Town And Out

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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2 Responses

  1. Simon says:

    Clubs overextending themselves occurs at all levels of the game, from the Premiership right down through the pyramid of the national game. You are right that supporter owned clubs of themselves are not an immediate fix to the problem – clubs will always want to spend as much as possible striving for success. However, the supporters of these reformed clubs are certainly much more aware of the financial ins and outs of the clubs they support – and are acutely aware of what happens when following the “spend more than we have coming in but don’t worry we’ll get a sugar daddy coming along in a couple of years to bail us out” model of football club management. Fans have a duty to ask questions of those who run their clubs – be they American billionaires or elected fans. Being an ostrich is no longer an option for football fans – start asking questions before it is too late!

    The game as a whole – led by the FA – needs to look at ways of helping clubs manage their finances, as they are patently unable to do so by themselves. Deducting points for entering insolvency proceedings is very much a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. The root cause of clubs overspending needs to be looked at, with a sensible discussion between the FA, leagues & clubs regarding what controls/processes should be introduced to prevent clubs from running up such large debts. Whether this results in salary caps based on turnover, or rules that prevent clubs starting a season unless their tax bill is paid – who knows. But someone, somewhere should take the lead and start the ball rolling.

    Simon Cope
    Chair, Scarborough Athletic FC

  2. alexgloc says:

    So – three clubs that have significantly more money than their respective opponents are winning their leagues, and that’s a Good Thing. Huh? Just because the initial money came from thousands instead of tens?

    Meanwhile the mess that is Ebbsfleet United is in the FA Trophy final…and gosh darn it – won it. MyFootballClub is still not running smoothly, their internet message board is as childish and random as any other unmoderated internet message board, the finances still aren’t public, and some of the most passionate initial signups have left in understandable disappointment.
    But thousands of members from as far as Sydney AUS went to Wembley today, almost 20,000 from Kent joined them, and nobody died. (I’m still here in the USA in part because I saw two games at Stonebridge Road last month and the dollar/pound exchange rate hurts.) With any luck, some of the Kent folks who hadn’t been at the ground in years/decades might consider coming back.

    When it all ends, MyFC won’t be what was advertised last year, but since I still haven’t seen any efforts from Supporters Direct-run clubs to attract foreigners who would have to learn to be real supporters, and since the Stonebridge Road folks were genial hosts in spite of my being a yahoo (as in Gulliver’s Travels, not Silicon Valley) in Kent football terms, I’ve gotten plenty for my 35 pounds.

    And those of you worrying about club finances, American minor league baseball franchises are doing well. (Minor league American football and basketball is still dominated by the university system.) The snarkier might suggest that they survive entirely on players on loan…but it’s something you might consider asking about.

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