The book begins by interrogating the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement of the football club and explains how assets are financed and how clubs account for players in different ways. The supply and demand of players and managers is examined, including the reasons for the rise in wage levels at the elite end. How clubs are traded, why they are bought and sold, and how they are valued is contrasted with other businesses. The rich variety of ownership models is explored, from the overseas government wealth fund to the wealthy individual’s vanity project. How ticket prices, the benefits and costs of television rights, and the success or otherwise of brand monetization impact on the finances of clubs are all explained, as well as the main causes of financial distress and why some clubs may be too big to fail.
At a time when many commentators bemoan the effects of “too much money” in the game, this clear-headed and rigorous analysis and presentation of the financial imperatives and challenges facing football will be welcomed not only by students of the industry but by the wider constituency of fans and supporters.