Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

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Crisis and confusion at Coventry City

Posted on April 6, 2011

Since the end of January there have been various changes in the membership of the Coventry City Board, then we saw the sacking of Aidy Boothroyd, the tenth sacking of a Coventry City manager in the last decade (1).  Saturday’s three points against Watford brought at least some cheer to City’s fans, and the fear […]

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Posted in Insolvency, Investors, Ownership, Stadium, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Opening a can of worms?

Posted on March 27, 2013

The varying relationship between football clubs and their local councils I have, in a previous posting, described as a postcode lottery.  It is often a vital one, especially when the stadium sits at the heart of an issue.  I am of course particularly aware of this as a resident of Coventry, where a protracted dispute […]

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Posted in Stadium | 6 Comments »

For once, a personal note

Posted on February 4, 2013

Apologies to regular readers for an ‘off topic’ posting, but, to be fair, this is a personal blog.  Rest assured – it will not become a habit. The sharp-eyed may have noticed a change in the ‘About’ section.  One of those apparently landmark life events occurred at midnight last Thursday – I went from being […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

The stadium curse

Posted on December 3, 2012

The topics of the stadium which has become separated from its club in ownership terms, and the mixed blessing that a new stadium can bring, are ones that I have covered in previous postings (see postings passim). The battle over Fratton Park is shortly to be resolved in court (1).  The twisted history of Portsmouth’s […]

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Posted in Assets, Investors, Ownership, Stadium, Trusts | 7 Comments »

Round-up of Season 2011/12

Posted on September 8, 2012

The 2011/12 season has been characterised by long-running sagas.  Normally I find myself in an annual review recounting a series of relatively self-contained accounts of the woes which have beset a number of clubs, but many of those listed below are far from resolved scenarios. The selection is not systematic – it consists of the […]

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Posted in Benefactors, Debts, HMRC, Insolvency, Ownership, Resurrection, Trusts | Leave a Comment »

That elusive number of insolvent football clubs

Posted on February 13, 2012

Today’s breaking news makes for grim reading. First there are the reports that Portsmouth is to go into Administration again (1).  With the club’s bank account now frozen, players and other staff unpaid, and an early parachute payment in the offing, this comes as no great surprise. Meanwhile, North of the Border, it is reported […]

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Posted in Insolvency | 2 Comments »

No. of Clubs

Posted on February 13, 2012

I’m sometimes asked for a magic number – the number of top clubs which have gone into Administration.  It’s difficult give a simple answer because: Administration is a misleading basis for counting.  Clubs can be wound up without ever going into Administration.  A better measure is ‘insolvency event’, a term which can however be defined […]

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Posted in | 1 Comment »

The Magic of Football – still there in the Cups?

Posted on January 27, 2012

It’s increasingly difficult to see any magic in the beautiful game other than black magic, especially when you look at it from a financial perspective.  You only need to think of the narrow escapes at Plymouth and Wrexham recently, and both Portsmouth and Darlington are standing on the edge of the precipice. The Cups may […]

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Posted in Community, Fans | Leave a Comment »

Round the Lower Levels Part 2

Posted on December 21, 2011

At last, Part 2 of my overview of what is happening from a broad financial perspective.  Part 1 ran alphabetically up to Prescot Cables, and is available here.  With a slight jump backwards, we pick it up with: Port Vale An interesting case of ‘fan ownership’.  Valiant 2001 bought the club from the Administrators in […]

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Posted in Benefactors, Debts, HMRC, Insolvency, Ownership, Stadium | 1 Comment »

Wages and the distortion of the pyramid

Posted on October 30, 2011

The data just published by Sporting Intelligence (sourced from internal PFA files) adds more fuel to my argument that the football pyramid is becoming utterly distorted in the sense that the scale of finance in the different tiers is being ludicrously stretched.  In a recent public lecture as part of the  Coventry Sporting Conversation series […]

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Posted in Benefactors, Financial doping, Wages | 18 Comments »

The changing face of Premier League shirt sponsorship

Posted on September 15, 2011

The news the other week that Manchester United had secured a lucrative sponsorship deal with DHL for their training kit (1) rather caught my attention.  It wasn’t the unique (?) case of training kit being sponsored – I would expect this to be a one-off, with all new shirt sponsorship deals having a clause requiring […]

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Posted in Marketing, Revenues, Sponsorship | 7 Comments »

Shares, not shirts!

Posted on August 29, 2011

A couple of postings back (see Chester revisited) I threatened some more thoughts on my revisiting the Report of the Committee on Football, aka The Chester Report, published in 1968.  This is the first of two, and focuses on how the funding of clubs by fans has changed in the past 40+ years. Today clubs […]

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Posted in Cashflow, History, Merchandising, Ownership, Trusts | 3 Comments »

Cutting your coat to suit the cloth the Pompey way

Posted on August 11, 2011

As I write, Portsmouth still only have a squad of 16 (1).  The first two matches of the season have seen just three subs on the bench – shades of last season, when at their opening game against Coventry there were four subs on the bench, and the squad was heavily dependent on youth players.  […]

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Posted in History | 3 Comments »

The Big 1, 2, 3 or is it still 4? Or more?

Posted on June 9, 2011

Currently I’m working on a joint research project on various European football leagues with colleagues in Austria.  One set of data which we have produced so far casts some light on this perenial debate.  The latest version of the date centres of course on whether Liverpool ‘have fallen out of the Top 4′, and/or whether […]

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Posted in Governance, History, Premier League, Pyramid movement | 3 Comments »

The points deduction lottery

Posted on May 13, 2011

As we move towards the end of the season and the state of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ begins to harden, I am, as usual (here are my earlier findings on this topic), looking more closely at how the deduction of points impacts on the particular clubs who are promoted or, more typically, relegated. The impact (or […]

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Posted in Ethics, Governance, Points deduction, Sanctions | 6 Comments »


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