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By Tony Attwood
Intro and background…
In May this year newspapers reported that Mr H Redknapp was to face new charges of tax evasion along with former Portsmouth directors Milan Mandaric and Peter Storrie. The charges are to be tax evasion.
At the time of that May hearing Mr Mandaric, along with Tiny Tott manager Henry Redknapp, already faced two counts of cheating the public revenue. Mr Storrie was already charged over tax evasion in relation to another point of detail.
All three men are booked for a possible trial next spring. Mandaric and Henry Redknapp are also charged with evading tax and National Insurance contributions due between April 1, 2002 and November 28, 2007. That’s another trial then.
(I am saying Henry because the accused was listed as Henry Redknapp in the court documents, leading to a chant by several leading barristers of “Are you Appy Arry in disguise?”)
And now the new news
The very tiny totts always make a profit. No one knows how but they do. Or they did, until the Arry Effect popped up, and they made a rather careless £6.6m loss after tax for the year ending 30 June 2010. It is the price you pay for fourth.
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Turnover was up to an all time record of £119.8m (about a third of that achieved by Arsenal).
So where did it all go wrong?
The answer is of course Henry. He buys players. Lots of them. Not for him the nurturing of the existing playing staff. Not for him the reserve league (Tottenham are not in it). It is buy buy buy buy buy, and then bye-bye profits. Sébastien Bassong, Peter Crouch and Younes Kaboul. Profits before player trading were £22.7m. Buy them guys, and woops, down it goes.
Of course the tinies are in the Champions League and that will help in this financial year, were it not for the fact that the tinies still have Henry, and he is still buying players. William Gallas, Stipe Pletikosa, Sandro and Rafael van der Vaart cost around £20m, and then there’s that pesky business of salary.
Just imagine (difficult though it is) if the Tiny Totts don’t get into Europe next year. All those expensive players suddenly worth less and less. And no Champs League dosh. Ooops again.
The strange smell that emanates from that end of Seven Sisters has had its effect too. Corporate hospitality income went down in the last accounts to £25.8m from £27.4m, and money from ticket sales went down as well. Strange because they also say that all 19 EPL matches were sold out to the capacity of 36,310 in the dear old ground. Bless!
Here’s a good comment…
“European and cup competitions remain an important part of our progression, particularly as we head off on a Champions League adventure which will test players and staff alike.” That was the Tiny Finance Director Matthew Collett. Who also said, “Our successful approach to nurturing both homegrown talent and acquisitions through the transfer market will help the team to secure future success on the pitch.”
But you see there is a problem. The Tiny Totts always made money by buying players, writing down the valuation, and then selling them on for a bit more. They buy in Hardly Anyone for say £20m, and write down his value so that two years later he is worth £10m. Universal Gibberish FC then buy Hardly Anyone for £11m, and Tottenham declare a £1m profit.
But with Arry-Trade (the new approach to Life in the Dead Lane) you buy all-nonsense players and then when you come to flog them they are not worth so much, so you make a loss.
Oooops, woops, and what a bugger!
So what is a decent football club to do these days as it gets harder to make an honest buck?
Get taken over by a chicken and egg producer, that’s what. Just as is happening to Blackburn. The proposed new owners of Blackburn Hatcheries as the new club will be known is willing to splash £25m in order to raise the profile of the chicken and egg corporation based in India. Apparently the name of Blackburn is big in south east Asia.
For me, if ever there was an honourable benefactor in football it was Mr Walker the man who made the modern club. He came from Blackburn, built a proper business, sold it, and then spent lots of his cash improving the Blackburn and once even winning the EPL. He also trotted off to Jersey to live tax free – something that doesn’t quite fit with my concept of honour but certainly not something illegal. My point is that this was his home club, he supported it, and he gave them money. Why not?
Blackburn is now owned by a trust fund in Jersey who have been trying to flog the thing for years. Quite a bit of those wonderful new stands Mr Walker built are almost permanently closed, and the trust doesn’t like giving the club money for transfers. Which is perhaps why the chicken and egg men will fit in. They don’t expect to be giving money for transfers either.
And that is the problem with benefactors – the pass away. In accordance with the essence of the wishes of Mr Walker, the Trust Fund in Jersey wrote off all its loans to the club (about £100m) in 2007, and put the club up for sale. But no one wanted to buy.
In the last three years the Trust has also put in a loan (a loan mark you) of £5m just to keep it afloat – while doing everything they can to sell the club.
So could it be that when you are next in India or south east Asia everyone will be in the colours of Blackburn Chicken and Egg?
I am not sure – not least because of this quote from Anuradha Desai who is in charge of all those chickens – and Blackburn soon. “We won’t need to buy expensive players,” Desai said. “We can always lease them.”
Yes, I have just checked. That quote was in the Guardian. “We can always lease them.” Great idea.
Here’s another thing.
We know that Manchester IOU is big in Asia. The biggest perhaps. Year on year they get £6m from overseas rights. So how much will the chickens get? 60p? Maybe.
I leave you with this thought. What is more amusing: Henry Redknappppp laying low the Tinies finances or Anuradha Desai saying “We won’t need to buy expensive players, we can always lease them.”
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