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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Finance

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Sale rumours at Charlton

Following rumours that a sale of Charlton Athletic might be close, a statement from the club has said that it is not for sale 'at the present time' which does not mean that it could not be available next week.

Former Liverpool striker and football consultant Ronnie Rosenthal was reported to be advising an interested consortium and is said to have been shown round The Valley.

Russian football's financial problems

Russian football is facing serious financial problems.  26 of the 36 teams in the top two divisions are owned by local government; a further five are owned by state-run corporations.

Two consecutive years of recession following the 2014 oil price crash and western sanctions over the Ukraine have seen regional budgets take serious hits.  Many regions have struggled to keep up with benefits payments and public sector wages as revenues plummeted when oil prices crashed.   State-supported sports teams were among the first victims.

Win-win for Berlusconi

In August, after nearly three decades at the helm of A.C. Milan, Silvio Berlusconi announced that he had sold his 99.93 per cent stake in the club to a Chinese investment group called Sino Europe for €520m (about £450m).

According to the terms of the deal, Sino Europe made an immediate down payment of about £85m, the rest to be paid in December.   This down payment was non-refundable.

Sunderland's plight

It is difficult to see how Sunderland are going to escape relegation.   Even in the old days of Division 1 and Division 2, Sunderland were a yo-yo club, but the financial consequences these days are more serious, not least for the staff who face redundancy.

Big loss at Liverpool

Liverpool recorded a loss of £19.8m in the year to May 2016.  Investment in players was the main reason for the loss, along with the cost of compensating Brendan Rodgers and his staff.   Costs for the Main Stand extension also contributed to the loss.

The club's revenue increased by £3.9m to a record £301.8m.   Match day revenue was up £3.4m to £62m. Commercial revenue was down £700,000 to £115.7m.   This was partly because of a lack of non-matchday access to the Main Stand.

£44m of debt at Coventry City

Coventry City made a profit of £700,000 in the year to May 2016, but there was an operational loss of £1.75m before player trading was taken into account.   Turnover was up from £4.76m to £5.44m.

The club has debts of £44m, almost of which is owed to owners Sisu or companies controlled by them. The club is only a going concern if that debt is not called in, but the owners have no plans to do so.

Orient served with winding up order

Leyton Orient have been served with a winding up order over unpaid tax bills.  The case will be heard in the High Court on March 20th.  The money owed to HMRC is thought to be in the region of £250,000.

The last set of financial results for the club suggested that debts exceeded assets by £5.5m.  The club are in real danger of relegation to the National League which would make them less attractive to prospective buyers.

Blackpool's woes help AFC Fylde's success

David Haythornthwaite grew up as a Blackpool fan.   Having succeeded with his business Tangerine Holdings, which makes farming and veterinary products, he made unsuccessful attempts to buy the club from the Oystons in 1998 and 2005.

Progress on Carlisle mystery takeover bid

The 646-day takeover saga at Carlisle United may be nearing a conclusion.   Discussions with a mystery overseas businessman have been going on for the better part of two years, but have gone cold several times.  

However, the club are now close to deciding whether to conclude a deal.   Significant headway has been made in getting answers to outstanding questions.

Shrewd Southampton

Given that their net spending is consistently in the Premier League bottom five at less than £8m per season, Southampton's record of three successive top eight finishes makes them the top flight's biggest over achievers since their promotion from the Championship five years ago.   In 2009 they were in League One and administration.