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Football Finance

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Champions League counts for less financially

Arsene Wenger argued in a weekend interview that the Champions League counts for less than it used to financially.  He said, 'financially the Champions League does not have the impact any more that it had five or six years ago because of the influx of television money.'

Why, then, are teams competing so intensely for a top four place?   In part it's a matter of prestige.  A Champions League place also helps to attract and retain top players.   But, on the downside, one needs a larger and higher quality squad which wipes out a lot of the financial benefits.

City to expand global reach

Manchester City's owners are assessing a number of locations as they consider expanding their network of clubs.   The City Football Group already owns New York City and Melbourne City and has a share in Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos.

The Chinese Super League has been identified as a market with potential, while there have been reports of a possible move into South America.   Neither of these locations offers much in the way of gate money, but City may see commercial revenue opportunities.

It's a results business

It's a results business in football, not least in the Premier League, confirmed by Middlesbrough sacking Aitor Karanka today with the club in the relegation zone (although it was presented as by mutual agreement).

Middlesbrough are the fifth Premier League club to change manager in 100 days and the 25th to change out of the 92 clubs in 101 days.   Only eight Premier League clubs have had a manager in post for more than one year.

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.