The increasing cost of the beautiful game

The number of UK football clubs mired in financial difficulty has reached a two-year high, according to the Begbies Traynor Red Flag Football Distress Report. Published in March 2014, the report suggests that as many as one in nine football league clubs are suffering from ‘serious financial distress’.

This will come as a serious blow to proponents of the Financial Fair Play rules, adopted by the Football League at the start of the 2012–13 football season. The league set up the rules as a means to rein in the rampant overspending by many football clubs that is seen as harmful to the financial health of the beautiful game. The report comes on the back of speculation that the Financial Fair Play rules will be challenged in the courts by unnamed clubs. Unless any challenge is successful, enforcement rules — including hefty fines — could be used for the first time in December 2014 against clubs that have made a financial loss of more than £8m…

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