Football's Magic Money Tree

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TVC15
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by TVC15 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:22 pm

Royboyclaret wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:42 pm
First reaction from me is the fall in Turnover is even more dramatic than anticipated, particularly in the area of Broadcast Revenue. A staggering reduction of £101m in broadcast income from £241.2m to £140.2m, some 41.9% will have shocked many analysts.

Even allowing for their non-participation in the Champions League that level of reduction is massive. It appears that some £14m was included for broadcast rebates (Burnley figure will be £13.4m, I think). Remarkably the final quarter broadcast figure was a mere £16.6m within the total year of £140m and if that's an indicator of what lies ahead in the new financial year then they really are in trouble.

Time limited for me right now, but will take a more detailed look later in the week.
Roy the drop in broadcasting revenue is ‘primarily” due to non participation in the champions league according to the statements. I think when you add in the delayed season end I don’t think the reduction is as big as you are suggesting. The final quarter figure is more in relation to the delay in the season and the fact that for much of this quarter there will have been no televised game. You can’t really use that quarter as an indicator of what lies ahead. The first quarter of this financial year for example will be much higher than normal years because usually there would be little or no broadcast income in July and early August. So it is a bit of a distorted picture we are seeing here.

The bigger risks for me for United and other big clubs with so much match day revenue, corporate hospitality etc is in this financial year. Look at the reductions in revenue for effectively one quarter - extrapolate that up for a full season and you are looking at huge numbers. United have 15,000 corporate hospitality every home game - 15,000 !!.....paying on average how much per head ? I’ve been in the hospitality at OT for the last few years for the Burnley games and it’s been at least £300 per head each time and I know some of the packages are a lot more expensive.
You then look at the likes of Spurs and Arsenal where match day revenues are now 30% and 29% respectively of their total revenue and you are talking again massive numbers in this coming financial year in terms of lost revenue.

For broadcasting revenue reductions whilst the rebates are not insignificant I think the real risk clubs are worried about is what the future deals are going to look like. General consensus is that they are only going one way so how do the likes of United etc maintain their revenue positions ? By demanding a large slice of the cake and / or looking for alternative sources of broadcasting revenue.
Last edited by TVC15 on Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Royboyclaret
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:25 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:10 pm
Roy I took it to mean that they have not included the broadcast revenue from those games either (which makes me question if they have included the merit payments at the end of season too. Plenty of complexities created with the season running over the end of the financial year as we have previously discussed - you can see it in the wages too - I do not see how they could have reduced wages by £48m without the fact that 2019/20 bonuses are being included in the 2020/21 accounts because of the time they were determined as a result of restart.
Certainly more questions than answers in the limited information offered so far, I agree.

However, in terms of Employee costs, a reduction of some £48.3m, they suggest that's primarily due to the impact of net player disposals, loan deals and contracted reductions in player salaries as a direct result in non-participation in the Champions League.

Thankfully, the BFC accounts are a little easier to navigate, but nevertheless will still prove to be interesting reading. Even moreso than usual.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:41 pm

The National League has confirmed it's £10m National Lottery grant - not a government bailout whatever they say it is - will be split based on average attendances. Essentially confirming that it is a direct assistance for that stream of revenue

National League confirms funding split, with ex-English Football League clubs receiving more
By Simon Stone - BBC Sport
Last updated on17 minutes ago

The National League is to distribute the government's £10m support package on an average attendance basis, meaning seven former Football League clubs will receive a larger sum.

Chesterfield, Hartlepool, Notts County, Stockport, Torquay, Wrexham and Yeovil will receive £95,000 a month, with the 16 other clubs receiving £84,000.

National League games are currently being played behind closed doors.

The first payments of National Lottery funds is scheduled for next week.

In National League North and South, the majority of clubs will get £30,000 a month, although Chester, Dulwich Hamlet, Hereford, Maidstone and York will receive £36,000 a month on the same distribution model basis.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:52 pm

there were rumours about this yesterday, but it seems that it is against European law to have sports leagues that do not have some form of relegation/promotion - from the Telegraph

Exclusive: Proposed European Premier League could be illegal under EU law, says leading sports lawyer
TIM WIGMORE OCTOBER 21, 2020

The proposed new European Premier League could be illegal under EU law, a leading sports lawyer has said.

“The moves afoot in Europe mean that the idea of closed leagues could itself be regarded as anti-competitive behaviour,” said Darren Bailey, a consultant to Charles Russell Speechlys’ sports group who was formerly the Football Association’s director of football governance and regulation.

The proposed new European Premier League, which is reportedly being led by Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez, would reportedly be a closed league, without the usual system of promotion or relegation. As such it could be barred by European Union competition law.

“Whether or not it is subject to competition law will ultimately depend on how it's introduced,” Bailey said. “Factors like whether it’s introduced through the proper sporting channels and a consensus is achieved through the existing regulatory framework and the terms of gaining access to it are deemed fair and reasonable will be taken into account in any legal challenge.”

Any possible closed pan-European football league has been compared to basketball’s EuroLeague. This features 18 sides, with 11 having long-term licenses, guaranteeing their spots in perpetuity. The Union of European Leagues of Basketball (ULEB) the association of the 11 major basketball leagues in Europe, recently filed a complaint to the European Commission against the EuroLeague organisers. ULEB argue that the removal of spots for national league winners in the EuroLeague and the way media rights distribution favours the 11 clubs with franchises amounts to “anti-competitive behaviour” and the teams are acting as a cartel.

If the outcome of the case sides with ULEB against EuroLeague, it could set a precedent that effectively means that any European Premier League could be stopped from getting off the ground.

“This potentially has the possibility of adjusting the way in which the European legal framework is going to evolve,” Bailey said. “It has the potential to set a precedent whereby established leagues can take a competition law complaint against a breakaway.

“It is somewhat unusual to have leagues taking legal action as a result of some of the restrictions on clubs being able to get into a European league. I think what we might be seeing is a reinforcement of the principles of the European sporting model, potentially come through complaints that are already in train through the European Commission. One of the key principles is promotion and relegation. This may impact on any closed league structure being permitted in football.

“The EuroLeague granted long-term licences to each of the 11 shareholder clubs and so limited access to the league. I think you could start to see the potential resonance of the case.”

In 2018, Uefa and the EU signed a new Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement stated that the Council of Europe and Uefa recognise that the European sports model “is based on sporting and financial solidarity mechanisms” citing “open competitions with a balance between clubs and national teams” and explicitly mentioning “the principle of promotion and relegation”.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:35 pm

TwoHundredPercent.com on that National Lottery assistance for the National League


Non-League Football & The Cost of Living
by Ian | Oct 21, 2020

There has been considerable talk over the last few months about bailouts for football clubs that are essentially unable to function as businesses because of crowd restrictions brought about by the current pandemic. At Step Three of the game – the top divisions of the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues – football is classified as ‘recreational.’ These clubs have been allowing supporters into their matches since the start of the season, albeit under severe restrictions. Attendances have been limited to 30% of the minimum ground grading capacity at their level (this is, at Step Three, this equates to attendance caps of 600) and with social distancing mandatory, no matter how much saying that it should be would appear to be a futile gesture.
Above Step Three, however, the rules change. During the summer, it was decided that there would be two tiers to the game, ‘elite’ and ‘recreational’, and the National League, which administers the top two tiers of the non-league game, wanted ‘elite’ status because it meant that their 2019/20 season would be completed, including play-offs, while the season below this level would be curtailed. The sting to all of this, though, came with the start of the new season. As things stand – and they’re likely to get worse rather than better in the foreseeable future – the top two levels of the non-league game had to start behind closed doors, while below this there was at least some level of attendance allowed, giving clubs access to a degree of the revenue that they would have had pre-lockdown.

With this National League clubs playing behind closed doors this season, it was clear that clubs would need some sort of financial assistance, and it was confirmed three days ago that a partnership with the National Lottery would see £10m to be paid to clubs across its three divisions. Culture secretary Oliver Dowden seemed delighted with all of this, stating that, “I know from a brilliant club in my area that National League football clubs are the beating heart of their communities and too precious to lose. This £10m fund will provide a bridge to help clubs survive this immediate crisis while we work together on the safe return of fans, and the FA were similarly cock-a-hoop, adding that clubs are the “heartbeat of their communities… it would be a travesty if they were not able to survive.”

Writing a very big cheque, however, is only part of the battle, insofar as ensuring the survival of football clubs at this level of the game is concerned. How this money is distributed between 66 clubs is important, as is the small matter of how clubs actually spend that money. Well, this morning news of how the distribution of this £10m is to be arranged was made public, and the results are… mixed, to say the least. The breakdown of how money is to be distributed runs like this:

- 7 National League clubs will receive £95,000 per month.
- The other 16 National League clubs (Macclesfield Town, of course, are no longer with us) will receive £84,000 per month.
- 5 clubs from the National Leagues North & South will receive £36,000 per month.
- The other 37 clubs across the National Leagues North & South will receive £30,000 per month.

The first payment will be made later this week, and it’s expected that this will run for three months. The spilts made within the divisions have been calculated upon two factors: which division a club is in, and average attendance. It is believed that the seven clubs that will benefit from being in the £95,000 per month tier will be Notts County, Stockport County, Wrexham, Chesterfield, Hartlepool United, Yeovil Town and Torquay United. Few would argue that the costs of running these clubs aren’t higher than the costs of running those further down the divisions. The problems start to come, however, when we look a little below this level.

All divisions of all leagues have clubs who have attendances higher or lower than some of those above and below them. The lowest average attendance in the National League for last season was Boreham Wood with 724, but this is a figure that is lower than that of fifteen clubs in the National League North and ten clubs in the National League South. To a point, it’s reasonable to argue that the costs of running a club in the National League are higher than a division lower. Travel expenses in a nationwide league are obviously going to be higher than in a regionalised league, for example. But all National League clubs will be receiving more than two and a half times what any club playing a division below this will be receiving, regardless of any other considerations.

If the blunt instrument of attendance figures was to be used to calculate the amount of money that clubs will receive, why wasn’t this applied between divisions as well? Does the National League believe that the fixed costs of running Boreham Wood or Wealdstone are more than double the running costs of York City or Chester? Something about the way in which this has been calculated doesn’t smell right, and some may feel that this allocation reflects the National League’s voting structure – in which the top division’s clubs get a vote each but those in the two divisions below only get six votes per division – more than anything else.

The results are somewhat stark. If the amount that clubs will get is divided by their average attendance, Boreham Wood will receive £116.02 per supporter per month (culture secretary Oliver Dowden is the MP for Hertsmere, the constituency which contains Borehamwood, but even if we’re generous and consider this a huge coincidence this is hardly a strong look for a government minister, though considering what this government has been doing with public money this last few months, it is at least on brand), which equates, if we divide that number by £20 for a ticket, to almost six matches’ worth of ticket money per month. Perhaps this is the Brexit dividend that some people have been claiming we’re all going to get for the last few years.

Meanwhile York City, who sit at the bottom of the list, will receive £13.31 per supporter per month, less than the admission price for one match. The biggest losers in this calculation are broadly clubs with higher average attendances below the National League. The ten clubs that will receive the least all per supporter had an average attendance of 1,386 last season (Havant Waterlooville), while only four of the ten clubs that will receive the most per supporter did. Furthermore, with travel costs varying considerably from club to club, why hasn’t any thought been put into this, and how it might impact upon a club’s wellbeing? It hasn’t been explicitly claimed that travel costs form part of the reason for the vast discrepancy in the amounts being given to clubs between the National League and its two regional divisions, but if this is a substantial consideration for a non-league football club, why was the geographical location of all clubs not taken into account in the calculation process? It might be argued that this bleeds into a broader narrative about a lack of transparency in the entire process, from top to bottom.

The numbers don’t add up from top to bottom. If the aim of this bailout is to cover money that would have been lost from gate receipts, it doesn’t add up. If its aim was to cover financial losses, it doesn’t add up. And it’s worth remembering that clubs below Step Two are receiving nothing whatsoever in terms of financial support, even if their attendances could challenge some clubs playing in divisions above them. Five Step Three clubs – South Shields, FC United of Manchester, Scarborough Athletic, Bromsgrove Sporting and Worthing – had attendances above those of Boreham Wood last season and they’re receiving no support whatsoever, at the moment. Even allowing supporters in with an attendance limit of 600 limit costs FC United of Manchester a thousand people, more than the average home crowd of over 30 National League teams.

So it’s a start, but the way in which this money is to be allocated seems flawed. It should have been possible to build a formula that was fair to everybody, factoring in travel costs, fixed costs, wages and other financial obligations. It was always likely that there would be winners and losers from the financial packages made available to clubs at this difficult time, but this could have been mitigated with a little forethought. That it doesn’t seem to have been doesn’t exactly paint the National League in the light that it would have expected, with such an announcement of financial support.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:17 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:58 am
Reports suggest tha tthe French Ligue are considering terminating their contract with Mediapro - from SportsProMedia.com

LFP ready to rip up Mediapro TV rights contract
French soccer body considers other broadcasters for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches.

Posted: October 16 2020By: Ed Dixon

--------------------------------------------------
Mediapro's boss suggest that their deal with the French Ligue is here to stay - no matter those subscriber figures and the business model I have questioned since it became public - from SportsproMedia.com

Mediapro’s Ligue 1 contract “here to stay”, says CEO Jaume Roures
Spanish agency’s boss reiterates that company wants to renegotiate deal for this year.

Posted: October 22 2020By: Sam Carp

- LFP reportedly ready to offer Mediapro contract to other broadcasters
- Roures hopeful of reaching “reasonable solution”
- Company’s Telefoot channel has 600,000 subscribers; original target set at 3.5 million

Spanish agency Mediapro has no intention of abandoning its domestic broadcast contract with French soccer’s Professional Football League (LFP), according to chief executive Jaume Roures.

Speaking during a press conference in Paris, Roures said that Mediapro will not walk away from its four-year, €800 million (US$941 million) a season deal to show the top-flight Ligue 1 and second-tier Ligue 2, but reiterated that the company wants to renegotiate the partnership for this season due to Covid-19.

It came after reports emerged suggesting that the LFP was ready to hand Mediapro’s contract to another broadcaster after the company failed to make its second rights fee payment of €172 million (US$202 million), which prompted the French soccer body to request a bank loan so that its clubs could receive their broadcast monies on time.

Despite the public fallout, Roures said that the “contract is here to stay” and that Mediapro “have all the means to find a reasonable solution”.

"No one could have predicted the social and economic effects of Covid-19,” Roures said. “This has led to us seeing with the LFP how we can adapt to the situation, without calling into question the commitment we made in April 2018.”

He added: “The contract is here to stay, that's what we want. The only thing we ask is that we adapt things for this season.”

Mediapro’s French soccer coverage is housed on Telefoot, a new channel set up in August to show Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in France, as well as European soccer body Uefa’s club competitions.

In an interview with the AFP, Roures revealed that Telefoot has amassed 600,000 paying subscribers, which is some way off the target of 3.5 million the company set to achieve profitability.

Despite the slow uptake, Roures reasserted that Mediapro is committed to the Telefoot project and its deal with the LFP.

“Mediapro has a turnover of €2 billion,” he said. “We are 26 years old. We broadcast 16 football leagues from around the world. We have always honoured our contracts..

“If the French consumer wants to see Ligue 1, the Champions League, he must subscribe to Telefoot, because Telefoot will be kept alive. Telefoot will not disappear, neither tomorrow, nor the day after tomorrow.”

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:25 pm

Gillingham have finally released their 2018/19 accounts (yes they are a season behind - like Derby and Sheffield Wednesday who are still to release theirs) they are abridged of course because that is what the law allows for that level of turnover.

@KieranMaguire has a look https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 5264886785

The full filing can be found here https://find-and-update.company-informa ... ng-history

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:30 pm

The distribution of the National Lottery money in the National League has been raising a lot of eyebrows - this from Maidstone United Co-owner Terry Casey (on the clubs website) explains some of the why

Directors’ Blog: Stones co-owner hits out at misuse of grant
News
By club co-owner Terry Casey

The distribution of the £10million grant from the National Lottery to the Vanarama National League has left me utterly confused and bitterly disappointed.

Maidstone United Football Club have many things to be proud of: one being the way that we run the business in a sustainable way, reinvesting the profits from our activities back into the club, and two the sheer volume of deeply committed supporters who come and support the Stones and pay their entrance fees.

The Government was specific in that the money they brokered for our football clubs, via the National Lottery, was designed to ’replace lost gate revenue.’ Clubs agreed to start the season, taking on trust the promise to cover these lost revenues. This has not happened.

Our average gate over the last two seasons has been 2,000 per match and our club will receive 36k per month from the National League. This is some 50% below our estimated monthly shortfall! It is also nearly £50k per month less than Dover who attract just over 1,000 per match.

On the face of this it looks stupid but when it becomes clear that those sitting on the Board making the decisions are heavily biased towards their own financial wellbeing, then it’s not just a stupid decision but possibly corrupt.

For the Board of the National League to arbitrarily decide the first thing that they will do is take 60% for their own clubs and give the South and North just 20% each looks stupid, especially as they have no mandate to keep the money for themselves as they should be representing the interests of all of their member clubs.

We are sure that the league sponsors such as Vanarama, BT Sport and the National Lottery will be carefully reconsidering their sponsorships on the back of this scandalous decision!

This is a clear case of the Board not serving the membership and a clear misuse of the way that the money was supposed to be spent.

For Tonbridge Angels to get 30k per month on their crowds of 600 must have felt like Christmas to them but for Hungerford Town to get 30k per month on their crowds of just over 300 it must feel like Christmas, New Year and Easter all at once.

This is utterly crass, short-sighted and stupid, with the Government’s words ringing in our ears that the money is: ‘to be spent on lost gate revenue.’

Hungerford and Tonbridge never ever had this amount of gate revenue so they are now in a massively better position as they will have spare money to sign players that they would never have been able to afford to attract.

This can also be seen with Oxford City and their 350 supporters getting the same 30k as Havant and Waterlooville with their 1,400 supporters.

The corruption and conspiracy theories abound when Boreham Wood, who have already made public their association with Sports Minister Oliver Dowden, and who have 730 supporters get just 10k per month less than Notts County with their 5,000 supporters.

Dagenham and Barnet, with their crowds of 1,200, also do well from the distribution – again just 10k per month less than Wrexham with their crowds of 4,000.

Please bear in mind that both these two clubs have members on the Board before you decide whether this constitutes abuse of power, conflict of interest or stupidity.

This is one of the most extraordinary cases of the misuse of grant funding that I have ever witnessed.

The FA and National League had a clear mandate to spend the money on lost gate revenue. What they have done is ignore this and instead allowed National League Board Members to favour some clubs with outrageous amounts of money that far exceed their gate receipts.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:39 pm

now for a couple of EFL stories - first up this from the TIMES on something I posted about a few weeks back - the HRMS deadline for delayed tax payments

EFL asks government to defer tax payments until fans are allowed back
exclusive
Martyn Ziegler, Chief Sports Reporter
Thursday October 22 2020, 5.00pm, The Times
Premier League

The EFL has asked the government for permission for all of its 72 clubs to defer tens of millions of pounds of tax payments until fans are allowed back into stadiums.

About 50 per cent of clubs’ salary bills are paid to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in tax and national insurance contributions but the EFL has argued that clubs should not have to make the PAYE payments while they are denied their main means of generating income: having fans pay to attend games.

It is understood that a written submission from the EFL has been sent to the government asking for the PAYE deferment, which would need the agreement of the Treasury.

Some Championship clubs have held talks among each other about a possible joint boycott of the next PAYE payments in November if no deferment is permitted.

Clubs in the EFL and the Premier League had been expecting fans to return on October 1 but with social distancing limiting the numbers to about 25 per cent of stadium capacity. That was scrapped by the government due to the rise in coronavirus infections, leading to fury from clubs and football administrators after indoor concert venues were given permission to have spectators.

It is thought that about £100 million was already deferred when EFL clubs took advantage of a government scheme that allowed them to defer three months of PAYE payments at the start of the first coronavirus lockdown in March — though with interest to be added. The clubs, however, had expected that supporters would be allowed to return, at least in reduced numbers this season.

The financial hit suffered by clubs as a result has been illustrated by Andy Holt, the chairman of Accrington Stanley, who has published the income that the League One club has obtained from fans watching matches over the iFollow pay-per-view service, on which they pay £9.99 to watch a game.

Holt said that Accrington usually earn about £45,000 per match for ticket sales and other matchday income, totalling £1.2 million a season, but have only earned £18,540 from iFollow for all games so far this season.

The EFL has rejected the Premier League’s offer of a bail-out only for League One and League Two clubs — £20 million in grants and £30 million in loans — saying that it has to be across all three divisions, including the Championship, and although talks are still going on there has been no new offer.

“The problem this season is that the EFL led us to believe a bail-out was imminent, which changed decisions made at the time,” Holt added. “Now we’re borrowing money to stay afloat with no promised bail-out in sight.”

The threat of a PAYE protest is being taken seriously by those in the EFL, with clubs feeling increasingly militant at the exclusion of fans. There is also a view that the HMRC would not take the step of issuing winding-up orders of clubs en masse.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:54 pm

Meanwhile the Mail is reporting that some EFL clubs are looking like they are going to need assistance to pay this months wages having been assured that they would be in receipt of a bailout before the season started

EXCLUSIVE: EFL offer desperate clubs 'last resort' loans from a £50m pot if they are on the brink of going bust, with some struggling to pay October's wages
- EFL has written to members offering a loan if they are at risk of going bust
- Loans are not a long-term solution but are to keep clubs out of administration
- Up to 15 clubs in EFL are believed to be at risk of financial crisis due to Covid-19
- Government ban on fans in grounds has cut income and pushed clubs to brink
By CHARLIE WALKER FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 17:59, 22 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:54, 22 October 2020

Football clubs in the Championship and lower leagues have been offered emergency loans from the EFL in a desperate bid to 'stop them going bust', after failure to agree a rescue package with the Premier League or Government.

Sportsmail has learned that the EFL has written to all its members to give them the opportunity to apply for a loan from the £50million pot.

It comes after the EFL clubs turned down an offer of £50m from the Premier League a week ago, which included £20m in grant funding, to help clubs that have been pushed to the brink by the Covid-19 pandemic.

'There is £50 million available in loans to clubs from the EFL and I'm sure some clubs will be taking it up,' a club official told Sportsmail after receiving notification of the loan facility.

'It is an emergency loan for those clubs that need money now to keep going. To claim the money the club has to show it is on the edge and facing administration. It is a last resort loan for clubs in need of cash.'

Up to 15 clubs are believed to be at risk of financial collapse in the EFL, with a number unable to meet their payroll payments for October.

The EFL and clubs have repeatedly warned there is a danger teams will go bust without immediate financial help because the government's ban on fans in stadiums has reduced their matchday income to zero.

It was hoped that assistance would come through a rescue package from the Premier League, which has been under discussion for months, but so far it has not materialised.

The loans will not remove the need for further financial help from the Premier League.

The short-term injection of cash will be reclaimed by the EFL from the annual payment it is due to make next season.

'If you take the loan now it will be repaid by withholding some of that payment,' the club official told Sportsmail.

'You are just kicking the can down the road. The clubs that take it are still relying on a grant, but this is basically to stop them going bust.'

The Premier League's £50m funding proposal was turned down by the EFL in a series of divisional calls on October 15. The consensus was that the offer - which only promised grants and interest-free loans for those in Leagues One and Two - should be rejected.

The EFL declined to comment on the latest development, but said in a statement last week: 'The League has been very clear in its discussions of the financial requirements needed to address lost gate receipts in 2019/20 and 2020/21.

'And while EFL Clubs are appreciative that a formal proposal has now been put forward, the conditional offer of £50million falls some way short of this.'

Sportsmail understands that talks about a rescue package are ongoing and the EFL does not see this emergency loan facility as a solution to the ongoing financial crisis among its members.

In the days prior to the £50m offer to EFL clubs, details emerged of Project Big Picture, which was masterminded by officials at Manchester United, Liverpool and EFL chief, Rick Parry.

The plan proposed a £250m Covid-rescue package and an overhaul of the league's funding.

The controversial move, which was widely seen as a 'power grab' by the richest clubs that would ruin English football, was supported by EFL teams desperate for cash.

Ultimately it was rejected by Premier League teams at a shareholders' meeting.

Meanwhile, Cuture Secretary Oliver Dowden is under increasing pressure to allow football fans back into stadiums, which will generate some match-day income for clubs.

A petition, #LetFansIn, has gathered 100,000 signantures and will now be discussed at a debate in Westminster on November 9.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:17 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:04 pm
This is a really good listen and gives some real insight as to the the rules around them from the SEC - such as a SPAC's first acquisition most be for at least 80% of the money raised in the SPAC's IPO, which means that there are likely to only ever be few clubs to be taken over by SPAC's as any others are not big enough to provide dividends and investment returns. This pod estimates that a club needs to be worth £1.5bn for a SPAC to get involved, which effectively rules a SPAC out from taking over our club, but does not stop Private Equity
Interesting thoughts from the highly regarded John Wall St on Sportico.com on why the markets have never made a good home for Sports teams and what that means for SPAC's given the constraints around their first investment. To my mind it further limits the opportunities available to them in European football, that I first posted about

PRO SPORTS TEAMS HAVEN’T MADE FOR GOOD PUBLIC COMPANIES, BUT SPAC PRINCIPALS REMAIN UNDETERRED

BY JOHNWALLSTREET

October 19, 2020 2:55am

Historically, the public markets have undervalued pro sports franchises. Sportico’s Brendan Coffey recently wrote about how both Liberty Braves (BATRA) and Madison Square Garden Sports (MSGS) are trading significantly below their intrinsic value. So, it’s fair to wonder why sport-, media- and entertainment-focused SPACs (like RedBall Acquisition Corp. and Sports Ventures Acquisition) are exploring opportunities to purchase sports teams. Conversations with several SPAC insiders have indicated that while pro teams have not made for good public companies over the last decade or two, a change in market conditions and/or the public listing of a club with a strong underlying business and more control over team revenues could alter the narrative.

Our Take: Investments in pro sports teams—whether they are public or private—can be pretty good if the investor plans to hold on to the club for an extended period of time. That’s because the real growth in franchise valuations comes in big pops—like when a team constructs a new stadium—not on a year-to-year basis.

The problem for shareholders of publicly traded teams is once the growth from those rare material events steadies out, clubs tend to grow at the same pace as league revenues. In today’s market—where investors value companies’ growth prospects—3% growth YoY (like you might see in the NFL) may not make for a particularly exciting investment opportunity. Investors tend to look for companies capable of growing +10-20% on an annual basis or dividends/stock buybacks if revenue growth is going to be slower (in which case there would need to be some excess distributable cash flow).

Pro sports teams—at least those in America—tend to grow at the rate of league revenues because they lack control over their greatest revenue streams (a result of the leagues’ structure). So, don’t be surprised if the sports-centric SPACs end up acquiring international franchises with more control over their revenue base (and, by proxy, their upside). An EPL franchise in the right market might fit the bill. It should be noted that RedBall is currently engaged in conversations with Fenway Sports Group (owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C.).

The challenge for SPAC principals interested in acquiring pro teams will be that they only have two years to put investor funds to work before they have to return the money (and also lose their own investment). It remains to be seen if the various sports-centric SPACs will be able to find attractive acquisition targets in such a short period of time. However, the fact that team sales are relationship-driven should work in their favor. Many of the principals associated with the SPACs eyeing pro teams maintain deep rolodexes, having spent years in the business.

With the capital markets rising, a result of historically low interest rates, investors are looking for high growth opportunities. But it stands to reason that if/when market conditions change and investors begin to prioritize stability over growth, publicly traded pro sports teams will become a more attractive investment option. The stability they offer from a revenue standpoint (think: guaranteed television contracts), combined with the collectible value they hold (think: there are only 32 NFL franchises), would in theory make them a safe place to store value during a market downturn.

There’s also an argument to be made that public investors simply want good companies, with good attributes (think: cash flow positive, good management, strong shareholder rights) and that the pro teams currently trading on exchanges simply aren’t sound businesses. If one doesn’t believe Jim Dolan will ever sell the New York Knicks and Rangers, doesn’t trust the former Cablevision CEO to run the company and understands that MSGS shareholders have no tag-along rights (meaning Dolan can sell his shares at a premium and shareholders aren’t guaranteed to be a part of the transaction), it’s easier to understand why the company trades at a discount. Presumably if Dolan had plans to sell the team and shareholders were entitled to tag-along rights, share prices would increase dramatically.

It’s fair to wonder how the $200 million to $500 million SPACs we’ve seen formed intend to buy a pro sports team (or teams, in RedBall’s case). SPACS are able to do deals significantly greater than their size (three to 20 times bigger) by involving a second round of investors (PIPEs, private investment in public equities) in the acquisition.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:04 pm

Recent viewing figures for Sports in the US will have the Premier League twitching a bit as they continue to prepare tender documents for the next cycle - from the New York Times

TV Ratings for Many Sports Are Down. Don’t Read Too Much Into It Yet.
KEVIN DRAPER OCTOBER 20, 2020
It feels as if television networks should be panicking about their ratings for sporting events, pondering existential questions about how viewing habits have changed amid the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. election.

But they’re not — despite some eye-popping numbers and a lot of armchair criticism.

Ratings for the N.B.A. finals were down 49 percent, and the N.H.L.’s Stanley Cup finals were down a whopping 61 percent. Baseball, golf, tennis, horse racing and other sports have all seen huge declines. Even the usually untouchable N.F.L. was down 13 percent through Week 5.

So what is going on here? A lot. Too much, actually, to pinpoint simple answers. Should everyday fans care? Not particularly — and there are good reasons not to overreact.

To decipher all that the ratings are and are not telling us, we need a sharper understanding of the practical functions they serve.

What even are television ratings?
Nielsen measures television viewership by recruiting thousands of households across the country to install a small digital device called a People Meter. When anyone in the house turns on the TV, the People Meter tracks what is being watched.

From a relatively small sample of viewership, Nielsen estimates how many people across the country watched a given program. There is a bucketful of nuanced terms to deeply analyze ratings — stats like reach, share, average minute rating and people using television. And like sports analysts cherry-picking player stats, networks and executives often put out different numbers in different situations to paint a picture about how a program performed.

How are ratings used?
Ratings provide an objective measurement to determine the prices of commercial slots, meaning they matter most to advertisers and cable companies. “At one level they are just currency for transactions between business partners, and always have been,” said Mike Mulvihill, the head of strategy and analytics at Fox Sports.

Ratings also help television companies and sports leagues make important decisions. They calculate not only how many people watched, but demographic data about who watched.

How do ratings matter to fans?
In the short and medium term, ratings affect the fan experience very little because most leagues are not in danger of being canceled in the same way as a reality show or a sitcom.

Still, ratings do have a role in shaping the future of sports: how they are structured, how much money is spent on players and which television or streaming networks carry games.

The Super Bowl in February felt like a different era for sports television compared with what has happened since in 2020.
What is the damage this year?
It is quite bad across the board.

Since each restarted play, the N.B.A. playoffs, N.H.L. playoffs, Major League Baseball regular season and playoffs, United States Open tennis, United States Open golf, Kentucky Derby, Preakness and college football have all had ratings declines of at least 25 percent compared with 2019.

In a normal year, the ratings for a league might be up or down a few percentage points; anything approaching double digits is a pretty big deal. Ratings drops like these are rare for a single league or event, and unheard-of across most of the entire sports television landscape at once.

Why are they all down?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Seriously?
OK, there are some answers, but there is no definitive data on why millions fewer Americans are watching sports.

You would think there would be. American television companies paid more than $21 billion for sports rights in 2020 and obviously want to know why people are or are not watching. But they don’t have a firm answer to that key question.

Mulvihill said the television industry is like any other that tries, and struggles, to understand consumer behavior. He invoked the famous marketing aphorism from the 19th-century merchant John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

A smaller dip, like the N.F.L.’s 13 percent, can be as simple as the average viewer going from watching 110 minutes a game to watching 96 minutes. They might not even know they are watching less than they were last year, and if they do know they might not be able to articulate why.

ESPN and other networks try to better understand fan viewing behavior through surveys and focus groups. But ultimately, anybody that tells you they know the reason viewership has changed is incorrect.

What are the factors leading to this year’s decline?
To begin, fewer people are turning on their televisions. Compared with September 2019, total viewership across all television was down 9 percent in September 2020, and 10 percent during prime time.

There are also standard cyclical trends that affected some sports. August 2019 viewership was down 9 percent from April 2019 viewership, as people watch less television in summer than in spring. This year, that hurt leagues like the N.B.A. and N.H.L., which typically end before the summer.

An unusually high number of games were also played early in the day — M.L.S. tried 9 a.m. Eastern weekday kickoffs — when fewer people watch. General viewership from 1 to 6 p.m. was 38 percent lower than prime time in August.

When sports have been played during the evening, they have faced unusually tough competition. Viewership of cable news in early October was up 79 percent compared with last year, an increase of four million viewers, no doubt because of the presidential election, the pandemic and related news.

There has also been increased competition within sports. The N.B.A. and N.H.L. normally have late spring to themselves. Baseball owns summer. The N.F.L. and college football dominate fall. Because of the abnormal schedules, however, their games were played simultaneously. On one Sunday in September, the N.F.L., N.B.A., M.L.B., N.H.L., M.L.S. and W.N.B.A. all had games — the first time that has happened.

“People’s ability to consume all that content doesn’t expand to meet the oversupply of events,” Mulvihill said. “If people were spending 80 percent less time watching sports in May, they don’t have the capability to watch 80 percent more in October.”

There are also smaller factors that are even harder to quantify. The N.H.L.’s conference finals featured four teams that were relatively unpopular. The N.B.A. playoffs were without the Golden State Warriors. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal missed the U.S. Open. Horse racing lost its traditional Triple Crown cadence and atmosphere. Outside of sports, there were wildfires in California and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. And lower viewership generally meant fewer people saw promo spots for upcoming games.

A precise breakdown of how each of the above causes influenced viewership of each sport does not exist. But they help clarify an overall explanation.

Fewer people are watching television. More viewers than normal are choosing to watch news. Game schedules were optimized to safely complete events in a compressed time frame, not to maximize viewership. More sports than ever are happening at the same time and thus competing for eyeballs. And, of course, many smaller factors play a part.

Did players protesting cause the N.B.A.’s ratings to decline?
There are a lot of people grafting their preferred political narrative onto the N.B.A.’s ratings decline. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, sparred with the Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban about ratings on Twitter. The Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity have talked about ratings for games on their shows, and it has been well covered by conservative media outlets.

There are a few problems with asserting that political or social justice stances have affected N.B.A. viewership. We don’t have great data on the issue; the data we do have does not suggest the N.B.A.’s political positioning is a major factor in its ratings decline; and those connecting the ratings with the demonstrations cite little more evidence than the ratings decline by itself.

Much of the polling on the issue is poorly done, but the main takeaway from the better polls is that there is little evidence fans are turning away from the N.B.A. for political reasons. A Marist College poll found the same number of basketball fans said “athletes speaking out on political issues” caused them to watch less as said it caused them to watch more. In a poll of U.S. consumers by Altman Solon, more people said athletes and leagues should speak out than those that said they should not.

Before the season was paused, registered Republicans made up 11 percent of ESPN’s N.B.A. viewership, while after it resumed they made up 10 percent, according to Nielsen Voter Ratings. Registered Democrats made up 28 percent of viewership before the pause, and 30 percent after the pause. A small percentage of Republicans stopped watching the sport, but by no means did they flee in droves.

The racial makeup of the N.B.A.’s audience also changed very little. According to the N.B.A., during the 2019 postseason its television audience was 45 percent white. During the 2020 postseason it was 44 percent white.

Also, nearly every other sport also saw huge declines even though they did not embrace demonstrations in the same way. As some people on social media joked after seeing the low ratings for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, did people turn off the television because the horses knelt during the national anthem?

It is also worth noting that the W.N.B.A. — a far more politically active league than the N.B.A. and one whose players have protested a team owner who is a Republican senator — has fared better than most leagues. While its ratings dropped 16 percent during the regular season, there was an increase in viewership compared with last year during the finals.

What does this mean for the future of sports?
Maybe something, maybe nothing. The sports and television executives we talked to said they did not see evidence that these ratings declines would continue after the pandemic. “There are so many reasons to think this is an anomalous time,” said Cary Meyers, a senior vice president and head of research at ESPN.

Since July 23, baseball’s opening day, total televised live sports consumption is actually up 7 percent compared with 2019. “If you look at the sport-by-sport comparisons it would paint a scary picture, but if you aggregate it all and count the total time people are watching sports, it is completely normal, nothing for our business to be worried about,” Mulvihill said.

Most leagues also have long-term contracts with television companies. The N.B.A.’s agreement with ESPN and TNT runs for another five seasons; no matter how many people watch, the league will receive $2.66 billion annually from those companies. M.L.B. even extended one of its television deals during the pandemic, which included a 45 percent higher payment.

If television ratings are still down across the board in a year, sports executives will be reaching for the panic button. But for now, like so many other things, chalk the ratings decline up as one of those 2020 oddities.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:12 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:30 pm
The distribution of the National Lottery money in the National League has been raising a lot of eyebrows - this from Maidstone United Co-owner Terry Casey (on the clubs website) explains some of the why

Directors’ Blog: Stones co-owner hits out at misuse of grant
News
By club co-owner Terry Casey

The distribution of the £10million grant from the National Lottery to the Vanarama National League has left me utterly confused and bitterly disappointed.

Maidstone United Football Club have many things to be proud of: one being the way that we run the business in a sustainable way, reinvesting the profits from our activities back into the club, and two the sheer volume of deeply committed supporters who come and support the Stones and pay their entrance fees.

The Government was specific in that the money they brokered for our football clubs, via the National Lottery, was designed to ’replace lost gate revenue.’ Clubs agreed to start the season, taking on trust the promise to cover these lost revenues. This has not happened.

Our average gate over the last two seasons has been 2,000 per match and our club will receive 36k per month from the National League. This is some 50% below our estimated monthly shortfall! It is also nearly £50k per month less than Dover who attract just over 1,000 per match.

On the face of this it looks stupid but when it becomes clear that those sitting on the Board making the decisions are heavily biased towards their own financial wellbeing, then it’s not just a stupid decision but possibly corrupt.

For the Board of the National League to arbitrarily decide the first thing that they will do is take 60% for their own clubs and give the South and North just 20% each looks stupid, especially as they have no mandate to keep the money for themselves as they should be representing the interests of all of their member clubs.

We are sure that the league sponsors such as Vanarama, BT Sport and the National Lottery will be carefully reconsidering their sponsorships on the back of this scandalous decision!

This is a clear case of the Board not serving the membership and a clear misuse of the way that the money was supposed to be spent.

For Tonbridge Angels to get 30k per month on their crowds of 600 must have felt like Christmas to them but for Hungerford Town to get 30k per month on their crowds of just over 300 it must feel like Christmas, New Year and Easter all at once.

This is utterly crass, short-sighted and stupid, with the Government’s words ringing in our ears that the money is: ‘to be spent on lost gate revenue.’

Hungerford and Tonbridge never ever had this amount of gate revenue so they are now in a massively better position as they will have spare money to sign players that they would never have been able to afford to attract.

This can also be seen with Oxford City and their 350 supporters getting the same 30k as Havant and Waterlooville with their 1,400 supporters.

The corruption and conspiracy theories abound when Boreham Wood, who have already made public their association with Sports Minister Oliver Dowden, and who have 730 supporters get just 10k per month less than Notts County with their 5,000 supporters.

Dagenham and Barnet, with their crowds of 1,200, also do well from the distribution – again just 10k per month less than Wrexham with their crowds of 4,000.

Please bear in mind that both these two clubs have members on the Board before you decide whether this constitutes abuse of power, conflict of interest or stupidity.

This is one of the most extraordinary cases of the misuse of grant funding that I have ever witnessed.

The FA and National League had a clear mandate to spend the money on lost gate revenue. What they have done is ignore this and instead allowed National League Board Members to favour some clubs with outrageous amounts of money that far exceed their gate receipts.
York City not happy either with the National League distribution of the Lottery grants

https://www.yorkcityfootballclub.co.uk/ ... ue-funding

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:38 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:39 pm
now for a couple of EFL stories - first up this from the TIMES on something I posted about a few weeks back - the HRMS deadline for delayed tax payments

EFL asks government to defer tax payments until fans are allowed back
exclusive
Martyn Ziegler, Chief Sports Reporter
Thursday October 22 2020, 5.00pm, The Times
Premier League

The EFL has asked the government for permission for all of its 72 clubs to defer tens of millions of pounds of tax payments until fans are allowed back into stadiums.

About 50 per cent of clubs’ salary bills are paid to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in tax and national insurance contributions but the EFL has argued that clubs should not have to make the PAYE payments while they are denied their main means of generating income: having fans pay to attend games.

It is understood that a written submission from the EFL has been sent to the government asking for the PAYE deferment, which would need the agreement of the Treasury.

Some Championship clubs have held talks among each other about a possible joint boycott of the next PAYE payments in November if no deferment is permitted.

Clubs in the EFL and the Premier League had been expecting fans to return on October 1 but with social distancing limiting the numbers to about 25 per cent of stadium capacity. That was scrapped by the government due to the rise in coronavirus infections, leading to fury from clubs and football administrators after indoor concert venues were given permission to have spectators.

It is thought that about £100 million was already deferred when EFL clubs took advantage of a government scheme that allowed them to defer three months of PAYE payments at the start of the first coronavirus lockdown in March — though with interest to be added. The clubs, however, had expected that supporters would be allowed to return, at least in reduced numbers this season.

The financial hit suffered by clubs as a result has been illustrated by Andy Holt, the chairman of Accrington Stanley, who has published the income that the League One club has obtained from fans watching matches over the iFollow pay-per-view service, on which they pay £9.99 to watch a game.

Holt said that Accrington usually earn about £45,000 per match for ticket sales and other matchday income, totalling £1.2 million a season, but have only earned £18,540 from iFollow for all games so far this season.

The EFL has rejected the Premier League’s offer of a bail-out only for League One and League Two clubs — £20 million in grants and £30 million in loans — saying that it has to be across all three divisions, including the Championship, and although talks are still going on there has been no new offer.

“The problem this season is that the EFL led us to believe a bail-out was imminent, which changed decisions made at the time,” Holt added. “Now we’re borrowing money to stay afloat with no promised bail-out in sight.”

The threat of a PAYE protest is being taken seriously by those in the EFL, with clubs feeling increasingly militant at the exclusion of fans. There is also a view that the HMRC would not take the step of issuing winding-up orders of clubs en masse.
Not difficult to understand Andy Holt's current frustrations at Accy. What would normally be some £45,000 per match for ticket sales and other matchday income, replaced by a miserly £18,540 from iFollow for all games so far this season.

And now, to add insult to injury, their home game on Saturday against Bristol Rovers is postponed due to eight Stanley players testing positive for covid-19. You have to feel his pain.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:23 pm

Royboyclaret wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:38 pm
Not difficult to understand Andy Holt's current frustrations at Accy. What would normally be some £45,000 per match for ticket sales and other matchday income, replaced by a miserly £18,540 from iFollow for all games so far this season.

And now, to add insult to injury, their home game on Saturday against Bristol Rovers is postponed due to eight Stanley players testing positive for covid-19. You have to feel his pain.
It's worse than that Roy, this morning he gave some detail about ifollow and how the rules are damaging them

https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/13 ... 9609779201

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:04 am

Today we had a really interesting podcast from Football Today which asked "Would an Ultras Culture Benefit English Football?"

https://www.footballtodaypodcast.com/po ... h-football

Which actually paired quite well with todays The Price of Football podcast which featured an interview with a member of Newcastle United's Supporter's trust

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cH ... IDRAF&ep=6

There is no doubt that this calendar year has seen a dramatic increase in fan activism, and recent actions such as PPV. and leaks about Project Big Picture and The European Premier League only serve to to bring fans groups together, what we are seeing is that supporters groups are getting more organised and getting more political access as a result, not only are they now a common feature of DCMS debates on the game, but they are also finding established politicians amongst their number.

https://twitter.com/WeAreTheFSA/status/ ... 3945415680

I still believe this is a long way from Ultra Culture and certainly a long way from German organised fan culture which I have posted on this thread from time to time (usually courtesy of @FTamsut) but there appears to be a clearly discernable path in that direction being built

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:13 am

Of course the English game isn't the only one with deep seated financial failures about which fans have been voicing displeasure about for a long time, or where fans have come up with their own proposals to reform the game/ In Germany fans share many of the same concerns as fans in England, they just have a history of being more vocal and more unified in their approach. the writer of this article @Matt_4D for DW.com is another that writes a lot about ultras in Germany.

The future of professional football: German fans present concepts for reform
Unsustainable finances and an increasing gulf between rich and poor; the coronavirus crisis has exposed deep flaws in modern football. Now, a coalition of German fans has produced concepts for fundamental reform.

Date 09.10.2020 - Author Matt Ford

German football supporters are well known for their protests, demonstrations and outspoken criticism of aspects of the game which they disagree with.

Ticket prices and kickoff times, politics and policing, fan culture and finances, corruption and commerce; barely a weekend goes by without fans somewhere in Germany aiming messages at club directors and other functionaries and decision-makers in the game.

A watershed moment appeared to have been reached at the end of February when a Bayern Munich game was temporarily suspended after fans displayed banners insulting Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp, a figure whose involvement in football is considered by many to embody the over-commercialization of the sport.

And when football ground to a halt two weeks later as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the economic vulnerability of the professional game became abundantly clear. Unable to play matches, clubs across Europe's top divisions were faced with the prospect of key revenue streams from ticket sales to broadcasting deals being suddenly cut off. As many as 13 clubs in Germany's top two divisions alone were reportedly on the brink of insolvency.

The immediate existential threat was averted when play resumed behind closed doors in May, but the constant concerns and complaints of those active supporters down the years appeared justified. But now, they weren't even present inside the stadium to make their point.

'Fundamental restructuring'
In June, German supporter representatives launched a new nationwide initiative called Unser Fussball (Our Football) demanding a "fundamental restructuring" of the game to ensure its future was "grassroots-orientated, sustainable and modern." An initial declaration quickly gathered support and has since been signed by over 2,660 fan groups with a combined 450,000 members, plus almost 14,000 individual supporters from over 260 different clubs.

"The [coronavirus] interruption opened a lot of football fans' eyes and showed that something is wrong," said Helen Breit, the chairperson of Germany's largest umbrella fan organization, Unsere Kurve (Our Terrace).

"The declaration shows that it's not just active supporters who are interested in these issues, but fans of all backgrounds – and that's new."

The declaration was officially handed to the president of the German Football Association (DFB), Fritz Keller, in August and since then, 50 fans have worked together on four detailed concepts which were published individually throughout September.

Under the title Zukunft Profifussball (Future of Professional Football), the concepts outlined "how we would shape football if we could," including:

Football as the people's game
The first concept contends that football fans are not simply passive consumers of a product, but rather that they actively shape their experience through their own actions and behaviors. This, the fans argue, is what distinguishes professional football from other elite sports and makes it more than just a product.

"Only through the spectators does professional football in Germany become unmistakably unique. They create the experience and the passion which are then ascribed as German football's unique characteristics. Without spectators, professional football loses its social importance."

For those reasons, the campaigners insist that fans be taken seriously and recognized as an "elementary component of professional football."

Integrity of the competition
With Europe's top domestic leagues and even the Champions League dominated by an ever smaller number of the continent's richest clubs, the campaign argues that elite football has become a closed shop. In order to break into the elite, clubs either need to risk spending more than they have, risking bankruptcy, or benefit from rich investors, which in itself constitutes further distortion of the competition.

In order to break this vicious circle, the fans suggest a fairer distribution of broadcasting and media rights revenue, a more comprehensive and more effective system of financial fair play, and a mechanism to ensure that clubs have sufficient capital reserves.

"In a fair, genuine and exciting sporting competition, all participating teams have a realistic chance of success," they say.

Clubs as democratic organizations
According to the fans behind the initiative, football clubs are more than just elite sports organizations; they are "vehicles for integration and inclusion, binding together people from different social, political and cultural backgrounds."

This is especially the case in Germany, where clubs still have the legal status of democratic members' associations (Vereine). However, since the 1990s, it has been common practise for clubs to separate their professional football divisions out into private limited companies, in order to open them up to outside investment on the free market.

The so-called 50+1 rule stipulates that the parent association must hold 50% of the shares in such a company, plus one share, in order to retain majority control. But the fans believe that various constructions and exemptions have weakened the effect of the 50+1 rule, with democratic participation and transparency sacrificed for profit.

In their third concept, they therefore demand that the status of members' associations and their controlling influence over professional football divisions be strengthened. They also demand an end to exemptions from the 50+1 rule and potentially even an expansion of the rule to 75+1.

Social responsibility
Finally, the fans demand that Germany's – and indeed the world's – most popular sport take its social responsibilities seriously, rather than just paying lip service to issues such as diversity, sustainability, working conditions, youth football and reputable partnerships.

"The time for excuses is over," they say.

DFL Taskforce
In response, the German Football League (DFL), which has thus far steered German football relatively successfully through the pandemic, has put together a taskforce to discuss the future of the game post-coronavirus.

"The fundamental purpose of the taskforce is to reflect on past developments, conduct interdisciplinary discussions and draw up potential plans for which direction to take in future," it said in a statement.

The balance of the competition, the flow of money, social responsibility, ethical guidelines, fan interests, economic stability and the development of women's football are all on the agenda for the taskforce, which consists of 35 experts from across all aspects of professional football – including Helen Breit and other fans from Unser Fussball.

"Fans have long been critical of commercialization and many of the demands aren't new," says Breit, summing up Unser Fussball's four concepts. "But now is not the time for small measures; it's time to question the entire system."

- All four concepts can be read and downloaded in full (in German) at https://zukunft-profifussball.de/
Last edited by Chester Perry on Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:22 am

Chester Perry wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:12 pm
York City not happy either with the National League distribution of the Lottery grants

https://www.yorkcityfootballclub.co.uk/ ... ue-funding
The issues around the distribution of Lottery funding in the National League is is not going away, I expect it will be a big story over the weekend

This from this mornings Telegraph

National League bailout questioned as clubs poised to receive similar shares despite differing attendance averages
SIMON BRIGGS OCTOBER 22, 2020

Questions are being tabled in the House of Commons over the details of the government’s £10m bailout fund for National League football clubs, after it emerged that each club’s share will be almost identical despite the large differences in average attendance.

Borehamwood, the least attended among the 24 clubs in the top flight of the National League, only attracted an average crowd of 724 fans per match last season. Yet they will receive £84,000 per month from the fund, which is to be sourced from the National Lottery. In contrast, the most popular club Notts County had an average gate of 5,210, and are still only receiving £95,000.

Three questions have been tabled on the parliamentary schedule by Labour MP Toby Perkins, whose constituency Chesterfield is home to a relatively large National League club with an average attendance of 3,670.

Perkins has asked Oliver Dowden – the Conservative minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – to explain the thinking behind the distribution of bailout funds.

“This government money was supposed to replace lost gate revenue after National League clubs were told they couldn’t have fans,” Perkins said. “But the best-supported clubs in the division – like Chesterfield – are getting only a very small amount more than clubs with three-figure average gates like Borehamwood.”

A government source said that the DCMS’s only involvement had been to work with Camelot and the Football Association in deciding the overall size of the £10m package, which is intended to replace lost gate revenue. Beyond that, it was up to the FA and the National League itself to organise the distribution of the cash.

The responses from Dowden would normally be expected to arrive early next month. In his three questions, Perkins asked what criteria had been used to decide the overall sum, as well as what form of distribution among the clubs had been envisaged, and then requested details on the figures of lost gate revenue and bailout compensation for each National League club.

Around £6m of the bailout fund is being forwarded to the National League itself while £4m more is being sent to the clubs in National League North and South, one level down on the football pyramid. This equates to a monthly payment of £36,000 per club.

The co-owner of Maidstone United, who play in National League South, wrote a highly critical post on the club’s website. “For the Board of the National League to arbitrarily decide the first thing that they will do is take 60 per cent for their own clubs and give the South and North just 20 per cent each looks stupid,” said Terry Casey.

“We are sure that the league sponsors such as Vanarama, BT Sport and the National Lottery will be carefully reconsidering their sponsorships on the back of this scandalous decision! This is one of the most extraordinary cases of the misuse of grant funding that I have ever witnessed.”
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also clubs in the tier below that are used to having crowds often well in excess of the 600 currently allowed under Covid19 restrictions are beginning to ask where is their help

https://twitter.com/Ollie_Bayliss/statu ... 8482475010

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:55 am

A couple of posts looking again at the European Premier League idea and it's backing by JP Morgan - which actually sounds an awful lot like Project Gandalf from 1998 (same teams, same financier)

first up courtesy of my ongoing trawl through the back catalogue at the Unofficial Partner Podcast is this with Craig Morgan on the birth of the Champions League and what has happened since - absolutely fascinating and well worth the 40 or so minutes of your time - This was released in February, prior to the pandemic lockdown

https://www.unofficialpartner.com/podca ... e-question

Also includes incredible detail as to the ongoing delivery, this is critically important to the revenue operation and helps explain why the Premier LEague handbook is totally dominated by rules around the broadcast requirements.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:00 am

Next up this from @Marcotti on Tuesday this week for ESPN when the story of the European Premier League broke - I hinted about some of this on the day but this is a thorough look at the story from an interesting angle

How a European Super League could happen and spell doom for the Champions League
play
21 Oct, 2020 Gabriele Marcotti Senior Writer, ESPN FC

It's probably not a coincidence that reports of a breakaway European Super League resurfaced just as the Champions League returns. This is the classic story that won't go away and, at its heart, is about pitting the world's biggest football clubs against each other on a regular basis, or, at least, a more regular basis than the Champions League can offer.

Why play Burnley twice a year when you can play Barcelona instead, all while earning more money? And if you follow the U.S. major league blueprint -- a closed league with no promotion and relegation, maybe a salary cap -- you're on to a guaranteed money-spinner.

Talk of a Super League has been around since the 1990s and, with the sport globalized like never before, it has plenty of financial appeal to the lucky few who get to be a part of it. But that is all the Super League has been so far -- an idea, and almost nobody is willing to push the idea in public. As one executive told ESPN, "If it happens in our lifetime, it's going to happen now."

Why now? Because the pandemic is putting massive financial pressure on the sport. Let's dig into the issue.

So what brought back the idea of a Super League to replace the Champions League this time?

Reports in two outlets that don't usually deal in sport. Spanish digital business website Voz Populi wrote Tuesday morning that at least 18 European clubs were planning an NBA-style pan-European league that would effectively replace the Champions League as early as 2022.

A few hours later, Sky News reported essentially the same story with the added nugget that JP Morgan Chase was in talks to provide some $6 billion in debt financing.

The fact that both stories come from business reporters is relevant. It suggests that the information wasn't leaked by clubs hypothetically involved but rather from those trying to finance it.

Like who?

Private equity, funds, investors, anybody sitting on large piles of money who needs something to invest in during the pandemic. On the flip side, COVID-19 has hit hard and many clubs are starved for cash, mainly because of the way they're run: every penny that goes in usually goes back out, so everyone, to varying degrees, is facing cash flow issues now that broadcasters and sponsors are demanding rebates and stadiums aren't fully open to fans.

UEFA, which organizes the Champions League and Europa League, hasn't been spared either. They told clubs on Monday that nearly $600 million has been lost due to the pandemic and payouts to clubs will be reduced over the next five seasons. Folks are left squabbling over what's left of the pie, with bigger clubs less willing to share.

Hence, the project "Big Picture" fiasco, a radical plan to overhaul English football that would see control over the Premier League switch to the top teams.

But if the biggest clubs break away and form their own competition, surely they can sell their own TV and commercial rights. Why would they need private equity partners to bankroll them?

Because you can't set up a league and sell rights overnight. It takes time. And because clubs are so dependent on these revenues, they feel safer with a partner effectively guaranteeing the money over the first few seasons.

What's FIFA's role in all this?

FIFA issued a statement saying it "did not wish to comment and participate in any speculation about topics which come up every now and then" and said there were structures and frameworks to deal with them on a national, European and global level.

Not exactly a denial...

Not an endorsement, either. If you're a bit cynical, they're adopting a "wait and see" approach. What's clear is that making a break-away Super League work is easier with FIFA's backing.

Why is that?

Ultimately, FIFA licenses the game, and runs the international transfer market and international competitions such as the World Cup. If you set up a rogue league outside FIFA's umbrella, FIFA can ban your players from the World Cup, ban your clubs from the Club World Cup (no biggie right now, but down the road, that competition could grow into something more important) and ban your players from transferring to other clubs. It can also ask your national federation to kick you out of your league and, if they don't do it, suspend them.

So yeah, it's not impossible to go rogue, but it's very difficult.

Why would FIFA back this? Hasn't FIFA president Gianni Infantino talked about wanting to grow the game in every part of the world, not just Europe?

That's a good question. The relationship between FIFA and UEFA (and CONMEBOL) is not great. One sticking point is Infantino's plan for a biennial Club World Cup with 24 (or 32) teams, which could threaten UEFA's Champions League.

There's a scenario where you put together a series of closed continental super leagues beyond Europe, under FIFA's auspices, and the winners face off in the Club World Cup. For example, there's long been talk of an MLS / Liga MX merger, which would cover North America. Infantino has discussed how the best way for Africa to retain talent and grow the game was a pan-African Super League. You could easily replicate this in South America, possibly Asia too.

There's no mystery about who would love to see this: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. He convened a meeting of clubs from around the world about a year ago and invited Infantino (but not, significantly, confederation heads). Could there be a bunch of continental super leagues with the top teams playing in a FIFA Club World Cup?

Do you think Infantino would back a European Super League?

We're in the realm of speculation here, but if he did, it would be a huge gamble, because it would instantly alienate UEFA and CONMEBOL, at a minimum. And his support elsewhere, outside of CONCACAF, isn't rock-solid. He'd have to sell member nations on the idea that this is part of some kind of global effort to promote and develop the sport across the world. That's a big ask, given he's up for reelection in 2023.

What about UEFA? Surely a European Super League would gut the Champions League. And what about the domestic leagues?
They're dismissing the idea as hot air, for now. They say the principles of solidarity, promotion, relegation and open leagues are non-negotiable and that a super league would inevitably become boring. But they've got to be a little nervous. Every few years, bigger clubs demand more of the pie and they want the pie to grow (which is why we'll likely get four more Champions League group stage games in 2024).

As for the domestic leagues, it's obviously a threat. Even if, say, Real Madrid was allowed to play in both La Liga and a Super League, it's obvious what would be prioritized. Not to mention the fact that an 18-team Super League, plus playoffs, plus a 20-team Liga would put the number of club fixtures north of 80 (and that's without counting domestic cup competitions). It's simply not sustainable.

And the clubs? Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United are thought to be driving this?

They're not commenting officially, but it's pretty clear that they're listening to what's put in front of them. We're in a situation of massive uncertainty and it makes sense to at least consider every option. As we saw with Project Big Picture, even in the Premier League -- the most stable and lucrative domestic competition -- they're not averse to shaking things up if it benefits them.

That said, apart from perhaps Real Madrid -- Florentino has long been open about his vision -- most of the others need to be careful, for different reasons. Juventus and PSG sit on UEFA's executive committee as representatives of the European Clubs Association. They need to be loyal, at least outwardly, to UEFA. Bayern and Borussia Dortmund are likely to stay quiet as well, because of the fan-driven culture in Germany and the potential viciousness of a backlash.

There would likely be opposition in England, though it's not clear how much some of these owners would care and you could see how they might sell it to their supporters. After all, the Premier League itself was founded in 1992 by breaking away from the Football League and every Big Six club has a foreign-based owner who isn't necessarily wed to the traditional structure.

I think they're basically watching and waiting. They know they'll be invited along if it happens, but aren't going to go out on a limb to make it happen. If you don't like the Super League idea, there's some comfort in that, because if they don't come out and back it, it's unlikely to happen.

But it's also in their interest to make this threat real.

Why?

Because there is so much at stake in the next 18 months. The international match calendar runs out in 2024. The Champions League structure -- and revenue allocation -- is up for discussion. So is the structure of the domestic leagues. They are a part of these discussions and, if the clubs that back a Super League can put together a credible threat, they'll have more clout. The problem is that for the threat to be credible, they have to come out in the open. The same applies to FIFA.

We've been here before, by the way, in European basketball. In 2000, a number of major clubs split from FIBA, the governing body of basketball, and set up their own competition, the EuroLeague. We even had competing European tournaments for a season. Eventually they reached a compromise and the EuroLeague today is a competition that is essentially run by a small number of clubs who share the revenue and are guaranteed most of the spots. Commercially, it's been hugely successful.

So what's going to happen?

If you want me to speculate, I will. Realistically, for this to occur, you'd need three things: FIFA's involvement, clubs to come out in the open and a whole load of private equity cash.

I'm not sure you'll get all three to fall into place, certainly not as neatly and decisively as is needed for this to get off the ground. But if you start hearing clubs other than Real Madrid talk about how "nothing is off the table" and "we're exploring all options," then be prepared for a fight.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:07 am

This bleacher report article from 2016 looks at what would have happened in the attempts to create a European Super League in 1998 (Project Gandalf) had succeeded - it is a lengthy read of an alternate yet acutely familiar reality

https://thelab.bleacherreport.com/what- ... d-in-1998/

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:37 am

I have often posted about how the most unlikely types seem to make a great living courtesy of Football's Magic Money Tree, here is a piece from 2017 on one of the original drivers of Project Gandalf who still harbours the dream of a European Super League and the likely millions he can personally make from it - Marco Bogarelli is no friend of football

https://www.sportcal.com/News/FeaturedNews/114021

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:43 am

So why the focus on Project Gandalf - today is exactly 22 years since UEFA convinced a number of Europe's biggest clubs to stay in the fold by promising to reform their European Club competitions, it is a tactic they have been exploiting ever since - this is how the BBC's website reported it at the time

Friday, October 23, 1998 Published at 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK

Sport: Football

Top clubs reject Super League

U-turn from last year's European champions Real Madrid

Europe's leading football clubs have rejected controversial plans for an independent Super League.
A dozen of the continent's biggest clubs, including Manchester United and Liverpool have announced they will join forces with governing body Uefa, which has already announced reforms of existing European competitions.

The surprise move appears to rule out the plans of a Milan-based media group for a midweek pay-per-view league with no promotion or relegation, although pay TV is still being considered.

Media Partners is refusing to admit defeat, saying the statement changes nothing.

But it appears the clubs and Uefa intend to work more closely than ever seemed possible when the breakaway plans were first revealed.

The U-turn came as a result of the governing body's positive response to the clubs' request to be fully involved in the future direction of European competition.

Representatives from the two English clubs were joined by officials from Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Inter, Juventus, AC Milan, Olympic Marseille, Porto and Real Madrid in talks with UEFA in Geneva.

AC Milan's vice-president Adriano Galliani said: "The 12 clubs present in Geneva have affirmed their wish to work with Uefa.

"We must make concessions, as must Uefa, but we want to remain within the overall European confederation."

Real change of mind

Real Madrid's chairman Lorenzo Sanz, formerly one of the strongest advocates of the breakaway, said: "Uefa understand perfectly our concerns and have presented a very interesting project of long term collaboration with the clubs."

Mr Sanz insisted that the clubs had not only been looking after their own interests, but those of all European sides.

The clubs are backing Uefa's plans to expand the Champions' League to embrace 32 teams, but whether the restructured competition starts in 1999 or 2000 is still undecided.

The governing body's general secretary Gerhard Aigner hailed the accord as the beginning of a new era.

"Uefa decided to speak directly to the clubs and that's due to the new situation in the world of football," he said.

"We are going to continue this dialogue in the interests of European football."

He also paid a veiled compliment to Media Partners for prompting the improved relationship between the clubs and Uefa.

"Plans for an independent Super League forced us to act quickly and improve our co-operation with the clubs.

"On the other hand big clubs had to realise that Uefa had savoir-faire and ideas and was not just a bureaucratic body."

Media Partners said nothing had been ruled in or out by Friday's meeting.

In a statement from Milan, the consortium said: "We are happy if Uefa has finally recognized the legitimacy of the clubs' position.

"We will continue to work closely with the clubs in the coming weeks and months to ensure Uefa's words are turned into deeds and the proper reforms of European competitions takes place."

One thing that has certainly not been ruled out is pay-per-view TV coverage, although Uefa insists it will continue to directly sell broadcasting rights.

Mr Sanz said clubs would act as go-betweens with TV companies and Uefa, but refused to be specific about how this would work.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:14 pm

@KieranMaguire has a look at what limited information is in the public domain re Manchester United's 2019/20 financial results

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 3441003526

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:42 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:14 pm
@KieranMaguire has a look at what limited information is in the public domain re Manchester United's 2019/20 financial results

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 3441003526
Couple of very quick observations:-

Total Revenue is down some 18% due to a combo of Covid and failure to qualify for Champions League. Represents a dramatic fall and the effects of Covid for this current season will obviously be even greater. Worrying times ahead even for clubs with the highest Income.

The graph showing fall in Broadcast Income at Old Trafford is particularly stark. That figure in 2016 was £140m and the figure in 2020 was exactly the same. In between years of 2017 of £194m, 2018 of £204m and 2019 of £241m.

Last evening we highlighted the Matchday Income per game of Accy Stanley at around £75k, for comparison the equivalent figure at Man Utd was £4million.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by The esk » Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:39 pm


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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:30 pm

The Guardian with more revelations of FA Chairman Greg Clarke's role in Project Big Picture


Revealed: Greg Clarke's real role in controversial Project Big Picture talks
- FA chairman initiated process and discussed breakaway threat
- Suggested more big six money and was involved beyond spring
Exclusive by David Conn

Fri 23 Oct 2020 20.00 BST Last modified on Fri 23 Oct 2020 21.56 BST

The Football Association chairman, Greg Clarke, is under increasing pressure to explain the accounts he has given about his role in the Project Big Picture proposals to reshape football, because of apparent inconsistencies with his actual degree of involvement.

Clarke set out his first, highly critical account in a public letter to the FA council on Tuesday 13 October, responding to the leak and publication of the plans in the Telegraph two days earlier. The proposals, to reserve key Premier League decisions to only nine “long term shareholder” clubs with six carrying a majority, reducing the Premier League to 18 clubs, more money for grassroots, and providing the EFL with 25% of joint Premier League and EFL net TV revenues, had been met with widespread denunciation. Clarke wrote that he had “participated in the early stages of discussions” then “discontinued his involvement” in late spring “when the principal aim of these discussions became the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few clubs with a breakaway league mooted as a threat”.

The FA told the Guardian this week that Clarke “terminated his Big Picture involvement in early May” and “the next event Greg Clarke was aware of with respect to Big Picture was when it was leaked to the Telegraph on Sunday 11 October, five months after he terminated their [sic] involvement”.

Clarke did not make clear in his letter that he had in fact initiated the whole process in January, meeting first with Bruce Buck, the Chelsea chairman. Buck then invited Ed Woodward, the Manchester United executive vice-chairman, then Tom Werner of Liverpool, who was soon replaced by the club’s majority owner, John Henry. Clarke invited Rick Parry, the EFL chairman, and Richard Masters, the Premier League chief executive, who declined to join the talks.

The FA chairman is understood to have attended all the meetings held by the group from February up to and including the final one, which was on 19 May, not early May. Clarke himself, the Guardian can reveal, raised talk of global or European club breakaways in a document he produced in March, saying that this threat, as well as the coronavirus crisis, “offers an opportunity to reshape English football”. In that document, Clarke was suggesting a compromise, which involved a Premier League of 20 clubs, and redistribution of more TV revenues to the big six.

By the end of April, the proposals are understood to have taken a shape very similar to the ones leaked, including the most incendiary plan, to cement voting power with the “big six” clubs.

Far from discontinuing his involvement then, on 16 May in advance of the final meeting, the Guardian understands that Clarke sent a message to the group, saying: “Could we discussion [sic] an execution plan to land Project Big Picture and gain traction and support amongst key stakeholders.”

At the 19 May meeting, there is understood to have been a debate about how to take the plans forward, with Clarke initially keen to brief Masters, and the Premier League chairman, Gary Hoffman. Sources close to the discussions say that Clarke said they needed to get critics onside, because Project Big Picture was “a long-term solution”.

When discussing how the plans could be presented to the other 14 clubs, it is understood the idea was floated of the big six threatening to join the EFL – a proposal, sources say, that had first been made in early March. It is said that nobody involved intended that an EFL breakaway should happen, but had discussed whether it could be used as a negotiating tactic. They reached no conclusion, and as the Covid-19 crisis took over, the group did not meet again.

Although the FA said Clarke was unaware of another “event” relating to Project Big Picture until 11 October, in fact it is understood that the plans came to prominence again because Henry contacted Clarke, on 25 September. Henry said he wanted to talk about resurrecting the plans, now to include a coronavirus rescue fund for the EFL, which Parry had been asking for but the Premier League had not agreed.

Clarke is said to have replied that he was happy to talk, adding that in his view it was crucial, for securing change, to win over the Premier League executive and board. He and Henry are understood to have then had a video call, and following that, the group began to try and gather wider support. The clubs arranged a first meeting of all the big six, with Parry, held on 7 October. The three clubs that had not previously been involved were introduced to the proposals, and they agreed to meet again. The plans were then leaked before they could.

Responding to the Telegraph publication, the Premier League said in its statement: “We have seen media reports today regarding a plan to restructure football in this country.”

That created a widespread impression that the Premier League was saying it found out about the plans through the leak. The league says it was not trying to create that impression. Its uncompromisingly critical statement said discussions about football’s future should go through “the proper channels” and that “a number of the individual proposals … could have a damaging impact on the whole game”.

Chelsea’s chairman Bruce Buck gave the Premier League chairman, Gary Hoffman, a copy of Project Big Picture the weekend before the leak.

The Premier League did not make clear that Clarke had initiated the process, that people had attended by invitation, or that Masters had been invited but declined. Chelsea have confirmed that Buck kept Masters updated that discussions were continuing, although Chelsea and the Premier League say those updates were not formal and that Buck did not tell Masters the substance of the plans.

The Premier League also did not make clear that Buck had given Hoffman a copy of Project Big Picture the weekend before the leak, asking him to become involved in the discussions. On Thursday 8 October, in an email the Guardian has seen, Hoffman wrote to senior representatives of all big six clubs, and Clarke, talking about Project Big Picture in positive terms and saying he would be willing to become involved, as it was “appropriate and necessary for me to do so”.

Hoffman said he wanted to set up a meeting to discuss how best to shape the game’s future, which would involve building support for change and “ensuring all Premier League clubs are heard”. He said he and the executive team – led by Masters – were committed to change, and had their own developed ideas and plans, “many of which already align with ‘Big Picture’”.

The Premier League says of Hoffman’s email that when he did meet with the big six he was going to tell them that the process was wrong, could not continue as it was, and they would have to discuss all proposals as a league. The league said indeed some proposals relating to issues such as fixture congestion did align with Premier League thinking, but that others were regarded as damaging, so there was no inconsistency between their highly critical public statement and Hoffman’s positive approach to the big six.

The FA maintained its version of events, that Clarke had explained in late April that the proposals were unacceptable, that the concept of a breakaway threat was articulated and he terminated his involvement in early May, and was unaware of any other “event” until 11 October. An FA spokesperson declined to respond specifically to the revelations that in May Clarke wanted to discuss “execution” of Project Big Picture, then resumed discussions in September, after Henry contacted him, or that Clarke himself had cited a breakaway threat.

Representatives of Liverpool and United, and Parry, declined to comment. It is said, however, that none were ever under the impression that Clarke had terminated his involvement.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:37 pm

The esk wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:39 pm
Further analysis of #MUFC https://twitter.com/theesk/status/13188 ... 41440?s=20
As poor a financial performance this has been from Man Utd, it's almost certain the results will be mirrored by all the other PL clubs. One by one as clubs' release their figures, we will witness the kind of Net Loss situations unheard of in previous financial years.

Then fast forward to the current season and financial year, and be prepared for even more extraordinary results, both on and off the pitch. With eye-watering Broadcast rebates still to be negotiated with the rights-holders and complete season loss of Matchday Income affecting all clubs (Arsenal £96m, Man Utd £110m etc, etc.) we can anticipate the levels of Net Loss at ALL clubs the like of which has never previously been seen. Ironically, from a Burnley perspective, we are likely to suffer less than many others purely on the basis that our starting point for Matchday Income plus catering and retail sales is as low as £11m.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:20 pm

@KieranMaguire with more analysis on those 2019/20 financial results

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 2294859777

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:48 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:20 pm
@KieranMaguire with more analysis on those 2019/20 financial results

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 2294859777
£10.5m in Boardroom salaries. At least Mike and the boys down at the Turf don't take a penny out of the Club.

Interesting how they state three "top customers" without actually naming them. Doesn't prevent one of UK's top bookmakers, Paddypower (is that dandeclaret's company?) running a book as to who these customers might be. They suggest Premier League (£118.1m), Adidas (£77.9m) and Chevrolet (£52.2m).

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:00 pm

Royboyclaret wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:48 pm
£10.5m in Boardroom salaries. At least Mike and the boys down at the Turf don't take a penny out of the Club.

Interesting how they state three "top customers" without actually naming them. Doesn't prevent one of UK's top bookmakers, Paddypower (is that dandeclaret's company?) running a book as to who these customers might be. They suggest Premier League (£118.1m), Adidas (£77.9m) and Chevrolet (£52.2m).
Chester, note well that Premier League revenue of £118.1m. Without liabilities for Broadcast rebates being accrued that relate to the financial year to Jun'20, we know that figure would have been considerably higher. The corresponding figure for the two previous years was '19, £151.0m and '18, £155.9m.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:55 pm

Royboyclaret wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:00 pm
Chester, note well that Premier League revenue of £118.1m. Without liabilities for Broadcast rebates being accrued that relate to the financial year to Jun'20, we know that figure would have been considerably higher. The corresponding figure for the two previous years was '19, £151.0m and '18, £155.9m.
Roy it still does not include the income from the last 6 Premier League games (played post accounting period) and I suspect there will be some merit payments to add @KieronMaguire has stated a similar view in some interviews recently - we know from Page 633 of the Premier League Handbook - Page 321 of the PDF version - that United are scheduled to earn £150.7m from the 2019/20 season - from which £16.2m is to be deducted from this and next season for rebates

https://resources.premierleague.com/pre ... 021020.pdf

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Royboyclaret » Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:15 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:55 pm
Roy it still does not include the income from the last 6 Premier League games (played post accounting period) and I suspect there will be some merit payments to add @KieronMaguire has stated a similar view in some interviews recently - we know from Page 633 of the Premier League Handbook - Page 321 of the PDF version - that United are scheduled to earn £150.7m from the 2019/20 season - from which £16.2m is to be deducted from this and next season for rebates

https://resources.premierleague.com/pre ... 021020.pdf
Chester, are you suggesting that the Premier League figure of £118.1m to Jun'20 is not comparable to the two previous years' figures of £151.0m and £155.9m respectively?

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:35 pm

Royboyclaret wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:15 pm
Chester, are you suggesting that the Premier League figure of £118.1m to Jun'20 is not comparable to the two previous years' figures of £151.0m and £155.9m respectively?
I am saying the sum does not add up to the full 2019/20 Season's payment that Manchester United have received, they have chosen to split the revenue across 2 accounting years (at least from an American reporting standpoint - this may/may not be as a result of SEC obligations)

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:26 pm

This is what the Government told Damian Collins on Friday when he asked how much in tax EFL clubs owed HMRC

The total of overdue taxes is £77,612,777 excluding VAT which is auto-deferred to 31 March 2021 and Month 6 PAYE payments.

This is broken down by league as:

Debt

Championship - £59,127,124

League 1 - £13,637,069

League 2 - £4,848,583

Total - £77,612,777

today the EFL made their long telegraphed move to ask the Government to further extend the grace period on outstanding Tax - from the BBC

English Football League: Government asked to defer tax payments at clubs
By Simon Stone BBC Sport Last updated on 23 October 2020

The English Football League has asked the government to allow its clubs to defer millions of pounds in tax payments as it tries to resolve the £250m funding issue that has sparked fears some may go bust.

The government says EFL clubs owe £77.6m in unpaid taxes excluding VAT - £59.1m in the Championship, £13.6m in League One and £4.8m in League Two.

The EFL turned down a £50m bailout offer from the Premier League for clubs in League One and Two because there was no contingency for Championship clubs.

It has left EFL executives looking for alternative sources of funding amid a struggle to pay bills in the continued absence of fans from stadiums.

Although dialogue between the EFL and Premier League is ongoing, chairman Rick Parry recognises the urgency of the situation.

He has authorised a submission to be sent to the government regarding PAYE (pay as you earn) and National Insurance payments from November onwards.

Many League One and Two clubs used the furlough scheme to pay its players during lockdown.

Former Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chair Damian Collins MP, who was told how much tax the club's owed in a written parliamentary question on Friday, said: "This is a good insight into the weak position of clubs and the need for a bailout.

"If there is no bailout then the government would lose considerable tax revenues. This should provide an additional incentive for ministers to get involved with creating a plan to save community football clubs."

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:13 am

Given the way events have gone, this is no surprise - SKY and BT are being reported as keen to drop the PPV for Premier League games to help their own reputations

Sky Sports and BT Sport 'want to scrap Premier League's controversial pay-per-view scheme charging fans £14.95-a-match after fans complain about the pricey service'
- Reports claim Sky Sports and BT Sport want to scrap the pay-per-view scheme
- Premier League fans are being asked to pay £14.95-a-match for some games
- The service has been since its October launch with some fans boycotting games
- A Sky source claimed the pay-per-view scheme is 'damaging their reputation'
By SAM BLITZ FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 00:49, 25 October 2020 | UPDATED: 00:50, 25 October 2020

Both Sky Sports and BT Sport are open to scrapping the controversial pay-per-view scheme for Premier League games, claiming it is 'damaging their reputations'.

England's top-flight are charging fans £14.95-per-match in order to gain access to the matches not selected in the original TV picks, with the matches shown on the TV pair's Box Office channels.

The scheme has been slammed by fans for a variety of reasons, from a lack of analysis coverage in the service to the idea of forking out even more money for TV football subscriptions this season.

And a Sky source told The Mirror: 'Sky is not happy to be involved in showing the pay-per-view games. We never thought it was a good idea and nothing's changed since it started.

'It is damaging the reputation of Sky Sports to be linked to this scheme – and that feeling is shared at BT. Everyone here would prefer for it to stop.'

On Saturday night, Liverpool fans boycotted their match against Sheffield United broadcasted on Sky Sports Box Office and instead donated £14.95 to foodbank charities.

The Reds supporters, led by fan group Spirit of Shankly, raised over £81,000 and follows the work done by Manchester United's Marcus Rashford in fighting child poverty and starvation.

Other fan groups of Premier League sides such as Arsenal's Supporters Trust, whose side face Leicester City on Sunday night on the Sky Box Office channel, are also setting up online donations as an alternative to watching games.

The pay-per-view scheme was brought in for the first time this season as fans continue to be kept away from football grounds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The launch of the service came about as the UK Government's plans to reintroduce fans into stadia was scrapped at the beginning of October due to a spike in cases across the nation.

The last Premier League match to accept fans in the ground took place on March 9, as Aston Villa were beaten 4-0 by Leicester City.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:11 pm

So just as with the European Premier League story during the week, Sky's City desk (not Sports desk) is reporting on the proposed investment in the EFL - this is financiers trying to push a story becasuse they want a deal don not the game being interested

Buyout giant lines up ex-BBC chief for £300m Football League bid
Dominic Coles is leading TPG Capital’s proposal to buy a 20% stake in the EFL’s commercial rights, Sky News learns.

By Mark Kleinman, city editor

Saturday 24 October 2020 13:23, UK

The American buyout firm proposing a £300m cash injection into English football is lining up a former BBC executive to spearhead a revolution in the running of the lower leagues' commercial operations.

Sky News has learnt that TPG Capital is working with Dominic Coles, who steered the corporation's coverage of the London Olympics in 2012, on its attempt to buy a 20% stake in the English Football League (EFL)'s commercial rights arm.

Sources said this weekend that Mr Coles had been collaborating for months with the private equity firm on a plan to buy the shareholding.

The EFL's board, led by chairman Rick Parry, rejected TPG's initial approach amid a deepening row over the future financial structure of the English professional game.

The buyout firm's preferred approach is understood to be to hold talks with Mr Parry and his colleagues on a friendly basis.

It is understood, however, that a number of clubowners and chairmen have already approached TPG directly to explore the firm's offer.

Insiders said that TPG and Mr Coles had drawn up detailed plans to create a new operational service centre that would assist the EFL in areas such as ticketing, merchandising, security, data analytics and customer relationship management.

A substantial part of the £300m cash infusion would be delivered in the form of upfront investment to clubs whose finances have been destroyed by the pandemic.

The remaining funds would be invested in longer-term growth initiatives aimed at improving the financial health of clubs whose ability to professionalise their back-office functions has been stymied by their size.

One area of focus would be the EFL's streaming service, iFollow, which TPG is understood to believe would benefit from major investment.

The firm also thinks that the EFL's broadcast rights are undervalued and that it could negotiate substantially improved domestic and international deals when they come up for renewal, according to one football source.

Mr Coles has lined up a broader team of executives to work with him at the new commercial rights holder, which would be akin to the structure put together by CVC Capital Partners at Premiership Rugby, rugby union's top flight.

In addition to his role negotiating sports rights deals at the BBC, he worked as the corporation's director of operations and in senior posts in its news and nations divisions.

He left in 2014 to take a senior job at Discovery Networks, the American media group.

Earlier this year, he was appointed chairman of GB Sport Media, a new digital broadcast platform owned by the UK governing bodies of the 28 summer Olympic sports.

Mr Coles and TPG are understood to believe that there is substantial scope to improve the financial outlook of the EFL's member clubs, even amid the carnage wrought by the COVID-19 crisis.

The EFL's three divisions range from the early-season Championship table-toppers Reading to Southend United, the bottom side in League Two.

Many clubs have warned that they face going out of business without urgent financial support, a prospect made more likely by the possibility of a protracted period running well into next year of stadia without significant numbers of fans allowed.

The government has pressed the Premier League to make a substantial financial contribution to the EFL, which some top-flight clubs have objected to on the basis that other industries affected by the pandemic have not been asked to fund similar bailouts of smaller competitors.

English football has spent recent weeks in a state of chaos over the blueprint - dubbed Project Big Picture - orchestrated by Liverpool and Manchester United, which would have delivered £250m to the lower leagues.

Their proposal would have seen the Premier League reduced from 20 to 18 clubs, and Sky News revealed this week that English football's biggest clubs have been holding talks about joining the European Premier League, a new continent-wide format that would have the backing of FIFA, the world governing body.

JP Morgan, the Wall Street bank, is in talks about providing a $6bn (£4.6bn) debt package to support the new league's launch.

While many EFL clubs welcomed Project Big Picture, it was rapidly abandoned amid political opposition and protests from elsewhere within the sport.

The Premier League subsequently wrote to the EFL to offer a £50m grant to Leagues One and Two.

TPG is not the only private capital provider examining plans to provide funding to the EFL.

Other private equity firms have drawn up similar proposals, although some of those involve debt, rather than equity, funding.

One football industry insider said the offer of £300m for a 20% stake in the EFL's commercial rights "significantly undervalued" them.

TPG, which has invested in businesses such as the talent agency CAA and Goal.com, the football website, declined to comment on Saturday.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:43 pm

This is an interesting article about Crowd funder and how it is helping hundreds of grassroots clubs

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/stories/m ... FCBUSINESS

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:23 pm

A report suggesting that the EFL are about to go into battle with the government to protect Shirt Sponsorship from Gambling companies - from the Telegraph

EFL declares it will fight for revenue from gambling firms as Government bids to crackdown on betting sponsorship
TOM MORGAN OCTOBER 25, 2020

The cash-strapped English Football League has vowed to fight tooth and nail to protect "vital" sponsorship revenue from gambling firms as the Government prepares to launch the biggest overhaul in legislation in 15 years.

The Daily Telegraph disclosed 10 days' ago how ministers are under pressure to ban the proliferation of betting firm sponsors on football shirts and are also facing calls for a potential levy on bets to offset losses for struggling sports.

However, the EFL - in which 16 out of the 24 Championship sides had betting partners last season - said severe new measures to cut income streams would have devastating consequences while clubs are already under unprecedented financial pressure.

"The inconsistency is frustrating and perplexing," the league said, citing the £500 million the clubs raise in taxes. "Our approach in respect of gambling sponsorship is under constant review and the league will also contribute to any call for evidence by the Government as we seek to protect an important and vital income stream for our membership in a time of financial crisis.”

The outburst comes just days after the competition asked the Government to allow its clubs to defer tens of millions of pounds of tax payments until the ban on crowds attending games is lifted.

The EFL suggested the forthcoming gambling review at Whitehall could compound clubs' problems. The betting industry, which spends billions on football and horse racing alone, is facing a fight to prove the current status quo is not damaging society.

Most crucial of all for the EFL is to avoid a ban on shirt sponsorship.

"The association between football and the gambling sector is long-standing, with a collaborative, evidence-based approach to preventing gambling harms of much greater benefit than that of a blanket ban of any kind," the league said in a statement.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, a leading figure in the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on gambling harm, previously told Telegraph Sport she will push for tighter laws comparable to the ban on tobacco advertising.

"The evidence is there to show that advertising in sports, primarily football, is causing a problem for a generation of children coming up," she said.

Whitehall sources insist the Government is "open-minded" about how it should bring the 2005 Gambling Act into the digital age. However, sporting figures, campaigners and peers in the House of Lords have raised concerns that legislation introduced under Tony Blair liberalised the sector too far.

In response, the EFL said it has been working with Sky Bet "to promote responsible gambling, with players from all three divisions wearing sleeve badges to encourage supporters to consider how they gamble and 70 per cent of the sponsor's matchday inventory dedicated to safer gambling messaging”.

"With over £40 million a season paid by the sector to the League and its clubs, the significant contribution betting companies make to the ongoing financial sustainability of professional football at all levels is as important now as it has ever been, particularly given the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which is leaving many of our clubs living on a financial knife edge," the league added.

"At the same time our members, who contribute almost £500 million annually to the Exchequer, has its core income stream of ticket sales turned off indefinitely without any indication of a roadmap that will allow the safe return of supporters to stadiums, despite other sectors being able to welcome people through their doors. They are also continuing to meet their financial obligations in the absence of similar levels of support being afforded to other industries. The inconsistency is frustrating and perplexing.”

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is leading the initial review, which is set to be launched within weeks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson would eventually play a key role, having pledged to reform the act in his manifesto.

A sporting sector already reeling from £2 billion losses caused by Covid-19 will have been further unsettled by a recent Lords' Select Committee paper titled "Gambling Harm-Time for Action". "Gambling operators should no longer be allowed to advertise on the shirts of sports teams or any other part of their kit," the committee ruled in a long list of recommendations. The Lords went on to call for "no gambling advertising in or near any sports grounds or sports venues, including sports programmes". Bet-to-view systems, like the one which prompted a furore in the FA Cup, would also be outlawed for all sport bar horse and greyhound racing.

Research by GambleAware estimates up to 1.4 million people have been problem gamblers, yet sponsorship in football is more prevalent than ever.

Half of Premier League teams and 16 out of the 24 Championship sides had betting partners last season. Neil Banbury, managing director of 32Red which sponsors Derby, Preston and Rangers, recognised the sector has a responsibility to "hold itself to a higher standard of account". The company was the first betting firm to put so-called responsible gambling messaging on the front of their clubs’ shirts.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:49 pm

Sunderland in talks with yet another interested Investor - and yet again it is an American - from the Sunderland Echo

Sunderland AFC 'in advanced talks' with American investor over partial takeover - reports
Sunderland are in talks with an American investor over a partial takeover of the club – according to reports.
By Mark Donnelly
Sunday, 25th October 2020, 4:48 pm

Stewart Donald publicly placed the club up for sale late last year after fans called for a change in the ownership of the Black Cats, who had already been the subject of takeover bids from Mark Campbell and the FPP group.

And now, national reports are claiming that an American investor – not connected to the FPP trio of Glenn Fuhrman, Robert Platek and John Phelan – is in talks over striking a deal.

The Sunday Express claim that Donald is in ‘advanced talks’ with the mystery investor, with a £35million deal on the table.

But the reports suggest that the deal would not be a complete takeover, with the Express claiming that Donald – along with minority shareholders Juan Sartori and Charlie Methven – could all retain a small stake in Sunderland as part of the deal.

The report comes after chief executive Jim Rodwell confirmed that the club remain in a period of exclusivity with a preferred bidder.

Speaking to the #SAFCUnfiltered podcast, he said: “We are currently in a period of exclusivity.

"I think things have gone on longer than anyone would have liked, predominantly due to COVID and the uncertainty caused by COVID.

"The party that we're in exclusivity with have shown us proof of funds - and they're the only people to actually do so. Lots of people are all over the internet claiming they're close to buying the football club, but only one party has ever shown us proof of funds and given us a credible plan to take the football club forward - and that's the party that we're currently in exclusivity with.

"They've been uber-professional throughout the period but the simple fact remains - we are in a COVID world. We haven't got fans in the stadium, we haven't got a bailout at the moment and it's making matters very difficult.

“Until we get some kind of certainty from probably government, these matters are going to progress I guess.”

It is understood the party in exclusivity is neither Campbell nor William Storey, both of whom have been touted as potential buyers.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:49 am

The Price of Football does a deep dive into Manchester United's 2019/20 Financial Results

http://priceoffootball.com/manchester-u ... ian-child/

must be galling though when @SwissRamble reveals his analysis of the same results at the same time

https://twitter.com/SwissRamble/status/ ... 0144466945

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:59 am

Chester Perry wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:26 pm
This is what the Government told Damian Collins on Friday when he asked how much in tax EFL clubs owed HMRC

The total of overdue taxes is £77,612,777 excluding VAT which is auto-deferred to 31 March 2021 and Month 6 PAYE payments.

This is broken down by league as:

Debt

Championship - £59,127,124

League 1 - £13,637,069

League 2 - £4,848,583

Total - £77,612,777

today the EFL made their long telegraphed move to ask the Government to further extend the grace period on outstanding Tax - from the BBC

English Football League: Government asked to defer tax payments at clubs
By Simon Stone BBC Sport Last updated on 23 October 2020

The English Football League has asked the government to allow its clubs to defer millions of pounds in tax payments as it tries to resolve the £250m funding issue that has sparked fears some may go bust.

The government says EFL clubs owe £77.6m in unpaid taxes excluding VAT - £59.1m in the Championship, £13.6m in League One and £4.8m in League Two.

The EFL turned down a £50m bailout offer from the Premier League for clubs in League One and Two because there was no contingency for Championship clubs.

It has left EFL executives looking for alternative sources of funding amid a struggle to pay bills in the continued absence of fans from stadiums.

Although dialogue between the EFL and Premier League is ongoing, chairman Rick Parry recognises the urgency of the situation.

He has authorised a submission to be sent to the government regarding PAYE (pay as you earn) and National Insurance payments from November onwards.

Many League One and Two clubs used the furlough scheme to pay its players during lockdown.

Former Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chair Damian Collins MP, who was told how much tax the club's owed in a written parliamentary question on Friday, said: "This is a good insight into the weak position of clubs and the need for a bailout.

"If there is no bailout then the government would lose considerable tax revenues. This should provide an additional incentive for ministers to get involved with creating a plan to save community football clubs."
Southend have been to the High Court for winding up orders many times in the last couple of seasons and are due there again in the next week, it appears that they still do not have the money to pay the outstanding debt, though I am not totally sure what they think a pandemic bailout has to do with such long held outstanding debt. - this from the Basildon Canvey and Southend Echo

25th October
Southend United chairman Ron Martin on the club's debt to HMRC

By Chris Phillips @cjphillips1982
Chief sports reporter

SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has been unable to guarantee the club will pay off their outstanding debt to the HMRC next week.

Blues, who owe close to £500,000, are back in the court next Wednesday.

But, in a question and answer session with supporters, Martin was asked if he had the funds in an account right now and could guarantee that HMRC would be repaid so the case would be dismissed.

And Martin replied: “If the club had the funds it would discharge the debt to HMRC.

“The club does not have an overdraft.”

Martin added the club, who sit bottom of League Two, have not received any financial help from the English Football League, the Football Association, the Premier League or the Players Football Association during the coronavirus pandemic.

But he added the club were doing all they could to pay off their debts.

“We are working hard to discharge the tax bill,” said Martin.

“But nobody underestimates the challenges in football as a result of Covid.”

However, Martin was also keen to explain how the debt had built up.

“In many respects it is that drive for success and lack of reward for the investment that has contributed to the current debt with HMRC,” said Martin.

“I do not think any chairman should be criticised for being ambitious for a football club and no doubt there would be moans if I was not wanting Southend United to succeed and of course I do.”

Echosport has contacted Martin for an interview throughout the week and the Blues chairman is due to soon release a statement.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Compare and contrast with @AndyhHolt and his position on the EFL's HMRX position

https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/13 ... 7061332993

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:58 am

On Saturday morning Arsenal released this tweet about the situation in Nigeria

https://twitter.com/Arsenal/status/1319896407302565890

it follows on from tweets from Arsenal's African heritage players during the week - compare and contrast with how Arsenal distanced themselves from Mesut Ozil's tweets about the Chinese treatment of the Uighurs

https://www.theguardian.com/football/20 ... hur-people

today @TariqPanja released a fascinating piece in the New York Times about "The Erasure of Mesut Ozil"

The Erasure of Mesut Özil
TARIQ PANJA OCTOBER 23, 2020

LONDON — Everything started with a tweet. Mesut Özil knew the risks, in December last year, when he decided to offer a startling, public denunciation both of China’s treatment of the Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority in the region of Xinjiang, and the complicit silence of the international community.

Friends and advisers had warned Özil, the Arsenal midfielder, that there would be consequences. He would have to write off China as a market. His six million followers on Weibo, the country’s largest social network, would disappear. His fan club there — with as many as 50,000 signed-up members — would go, too. He would never play in China. He might become too toxic even for any club with Chinese owners, or sponsors eager to do business there.

Özil knew this was not fearmongering. He was aware of China’s furious response — both institutionally and organically — to a tweet by Daryl Morey, the general manager of the N.B.A.’s Houston Rockets, only a few weeks earlier. Yet Özil was adamant. He had been growing increasingly outraged by the situation in Xinjiang for months, watching documentaries, consuming news reports. He believed it was his duty, he told his advisers, not so much to highlight the issue but to pressure Muslim-majority nations — including Turkey, whose president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had served as best man at Özil’s wedding — to intercede.

And so he pressed send.

How much of what followed can be traced back to that tweet is contested. Özil is convinced that is the moment everything changed. Arsenal is just as adamant that it is not. There is no easy, neat way of bridging the divide between those perspectives. Perhaps both are true. Perhaps neither is. Neither Özil nor Arsenal was willing to discuss their differences on the record.

The outcome, regardless, is the same. A few days after Özil went public, the Premier League’s two broadcast partners in China, CCTV and PP Sports, refused to air an Arsenal match. When the latter did deign to show Arsenal again, its commentators refused to say Özil’s name.

His avatar was removed from video games. Searching the internet for his name in China brought up error messages. (It was reported his Weibo account was disabled, though that was not true.) Very deliberately, though, and seemingly at the behest of an authoritarian government, Mesut Özil was being erased.

If it felt, at the time, as if that was as bad as it would get, it was not. As it turned out, Özil’s disappearing was just beginning.

The Pay Cut
In Turkey, supporters of China’s Uighur minority were thrilled to have Özil’s support. The Chinese government was furious, and not just at the player.
In hindsight, Arsenal’s reaction to Özil’s decision to speak out was — at least — inconsistent. Publicly, the club moved quickly to distance itself from his comments. Privately, it considered punishing him.

His tweet, and a simultaneous Instagram post to his more than 20 million followers on that service, had caused considerable problems — not just at Arsenal, but also for the Premier League. China, after all, was its largest foreign broadcast partner, and its biggest foreign market, and the league could not afford — even in a pre-Covid-19 world — to have its games blacked out, to have its sponsors and its fans close their wallets.

“In China, a lot of the audience are not aware of the nature of the relationship between an association, a league and a player in foreign countries,” said Zhe Ji, the director of Red Lantern, a sports marketing company that works in China for both the Premier League and a number of its teams. “They see in China the football association is in full control of the league, which is in control of the player. It puts teams, leagues and individuals in an awkward position. There is a cultural confusion.”

Conscious of that, Arsenal executives urged Özil to avoid political statements, or at least to ensure he avoided any association with the club if he continued to make them. When the club sent out its merchandising celebrating Chinese New Year, it made sure to remove Özil from any of the materials.

Eager to avoid the kind of public dispute that had imperiled the N.B.A.’s billion-dollar business relationship with China, the Premier League did its best to stay above the fray. But the league and its clubs seem to pick and choose their interventions. A few months after Özil’s tweet, players representing the Premier League’s 20 clubs — Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin was a leading advocate — informed the league that they would begin purposeful displays of support for the Black Lives Matter movement during games. The league quickly acquiesced to its players’ political awakening.

And last week, after Arsenal’s captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, tweeted in support of protests against police violence in Africa, the club issued its own statement. “To our Nigerian fans,” it began. “We see you. We hear you. We feel you.”

“It is becoming increasingly important that you have a point of view on this stuff,” said Tim Crow, a sponsorship consultant. “If you don’t, sooner or later the spotlight will turn on you, and people will ask questions about your values.”

Özil’s mistake, then, appears to be less that he had made a political statement and more that he had picked the wrong issue.

By the time the Premier League was discussing Black Lives Matter in the summer, of course, the world had changed. The coronavirus had forced soccer into a three-month hiatus, and Arsenal, like every other club, was coming to terms with the financial ramifications. Soon a new discussion began at Arsenal, about whether the team’s well-paid players should accept salary cuts. And almost immediately Özil’s stance on that issue, too, was widening the chasm between him and his club.

Even after his tweet about China, Özil played a reasonably prominent role for Arsenal in the first few months of 2020. Mikel Arteta, the club’s new coach, had insisted in his interview for the job that he wanted to work with Özil, a former teammate, to see if he could coax the club’s highest-paid player back to his best.

That relationship seems to have foundered as the club pressed its players to surrender some of their salaries to ease Arsenal’s cash crunch. The talks lasted for six weeks, and by late April the majority had fallen in line.

Özil, though, still had questions. He had asked Arsenal’s senior leadership for detailed answers on what the savings would be used for, whether the club’s owner would also be contributing, and whether the team could assure him it would use the money to protect its nonplaying staff.

He did not feel those issues were satisfactorily addressed (though the club does). After a final Zoom call, in which Arteta urged his players to “do the right thing,” Özil remained unmoved.

In June, the 12.5 percent wage cut was made official, and the players were presented with paperwork backdating the changes to April. Most signed immediately. Half a dozen or so lingered. Özil stood firm. Again, he knew the risk: that he might be ostracized by the club, that it might effectively end his career at Arsenal by refusing. It made no difference.

Özil has not played for Arsenal since. In August, two months after winning the wage concessions from its players, the club — citing the continuing financial impact of the pandemic — announced that it had parted company with 55 staff members. Özil took a particular interest in one of them.

The Dinosaur
There is, perhaps, no better indication of just how all-encompassing the distrust between Özil and Arsenal has become than the fact that, along with his political activism and his refusal to accept a pay cut, at least part of the tension between the parties relates to an argument over a dinosaur.

Earlier this month, it emerged that Arsenal had parted company with Jerry Quy, a lifelong fan who has spent the last 27 years dressing up as an oversize green dinosaur (possibly; his species is unclear) standing on the sideline during games. Quy is the human behind Gunnersaurus, Arsenal’s slightly ironically beloved mascot.

His dismissal was, to put it mildly, a public-relations disaster. Özil, immediately, seized on it, volunteering to pay Quy’s salary until fans were permitted to return to English stadiums and Gunnersaurus could return. The club was furious.

It felt, from the outside, as if Özil was trolling Arsenal. It is certainly possible that he was. It was just as clear that for good or (mostly) ill, player and club were inextricably bound together.

The club had tried to sell Özil in the summer of 2018 and in the summer of 2019, and more recently it had been negotiating with him over buying out most of the remainder of his contract.

Özil, though, was unwilling to budge. Why that might be — again — is a matter of debate. Some at the club believe that, newly married and with an infant daughter, he feels settled in London and does not want to move. Many fans assume he is simply happy to collect his multimillion-dollar salary until his contract expires next year, content to be paid not to play soccer.

Together with the international incident his tweet provoked, and coupled with the news media whispers — fiercely denied by those close to him, and never publicly stated by the club — that his attitude is lax and his inspiration gone, Özil seems to have developed a reputation. Soccer as a whole seems to have decided that the trouble he brings outweighs his talent.

For months, a World Cup-winning playmaker has been available at a heavy discount. And yet nobody, certainly in Europe, has been willing to take him on.

The Beginning of the End
Özil, 32, insists it is his “love” for Arsenal that keeps him there. He had opportunities to leave over the course of this summer, according to a soccer executive with knowledge of the offers, but none that appealed. The size of his salary — and perhaps his reputation as troublesome — severely limits his options, even as Arsenal is so keen to move him on that it is prepared to pay two-thirds of his contract to make it happen.

It was only in the last week that the reality of his situation set in. He had already been left out of Arsenal’s squad for this season’s Europa League — he live-tweeted its game against Rapid Vienna on Thursday night from home — when he was told he would not be in the list for the Premier League campaign, either.

With the transfer window closed until January, it is, now, too late for him to leave. Until then, at the earliest, he finds himself in soccer exile: one of his own making, of his club’s making, one that there does not seem to have a way out.

He believes it started with the tweet. Arsenal disputes that. Wherever it began, this is where it has led: 10 months later, Mesut Özil has, effectively, been erased.

Claire Fu contributed reporting from Beijing.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:06 pm

Chester Perry wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:59 am
Southend have been to the High Court for winding up orders many times in the last couple of seasons and are due there again in the next week, it appears that they still do not have the money to pay the outstanding debt, though I am not totally sure what they think a pandemic bailout has to do with such long held outstanding debt. - this from the Basildon Canvey and Southend Echo

25th October
Southend United chairman Ron Martin on the club's debt to HMRC

By Chris Phillips @cjphillips1982
Chief sports reporter

SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has been unable to guarantee the club will pay off their outstanding debt to the HMRC next week.

Blues, who owe close to £500,000, are back in the court next Wednesday.

But, in a question and answer session with supporters, Martin was asked if he had the funds in an account right now and could guarantee that HMRC would be repaid so the case would be dismissed.

And Martin replied: “If the club had the funds it would discharge the debt to HMRC.

“The club does not have an overdraft.”

Martin added the club, who sit bottom of League Two, have not received any financial help from the English Football League, the Football Association, the Premier League or the Players Football Association during the coronavirus pandemic.

But he added the club were doing all they could to pay off their debts.

“We are working hard to discharge the tax bill,” said Martin.

“But nobody underestimates the challenges in football as a result of Covid.”

However, Martin was also keen to explain how the debt had built up.

“In many respects it is that drive for success and lack of reward for the investment that has contributed to the current debt with HMRC,” said Martin.

“I do not think any chairman should be criticised for being ambitious for a football club and no doubt there would be moans if I was not wanting Southend United to succeed and of course I do.”

Echosport has contacted Martin for an interview throughout the week and the Blues chairman is due to soon release a statement.
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Compare and contrast with @AndyhHolt and his position on the EFL's HMRX position

https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/13 ... 7061332993
TwoHundredPercent.com wonder if the bell is tolling for Southend Utd - this article echoes my own thoughts on the matter quite clearly - Wednesday really could be a death knell for the club, who have no one to blame but it's own board


https://twohundredpercent.net/bell-toll ... nd-united/

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:28 pm

A couple of intriguing podcasts looking at recent events in football

first up the Unofficial Partner Podcast looks at Project Big Picture (it is to be followed by one looking at the European Premier League)

https://www.unofficialpartner.com/podca ... ig-picture

2nd is today's Football Today Podcast looking at "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The State of Football in 2020" with David Goldblatt

https://www.footballtodaypodcast.com/po ... ll-in-2020

I personally think there are a number of flaws in Goldblatt's arguments but equally there are some genuinely interesting ideas on delivering them, which I think are deserving of being heard, if only because he has obviously put quite a bit of thought into it and put together some reasoned resolutions to the problems he perceives - I wish more would do so.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:53 pm

The Guardian's David Conn with more revelations about FA Chairman Greg Clarke and his role in Project Big Picture earlier this year - frank l amazed there isn't a bigger clamour for him to step down

Greg Clarke raised breakaway threat at start of Project Big Picture talks
- Clarke said it could allow radical changes to be pushed through
- FA chairman understood ‘desire to solve problems big six face’
Exclusive by David Conn

Mon 26 Oct 2020 18.25 GMT Last modified on Mon 26 Oct 2020 18.28 GMT

The Football Association chairman, Greg Clarke, raised the threat of a European breakaway by top clubs at the very start of his development of Project Big Picture with the chairmen of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, the Guardian can reveal.

Clarke has claimed he walked away when the project became focused on “the concentration of power and wealth” in the big clubs with a mooted breakaway threat, but in the first document he produced, in February, he wrote that the breakaway threat created the opportunity for change.

Clarke wrote that English football was hugely successful but beset by problems of self-interest and “looming threats”, and there was a need for radical change. His suggestions included forming a Premier League 1 and 2, of 18 clubs each, and establishing the FA board as “the forum where the English game is governed”.

Clarke stated: “The pre-eminence of a number of large English clubs, who could choose to prioritise non-English opportunities, provides the platform to create and execute a transformation strategy.”

Clarke headed his document “Project Big Picture”, and wrote that if the restructuring plans were to have “moral authority” to succeed, they would have to ensure the strategy “demonstrably serves the interests of all of English football”.

A subsequent document that Clarke wrote, on 8 March, casts doubt on his recent claim that the first paper was just a summary of ideas the group had discussed, rather than his own opinion. In the second paper, Clarke wrote to the Chelsea, Liverpool and United chairmen that he understood the “desire to solve all the problems the Big 6 face in the PL”, and said he did not “discount a confrontational approach” with the other 14 clubs, although he would “prefer some carrot as well as an implied stick”.

Writing that Project Big Picture was “making good progress”, Clarke said: “I worry that it is too easy for the other 14 PL clubs to characterise Project Big Picture as a power grab by the Big 6 and a redistribution of revenue with a few collateral benefits to other areas of English football. This is a simplistic narrative but large sections of the media may find it convenient.”

Clarke again cited the breakaway threat as an opportunity, writing: “Timing is good for change. 2020 will be pivotal in framing the new Champions League format and the new international calendar. This will inevitably feed talk of Global or European superleagues. Coronavirus will also shake our industry and provide opportunities as well as threats. This offers a window of opportunity to reshape English football.”

After the developed Project Big Picture was leaked, then published by the Telegraph on 11 October, Clarke wrote to the FA council, distancing himself and criticising the plans as a power grab by the “big six” clubs. He wrote that he had “participated in early discussions” then “discontinued” his involvement in late spring “when the principal aim of these discussions became the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few clubs with a breakaway league mooted as a threat”.

In fact, as the Guardian has revealed, Clarke initiated the whole process in January with the Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, and was involved in all the meetings and the development of the plans, which came to include a concentration of Premier League voting power in the hands of the “big six”, and 25% redistribution of net TV money to the EFL. Clarke has said he was unaware of any “Big Picture event” after early May until the Telegraph published, but in fact he was personally involved in resurrecting the process in September, which then progressed with Buck giving the Premier League chairman, Gary Hoffman, a copy to consider on the weekend of 3 and 4 October.

Of Clarke’s first document, in which he cited the prospect of clubs pursuing “non-English opportunities” as a “platform” for transformation, the FA said it did not represent Clarke’s own views but a summary of the ideas discussed at the group’s first full meeting. That was not the case, however, because Rick Parry, the EFL chairman, was not invited until 13 February, after Clarke produced the paper. Richard Masters, the Premier League chief executive, was also invited to attend the talks from an early stage, but he declined.

The FA then clarified, saying Clarke produced the document after an initial meeting, with Buck and Ed Woodward, the Manchester United executive vice-chairman, whom Buck had invited. Buck invited Liverpool after that initial meeting, on Woodward’s suggestion.

However Clarke’s second, 8 March document casts doubt on the claim that the first was a summary of discussions. Clarke wrote it after the plans had been developed further by the full group: Clarke himself, Buck, Woodward, the Liverpool majority owner John Henry, and Parry. They had immediately rejected the idea of a Premier League 1 and 2, which would have involved relegating eight Championship clubs and greatly reducing the status of League One and League Two. The group had argued for keeping the EFL intact and redistributing more Premier League money to it. Liverpool and United, frustrated by the big six being outvoted by the Premier League’s other 14, are understood to have begun to argue for internal voting changes.

Clarke’s 8 March paper was entitled “Project Big Picture Compromise”. He referred to his first document, writing: “I opined in my original paper that for Project Big Picture to succeed, we had to propose a vision of how the project improved English football.”

The Guardian suggested to the FA that as Clarke had written “I opined”, it clearly indicated that that first paper was his opinion, not a summary of discussions. The FA did not respond to that specifically, but continues to maintain that it was a summary of views, not Clarke’s own opinion.

In the 8 March paper, Clarke suggested they should look for ways to make Project Big Picture “more attractive to the other 14 before deciding on either confrontation or abandoning our efforts”.

For example, he wrote, they could “lose the League Cup” and stay with 20 clubs in the Premier League, and “win the merit argument on redistribution”. That envisaged more Premier League TV money going to the big six, although Clarke argued that the idea of clubs selling eight matches per season individually “may be problematic for our moral authority pitch”.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:03 pm

The Mediapro/Telefoot broadcast fee wrangle with the French Ligue has taken a new twist with ratings agency Moddy downgrading Mediapro's parent company (and hinting that further downgrades are likely) - from SportsProMedia.com

Ligue 1 rights dispute sees Mediapro’s parent company get credit rating cut
Joye Media downgraded to ‘very high risk’ by ratings firm Moody’s.

Posted: October 26 2020 By: Tom Bassam

- Mediapro has failed to pay a €172m rights fee instalment due 5th October
- Joye Media given a ‘negative’ outlook, suggesting further downgrades are possible

Joye Media, the parent company of Mediapro, has seen its credit rating cut by specialist firm Moody’s after the Spanish media rights and production agency's failure to make a scheduled payment for its top-flight French soccer rights.

French soccer's Professional Football League (LFP) has been demanding the €172 million (US$202 million) second instalment of its €800 million (US$941 million) annual Ligue 1 rights fee since 5th October.

With Mediapro having refused to pay as it seeks to renegotiate the terms of the four-year deal, Moody's has moved Joye Media down to a CAA1 rating, which the company describes as a ‘very high risk’ of non-repayment of credits. Mediapro’s parent company was previously rated one notch up at B3 but now finds itself just four notches above default.

Moody’s also lists Joye Media as having a 'negative' outlook, suggesting there could be further downgrades.

"The downgrade reflects the downside risks to [Mediapro’s] credit quality following the missed payment to the French football League and the difficulty to profitably monetise the French football rights with the current subscriber base," said Víctor García Capdevila, Moody's assistant vice president and lead analyst for Joye.

"While the situation is fluid, the recent developments affecting its French subsidiary are negative for the company's reputation and could lead to lengthy legal proceedings and potential contingent liabilities that may further deteriorate its metrics and liquidity, which were already weak owing to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.”

The LFP has taken out a bank loan to cover payment to clubs and has referred the matter to the commercial court in Paris.

Chief executive Jaume Roures said on 22nd October thar Mediapro has no intention of abandoning its Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 broadcast contracts, but reiterated that the company wants to renegotiate those partnerships for this season due to Covid-19.

Reports had emerged suggesting that the LFP was ready to hand Mediapro’s contract to another broadcaster over the disputed rights payment.

Despite the public fallout, Roures said that the “contract is here to stay” and that Mediapro “have all the means to find a reasonable solution”.

"No one could have predicted the social and economic effects of Covid-19,” Roures said. “This has led to us seeing with the LFP how we can adapt to the situation, without calling into question the commitment we made in April 2018.”

Mediapro’s French soccer coverage is housed on Telefoot, a new channel set up in August and priced at €25.90 (US$30.61) per month to show Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in France, as well as European soccer body Uefa’s club competitions.

In an interview with the AFP, Roures revealed that Telefoot has amassed 600,000 paying subscribers, which is some way off the target of 3.5 million the company set to achieve profitability.

Despite the slow uptake, Roures reasserted that Mediapro is committed to the Telefoot project and its deal with the LFP.

“Mediapro has a turnover of €2 billion,” he said. “We are 26 years old. We broadcast 16 football leagues from around the world. We have always honoured our contracts.

“If the French consumer wants to see Ligue 1, the Champions League, he must subscribe to Telefoot, because Telefoot will be kept alive. Telefoot will not disappear, neither tomorrow, nor the day after tomorrow.”

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:14 pm

There is plenty of PPV speculation surrounding the Premier League meeting tomorrow - Will PPV be dropped completely? Will they drop the Price in wake of the Public Backlash?

The Guardian believe that the Premier League will hold firm for now

https://www.theguardian.com/football/20 ... objections

Though the Telegraph are suggesting that there is a proposal to drop the price on the table

Premier League clubs to suggest reducing pay-per-view fee to £10 to calm angry fans
Club executives will float proposal to reduce cost in shareholders meeting

By Tom Morgan, SPORTS NEWS CORRESPONDENT and Jason Burt, CHIEF FOOTBALL CORRESPONDENT
26 October 2020 • 5:08pm

Premier League executives are expected to propose reducing pay-per-view match broadcasts to £10 in a bid to ease the storm of fan anger since the scheme was introduced.

England's top tier is set to resist pressure to abandon the arrangement altogether when shareholders meet on Tuesday morning. However, while prices are likely to continue at £14.95 until the international break, appetite is growing amongst clubs to next week push through a price drop to begin in November.

A £5 reduction on the scheme announced just over two weeks ago would bring matches in line with the English Football League's iFollow price bracket. Two Premier League clubs are understood to be lobbying for a reduction after fans staged protests and Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, expressed misgivings.

Brexit is also on the agenda at a shareholders' meeting from 11am, with clubs expected to finally make a decision over homegrown player quotas following a four year tug-of-war over numbers with the Football Association. Currently, clubs can select an unlimited number of under-21 players in the league, in addition to those in their 25-man squads, but the Premier League and FA are finally in advanced discussions about creating a limit for non homegrown youngsters at least. There remains a risk, however, that the two parties will miss the Home Office's deadline of the end of the week.

Also on the agenda is the current rescue package offer to the English Football League. Negotiations are back at square one after the EFL clubs voted against accepting the Premier League's £50m loans and grant package because it only applied to Leagues One and Two.

David Baldwin, the EFL's outgoing chief executive, has since resumed talks with his Premier League counterpart Richard Masters. EFL clubs are optimistically hoping an increased offer may be tabled by the end of the week. PPV, meanwhile, is almost certain to continue at its current price for the next two weekends.

The world's richest league confirmed two weeks ago that half of games for the rest of this month and start of next would be sold individually to viewers on Sky Sports and BT Sport's Box Office in an attempt to claw back some of the millions of pounds a week its clubs are losing from playing behind closed doors. Only Leicester City voted against the initiative earlier this month, through their chief executive, Susan Whelan. Ed Woodward, the Manchester United executive vice-chairman, failed to join her despite arguing it placed an unfair burden on supporters.

Sky and BT Sport are understood to be open to the prospect of reducing PPV prices or abandoning them altogether if that is what the clubs decide. Outraged fans of Newcastle, Leeds, Arsenal, Liverpool and Burnley have all raised cash for various local causes instead of paying the current £14.95 price tag.

Mr Dowden told MPs earlier this month that he was “not massively impressed” by the plan to sell off matches not selected for regular television coverage. “Actions like this jar with this idea of coming together during this time of crisis,” he said.
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I think a price reduction only serves to weaken the Premier Leagues hand at any future rights tender, and the best solution is to remove PPV and not show the games live in this country - instead turning the focus on the Government's inconsistent approach to match/theatre/cinema/restaurant attendance. I recognise this is far from a popular idea, but commercially it makes the most sense.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Duffer_ » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:45 pm

20201026_194429.png
20201026_194429.png (147.9 KiB) Viewed 330 times

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:00 pm

Celtic announce their 2019/20 financial results

press statement http://www.celticfc.net/news/18682

full financial report (note these are not the full accounts - there is nothing lodged at Companies House and unlikely to be for some time yet (history suggests February next year) https://cdn.celticfc.net/assets/downloa ... cement.pdf

@KieranMaguire has a swift peek

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 2578852864

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