THE Deloitte Football Money League always makes interesting reading, but its annual appearance reminds us what big-time football has become – a major global industry. The past 10 years has created footballing behemoths, but never has the gulf between the elite and the also-rans been so great. It would be wrong to say football has never been about the rich and poor. The composition of … Continue reading Football’s decade of capitalism
CHELSEA received almost a quarter of a billion pounds in additional funding from owner Roman Abramovich as the club made a loss of around £ 100 million in 2018-19. Chelsea’s turnover totalled £ 447 million which was more or less on par with 2017-18 (£ 443) as a result of lower broadcasting (£200m) and matchday income (£67m) streams. Commercial income was up by 9% to … Continue reading Chelsea make a loss as revenues flat-line, but what of the future?
IF ALL goes to plan, Leeds United should soon be benefitting from a big cash injection from Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the people who have made Paris Saint-Germain one of Europe’s wealthiest and high-profile clubs. The news has had a mixed reception, Qatar’s human rights record has been pointed out, along with the morality of inflated investment in football as a tool to enhance reputations, … Continue reading Will Leeds be the next member of the uber-rich?
FOOTBALL in Bury now depends on the creation of a so-called “Phoenix Club” after the club was expelled from the English Football League. Bury is a relatively tiny club (average crowd 2018-19: 4,044), one that sprung-up when industrial Britain was creating the roots for the people’s game. Football enthusiasts have always known the basic keynote facts about a club that has struggled in the shadow of … Continue reading Bury may be the first sad domino to fall
A CHIN-STROKING professor, trying to explain the typical extra-curricular activities of British people, once remarked that in any group of 100 men, around 50% spent much of their free time watching “association” football. He went on to explain that for many of these people, the game of football was, to a certain degree, the replacement for some of the conventional life-defining moments that people go … Continue reading The football condition: Devotion, delusion, distraction… deserving?
STAN KROENKE may not be every Arsenal fan’s idea of the perfect owner, but letters of complaint and stamping feet will probably not have much impact on the US businessman. Arsenal have almost become a typical US sports franchise, well run, nicely-housed, profitable, conservative and driven by the bottom line. Arsenal, in all reality, will never be a club that gets into financial trouble, but … Continue reading A boycott is needed for Arsenal fans to make their point
AN English academic, trying to explain the typical extra-curricular activities of British people, once remarked that in any group of 100 men, around 50% spent much of their free time watching association football. He went on to explain that for many of these people, the game of football was, to a certain degree, the replacement for some of the conventional life-defining moments that people go … Continue reading Devotion, delusion, distraction… deserving?
THE proposed takeover of Hednesford Town by OWNAFC fell through this past week, disappointing some people but probably inducing a sigh of relief among non-league football. This was – will be, for this is not the end of the saga – a project for the Football Manager generation, providing to some extent, a crossover between fiction and reality. Fan ownership can be a very good … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Non-League may not be ready for OWNA
SPECULATION is rife that Roman Abramovich is ready to sell part with his stake in Chelsea, ending a summer of rumours that the club’s glorious era might be about to end. Matthew Syed of The Times said Abramovich’s arrival in 2003 represented a watershed in the game. It was the moment that clubs became “strategic rather than community or commercial assets.” Syed describes the Russian’s … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Fall of the Roman Empire?
ALTHOUGH some people believe Arsenal’s current ownership structure has given the club an air of respectability and a reputation for restraint, there is no doubt it has contributed to the North London institution falling behind many of its peers. Rightly or wrongly, Arsenal, despite their undoubted financial strength and ability to generate huge revenues, have been usurped by Chelsea and Manchester City domestically and, to … Continue reading Unrest in the luxury suite at Arsenal
THINK OF Salzburg and you immediately conjure-up images of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Romanesque and Baroque architecture and, of course, the Sound of Music. It’s not a city that you would normally associate with football passion, Austria is not a one of the seething hotbeds of the modern game, although it has played its part in shaping modern football. But if you were to determine the … Continue reading Soccer City: Salzburg
MODERN football, at its highest level, has become a commodity. Investment in football clubs has become an asset class to be placed alongside bonds, equities, real estate and gold. At the top, fans have little or no intimacy with their club, they are paying customers that buy into the brand like technology geeks become disciples of the latest iPhone. They keep feeding the machine and … Continue reading Why non-league fans need to know