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Stark reality

When “County” went down, I recall someone saying that this was the best thing that could happen to us.  We’d just bounce back was the rhetoric.  I rubbished the suggestion, pointing out that the BSP read like a graveyard of former ‘League’ teams: York, Cambridge, Luton, Grimsby etc.  If we were to remain in that Division in Season one that would be a result in my opinion, after a free-falling demise and so many woes – consolidation had to be the name of the game.

Facing the on-going reality, relegation brings with it reduced income. There is an immediate loss of the £250,000 Premier League solidarity payment;  TV revenue and sponsorship £430,000 is halved for one year and then goes all together; youth development funding of £180,000 a year is halved for two years and then gets removed.

 It’s a significant contrast from the generous parachute payments clubs relegated from the Premiership receive for three years. 

All this explains why the Centre of Excellence in its current guise is not sustainable – and why innovative ticketing regimes need to be piloted such as ‘mad hatter prices’ to boost attendances for forthcoming seasons including attracting ‘new blood’ (the fans of tomorrow) and deriving supplementary in-stadia secondary spend.

Messy house

The latest Begbies Traynor report on football’s well-being states that:

“Of 68 teams surveyed in the Divisions [Championship, 1 and 2], 13 have signs of distress such as serious court actions against them, including winding-up petitions, late filing of accounts and “serious” negative balances on their balance sheets. That 19% compares to just 1% in the wider economy”.

When will they learn?  The Firm has been Administrator at several clubs that I’ve personally had involvement with: Chester and Huddersfield.  Plus others such as: Lincoln City, Northwich Victoria, Wrexham, Farnborough, Crawley, Scarborough, Bournemouth, Halifax, Southampton and Port Vale.

From a purely selfish perspective this keeps us in business, but how many times do we need to ask when will football get its own house in order?

The survey measures the financial distress of clubs according to problems including serious court actions against them and big negative balances on their balance sheet.