Football League Chairman Lord Mawhinney has given a stark assessment of the current economic climate for clubs bankrolled by rich owners.
In his address at the Leaders in Football conference in London, earlier today Mawhinney believed that there was an unhealthy reliance on rich owners, providing unsustainable debt.
‘As a former Government Minister, I have had exposure to hundreds of businesses. Very few of them were debt free because debt is an integral part of running and growing a business. Debt is not the problem in football, unsustainable debt is,” he said.
‘Lots of clubs are chasing a dream paid for by their owner’s wealth. They are defying economic gravity simply because their owners are rich. There is nothing wrong with that. Rich men have always been involved in football. But increasingly, being a rich man in football is not enough. Today what is required is to be very rich.
‘The pressing question is whether such a system can ever be sustainable. Can a huge dependence on the personal or corporate wealth of individuals outside the game and on television revenue ever be sustainably sound in the long term? In my view these models need reworking sooner rather than later.’
On the day where FourFourTwo’s football rich list was released announcing profits for many of the games glitterati, Mawhinney believed that some form of restraint was required to stem unsustainable debt.
“Some new element of cost control does seem to be needed – though it should be neither suffocating nor a straightjacket,” continued the Football League Chairman.
“Perhaps a first step might be for us to adopt further financial reporting requirements similar to those in the Premier League. We shall see.”
To read the full statement on the Football League website: Click Here >>>
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