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Football Clubs Have Too Much Debt Says Ridsdale

Former Leeds chairman says Man Utd are exception to the rule

Written by . Published on September 16th 2011.


Football Clubs Have Too Much Debt Says Ridsdale

FORMER Leeds United chairman Peter Ridsdale believes Manchester United are one of only three Premier League clubs with any financial stability.

Speaking at law firm JMW’s insolvency conference he argued the champions’ business model works “without the Glazers”, according to thebusinessdesk.com. The others two clubs mentioned were Swansea and West Bromwich Albion

 “The Government doesn't regulate football and the Premier League - in my personal opinion - have no care or consideration about what happens below it.”

But while Manchester United’s turnover means they are not dependent on a rich individual for financial support, the same cannot be said for the majority of Premier League clubs.

Manchester United generates around £100m each year, but many clubs are running at a loss.

Ridsdale highlighted Manchester City as an example of a dangerous business model.

He said: "While the Sheikh is there that's fine, but it is not the base of a sane business model.”

The club’s 170 per cent wage to turnover was considered a major concern.

Ridsdale blamed a lack of governance in the game for the precarious financial situations many clubs find themselves in.

“The Premier League drives football in this country,” he said. “The Government doesn't regulate football and the Premier League - in my personal opinion - have no care or consideration about what happens below it.”

Having seen Leeds United go into administration shortly after the end of his tenure there, Ridsdale is concerned other clubs could face similar financial problems in the future.

A loss of earnings due to relegation or a drop in TV revenue could result in “an implosion” for several clubs, he argued. 

The drop in income for teams that fall out of the top flight has already caused several clubs to go into administration and more could go the same way.

“Everton Football Club’s debt levels and overhead structure would not in my opinion survive relegation."

Clubs with rich owners splashing the cash could also face serious trouble if their benefactors leave, Ridsdale said.

 

 

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