BusinessBusiness RecoveryIt’s a funny old game

It's a funny old game

This week we publish some astonishing figures about the state of finance in football. Frankly, they left many who read them open-mouthed with shock.

Unbelievably 22%, or more than one fifth, of the football finance directors polled admitted they had secured finance for their clubs with their own personal guarantee. When Saturday comes, some may struggle to keep their minds off the books as they watch the game.

This is a remarkable way of running football clubs and indicates there may be something fundamentally wrong in the way they are managed.

But to answer that question we have to deal with another question provoked by the survey. Should clubs be run as businesses, or are they something else, a different kind of corporate entity that demands wealthy individuals put up cash and guarantees to ensure there’s a team on the park each week?

The list of problems for those in the lower Nationwide League is appalling. Dwindling income from TV, expensive players and the insane ‘super creditor’ rule which financially handcuffs a club.

Insolvency specialists involved in aiding struggling clubs have spoken of the need for fundamental change. Only an overhaul can save the Nationwide League and offer any chance of a future for many clubs. Once you see the results, you can’t help but see their point.

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