The Football Conference’s Financial Reporting Initiative: Cause For Cautious Optimism


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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5 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    As Colin Peake said on the Non-League Show last night, all this is dependent on the figures provided by clubs to the Conference and HMRC being accurate and we know that in Boston’s famous case Steve Evans and his cronies’ figures were a complete fabrication.

    The budget analysis will help but it also needs some sort of sanity check when a player leaves somewhere like, say York, for another Conference club, say Crawley, for a huge fee and yet doesn’t appear to have increased his wages much if at all…

  2. Martin says:

    “An overall tax bill across the sixty-seven clubs of the league had been reduced from £1.6m to less than £400,000 over the last twelve months.”

    You also have to wonder how much of that is due to Oxford finally getting promoted.

    This season’s figures could be interesting given Mansfield, Wrexham, York and Darlington’s situation though.

  3. Dermot O'Dreary says:

    Be interesting to see how much attention they pay to a certain Sussex club …..

  4. Richard says:

    It’s good to see financial controls on football clubs beginning to be put in place. Hopefully the success will continue and the football league and premier league will introduce very similar measures.

  5. Martin says:

    I doubt the Football League will put similar measures in place as turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

    Can you see Ken Bates or that bloke at Southend going for this? I can’t.

    For me there are three fundamental issues:

    1) Everyone involved in football has a responsibility to ensure that the money coming into the game is “clean”. I.e. it comes from reputable businesses and individuals, its source is not illegal and would pass HMRC’s Money Laundering Regulations and others.

    2) The accounts maintained by clubs and submitted to the league and HMRC are correct and honest. Whilst this is usually the job of the club’s auditor, that function has not prevented some of the major abuses in recent years and hence the Conference have brought in their own budget checking.

    3) The tax clubs owe should be paid in full and on time. This is the area where the Conference has had the most success in recent years, as the announcement above indicates. It is also the easiest of the three things to check and enforce of course.

    People forget that, unlike all other creditors, HMRC are not a creditor by choice and therefore should be granted special status and more protection by those running the game. The Football Creditors Rule stitch-up must be reviewed ASAP.

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