The English Football Industry in 2005: A Case of Failed Regulation?

The English Football Industry in 2005: A Case of Failed Regulation?

Room 101, Foster Court, UCL
(Off Torrington Place WC1 opposite Waterstones Bookstore)

Wednesday 16th March 2005, 6pm-8pm

Given by:

Professor Tom Cannon


The next BSkyB broadcasting deal with the Premier League will be the first to provide a smaller amount of money than the previous one. Outside the top clubs there is evidence this season that crowds at Premier League clubs are slightly down on previous years. With the exception of Manchester United virtually no football club in England has consistently made money at the pre-tax profit level in the last ten years. Premiership challenges Chelsea are sustained only by an enormous cash injection by Russian benefactor Roman Abramovich. The extraordinary financial instability of English clubs is exemplified by the experience of big city club Leeds United who having reached the semi-final of the European Champions League only a few years’ ago now find themselves, having emerged from a bruising period in administration, languishing mid-table in the Coca Cola Championship. With signs that the period of inexorable growth in financial turnover of English football may have peaked, but still no sign of the industry entering sustainable self-financing profitability, what does the financial future of English hold? Critically, is a higher level of regulatory intervention required to address the twin problems of fluctuating club revenues and chronic unprofitability?

Professor Tom Cannon is one of Britain’s longest-standing and most insightful observers on the financial health of English football, and a regular media commentator on developments within the industry. He is Chief Executive of RespectLondon (UK) Ltd, a part of an association of European enterprises (RespectEurope) dedicated to the effective integration of outstanding business performance and world class standards of social and environmental practice.

In this seminar Professor Cannon, drawing on his paper to the House of Commons All-Party Football Group (2004) Football & Its Finances Report , presents an assessment of the current financial health of the English game. He will particularly focus on the roles of the FA and the Football League, and their relationship with the Premier League, and will discuss how effectively the three organisations have effected the financial stewardship of the industry. Making reference to developments in the policy of UEFA and the G14 group of major clubs at the wider European level he poses the question – is there a need for a re-structuring of the regulation of the English game?


For further details contact:

Sean Hamil
Tel: 020-7631 6763

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