football's finances

Sullivan slams clubs over ''frightening'' borrowing

January 12, 2010

David Sullivan believes clubs have put their futures in jeopardy by borrowing against future income.

David Sullivan
GettyImagesDavid Sullivan: New owner at West Ham

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The former Birmingham co-owner has described how clubs in the Premier League and Championship have borrowed against projected income from season ticket sales and television money.

Sullivan believes the state of football finances is ''frightening'' and also believes it is ''probably odds on'' that one Premier League club will collapse this year.

Sullivan sold his stake in the Blues to Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung last October and has since looked into the finances of 20 clubs with a view to getting back into football. But his findings have not made for happy reading.

He told the Tony Livesey programme on Radio Five Live: ''There's many many clubs have pre-sold their Premier League income, television money. They've borrowed against one- and two- and three-year season-ticket money. They've borrowed against everything.

''Some clubs, if you saw what we have seen about the accounts... we've looked at 20 clubs since we've left Birmingham. The state of the finance of football is frightening, that's all I can say.''

He continued: ''I think there's a possibility one (Premier League) club could go. I think probably odds on one club will go. There's several Championship sides absolutely on the line at the moment. It's a question of whether they can sell players for sufficient money to stay alive.

''But there's not a lot of money out there to buy players at the moment. Even some of the clubs who you think have got money really haven't got much money to spend on players.''