Tag: Cardiff City

2010: A Football Financial Review

You could frame it. If you wanted a short, pithy representation of all that has been wrong with football finance in 2010, you could do no better than quote a Plymouth Argyle fan known as “Sensible Surfer” on the BBC Football website over the Christmas period. “Ridsdale set to take control… good news,” he/she said, a phrase which would sit nicely as an explanation of irony…except that it didn’t appear to BE irony. And it served as fair comment on Argyle’s current state that, relatively, Peter Ridsdale – the failed former Leeds and Cardiff chairman and serial over-borrower – IS good news for the cash and panic-stricken South Westerners, with the heaviest possible emphasis on the word ‘relatively.’ If professional football entered 2010 in a state of moral and financial bankruptcy, it is leaving it in much the same manner. Certain football problems have been “solved.” Some more have emerged. While others, hello Portsmouth, look set to run forever. The “greater fool” theory still underpins much of the game’s financial strategies. The theory is about as scientific as it sounds – buying something in the belief that you will be able to sell it again for a higher price (to a “greater fool”), regardless of what has happened in the meantime (increased debts, usually), or even whether the original price was rooted in reality. Finding a “greater fool” is...

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Motherwell vs Cardiff City: Venue – Hamilton Sheriffs Court

There was something about the loan transfer of Craig Bellamy from Manchester City to Cardiff City that was always going to cause a fuss. Cardiff’s financial travails have been well documented on this site before. Having already been hit with a Football League transfer embargo in December of last year, in March 2010, the club had a winding up order from HMRC issued against them with the taxman’s counsel, Matthew Smith, describing the club as being “plainly insolvent” – an analysis that was difficult to argue with. The petition was eventually seen off in May after a promise of investment of £6m by a Malaysian consortium led by the businessman Dato Chan Tien Ghee, but this didn’t prove to be the end of the club’s difficulties. The registrar, a Mrs Registrar Derrett, had said that Cardiff resembled “a company unable to pay its debts as they fall due”, but they were allowed a stay of execution in order to pay off their debts nevertheless. However, after delays in making the payment the transfer embargo was placed upon the club again, this time until the debt was confirmed as having been paid. Another date was set at court, although this time the club managed to pay their debt back. That said, however, the amount owed to HMRC was a drop in the ocean when compared to the club’s total debt,...

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At The Sharp End… Dispatches From Southend, Cardiff, Watford, Preston & Portsmouth

One of the most useful research tools for football finance writing is the “Football Management” site run by Dr. John Beech of Coventry University. Dr. Beech took ten days off recently, and came back to an in-tray” of HMRC-related football fun which would have blocked out the light from his office windows. Indeed, any hopes that any of us had of football’s financial woes holding themselves in abeyance while the world’s finest – and John Terry – were strutting their South African stuff were short-lived in the extreme. Instead, it’s almost as if certain clubs regarded the World Cup as a time to bury bad news. The worst news has come from Southend-on-Sea where the extent of the football club’s reliance on Sainsbury’s (Sainsbury’s!!) for survival has been laid bare. The local Echo newspaper has over recent months run numerous stories in its sports, business and general news pages about the funding issues surrounding Southend’s stadium project at Fossett’s Farm. Last month, they joined the dots in an impressive resume of the football club bills Sainsbury’s have recently paid, i.e. pretty much all of the major ones. To cut a very long story short, Sainsbury’s could soon be in control of Southend United if Martin puts them any more in hock to “the supermarket giants.” And while they were joining these dots, another two appeared; yet another winding-up petition...

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Match Of The Week: Crystal Palace 1-2 Cardiff City

For supporters of both Crystal Palace and Cardiff City, 2009/10 has been a season that has taken a turn for the strange. Both clubs are in mortal peril. Crystal Palace are in administration and the Championship relegation places following the ten point deduction that comes with entering it, whilst Cardiff City still haven’t seen off the tax man and still face a winding up petition. However, both clubs could find routes off the hook. A place in the Premier League – certainly not an unreasonable proposition, considering that they are in fourth place in the table and heading for the play-offs at the end of the season – is still possible for Cardiff City, and this may be a route out of the crippling debt that they are currently burdened with. If that seems a contradictory state of affairs, it’s not quite as crazy as what has been going on at Crystal Palace. The club’s entry dropped them into a relegation zone like a stone into a pond. This put them up for sale, and amongst the most serious interest in buying the club is reported to have come from the noted hip hop producer, fashion designer and (probably) wearer of diamonds, Sean “Puff Daddy or P-Diddy, Depending Upon How Old You Are” Combs. The likelihood of Palace taking to the pitch wearing fur-lined and diamond-studded shirts and replacing...

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