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The Championship

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Financial fair play and the Championship

This article takes a look at Financial Fair Play and its implications for Championship clubs, attempting to forecast which ones might be caught out.

It confidently asserts that the Football League will apply the rules as intended in January 2015, attempts to modify them have failed to secure the necessary 75 per cent majority.

Takeover gives hope to Owls

The takeover of Sheffield Wednesday by Hafiz Mammadov has given new hope to Owls fans, although the owner's ambition of a return to the Premier League may take a while to achieve.

Mammadov also ownes Baku of Azerbajan and French club Lens.   The deal is worth about £35 and is subject to ratification by the Football League.   His company specialises in oil, gas, construction and transporation in Azerbajan.

Reading takeover near

Corporate recovery company Begbies Traynor have now taken over the sale of Reading FC from Sir John Madjeski.   The club had to sell top scorer Adam Le Fondre to cover one tax bill and another one is due shortly.

Premiership revenues top £2.5bn

Premier League clubs’ revenue reached a record £2,525m in 2012/13, according to the 23rd Annual Review of Football Finance from the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. In total, the revenue of the top 92 clubs in English football reached almost £3.2 billion.

University is club's new kit sponsor

Charlton Athletic have announced that the University of Greenwich is to be the club's new kit sponsor.   The club plays in the London Borough of Greenwich and there are thought to be possible synergies with its Academy operation.   It can't, however, be a big money spinner.

Charlton are not the first club to have a university on their shirts as Conference side Lincoln City was sponsored by the University of Lincoln for two years.

Blues confirm takeover talks

Birmingham City have confirmed that they are in advanced talks to sell a minority stake to a British consortium with a 'strong North American investment fund'.    Whether this means that the consortium has North American backing or has substantial investments in the US is not clear from the ambiguous wording.

Blues bids considered

The shares of Birmingham City's parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited, have been temporarily suspended while bids for the club are considered.    However, a statement from the board indicates that it is considering selling an initial stake of just 24 per cent.

Five bids have been considered over the past fortnight with two British proposals not meeting with favour. The situation of the club is such that some kind of sale is urgently needed.

Premiership clubs want quicker opening parachute

Premier League clubs want parachute payments for relegated clubs to be spread over two years rather than four.   This would mean that clubs would get £30m in the first year of relegation rather than £15m.

QPR's problems not over

Queens Park Rangers have won promotion to the Premier League, but their financial troubles are not over.   The club are £177m in debt, having posted the biggest losses in the country of £65.4m last year. This was largely the result of their wage bill which at £78m is higher than that of Borussia Dortmund and Atlético Madrid, both Champions League finalists in the past two seasons.

Guide to Championship finances

David Conn at The Guardian has produced an interesting review of Championship club finances based on accounts for the 2012-13 season.    Of course, it does include clubs such as Bristol City who have now been out of the Championship for over a year.