BusinessBusiness RecoveryFootball clubs head for financial relegation

Football clubs head for financial relegation

A majority of the Nationwide Football League clubs could end up insolvent as they face an empty till without a rescuer, says an insolvency practitioner.

Spiralling wages and non-payment of TV broadcasting licences have hit the members of the second tier of teams.

Earlier this month, Michael Hore, Matthew Dunham and Charles Escott of RSM Robson Rhodes were appointed joint administrator for Manchester-based Bury football club.

The gap between football’s rich and poor will be made clearer when the Deloitte and Touche football rich list is published next month. Manchester United expect to top the list again.

Philip Long, head of business recovery at PKF told Accountancy Age: ‘There are a lot of clubs close to insolvency. The majority of clubs are available for sale. The biggest expense is high player wages.’

Another problem, he said, was that broadcaster ITV Digital said it could not pay its second and third year broadcasting licence.

Potential buyers are waiting for the result of negotiations between clubs and the broadcaster. But clubs are in a no-win situation; if ITV loses BSkyB would have a monopoly. Yet the clubs cannot afford to have ITV pay less.

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