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The Championship

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Great variability in Championship finances

Only five out of twenty-four Championship clubs made a profit before tax in 2012/13.   However, there is great variability in club finances.

There is a very wide range of income (£9-35M) and losses in the division which in turn support a wide range of costs (£10-51M). Low revenue and low losses means a low cost base which virtually guarantees a relegation fight. However, higher up the league table there is simply no clear correlation between costs and on pitch performance. A cost base of c. £20M has served Palace, Watford, Burnley and Derby well.

Cellino would be banned under new government rules

Exasperation with the ineffectiveness of the Football League's test for directors of football clubs is one factor has led Business Secretary Vince Cable to formulate new rules to ban 'dodgy directors'.   Those who have committed purely commercial offences would be banned under the new rules.

David Haigh quits at Leeds

In the latest twist in the saga at Leeds, managing director David Haigh has resigned from the board.  he was supposed to become chief executive until the end of the season, but disagreements between him and new owner Massimo Cellino led to a threat to sack him last weekend.

Sporting Intelligence provides an alternative interpretation of his resignation statement.

Leeds takeover can go ahead

Massimo Cellino can go ahead with his takeover of Leeds United after he won his appeal against the Football League's ruling that he had failed the owners' and directors' test.   The independent QC hearing the appeal ruled that his conviction in a Sardinian court for not paying tax on a luxury yacht he imported from the United States could not be reasonably considered dishonest.

Reading fans urged to be patient

Reading fans have been urged to be patient as the search goes for a new owner of the club to succeed Sir John Madejski.   The search has been going on since September when Anton Zingarevich disappeared and some fans have become understandably impatient.

'It's not all about money' insists Blackpool boss

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston insists that success in football is not all about spending money as it can be spent unwisely or ineffectively.   He is known for his tight control of transfer and agents' fees and player wages.

Big losses at Charlton

It is well known that the Championship is a challenging division financially.  Medium-sized clubs such as Charlton have to compete with clubs with wealthy benefactors or parachute payments.   Hence, it is no surprise that the latest accounts show continuing financial losses.

In the 2012/13 the club reported overall losses of £7.4m, although profits on player trading reduced this to £6m.  Turnover was up by £3.4m, largely reflecting increased television revenue and solidarity payments following promotion to the Championship.

Derby are debt free

Apart from the £15 million pound mortgage on the iPro stadium, Derby County are now a debt free club. £28.5m of loans have been converted to equity by the club's owners.

However, the club continued to make losses of over £7m a year, showing how difficult it is to even approach break even in the Championship and contend for promotion.   Like other clubs, the Rams are reliant on the continued support of the owners.

Leeds decision deferred

Massimo Cellino''s appeal against his disqualification as a prospective owner of Leeds United was heard in London yesterday, but the independent QC in charge of the appeal has reserved judgment while he considers the arguments put forward.   This at least implies that he thought Cellino had a case worthy of further consideration.

End game in Owls takeover

A possible takeover of Sheffield Wednesday by a Chinese consortium which has been on the horizon since last summer is likley to be resolved one way or another within the next fortnight.

Former Birmingham director and Hong Kong Sammy Yu, a former player and coach of the Hong Kong team, is on friendly terms with Owls owner Milan Mandaric.   Interest appeared to fade when the club appeared to be in some danger of relegation, but they are now almost certain to stay in the Championship.