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

Search Results

Southampton update

Posted on June 30, 2009

Things look even worse at St Mary’s today. First has come the news this morning that the Marc Jackson bid has foundered (1), and then, less than two hours later, that the Pinnacle Group, including Matt Le Tissier, has also pulled out (2). The Pinnacle Group had for sometime been seen as the front runner, […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Insolvency | Leave a Comment »

Portsmouth and Southampton again

Posted on June 5, 2009

Back in April I commented on some of the similarities and differences between these two South Coast rivals (1). Since then, for Southampton the uncertainty over their future ownership, and indeed survival, has continued. As I write, there is talk of a mystery multi-millionaire and the announcement of a new board this week (2). We […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Benefactors, Ownership | 2 Comments »

Southampton’s attempted ‘holding company’ loophole

Posted on April 24, 2009

Southampton have been docked 10 points by the Football League (although this will subject to an appeal [1]). The club had hoped to avoid the penalty on the grounds that it was their parent company, Southampton Holdings, which had gone into Administration rather than the club itself (2). Had the deduction not been imposed because […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Governance, Insolvency, Ownership | Leave a Comment »

Portsmouth 17 – Southampton 5

Posted on April 9, 2009

That’s annual losses in millions of pounds, not goals. These two teams constitute the nearest the South Coast can offer to Glasgow’s Old Firm – bitter rivals on the pitch and a distinct animosity between their fans. In some respects, like Celtic and Rangers, they are oddly similar – perhaps the cause of the rivalry. […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Insolvency | 1 Comment »

Councils & Clubs – Southampton, Darlington, Cheltenham Town and Bury

Posted on April 3, 2009

Historically the link between councils and football clubs has been the ownership of stadiums. Today in the Premier League only Hull City and Newcastle United retain this link, yet another indicator of the post-commercialised game. But are new links emerging? As the precarious future of Southampton is picked over, the Daily Echo reports that the […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Community, Insolvency | 1 Comment »


Posted on April 1, 2009

The problems facing the Saints because of their parent company, Southampton Leisure Holdings, going into Administration, had been brewing for some time now. The club’s income has been badly hit by relegation from the Premier League: 2003 – £48.8m 2004 – £49.8m 2005 – £44.8m 2006 – £25.7m (including parachute payment of £6.7m) 2007 – […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Insolvency | 2 Comments »

Why I shall be especially grumpy this Saturday afternoon

Posted on April 3, 2012

“Football clubs ‘in poor financial health’” a headline on the BBC News website has just screamed (1).  Apparently “many clubs are continuing to spend too much, principally on players’ wages, as they always have done”.  What?  Surely not?  Well, OK, the said headline was in the Business section of the BBC website rather than their […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Benefactors, Community, Debts, Financial doping, Governance, Insolvency, Ownership, Wages | 5 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 […]

Read the rest of this post...

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 […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Community, Fans | Leave a Comment »

Pompey and the potential for points deduction

Posted on November 29, 2011

Having carefully got through as far as Prescot Cables in the first half of my round up of clubs in trouble below the Premier League, I had rather assumed that I could at least get Part 2 published before returning to the subject of Portsmouth.  Clearly that was not meant to be.  So here are […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Football League, Governance, Insolvency, Points deduction | 16 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 […]

Read the rest of this post...

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

HMRC’s Christmas party

Posted on December 20, 2010

I’m guessing that there will be dancing in the corridors at HMRC’s office party this Christmas.  They’ve had a good run in the courts over the last month against various football clubs.  So far this run has not included a single outcome of the club going into Administration (the last case was Dundee in October; […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Debts, HMRC, Insolvency, Stadium | 4 Comments »

Denouement at Liverpool?

Posted on October 7, 2010

The long-running saga of Messrs Hicks and Gillett’s failure, first, to bring Liverpool’s level debt down, and, next, to find a purchaser of the club willing to pay the unrealistic price they were asking, has until the last few days been, to me at least, a soap in which there is constant speculation on how […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Debts, Investors, Organisational culture, Ownership, Points deduction | 4 Comments »

Warring at Walsall

Posted on May 16, 2010

Rising up the pyramid when there are larger iconic clubs geographically close to you is always going to be difficult, because the size of potential fan base is constrained.  In the case of Walsall (League 1), within ten miles they have West Bromwich Albion (Premier League next season), Wolves (Premier League), Aston Villa (Premier League), […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Assets, Benefactors, Censorship, Community, Fans, Identity, Ownership, Public relations, Stadium | 4 Comments »

A scarcely noted Football League failing

Posted on March 30, 2010

While the media have focussed strongly on the failings of the FA in the last week and disseminated the calls for reform from a wide variety of sources, scant attention has been paid to a very basic failing by the Football League – its refusal to increase ticket allocations for Carlisle and Southampton fans to […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in Fans, Football Association, Football League, Revenues, Stadium | 5 Comments »