Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Looking for the emergency exit

The latest report on the financial state of football from accountancy firm BDO has interesting implications for Charlton given recent speculation about the future of the club.

‘A New Dawn for Fair Play?’ reveals a growing reliance on benefactors to plug funding gaps at their clubs. In total, 65% of clubs acknowledged a dependence on principal shareholder(s) to finance operating losses compared with 58% last year; for the Championship the figure is 94% and for League One it is 64%.

Faced with the challenge of plugging a funding gap while also keeping the club competitive on the pitch, it is perhaps not surprising that 28% of Championship club owners and 36% of League One club owners are considering a full or partial exit in the next 12 to 18 months. At the same time, a similar proportion of clubs, 33% and 21% respectively, have been approached by potential new external investors in the past year.

Trevor Birch from BDO commented: 'Intense competition for a limited number of promotion places has pushed the majority of Championship and League One clubs into the red and created a dependency on principal shareholders bankrolling trading shortfalls. In this context, we now see around a third of existing owners seeking a full or partial exit. While a similar proportion of clubs are being approached by new external investors, in reality there is a dwindling number of genuine potential owners outside the Premier League.'

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