The Poor Get Poorer
Back in 2002, our beloved Swansea City entered into a Creditors Voluntary Agreement in a bid to stave off the threat of extinction; this brought the club out of administration and back on the road to recovery. In 2002, many clubs in the lower leagues were facing financial meltdown due to the collapse of ITV Digital, and the FA, the Football League and the PFA promised not to bury their heads in the sand, but in the 6 years that have followed has much changed?
7th February 2008 - AFC Bournemouth are the latest club to enter administration, resulting in an Automatic 10 point penalty. The Cherries owe a reported £4M and have entered administration to avoid a winding up order from the Inland Revenue, to avoid extinction - sound familiar?
Completely on the other hand, the Premier League, who before 1992/93 were part of the Football League have announced the plan to move matches to other countries, the countries have to "bid" for the rights to hold games. The Overseas broadcasters already pay £625M for the rights to show the Premier League, and that is combined with the ridiculous sums paid by Sky and Setanta in the UK, some might wonder why the Premier League needs more investment.
People will argue about the money needed to run a successful football club, the wages involved, the infrastructure, the stadium upkeep and facilities, but do these reasons justify paying a reported £30M for finishing last in the Premiership? How can the football league justify paying parachute payments to relegated Premier League clubs? It`s argued that the parachute payment scheme allows clubs to keep their best players and to compensate for a reduction in attendance, but it`s obvious that the parachute payment scheme shows the gulf in finances between the top flight and the 2nd tier.
It`s about time that a bigger slice of the monetary pie is shared out to the lower leagues. Its time for the FA to sort themselves out, to sort our lower leagues out, and to ensure that Football Clubs that are in danger of going out of business are nursed back to health. It`s not all about handouts, it`s about rewarding clubs that are financially sound, and helping the clubs that aren`t. It`s about the FA helping supporters form Trusts, each with a seat on a clubs board.
Things need to be changed, or the football league will change forever. I remember 2002, I remember administration, and I would not wish the threat of extinction on any club. Luckily we are now of sound financial health, and in a prime position to push on, but still many clubs are not.
The Rich get Richer, But the Poor are still poor