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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Finance

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Heart of Midlothian Sort Out Pay Problems

Last week weekly paid players at Hearts didn't get paid and those on monthly salaries faced delayed payments, but the problems should all have been sorted out today. Hearts maintain that the failure to pay employees was down to a technical problem. It appears that the problem arose when owners Ukio Bankas Investment Group, who regularly deposit money into Hearts' bank account, stopped making payments earlier this month. HBOS, who have their own problems, refused to let the overdraft rise above £100,000.

Nigerian consortium may bid for Newcastle United

If a bid by a Nigerian consortium for Newcastle United comes to fruition, they could become the first African owned club in the Premiership. Jokers are, of course, saying that owner Mike Ashley has already E-mailed his bank details. The front man for the bid is Chris Nathaniel of NVA Management entertainment group. He claims to have been 'working hard to get wealthy and football-loving Nigerian entrepreneurs to buy the club'. Supposedly his consortium is willing to meet the asking price of £400m and have already collected £350m.

Canaries' Troubles Are All Too Typical

The financial problems being encountered by Norwich City FC have their own specific local causes, but they are also typical of the challenges being faced by many lower league clubs. Little money from the Premiership now trickles down even to the Championship because few players from that level are signed by Premiership clubs who are either interested in foreign players or those British players who have already proved themselves at the top level. Bosses at Carrow Road are insisting that the club is 'not in trouble at all' and will not go into administration.

Record Profits At Arsenal

Arsenal are expected to announce record turnover figures later this month, making the club the world's third richest behind Real Madrid and Manchester United. Turnover from the whole business has increased to about £225m. The figures for the year to May 31, 2008 will reveal record pre-tax profits of nearly £40m, while operating profit is expected to be above £50m. Arsenal is not a benefactor club and the results demonstrate the success of the Emirates stadium and the board's policy of living within its means.

Belles In Distress

Doncaster Belles, the oldest club in the Women's Premier League, are on the verge of bankruptcy. The club's future is in jeopardy after it lost a major sponsor and it may be forced to close within days. The club may have to shut down after Sunday's match with Arsenal if some funding cannot be found. At the moment the club can't even pay for the coach down to Arsenal which would cost £500. The Belle's annual budget is just £65,000. Doncaster Council and Doncaster Rovers have offered to help out, but their money won't be available until the end of the month.

Cork City's Money Problems Rock Eircom League

Cork City has become the latest Eircom League of Ireland club to face financial problems. In a season that has already seen Cobh Rangers, Sligo Rovers, Galway United and Kildrae County facing serious problems, the situation at Cork is worrying for the League of Ireland as a whole. Cork City is one of the biggest and best supported teams in the league, so its fate will be a warning for the rest of the clubs, that no team is safe from financial difficulties. 'It's hard to understand, I can't get my head around it,' admitted Fran Gavin, director of the Eircom League.

Top 10 Brazilian Football Clubs

We've recently received the latest report from Casual Auditores Independentes on the finances of Brazilian football clubs and very interesting reading it is too. 21 clubs are covered and we encourage you to check out it out - the link above is to a pdf copy. You will see a very thorough analysis including breakdowns of revenue streams and a special focus on EBITDA and financial liabilities, but here are some brief highlights:

South Australia's Oldest Football Club in Trouble

South Australia's oldest football club, Port Adelaide, is in trouble. Port is said to be headed towards a massive operating loss this season - perhaps more than A$500,000. Club finances, even in an era of the AFL being underwritten by media deals, in particular from television, are still heavily reliant in membership and crowd figures. Port have arrested the slide on membership, but its attendances are falling - and, with an average of 24.410 this season, are at a record low. After rising from 12th to second last year, the Power has fallen to 14th with just five wins from 19 games.

Reality Check For Fantasy Football

'Own the club, pick the team' was the offer to bring fantasy football to life made to the 30,000 members of MyFootballClub. Eight months after the web-based company took control of Conference side Ebbsfleet in a blaze of publicity, the novelty has worn off and apathy appears to be setting in. Last Saturday, the team selector finally went live, with members asked whether they wanted to choose the players for the pre-season friendly against Charlton or leave it to manager Liam Daish.

Hearts Debt For Equity Plan

Hearts' debt could be reduced by £12m if a 'debt for equity' plan is ratified at an extraordinary general meeting on July 31. The proposal, announced by Vladmir Romanov, the club's majority shareholder, would see UBIG, the Lithuanian bank of which Romanov is also a majority shareholder, purchase over 34 million new ordinary shares at 35p each, effectively increasing their stake in the Tynecastle club from around 82 per cent to approximately 95 per cent.