League Chairman at Conference today
Football League Chairman, Lord Mawhinney addressed senior figures from the footballing world at a conference in London today.
Lord Mawhinney spoke about various issues which included club debt. 'Very few businesses are debt free,' the Chairman said, 'and while debt in football is not a problem, unsustainable debt is. Lots of clubs are chasing a dream paid for by their owner's wealth and they are defying economic gravity simply because their owners are rich. And, as rich men have always been involved in football there is nothing wrong with that. But, being a rich man in football today is not enough. Today what is required is to be very rich.
'What needs to be asked is can a huge dependence on the personal, or corporate, wealth of individuals outside the game and on television revenue ever be substainably sound in the long term?
'In my view, these models need reworking sooner, rather than later.'
Rising player wages were also on Lord Mawhinney's agenda and he said, last season, in the Championship an average of eighty seven per cent of a clubs' revenue was spent on players' wages. Is there any business in the world where such a percentage would be substainable?
'We have had long debates on the subject of whether control of squad wages should be exercised centrally. While I feel the clubs in League One and Two would welcome this the clubs in the Championship are more divided and are still to be persuaded.
'The majority of our top clubs are trading at a serious loss and still adding to their debts and they seem unable or unwilling to change. Some new element of cost control does seem to be needed and perhaps a first step should be for us to adopt further financial reporting requirements similar to those in the Premier League.'
Mr Mawhinney also said that football has to demonstrate a greater level of respect for players contracts saying that players' contracts are in danger of becoming worth less than the amount spent on the lawyers and agents who put the words onto the paper.
What do you think? Is Lord Mawhinney right? Or, is it just hot air? What's your view?