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Q: Buying a football club ( No Answer,   6 Comments )
Subject: Buying a football club
Category: Sports and Recreation > Team Sports
Asked by: tech_ceo-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 17 Jul 2006 14:52 PDT
Expires: 16 Aug 2006 14:52 PDT
Question ID: 747181
How much money (on average) is needed to purchase or take over a
conference-level, league 2 or league 1 football club in England
including a) purchase costs and b) average ongoing yearly costs? I
would like to know costs for all 3 levels of club. Please provide some
recent examples in your answers of purchases/costsd and/or links to
more information. Thanks - Paul
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Buying a football club
From: grow_old_and_die-ga on 18 Jul 2006 13:10 PDT
The cost will vary greatly between each club and especially each club
over 3 divisions. In most case the club will not have any monetry
value... wages are so high and assets are so low that clubs generally
are not profitable and therefore have no value. However there are
exceptions where a club may have a ground in a desirable location...
maybe a club has an exceptional player (see lee trundle at swansea)
although these examples are becoming less common. Since the bosman
ruling, a player value is zero when he has no contract which means
that transfer fee have reduced and wages have gone up as clubs bid for
the players. In essence the player gets the money not the club so club
have to be smarter and sign players on longer contracts.

Basically it is a business... there are assets... liabilities and
investment opportunities. The small clubs do not make the money only
the big clubs with the TV and advertising deals... but saying that...
look at Chelsea... they spend so much on wages and transfers there is
no way they are profitable... but the investment risk for the owner is
small and he has taken the risk that if chelsea become the biggest
team in the world 5/10 years he will make profit.

Various information:

Kassam buying oxford for 1 but inherit 15million debt
During October and November 1998 the backroom staff at the club went
unpaid, due to United's financial situation, and supporters rallied
round, delivering food parcels to the ground. Supporters set up a
pressure group called FOUL (Fighting for Oxford United's Life), which
began to publicise the club's plight through a series of meetings and
events. Chairman Robin Herd had effectively given up on the club, and
in April 1999 Firoz Kassam bought Herd's 89.9% controlling interest in
Oxford United for 1, with which he also inherited the club's
estimated 15 million debt. Kassam reduced 9 million of the debt to
900,000 by virtue of a CVA, by which unsecured creditors who were
owed over 1,000 were reimbursed with 10p for every pound they were
owed. Secured creditors were paid off when Kassam sold the Manor to
another of his Firoka companies for 6,000,000. Kassam set about
completing the unfinished stadium, gaining planning permission for a
bowling alley, a multiplex cinema, and a hotel, among other things,
following a series of legal battles which were eventually all settled.

Barry Fry @ Posh
He is currently involved in a project to redevelop part of
Peterborough United's ground into flats that would earn him 1.5
million, in his role as a director of the Holding Company which owns
the London Road stadium. The club itself would receive no money from
any sale but would get a 2000-seat away end for 300 visiting fans to
sit in each fortnight. Peterborough United fans are currently being
told that this is a much needed development, even though they wouldn't
be using the stand, and the planning application stresses the need for
the flats to be built to fund the new stand. The council should reject
the planning application due to concerns about traffic levels.
However, Fry has already told the council that the club will not have
a future without these flats. Though he has not explained to anyone
how this would work!
Subject: Re: Buying a football club
From: tech_ceo-ga on 19 Jul 2006 01:56 PDT
Thanks for this info, but it is not exactly helpful to my research.
Lets try to add some info.

- First lets assume I am a successful biz-person and potentially a
hobby soccer-club owner. From years involvement in playing soccer I
understand most clubs lose money and are best thought of as an
expensive hobby than a biz. Lets assume I am too old to play and want
to enjoy my passion through ownership
-  Also lets assume though I am based in USA I understand UK soccer
structure including smaller leagues such as clubs in Wessex or
Conference-South as well as FA leagues such as league 2, 1 etc.
- Another way of thinking of my question is how much club will I get
for a set amount of money. For example if I decide to invest $200k
what could I get, if I invest $2million what could I get, if I invest
$10million, what could I get?

Note I could make some rough guestimates myself. A premiership club is
currently changing hands at approx $55 million. I am guessing a
Championship could be $10million, League 2 probably $1million or less,
Conference or Wessex league - I have no clue!!

What I am hoping for is someone to dig out better facts or where to
look to get aactual figures instead of guestimates. Note the actuals
could be recent deals, or current offerings.

I hope this adds more detail to my request - Paul
Subject: Re: Buying a football club
From: grow_old_and_die-ga on 19 Jul 2006 15:05 PDT
hmm... I still think you can not put such a sweeping statement that
because a club is worth 55m a club in a lower league is worth x. It
doesn't work like this. Their maybe a club in the same division that
is worth 100 x the value of the club in the same division. I think I
may have two points:

1: So many of the lower league clubs have so many liabilities and debt
they are effectively worth nothing which is why many are sold for say

2: When you value assets vs liabilities to value a club it is very
difficult to assign a value to a player. This is because the value of
a player fluctuates and is highly subjective. A positive for many
small club is they own valuable land in city centres that developers
are willing to pay good cash for but maybe this creates as many
problems as it solves.

Many clubs have floated on the stock exchange.. like my club swindon
town. This means you can download their accounts for a small fee. This
should be able to give you all the information you need.
Subject: Re: Buying a football club
From: argyle3090-ga on 02 Aug 2006 20:56 PDT
I have thought about this but in the lower divisions you are taking on
liabilities and have low gates and little TV funds
What ever you invest is not enough for the fans. 
My home team, Plymouth Argyle, have never been in the top division in
their history > 130 years, although about 14 largest city in UK.
Teams like Birmingham, West Brom, Wolves etc, have spent millions but
are at the same lvel as Plymouth who have spent a total of 300 K GBP
on two players and are 100/1 for promotion.
If I spent money on Argyle I would not expect a return - merely my
love for my home team.
Subject: Re: Buying a football club
From: tech_ceo-ga on 07 Aug 2006 10:21 PDT
Re Argyle - I understand and agree with your comments. You lose money
on most footy club investments so it is largely a money-losing hobby.
Also the fans rarely like you for long even after you invest
significant money. But for those of us with money and a passion for
the sport it is still addictive.

However where to start? I cannot find any stats re finances for
conference or lower league clubs so how much money would it take to
buy. For example is 2 million enough to buy argyle or would it take
20million. What debt levels are there for each club - where do we find
this information? I am sure somewhere there are studies and lots of
info on this topic, but I cannot find it anywhere. Especially for
non-league or lower league clubs (if you think about it the local
non-league club is a good place to dip toe in the water!)

Anyone else got any thoughts on where to find this information?
Subject: Re: Buying a football club
From: mlimsm-ga on 11 Sep 2006 02:57 PDT

Are you interested in buying a football club?

If yes, drop me an email at

I can give you details on past purchases/transactions and information
on a club which is looking for a prospective buying.

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