Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Fulham were the big Championship spenders

Total Championship clubs’ gross transfer expenditure for January 2020 was £37m, more than half of January 2019 expenditure (£60m), reports Deloitte Sports Business. Fulham (£24m) were the Championship’s biggest spenders, spending c.65 per cent of the total Championship gross transfer expenditure in order to strengthen their squad in a push towards promotion to the Premier League.

This is the first transfer window I can recall in which Leamington spent more than Charlton, having used some of the money they obtained from player sales to the Football League. I think that Charlton's strategy of taking players on loan was the right one.

Andre Green has attracted praise for the Addickted for his skill and commitment and could well be a summer target. A lot depends, however, on whether Villa stay up. A return to a Premier League side, even as a bench warmer, could be attractive, while if they are relegated Villa will be more willing to offload players.

Financial fair play

Charlton also have to keep financial fair play regulations in mind, although at the moment we should have plenty of head room.

Andy Turner, partner at Mercer & Hole, told Accountancy Daily: ‘There has been speculation that the activity in this, most recent, transfer window is down to the impact of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules with clubs looking closely at budgets and finance and the need to balance the desire for success with compliance with the rules. The main fair play regulation is centred around the club not exceeding a certain level of loss. A club can influence its profit by either increasing its revenues or reducing its costs.'

However, creative accounting is available: ‘There is a degree of flexibility as to how a company can quite legitimately draw up financial statements that comply with the regulations.This includes management decisions around player acquisitions, amortization (lowering the book value over a set period) of players and specific judgement areas, such as the magnitude of certain provisions or reserves that could significantly affect the financial results of a club.'

‘As a result, we have seen an increase in the number of loan signings with an option to buy and clubs investing in younger talent for the future.’

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