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Football Today: Survival Of The Fattest?
Trader Column
Written by RamsTrust member David Mortimer   
Thursday, June 11 2009
Alarming new statistics concerning the Premier League’s 2007/8 season suggest that many top clubs need to re-finance their increasingly unrealistic and unworkable debts.
Newcastle United, relegated and for sale, have a ramshackle, overpaid squad unworthy of its massive loyal support. Derby’s own wage bill was the lowest in the Premier League, but the £1.2 billion total accounted for much of the £2 billion overall turnover. Many top clubs would thus seem to be rather short of the funds required to survive or even challenge for trophies.
“Survival of the fattest” might apply, but Liverpool and Manchester United now face massive debts in contrast to their wealthy, trophy-strewn decades before fat cat foreign owners grasped the “worldwide franchise” opportunities.
Liverpool’s £350m debt threatens their solvency, so what price Torres? Top clubs may be forced to sell their best players to fund team development if bankers impose a longer-term financial strategy.
As the average League manager’s tenure is now less than 18 months, financial and operational instability feed each other.
Derby County is now steadily rebuilding via effective financial control. Nigel Clough is changing the Moor Farm “comfort” culture that apparently informed the attitudes and performances of so many underachieving players.
Who envies Burnley’s Premier League prospects when a promoted rival’s new striker costs £9m? Because everything follows from success on the field, the safe hands at Derby gives Rams fans hope for long-term prosperity.
The Trader column is for individual members of RamsTrust to put their point of view across in the media. Although the views will not contravene the principles of the trust, the views expressed are entirely personal to the author and do not necessarily represent RamsTrust policy.
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