18 Premier League Clubs Have Huge Debts

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.

6 comments so far

  • Mags

    Feb 25, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #1

    Whilst I do not doubt for one minuted the huge debts at Man Utd, Liverpool, etc., not to mention the cover up with the respective owners of Chelsea and Man City, and the need for these debts to be addressed, I just cannot blindly accept these UEFA figures.

    From the last I have seen, Real Madrid’s debt exceeded that of Man Utd – not to mention Barca!!

    Methinks UEFA are taking poetic licence to suit their own ends as they continue to undermine the English premier league.

  • nilakavivat

    Feb 25, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #2

    How about NUFC? Do we have any debts nowadays?

  • listie

    Feb 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #3

    Real are bank rolled by a number of Spanish banks, that have been known to write off the debts. Barca are effectivly funded by the catalunya government, again debts are not a worry.
    The last point is why a fans ownership in the UK will not work, people always point to Barca and say look it works for them, without the government funding they wouldn’t survive

  • Otter

    Feb 25, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #4

    Easy there, listie. Let’s see some evidence for your claim that Barca are “effectively funded by the catalunya government”.
    –Everyone knows Barca has a fundamentally different approach to finding players (lineup in the CL final last year contained seven products of their academy). Real spends about twice as much on players as Barca.
    –Real is the team that I have seen evidence of getting government support, doing real estate deals with the city of Madrid to help finance their transfer dealings (which hasn’t kept Real from having far more debt than Barca):
    I don’t find your argument against fan ownership convincing until there’s some better evidence.

  • listie

    Feb 25, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #5

    Otter – it’s one of those worst kept secrets, who do think is the biggest member of the Barcelona foundation ? Without the 122 members of the Barca foundation they would fold. The club is treated as a national club the Catalyn nation club, and the government would never allow it to struggle!

    Interesting that your Real Madrid artical is from a Barca forum lol!!

    If fan ownership is such a great thing why are Barca the only one we ever hear about. Fan ownership of NUFC would be an unmitigated disaster.

    Real are funded as said before by a number of Spanish banks, and they have pressure on them to write off of never ask for the debt to be paid.

  • Trent Toon

    Feb 25, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #6

    Why can’t we just play football and not have to worry about these huge debts. One day the whole premier league will collapse because the banks move in, and portsmouth are the start of that. If portsmouth don’t survive that will be a sad day for english football.

    Thank god mike ashley is with us imagine if moat had brought us. We would be skrewed!


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