Football industry finance expert James Dow expects the sector to face some difficulties, but will be assisted by the long-term television deals in place.

Mr Dow, the owner of Warrington corporate finance firm Dow Schofield Watts, was involved in takeovers at Manchester City and Everton in the 1990s and has also advised Ajax, Celtic and Barcelona.

“Most of the income is propped up by television deals which will stand up, they are longer-term deals,” he said. “The principle income will be ok.

“Matchday income will not see a lot of impact for this season as a good proportion is season tickets, especially on corporate hospitality. There’s still a bit of discretionary spend; I expect a lot of weakening, but that won’t have much of an impact on football clubs.”

However, he warned problems could surface in the summer as clubs seek to renew deals, both with sponsors and their banks.

“The key is major renewals of corporate hospitality and sponsorship deals. The clubs will see a weakening if they are having to renew this summer.

“The more global brands will benefit from the weakening sterling, which could benefit major clubs, however in the lower leagues most sponsors are UK-based.

“Fundamentally, marketing and brand support is a discretionary spend. There’s a choice between maintaining people and discontinuing brand support. There is always a weakening of marketing spend in a recession.

“Anyone who has got financing for renewal will face difficulty and any major investments will be postponed, unless there is financing from another source, such as the public sector. That will include an awful lot of clubs, all the way down to amateur clubs looking to develop their facilities.”

Source: Liverpool Daily Post.co.uk

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