A Football Club

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1.1. Background “At a football club there’s a holy trinity-the players, the manager, and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques.” Bill Shankly The footballing landscape has changed since the days of the late Bill Shankly. Traditionally the game has been seen as a working class sport, where the stresses of work and family life could be cast aside for 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon as punters stood on the terracing to follow their team. Nowadays clubs revenues exceed £300 million, weekly wages top £200,000 and transfer fees have reached £80 million. Clubs are increasingly used as play-things of multi-billionaire owners, content with making a substantial financial loss for the increase in stature and public profile. With this comes an increasing level of public scrutiny, with fans weary of having their club in the hands of owners who do not have clear sentimental ties to the team. The financial environment surrounding football is very volatile. The pursuit of success, and the associated financial gains, has led to teams adopting aggressive spending strategies, which often lead to financial distress. In recent years the cases of Portsmouth, Southampton and Crystal Palace in England and Gretna, Livingston and Dundee closer to home have highlighted the consequences of overspending. Others have suffered highly publicized financial difficulties resulting from poor financial management by club owners, with fans of Manchester United
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