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Portsmouth - Football Finances

 10th December 2009 

The finances of Portsmouth have been in the news increasingly over recent years.

The changes of ownership in 2009, following on from a summer of player sales, only a year after huge player buys, following on from many rumours and innuendo regarding player transfer deals means the finances seem very newsworthy.

The current big question seems to be whether the club will go into administration. The most recent accounts are only up to the end of the 2008 season so there is a huge chunk of information missing. Looking at the 2008 results and even adding the merest of bad news into to them to try and guess at 2009 figures makes things look very bad.

In 2008 the club has loans outstanding of over 58m, and it also owed other clubs 42m in transfer fee instalments, as well as other groups owed money to the tune of 37m.  All its assets put together, so the ground and the players, only came to 62m. This is why the banks won't led anymore money to the club , and players are being sold as fast as possible.

As of July 2008 the club had a tax bill of over 7m.

The money that comes in to the club from the fans mostly comes in in the summer from season ticket sales. Sky's money comes in two lumps, one at the end of the season as a reward for the finishing position, the other in January as a mid-season payment.  This "lumpy" income has to then be used to pay wages etc throughout the season. The payroll hit the 4.5m per month figure in 2008 and this is a huge burden on the amount of cash the club has in the bank.

A combination of banks not lending any more money, and the club having to try and pay players when they have run out of cash in the bank, is what has caused the lack of payment of wages.

Will Portsmouth go into administration? The answer will lie with the owner. If the owner is prepared to pour piles of money in to the club then it may survive for a while. If the owner doesn't pour money in then the outlook is bleak. If the club were relegated then there is no way to pay of the loans, no way to pay the current players, and the only way out may well be administration.

This site is aimed at giving a bit more insight into the club accounts. Hopefully it presents to you the financial results in words that we can all understand. All the numbers quoted about the club have come from the club's own accounts. If a mistake has been made in this, and you spot it, then PLEASE let us know, the aim is to be as honest as can be. If you have more accurate information then please get in touch.

Also if you have any suggestions on what else should or could be looked at please get in touch. The intention of the site is to give as much information as possible without necessarily commenting positively or negatively on what has happened. Occasionally there will be something that really does need comment and there is no apology for this !

Ian

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