SBD/Issue 172/Franchises

English Soccer Club Burnley Strikes Gold With EPL Promotion

Burnley Will Earn A Minimum Of $47.9M
In TV Revenue In EPL Next Season
English soccer club Burnley Chair Barry Kilby said that the club "will be rich beyond their wildest dreams" after winning promotion to the EPL for next season, according to Oliver Kay of the LONDON TIMES. The club next season will earn a minimum $47.9M (all figures U.S.) in TV revenue next season, as well as two guaranteed $23.9M "parachute payments" even if they are relegated back to a lower division for the '10-11 campaign. Burnley manager Owen Coyle said that the club, "assembled on a shoestring budget, will attempt to play attractive football in the Premier League." Burnley's promotion means that the English town, with a population of about 88,000, "will be the smallest to have" an EPL club since the league was created in '93 (LONDON TIMES, 5/26). Prior to the '08-09 season, Kilby promised that anyone who bought a season ticket was "guaranteed a season ticket for 2009-10 if the club earned promotion." About 7,000 fans signed up for the deal (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/26).

TOONED OUT: Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley yesterday "issued a personal apology for the 'catastrophe'" of the club's relegation from the EPL. Ashley: "Seeing Newcastle United relegated from the Premier League has been a catastrophe for us all. I fully accept that mistakes were made during this and previous seasons and I am very sorry for that" (LONDON TIMES, 5/27). In London, Paul Kelso reported Newcastle's relegation decreased the club's estimated value to about $143.8M. Ashley, who bought the club in '07 for about $214.1M, last year was seeking around $351.5M in a sale of the team, but sources indicated that Ashley now "would have to settle for no more" than $143.8M, "assuming a buyer could be found for a club about to taste the realities of life on short rations" (London TELEGRAPH, 5/26).

MORE STABILITY UNDER GLAZERS: ManU CEO David Gill said since the Glazer family acquired the team in '05, there is "stability, and long-term decisions can be taken." Gill said of the club's current debt of approximately US$797M and whether the current economic climate would affect future borrowing, "That borrowing was put in place on a long-term basis back in August 2006 and the club can service that debt easily. … There's no real pressure there. We've shown good growth in the commercial area since the takeover" (BBC.co.uk, 5/26).

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