Finance and Accountancy Briefing

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Back on the Ball? The Annual Survey Of Football Club Finance Directors 2010


Although finance directors appear to be fairly optimistic about stable or growing revenues for all income streams, the reality is that only 22% expect to make a profit; 44% will be using more than 90% of their overdraft facility next season; and the banks are demanding that more club directors provide personal guarantees to secure existing debt funding.

It is also worrying that the number of respondents who are now operating a wages to turnover ratio in excess of 65% has more than doubled in two years. While we welcome the positive attitude of finance directors, we think that next season is likely to be just as tough as 2009/10 for football clubs, and that the impact of the recent Budget is likely to further reduce the level of consumer and corporate spending on match tickets, merchandising and catering.

Another factor is the potentially serious impact of UEFA’s new financial fair play rule. This requires all clubs in European competition to live within their means and capping the amount benefactors can put in to underwrite losses to €45 million (£38 million) over three years on some of the richest clubs who have received nine-figure sums from their owners in recent years.

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