Friday, 1 April 2011

Rangers financial crisis highlights serious problems in football

The announcement today from Alastair Johnson, the Rangers Chairman about the possibility of the club going bust should set alarm bells ringing throughout the football world. Although the majority would have no real concerns about them going out of business it is an incredibly alarming scenario the Scottish champions face.

The club play at Ibrox stadium which seats 51082 supporters at every home game. On the assumption that tickets are £20 it still means they are taking over £1 million gate receipts from every match. It seems staggering that their debt only stands at £22 million when the current Premier League leaders are £800 million in debt. Even though the Scottish club are not quite the side they were it demonstrates the depths this game has fallen to with all the debt issues.

In recent years Fifa have acted to put a stop on huge spending but it seems to have had little impact on the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. Whilst I am no fan of Arsene Wenger or Arsenal he must be applauded for his attitude to the huge spending and salary figures quoted in recent times. The Premier League has become a playground for foreign investors to play their roulette against others equally as rich whilst the little sides slowly go out of business.

There have been issues in Spain this season with many clubs threatening to boycott La Liga as the share of TV money goes almost entirely to Barcelona or Real Madrid. These issues are becoming more and more frequent and in my opinion Fifa and Uefa cannot halt the inevitable implosion in the future.

Whilst I accept that football is now a business where the side with the most money usually win it is ruining the game at other levels. It used to be the lower league sides that would struggle but in the coming years we will see more cases similar to Leeds United. Football initially was about local rivalry and enjoyment; Fifa need to act fast to ensure the beautiful game can survive these financial constraints before it comes to a premature end.

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