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Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

League boss fears financial hit

FA chairman Lord Triesman
Lord Triesman is concerned about the high level of debt in English football

Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney says the full impact of the credit crunch has yet to hit English clubs.

Mawhinney believed clubs have so far been shielded from the economic climate because their business strategies were in place before the recession.

"Season tickets, corporate hospitality and commercial sponsorships were all negotiated a year ago," he said.

"They're about to start doing that for next season and there will be a reality check for some clubs."

Last October, Football Association chairman Lord Triesman said English clubs owe an estimated £3bn and warned they could be in "terrible danger" should the economic crisis deepen.

Triesman said the Premier League's four top clubs - Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea - are believed to account for a third of that debt.

And Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is concerned spiralling levels of debt will send a top-flight club out of business in the near future.


"I have no doubt it will happen in the Premier League that a club will go into receivership," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The debt in the Premier League is horrendous. We (Wigan) have got our debt down to somewhere near £15m, it's serviceable and we can look after that.

"Foreign owners will borrow money in the name of the club and will leave the club in debt. Man United owe £750m, Liverpool £500m and Chelsea owe a lot of money too.

"I think that money should be put into equity, buying shares in the club. If the owner decides to leave, he has to sell his shares. It's nothing to do with the club and doesn't put them into serious debt."

Football League rules state that clubs in financial trouble that go into administration will be deducted 10 points as happened to League Two Darlington last month.

But clubs who go into administration after today's (26 March 2009) 1700 GMT deadline face having their 10-point deduction suspended.

If the club is relegated the points will be deducted from their tally at the start of next season but if the club stays up the 10 points will be taken off their final total.

The club would then go down if the 10-point deduction subsequently resulted in it slipping into a relegation place.

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see also
Darlington enter administration
25 Feb 09 |  Darlington
League closes 10-point loophole
09 Jun 07 |  Football
Liverpool stadium plans on hold
05 Oct 08 |  Liverpool
FA chief fears '3bn' club debts
07 Oct 08 |  Football
Uefa could ban debt-ridden clubs
08 Oct 08 |  Football
West Ham closer to possible sale
17 Dec 08 |  West Ham
Crisis threat for Merseyside duo
11 Nov 08 |  Everton

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