Football's Magic Money Tree

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Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:46 pm

AC Milan back in the UEFA FFP dock again - after using legal processes to take part in the Europa League this season

https://offthepitch.com/a/uefa-charges- ... once-again" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:53 pm

Here is how you justify spending close to 600m Euros on Stadium improvements - though just how Real expect to generate an additional 150m euro a season from the Stadium is another question

https://offthepitch.com/a/florentino-pe ... llion-year" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:59 pm

The French football League has joined the German, Spanish and Premier Leagues in condemning the proposals for UEFA's club competitions post 2024

https://offthepitch.com/a/french-footba ... ons-league" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:38 pm

The Price of Football does a deep dive into two-time FFP dodging Derby's Financial Accounts of 2017/18

http://priceoffootball.com/derby-county ... -be-there/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:47 pm

I have been trying to get my head around this one for the last few hours but short of the fact that 2 of these clubs have actually won the European Cup why would the Qatar Sport Investments (owners of PSG) want to by an English club

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/20 ... ake-links/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

there is the thought that the European Super League will never come off and the Premier League will dominate all going into the future - can you imagine a big 8 or 9 (see post #821)

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:17 am

When Man Utd switched to Adidas the game was blown away by the £75m a year deal (especially as Utd had brought all other merchandising in house) but that no longer is the case and how quickly the market changes -Barcelona got a £140m a year deal the season after the utd signed theirs and it now appears that even Liverpool who sell nothing like the same volume as utd are going to surpass it too.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... -deal.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:26 am

Interesting article on the importance of clubs having a Technical Director with Football knowledge- it is important for most clubs in the top 2 tiers let alone the behemoth that is Man Utd

https://offthepitch.com/a/why-did-man-u ... l-director" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

must say I am a little wary of who Rigg directly reports to (and the exact nature of his role) - sometimes I get the impression that our manager has a little too much influence over the club and that causes me a little concern re succession planning - I will state that I have absolutely no desire to see him leave

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:36 am

Chester Perry wrote:Posted a bit about China's Belt and Road Initiative (a new silk road) and how it is using soft power (often via football) to help smooth it's economic objectives. It turns out that the Premier League are investigating Southampton's owner Gao Jisheng after news emerged that the Chinese State has effectively taken operational control of his business interests.

https://offthepitch.com/a/premier-leagu ... outhampton" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

so what is the interest in Southampton other than the fact it is home Britain's 2nd deepest port - some key info about that in here

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/spon ... al-britain" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mmm, interesting developments at Southampton.......Chairman Ralph Krueger will leave the club in June.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:43 am

Just one post other post on this thread that refers to Brexit (see post #789) TIFO Football look at Brexit's likely impact on our National Team

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHmjlVz ... e=youtu.be" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:53 am

Your club is potentially about to win the league for the first time in 29 years, among the favourites to reach it's 9th European cup final and is amongst the top 2 or 3 supported clubs in the Muslim world and then you go and get this minor sponsor (why would you do that)

https://twitter.com/Prof_Chadwick/statu ... 2376491008" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:04 am

Will the politics of the major administrative organisations of our game ever clean themselves up

https://offthepitch.com/a/exclusive-asi ... tion-carve" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

- or do we need to just accept that other cultures do things differently (see post #697)

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:08 pm

It has been getting quite heavy on this thread recently - here is a little light relief from much more innocent times - money as ever has a role to play as does betting which was talked about quite openly back then

https://www.planetfootball.com/nostalgi ... gover-won/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:05 pm

Royboyclaret wrote:Mmm, interesting developments at Southampton.......Chairman Ralph Krueger will leave the club in June.
yes indeed, if wasn't for the chinese influence, you might not question that the timing was more than coincedental

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:43 pm

It has been a while since we have had any football leaks revelations - but with Chelsea preparing their appeal against it's transfer ban for the way it handled it's signing of it's Academy players - this is an informative article on one such case at the club

https://www.spiegel.de/international/eu ... 62635.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:50 pm

@KieranMaguirre has a gander at the FA's (won't be able to use that for much longer) Accounts - just how do you lose money in a year when you get to the semi-finals of the world cup

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 7874198528" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:53 pm

@KieranMaguire has noticed that Trevor Hemmings has dipped into hs pockets to chuck another £1.8m at shares he didn't need to buy

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 2489997312" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


apparently there are some at PNE that think he doesn't do enough for them - I am bewildered

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:24 pm

A very insightful interview with Richard Scudamore, recorded at the end of last season just before he announced he would be leaving the Premier League

at the bottom of the linked page from about 8:14 in

https://leadersinsport.com/sport-busine ... y-worrall/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:39 pm

Chester Perry wrote:@KieranMaguire has noticed that Trevor Hemmings has dipped into hs pockets to chuck another £1.8m at shares he didn't need to buy

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 2489997312" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


apparently there are some at PNE that think he doesn't do enough for them - I am bewildered
So some of them think the bloke who saved them from financial oblivion doesn't do enough for them?
There's nowt as stupid as some football fans.

Bit like those who've accused Burnley's board of pocketing the PL money over the years :roll:

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:18 pm

An interesting presentation by Peter Moore Chief Executive of Liverpool last summer - looking at how such a big club goes about building relationships with it's considerable fan-base - includes some very powerful videos - to me a lot of this ties in with that report they commissioned last year looking at the Economic Impact the club had on the city (see post #552)

https://leadersinsport.com/sport-busine ... bal-pulse/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think our club can do quite well at this but is also inconsistent (sometimes wildly depending on which member of staff you are dealing with) - definite lessons that can be taken though

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:00 pm

Highlighted a couple of times that the Premier League solidarity payment to the EFL was effectively being reduced under the new TV Cycle "The Price of Football" gave us the detail last summer as it turns out


http://priceoffootball.com/new-tv-distr ... -a-winner/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:13 pm

Some thoughts on the Qatar Sports Investment rumour on buying an English club from a man who studies and lectures on this kind of thing


https://twitter.com/Prof_Chadwick/statu ... 5359718401" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


a quick summary of the current international ownership profile of clubs in the Premier League and the Championship

https://twitter.com/vysyble/status/1116622908992831488" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:21 pm

and following the last post this morning we now hear that there are stories Chelsea are talking to prospective buyers

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... -club.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:03 am

Chester Perry wrote:and following the last post this morning we now hear that there are stories Chelsea are talking to prospective buyers

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... -club.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
So, 15 years ago Abramovich acquires Chelsea for £150m, in the interim pumps £1.25bn into the club and is now looking for £2.5bn to complete the sale.

Staggering sums involved and each season that Burnley remain in the PL, and continue to post record profits, the temptation must be there for some consortium to take a punt on our Club.

Perhaps the current Board are already fending off offers, the likes of which may ultimately be impossible to resist.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:56 am

not sure where the growth lies for anyone to invest in us relegation is inevitable at some point especially if owners want to extract profit from us rather than reinvest - plus as many have said our ground needs a hell of a refresh and that will be money that is difficult to recoup without finding a way to expand our footprint and non-matchday revenues

- Newcastle have struggled to find a buyer for best part of 7 years - big money wants London

- even if Premier League was to supplant a European Super League (see my nonsensical hypothetical speculation in post #826)- it would effectively become franchised across regions and even then we lose as the 2 Manchester and 2 Liverpool clubs and even Leeds usurp us

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:56 pm

An update on Rui Pinto the man behind Football Leaks - still looking bleak for him now he is back in Portugal and the authorities protect their own interests

https://www.theguardian.com/football/20 ... ball-leaks" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:07 pm

Chester Perry wrote:An update on Rui Pinto the man behind Football Leaks - still looking bleak for him now he is back in Portugal and the authorities protect their own interests

https://www.theguardian.com/football/20 ... ball-leaks" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Interesting article, Inc the part where the EU are introducing a law to protect all whistleblowers.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by claptrappers_union » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:19 pm

Royboyclaret wrote:Staggering sums involved and each season that Burnley remain in the PL, and continue to post record profits, the temptation must be there for some consortium to take a punt on our Club.
I don’t think we are that tempting. By Premier League standards, we have a low fan base, no international following, stadium that can’t be significantly expanded, situated in a small town with no real prospects and surrounded by the likes of United, City, Liverpool and Everton.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by bfcmartin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:26 pm

What about those fans from Helmond

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:17 am

There have been a few discussions on this board recently relating to how we can increase our attendances, the quality of the experience of visiting Turf Moor and engaging different areas of the community to encourage them to attend games. Here is an interesting article on clubs needing to engage with fans and models that seem to be working better than the English ones - naturally German is a key reference point - the Article is stimulated by a report from CIES Football Observatory re a 15 year study into attendances (which I also link

https://offthepitch.com/a/epl-and-champ ... ttendances" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.football-observatory.com/IMG ... r/mr44/en/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Not sure the article takes into account Stadium Capacity - certainly the Premier league has a significant proportion of small grounds for a major league, which is why league officials like to look at utilisation figures

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:44 am

Interesting article about leagues and greater interaction between fans/clubs, trust issues etc.

If a clubs employee is more open on social media it's a guarantee that fans of clubs will target clubs employees on social media with the intent of trolling them, I'm aware of some Burnley fans who do it with Bentley :roll:
It doesn't exactly encourage interaction....

The Germans do seem to have it right with ticket prices though.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:56 am

GodIsADeeJay81 wrote:The Germans do seem to have it right with ticket prices though.
Part of the reason it works in Germany is (I assume) because all clubs price similar especially in the 2nd tier and that is a chicken and egg situation in regards to wages - Championship wages are so heavily distorted by overspend and parachute payments - our natural turnover in Championship minus solidarity payments (there is growing talk the EFL would be better off without it) would be close to £10m at a push (at current pricing - many would expect a decrease) how long do you think we would last if operated in a sustainable manner

Naturally the Bundesliga are happy with the report

https://www.bundesliga.com/en/bundeslig ... eague-3745" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also forgot to mention that safe standing helps enormously though cannot believe English clubs could match 11 euros each for matches

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:32 am

I am surprised it has taken so long but finally there have been calls for the EFL to investigate the financial conduct of Derby, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday after some particularly creative solutions to avoid FFP have materialised.

The complainer in chief is the same Steve Gibson who combines his business interests such that the losses at Middlesbrough counterbalance his profits elsewhere to reduce his tax bill. I get the impression that he is angry that he has been either outthought or had taken a different interpretation of the rules on their actions and ruled them out for himself.


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/20 ... te-rivals/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:49 am

Andy Holt the owner/chairman of Accy Stanley has become something of a beacon to fans of teams in Leagues 1 and 2 and also those of clubs in distress such as Bolton. His willingness to challenge the football model and the game's administrators while being transparent about the financials of his own club are seen as a breath of fresh air many hope he is the seed of change -in the mean time the PL, EFL, FA and even the National League continue to request that he shut's up - fat chance.

today he -
- airs his views on the EFL fit and proper test https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/11 ... 5600428032" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
- shares the financials on this years home matches - you need to scroll through the links
https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/11 ... 3747823616" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/11 ... 6781845504" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/11 ... 2363134977" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It is not something you see very often in this game, though one or two at that level are starting to join the transparency approach to ensure supporters full understand where they are at

Edit - should also state that those figures do not include Season Ticket sales
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:53 am

In post #844 our excellent contributor Roy speculated that there must be someone out their wanting to take a punt on us, especially given our continued status in the top flight and willingness to make a profit rather than bet the ranch. But how do you put a value on a club? You may be surprised to know that Crystal Palace are for sale - Offthepitch.com speak to Oakwell Capital about how a valuation of Crystal Palace could be made and even come up with a figure.

https://offthepitch.com/a/crystal-palac ... ion-market" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The key here is that there is no talk of paying back owner loans, which is where Mike Ashley has fallen over in his attempts to sell Newcastle United - he wants to recoup all his money and that is north of £300m which does not stack up with the calculation here.

Also going back to Roy's postulation - I do find it unlikely that anyone would pay £180m - £220m for us
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:43 pm

John Delaney has finally stepped aside from his role with the Irish FA

https://twitter.com/RobHarris/status/11 ... 7621158912" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

the subject of which was part of the most classically Irish TV discussion I have ever seen and which many thought was a parody

https://twitter.com/RobHarris/status/11 ... 8927954945" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and yes the guy in the flat cap in the studio is a sitting Irish MP who was on the select committee questioning the Irish FA

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:14 pm

Nice little table showing the transfer fees for the 10 most used starters in the Premier league and current position - which effectively gives a performance measure of sorts

https://twitter.com/danielstorey85/stat ... 5284780032" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:25 pm

Every time I begin to question the football/soft power notion something like this appears

https://twitter.com/Prof_Chadwick/statu ... 7338352641" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and for those who don't know, Fosun own Wolves - also Villa, Birmingham City and West Brom are owned by Chinese interests

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:15 pm

Following post #857 @KieranMaguire has posted a set of related tables (not quite complete as Newcastle still to post their results following a crafty/snide/obfuscating (pick your own adjective) change of year end by one day to give them an extra 3 months in posting rules)

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 8887846912" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Tricky Trevor » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:44 pm

claptrappers_union wrote:I don’t think we are that tempting. By Premier League standards, we have a low fan base, no international following, stadium that can’t be significantly expanded, situated in a small town with no real prospects and surrounded by the likes of United, City, Liverpool and Everton.
The fan base rises with success. Chelsea didn’t have the greatest of followings until Abramovich put his megabucks into them.
I wouldn’t say were were surrounded by Liverpool & Everton. Utd & City will take some of the Bury/Rochdale youngsters we could have enticed. We will start getting more from the Accy/Clayton/Gt. Harwood area who 10years ago would have gone to deadwood.
Success breeds success.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:52 pm

That Irish FA story is beginning to get a whole lot worse and it appears the whole board is going to step down

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/spor ... 21179.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:24 am

It is our national Stadium, whose costs went wildly over budget, it is famous for having thousands of corporate seats empty when the 2nd half kicks off, the FA even tried to sell it for less than it cost to build, but just how do you turn an annual profit into a loss when you take on a Premier League tenant that is also laying Champions League matches there. the WNSL accounts tell us with the help of @KieranMaguirre

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 1794486272" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

just for the sake of understanding spurs saw a growth in Matchday revenue of over £30m at Wembley from the £41m at White Hart Lane

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:30 am

An interesting table outlining social media followers in the Championship - with a clear standout winner -while monetising this kind of following has been notoriously difficult it is clear to see that clubs that have been in the Premier League in the social media era definitely have a proportionately larger following on these platforms than those who haven't (sorry Leeds)

https://offthepitch.com/a/social-media- ... ampionship" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:04 am

Following his thread yesterday on Chinese long game strategy (see post #858) Professor Simon Chadwick posted a set of links to articles/discussions he was involved in several years ago - while giving credence to his viewpoint they are also highly informative, if a little complex at times

https://twitter.com/Prof_Chadwick/statu ... 6258440192" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:23 am

A post at the time of Jose's dismissal holds bad financial portents for Man Utd after they were picked apart by Barca

https://vysyble.com/blog-18th-december-2018" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A lot lies with the owners who have extracted well over £1bn from the club and made a significant financial profit on their initial investment (courtesy of the share issue) while reducing the actual debt placed on the club by £50m

Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:34 am

You may not like Andy Holt but you have got to appreciate his passion and ability to fight his corner - he has let loose again today and I find it difficult to argue with his thoughts

https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/11 ... 4998560768" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; -

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:29 pm

Following last nights defeat for Juventus by Ajax there were a lot of people pointing out the fallacy that 4 times winners of the big cup Ajax have to win the thing to avoid the qualifiers in July next season while Milan may qualify by finishing 4th after 5 years of comparative failure. Agnelli's Juventus (2 time winners) took a hammering on the stock exchange after the result

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... -Ajax.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:04 pm

I have posted bits about FIFA wanting to change the transfer system, restricting the number of loans from a club, tightening up the rules on agents etc. But when I saw a fleeting mention that they were going to create a "clearing bank " for transfers my first though was "oh they have found a new way to make more money" - From a overseer perspective it kind of makes sense - you in theory get to see who is getting paid what (doesn't stop the slush funds though).

What I have found is that this proposal has been around for some time, along with a few others detailed here

https://www.brabners.com/blogs/sports-l ... er-reforms" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:27 pm

Some very interesting proposals there in regards to agents, regulation of agents and capping agents fees.
The dual representation looks like it's going to be stopped finally.

Also the part about agents fees coming from the player instead of the club is good.

Nice to see FIFA finally trying to get a handle on agents and their underhand tactics/dealings.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:30 pm

Development of the regulation of loans of players for the purpose of youth development as opposed to commercial exploitation. The number of loans per season and between each club shall be limited and bridge transfers and sub-loans shall be prohibited.
This will batter clubs like Chelsea.

Bridge transfers and sub-loans is interesting, I didn't realise they were that common a thing tbh.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:20 am

following Andy Holt's rant yesterday (see post #866) this appeared on the Blackpool message board https://www.fansonline.net/blackpool/mb ... id=3258347" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - certainly for older generations this is a lament for what could have been

td53 Posted on 14/04/2019 12:38 re:Andy Holt is going bananas on Twitter today

He's spot on, the EFL or the FA don't care about the game as a whole, it's all about maximising revenue making in international markets for the biggest clubs, not about a healthy competition.

If you look at the investment in football at all levels in a tiny country like Iceland and how it had paid off, it really puts our system to shame. We still have so few community pitches, schools struggling to find facilities and fund teams. The FA might have done a decent job of funding and organising elite level youth football but in comparison the investment in 'grass roots' football has been paltry when you consider the income available.

It's also completely failed in its duty to protect clubs from poor governance and ensure they are community assets. We've obviously lived that, but there are so many stories at the moment of clubs in crisis and as far as I can see, the weak governance is a direct pay off of their desire to see their product as attractive as possible to investors and if that means some clubs going to the wall, so be it. It's kind of akin to a council trying to attract developers so cutting red tape and waving through planning applications.

To be honest, I feel that far removed from the top level of the game I would struggle to name the Man City team. It just bores me to death. There's something essentially tribal about football, it's what's great, crap seaside town vs crap milltown, everyone shouting at each other for local pride and I struggle to see what the attraction of global elite oil money Vs global elite property developers is. I miss the days when City were a scruffy side from Moss Side - those days aren't coming back, but we could do so much more to ensure the game was exciting, competitive and clubs didn't face ridiculous financial barriers between divisions or even within divisions.

I think what makes me saddest, is when you look at the 20 years before the premier league teams like Forest, Derby, Liverpool, Villa, Everton all became genuinely great teams, conquered Europe and did it without spending the sort of money that City did.

Look at the Everton team of the mid 80s, it was a right mix and match of signings from here and there, but it was a brilliant side. Look at Clough's career, yeah he spent a bit of cash but he also got kids through and picked up lads from unfashionable clubs who he knew could do a job. Liverpool never used to spend on the scale of City now, but were invincible for years.

In short, you had hope. You could look at any given season and it would seem like someone might 'do a Leicester' - when I started following football, in the first few seasons, Watford, West ham, Villa, QPR, Norwich all came close to winning the league. Now finishing 7th is amazing. Wow. 7th. How exciting.

Cups mattered. Luton winning the league cup, Coventry and Wimbledon winning the FA cup, they mattered, they were exciting. You didn't get people talking about how vital it was to finish 4th to 'maintain revenue streams' - teams wanted to win the cup. Simple as. To an 8 year old that was great.

I'm probably in the minority but I'd swap the competition of the 80s for the joyless trudge that is the modern game, where most of the league know they've no hope of winning anything.

It also doesn't help trying to explain to a kid that we're in division 3 even though it's called league one. That's outrageous and is everything that's wrong with the modern game in a nutshell. I think it's worse than nuclear weapons, anthrax and dog XXXXXX combined.
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