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SBD Global/August 13, 2013/International Football

Study: One Third Of Championship, League One Clubs May Go On Sale This Season

A study by accountancy group BDO reveals that nearly one-third of clubs in the League Championship and League One "will be put up for sale" this season as they "become increasingly squeezed and reliant on benefactors to continue pumping in funds to keep them afloat," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. According to an annual survey of club finance directors by BDO, 65% of clubs "acknowledged a dependence on their principal shareholder to finance operating losses," up from 58% last year. In the Championship, the figure is 94%. According to the research, 28% of Championship club owners and 36% of League One club owners "are considering a full or partial exit over the next 12 to 18 months." BDO professional sports group partner Trevor Birch, who is also joint administrator at Scottish side Heart of Midlothian, said that the huge leap in parachute payments to clubs relegated from the top flight "would intensify the pressures and create a 'Premier League Two by stealth.'" The effect "could be exacerbated by the financial controls" in place in the Football League, handing a natural advantage to those in receipt of parachute payments (GUARDIAN, 8/12).
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