London, Sep 14 (IANS) Half of clubs across England’s top four football leagues are worried about their financial condition and 43 per cent say they have been approached by outside investors in the last 12 months, as per a report from accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.
“Many clubs were already struggling to balance the books, but Covid-19 has accelerated and exacerbated the problem,” said Ian Clayden, BDO’s national head of professional sports.
“At club level, as well as working hard to activate new revenue streams, there is a trend towards leveraging future receivables to manage current liquidity constraints. Care needs to be taken of course to secure the future rather than mortgage it and kick the problem into the long grass. Supplementing incomes now will only help in the medium term if action is being taken to dial back player costs – which inevitably take time.
“If matches continue to be played behind closed doors for an extended period, we may see a number of clubs, particularly in the lower leagues, at risk of insolvency or takeover in the coming year,” he added.
Clubs in England’s top four divisions stood to collectively generate record revenues of more than 6 billion pounds ($7.6 billion) before the 2019/20 season but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the financial struggles have intensified and left some in dire straits, the BDO report further said.