Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Football's crazy political economy

Seven years ago Dundee went into administration. It might happen again, sadly, as the Club's offer to pay £100,000 on account for the immediate £250,000 of a total £365,000 owed to the Inland Revenue has been rejected. Yet again the finance and governance of football clubs is in the spotlight for negative reasons. Meanwhile, south of the border, Liverpool fans have been protesting about the mess their debt-shifting owners have left them in, and as the Financial Times reports, "Clubs are [still] disappearing or getting into extreme financial troubles at an alarmingly rapid rate."

In early September 2010, non-league club Ilkeston Town went to the wall after HMRC demanded a tax bill of £47,000. Before the season began, Stockport also faced a Revenue winding-up order, while League One Bournemouth continue with a transfer embargo placed on them. English League One side Sheffield Wednesday have twice been to the High Court to battle against tax debts – their most recent stay of execution was a few weeks ago. And so it rumbles, on and on.

Two of the best sites for up-to-date information and independent commentary on all this are John Beech's Football Management (he heads up Sport and Tourism at Coventry University’s Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration) and Wyn Grant's Football Economy.

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