PracticeAccounting FirmsDon’t score an own goal

Don't score an own goal

Arsenal Football Club, one of the biggest most successful football clubs in the world, has said that appointing a finance director is by no means a forgone conclusion

The club is waiting to appoint a CEO to see if the new man wants an FD before
they begin the search.

Given the size of Arsenal ­ around £100m turnover ­ the idea of an FD being
an optional extra must strike any observer as slightly bizarre. The modern FD is
essential, providing financial analysis upon which strategic and commercial
recommendations can be made.

There is no such suggestion that Arsenal ­ where Stuart Wisely is currently
group chief accountant but not a board member ­ has been poorly managed. Indeed,
the financing of the new stadium and the club in general has been largely
without criticism. But that’s not to say an FD would not have provided
invaluable advice and insight.

Managing the club in this way sets a poor example to other clubs at a time
when football fails to attract copious compliments for financial management. The
FA’s own guide to governance suggests financial knowledge should be part of the
executive skillset prompting the conclusion that an FD would be necessary. It
also advises that power on the executive body should not be concentrated in too
few hands.

A combined CEO/FD would seem to fail on that count. Though the guide does
refer to the Combined Code, it seems a long way from being as emphatic. That
opens a question about whether it should be rewritten to send a message about
what is expected of financial management in professional football clubs. Arsenal
could send a clear message on governance and make sure there’s an FD at the next
board meeting.

comment@accountancyage.com

Related Articles

Sexual harassment – is accountancy next for #MeToo?

Accounting Firms Sexual harassment – is accountancy next for #MeToo?

4h Karen Baxter, Lewis Silkin
Johnston Carmichael CEO appointed as ICAS president

Accounting Firms Johnston Carmichael CEO appointed as ICAS president

3w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
British Accountancy Awards 2018 – entries open!

Accounting Firms British Accountancy Awards 2018 – entries open!

1m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Is the accountancy sector facing an international talent crisis?

Accounting Firms Is the accountancy sector facing an international talent crisis?

1m Lewis Silkin
RSM appoints new Chief Operating Officer

Accounting Firms RSM appoints new Chief Operating Officer

1m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
RSM announces 11 partner promotions

Accounting Firms RSM announces 11 partner promotions

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO hires former AstraZeneca creative director as head of digital and innovation

Accounting Firms BDO hires former AstraZeneca creative director as head of digital and innovation

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
What does the future hold for listed accountancy firms?

Accounting Firms What does the future hold for listed accountancy firms?

2m Fergus Payne, Lewis Silkin