There is a report out today by UEFA that says 18 Premier League clubs in 2007-2008 owed more money than all of the clubs in the rest of Europe’s top divisions put together.
UEFA Presdient Michel Platini
It’s small wonder that UEFA President Michel Platini has been alarmed for some time at the debts built up by Premier League clubs.
The report states that the combined debts of the 18 clubs stood at around £3.5B, which is amazing.
We know some of the big and successful clubs like Manchester United have huge debts, and the Red Devils, owned by the Glazer family in America, owe over £700M – what a way to run a football club!
The £3.5M is about four times the debt owed by the next league with the most debt - Spain’s La Liga.
And we know that Portsmouth are in a terrible financial condition, and could still go out of business, as soon as next week.
Championship clubs Crystal Palace and Cardiff City are also in financial trouble.
Portsmouth have asked the Premier League if they can sell one of their players, Nadir Belhadj, Kevin Prince Boateng and Marc Wilson, outside the transfer window to free up some cash so they can pay the wages.
The response they got was they could, but would have to forfeit 9 points, which would guarantee them relegation.
A brief statement from a Portsmouth spokesman said last week:
“I can confirm we have put in a request to the Premier League to sell players outside the transfer window. It is something we are exploring.”
The High Court in London will rule on March 1st, which is next Monday, whether or not to liquidate the Portsmouth club, and there is a real chance that’s exactly what they will do.
That’s just one example of a club in dire financial straights, but PL clubs will need to get their finances sorted out quickly, because Platini will force them to balance their books soon.
What a concept that is.
The daft spending of clubs like Chelsea in the past, and now Manchester City cannot and shouldn’t last, and it’s hardly something good for the game long term.
Balancing their books is the right approach and it cannot come quickly enough, before other big clubs go under.
After all that’s what other companies have to do.
Comments are welcome.