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The Premiership

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Growing Despair at Liverpool FC

Stuttering performances on the pitch have increased the despair among Liverpool fans. Much of their anger has been directed up to now at the 'absentee' American owners. However, they have become increasingly critical of manager Rafa Benitez. He has made it clear that he is digging in for the long term and it is believed that, given the nature of his contract which was renewed last year, the club could not afford to sack him. The counter argument is that the club cannot afford not to sack him, but that overlooks the underlying financial realities.

Manchester City Convert Debt Into Equity

Manchester City's owners have followed the lead of Chelsea by converting the club's debt pile into equity. From the point of view of fans, this means that both clubs are debt free. It also means that they should escape any Uefa sanctions directed against clubs thought to have too much debt. One point that has been missed in some of the commentary is that it also makes the clubs easier to sell should their owners wish to do so. A buyer would not have to acquire a pile of debt but would able to make an offer for the club which would allow the owner to recoup some of his investment.

Chelsea Go Debt Free

In a generous gesture of support, Roman Abramovich has made Chelsea virtually debt free. In the previous financial year, he reduced the debt from a peak £760m. In the year to 30 June he converted the £340m of interest free loans owed by the club to him into equity. The move has reduced the club's debt almost to nil and puts it in a strong position ahead of proposed rules seeking to prevent European football clubs from taking on unsustainable levels of debt.

Brothel Story Raises Broader Issues

There has been considerable internet speculation about the possible identity of a Premiership football manager who was reported by the Sun to have been identified visiting a brothel.  Described as a 'Thai vice den' located on an industrial estate, it might at first appear that the premises offer facilities such as Jacuzzis and saunas.  However, what is on offer amounts to more than an opportunity for exiled Finns to enjoy a social activity from their homeland.  A Sun reporter who visited the premises alleges that he was offered sexual services in return for

Spurs Back Redknapp Over Tax Case

Spurs have given manager Harry Redknapp their 'full support' after it was announced that the Inland Revenue were to institute proceedings against him relating to his time as Portsmouth manager. His solicitors said in a statement, 'Harry Redknapp is extremely surprised and disappointed to have been informed that HMRC intend to institute proceedings against him in the week commencing January 11, 2010. We believe that the decision [will] be shown to have been totally misconceived.' Spurs consider the matter to be a private tax issue 'which is not related to football matters.

Aston Villa Football Club Limited

Traditional Aston Villa football shirt

The club was founded in 1874 and were founder members of the Football League (in 1888). Aston Villa have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897 (capacity = 42,660). The club was floated on the London Stock Exchange by the previous owner and chairman 'Deadly' Doug Ellis in May 1997, but in 2006 full control of the club was acquired by the American businessman Randy Lerner. In 2016, Lerner sold the club to Recon Group, owned by Chinese businessman Xia Jiantong. The sale was completed on 14 June 2016 for a reported £76 million.

Website: 
www.avfc.co.uk

One Billion Pounds For United

Reports are claiming that six Asian billionaires are poised to make a £1 billion pound bid for Manchester United. Variously described as being based in Bangkog or Beijing, they have been working on the project for three months. They think that financial problems at Old Trafford mean that this is a good time to make a bid. United has debts of £699m, the biggest in football's history, and an annual interest bill of £60m a year. There are fewer season ticket holders at Old Trafford this year with just 55,000 taking up a renewal option after an agreement with the Office of Fair Trading.

Financial Crisis at Pompey

Portsmouth FC have emphatically denied reports on supporter websites that they could be the first Premiership club to go into administration. However, the financial crisis at the club is so serious that they could be forced to sell at least two players in the January transfer window. New owner Ali Al-Faraj is urgently seeking to refinance the club's £60m debts which include around £16m due to football creditors and former owner Sacha Gaydamak by the end of January. The Premier League may divert the Sky television money due to them to pay off football creditors.

Glazers Hit Problems With Debts

The Glazers, owners of Manchester United, are finding it difficult to refinance their huge debts against the background of the recession. There are increasing concerns about the possible impact on the club. They have been trying for some time to secure a refinancing package for part of the club's £699m debt. There are doubts whether the £80m obtained from the sale of Ronaldo to Real Madrid will ever be reinvested in the club. The main concern is thought to be about the £175.5m worth of debt that the Glazers are personally responsible for, not the £518.7m of loans secured against the club.

Pompey Overcome Wages Crisis

Portsmouth Football Club have secured a loan which means they can finally pay their players' wages for November. Portsmouth also paid their players late in September. Portsmouth were placed under a transfer embargo in late October until they settle debts owed to other English clubs, although they hope to have this sorted out by the time the transfer window opens. PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor expressed his concern at the latest developments at the club.