some...

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Darlington, By George

Posted on January 13th, 2012 in Football (3 comments)

The news from Darlington FC isn’t good at all. The club could be wound up in the very near future. Two factors make this likelier than not: they’re not in the league, and that they have a monstrously unsuitable stadium which leeches any cash they have. Not being in the Football League means you simply don’t get the coverage, which can create a sense that a deal must be and can be done. Administrators perhaps take more risk (they’re liable for all operating losses when the club is in administration) by keeping things...

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Time to Blacklist the Blackout

Posted on February 23rd, 2011 in Football, Published Writing (1 comment)

Written for news and analysis site Sporting Intelligence on the potential ramifications of the Karen Murphy case working its way throughout the European Court of Justice, and how the end of the 3pm rule might not be the end of the world as we know it for smart clubs. What will be the long-term impact of the Karen Murphy case be? Assuming the European Court agree with the view of the Advocate General which was announced last week, some have predicted the end of Civilisation As We Know It, whilst...

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Personal Submission to DCMS Inquiry Into Football Governance

Posted on February 14th, 2011 in Football

In my professional capacity I am Chief Executive of Supporters Direct, where I have worked for 10 years. This is a personal submission covering issues beyond the immediate purview of the evidence submitted by Supporters Direct. Discussion about what to do about football must eventually become discussion about how to do it. Identifying things the FA should do presupposes that it has the ability to do that, so matters of policy inevitably become governance issues. Over the past 15 years or so, the issue of governance – and by extension,...

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Football in 2011 – Speaker’s Corner Trust Debate

Posted on February 10th, 2011 in Football, Published Writing

I was asked by the Speaker’s Corner Trust to engage in a debate with Professor Stefan Szymanski of CASS Business School, about whether the state of football in 2011 was a cause for celebration or lament (I’m defending the latter proposition). The debate took the form of an exchange of three emails between us, and the full debate is on the Speakers Corner Trust website.

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Too Big to Fail to Notice

Posted on October 14th, 2010 in Football, Published Writing

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. 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...

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Foreword to Christian Aid Report on Football & Offshore Ownership

Posted on May 29th, 2010 in Football, Published Writing

Jointly authored foreword (with Malcolm Clarke, Chair of The FSF) to a report by Christian Aid published at the start of the World Cup. The report pointed to the use of tax and secrecy havens by English football clubs, as part of their wider campaign work to publicise the damage done by such havens to developing countries. At first, supporters of football clubs in the world’s wealthiest football nation in one of the world’s most affluent countries might not seem to have much in common with some...

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Chickens Come Home to Roost at Pompey

Posted on November 14th, 2009 in Football, Published Writing

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. 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...

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Unfit and Improper

Posted on October 14th, 2009 in Football, Published Writing

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. 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...

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That Sinking Feeling, or How Not To Waste a Crisis

Posted on May 14th, 2009 in Football, Published Writing

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. 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...

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There May Be Trouble Ahead

Posted on January 14th, 2009 in Football, Published Writing

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. 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...

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Should Football Allow Leveraged Buyouts?

Posted on January 23rd, 2008 in Football, Published Writing

Published in The Guardian’s Sporting debate column where I went head-to-head with Joe McLean of Grant Thornton’s football unit. Joe was in favour of a relaxed attitude to the leveraged takeovers of football clubs, whilst I took the contrary view. The idea of a leveraged takeover is that an asset is undervalued and somebody thinks they can make more money out of it so they use debt to acquire the club and then try to make the money back. It’s based on speculation, so the only...

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The Case for Salary Caps

Posted on August 20th, 2006 in Football, Published Writing

Written for Supporters Direct’s quarterly magazine in 2006, making the case for cost-control in football to bring an end to seemingly continual inflationary pressures; the policy ideas behind this were part of a wider debate which influenced UEFA’s Financial Fair Play initiative. In a recent article in the magazine, I mentioned the idea of wage constraints on clubs. It’s an issue that’s increased in profile recently, a sure sign that the debate is shifting. The issue is particularly...

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All Just a Little Bit of History Repeating…

Posted on July 24th, 2002 in Football

The first division are getting ready to blackmail their smaller brethren for a greater share of the cash and the power. The rest are fearful of the consequences of caving in, and of standing up. This was 1985, and the Premiership was just around the corner. They caved in and got rid of gate sharing, so ending the historic revenue redistributing mechanism and it was a hop, skip and a jump to the Premiership in 1992. Fast forward to 2002 and the same events are being played out. Like Marx said, history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy,...

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