Choose one club from four:
Club A has debts of £700 million and no obvious way of paying them. Indeed although they declared a profit of £40 million last year, all that had to go to paying off interest charges – and still they were short of money to pay the banks and lenders. As a result the unpaid interest was added to the amount due – taking the debt up even more.
There is no obvious way of this club expanding – it already sells out each game and does meaningless tours to Islamo-Fascist states such as Saudi Arabia just for the money.
One of its star players has just been found guilty in court and ordered to pay considerable sums in damages, while the other top star (who made all the difference last year) is making it clear he wants to leave. The manager who has been a major part of the club’s success of late, has said he will go in two seasons time.
Club B has debts at the same level as Club A, but their position is even worse since all the money is owed to one man. Although no interest is being paid the club will have to pay it all back within 18 months should the owner so decide. If that were the case the club would fold.
This club has no manager at all, and an ex-manager is trying to buy up one or two of their star players. The actions of the owner in sacking two managers in the past year just because they only came second is putting off a growing list of top managers who fancy something a little more secure, with an owner who is a little less hands on. Managerless and with most of the backroom staff gone, there is no activity on the transfer front.
The club has been widely criticised for its style of play, the inability to fill a moderately sized stadium, and their lack of style in dealing with the media and the fans.
Club C also has debts – of £400 million, but £150 million of these are about to be paid back from property sales, and the rest is secured on a 23 year mortgage and very low rates. The stadium sells out for every league match, and even some league cup games have sold out despite the fact that the reserves are often played. Even a youth cup game got over 30,000 and a womeen’s league match recently sold out its allocation.
Two new players have already arrived, and a very talented centre forward is due to return from a crippling injury. One player has left, and one might leave, but the rest of the squad is very young, very settled, and as always three juniors will make the transition to the first team this summer.
The manager has been here ten years and looks like staying another five. He is expected to sign three players this summer to strengthen an already strong squad.
Club D not only has debts of around £500 million (caused by the purchase of the club by foreign interests) it has owners who are at each other’s throats, with another middle east group looking to buy in. The club wants to move from its modest sized old ground to new premises, but can’t raise the money. Despite doing worse last season than the season before the manager has claimed 07/08 represented progress. He spends £30 million a year on players, and will probably do so again, but the club has never won the EPL, and although it does quite well in cups, never really challenges the top 3 for more than one occasional year.
Club E: New to the league this year for the first time in their history, having risen from the 4th division in about five years, they have no great backer, are certain to go down again, but look like they will sell out, as Derby did before them, and just enjoy the ride.
Club F: Last year they proudly announced that they were going to “break into the top four”. In fact they spent much of the year in the relegation zone, they sacked their manager, and never managed to get out of the bottom half of the league. They did win the diddly widdly doddly cup, to wild and ecstatic celebration. Spend £30 million a year on players, but always claim to make a profit – although no one knows how. They would love to have a new ground, but can’t raise the money to do it. Their new manager – the 132nd manager in the past 3 seasons, is untried with a club with this sort of bizarre expectation.
You can choose a club to support and one other club that you look kindly upon.
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