Study Shows Football Clubs Hit Hard By Financial Difficulties

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8th November 2012 16:36 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

A recent study conducted by The PKF Football Industry Group's 'Leagues Apart' has revealed that more than two thirds of football clubs across England and Scotland are facing major financial difficulties in the recent tough economic times. 

The survey took responses from 62 finance directors of the 102 total clubs from the Premier League, npower Championship, League One, League Two and the Scottish Premier League. 

Only a quarter of Championship clubs would consider their finances to be in a "very healthy" condition, with just a fifth of respondents from League One saying the same thing. 

Alarmingly, only one in six clubs from Scotland would say this. 

The clubs were also asked how they planned to combat this, with half of the respondents citing that reducing the size of their playing squad through selling was their primary option, with a similar number planning on reducing their wage bill to cut costs. Of the clubs asked, only 15% said they would be increasing their transfer budget. 

Many clubs have decided to borrow money in the short term to try and solve their financial worries. More than 50% have borrowed against their projected future incomes, and in the Championship one in five said they have received an advance on next year's season-ticket income. One in three said they had received an advance on future transfer fees. 

More than half of the overall clubs said they expected corporate merchandising revenues to decrease, and a third said they anticipated match day catering incomes to fall. 

Charles Barnett, the head of PKF's Football Industry Group, said, "The clear message coming from this year's survey of football finance directors is that, with the exception of some Premier League clubs, it is becoming increasingly difficult to run a football club without losing money." 

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