At a time when there is more money in the game than ever before, why is it that more and more clubs seem to be struggling financially and risk going to the wall, while only a select few prosper? What can be done about it? A maximum wage? Somehow I don’t think that’ll work, and what needs doing is a radical overhaul of how clubs conduct themselves financially, my suggestions would be:
- Clubs can only spend money they’ve made and received and not what they expect to get from prize money, TV money, gate money etc. in the future as that’s not guaranteed
- Payments to HMRC made monthly without fail or points deducted*
- Transfer fees for players paid in full at the time of the transfer, not over X amount of years
- Clubs not allowed to pay agents, and if players want an agent then they pay the fee
- Rich club owners can bankroll clubs as much as they like but monies spent have to be non-refundable gifts rather than loans or shares options
- When clubs are bought they themselves cannot be used as collateral and prospective owners must prove they have the money to purchase a club without risking the financial stability of the club
- Clubs can only spend a maximum % of income on transfers, wages, extras (% to be set) per season
- Clubs only allowed to borrow money to fund ground improvements and safety
Obviously the biggest hurdle to any of these suggestions will be the clubs and most of the changes would need to be implemented at UEFA level not FA level so are very unlikely to ever happen.
*Apparantly something similar to this has been implemented by the Premier League following Portsmouth’s demise, and now clubs have to submit accounts and prove HMRC bills have been paid, every 3 months.