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Does it matter who owns a football club?

12:02 UK time, Thursday, 5 August 2010

Liverpool FC is up for sale, and among rival bidders are thought to be two large foreign investors, from Syria and China. Does it matter who owns a football club?

The current owners of Liverpool FC, the Americans George Gillett and Tom Hicks, put the club on the market in April.

Foreign investors in English clubs have caused controversy in the past. Several clubs have suffered financial hardship after promises of riches from new takeovers failed to materialise.

And Portsmouth are free to begin the new Championship season after a challenge to their Company Voluntary Agreement by HM Revenue & Customs failed. They had four owners last season.

Does it matter who owns a football club? Are the rules over new ownership strict enough? Should fans have more of a say over the running of football clubs?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Don't care really, but maybe being run by a totalitarian regime and being sent to work in the fields for a spell would do them good.

  • Comment number 3.

    No

  • Comment number 4.

    As a fair proportion of the income of UK clubs most probably comes from overseas sources anyway, I can't see that it makes a great deal of difference unless one is a jingoistic bigot.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes if it ends up like Portsmouth bankrupt and full of debts loaded on it by so called investors.

  • Comment number 6.

    My local club was recently owned by a man who scammed the council out of millions of pounds to build a new stadium. My council tax will be used to bail out the club (this has already happened).

    So, yes, I do care.

  • Comment number 7.

    Yes I do care who owns my football team. At the moment it is Lloyds that own it, as the "owners" owe the bank millions. What difference is there if the Chinese or anyone else owns it? They will still try to make money. A supporters ownership scheme like Barcelona have looks the best option but even they are feeling the pinch.

    I think that the (English) Premier League is heading for a big fall. It is completely bankrolled by SKY and teams, even with the billions they receive, are deeply in debt.

    England's performance in the World Cup shows that if they, the English, want to win anything they need to concentrate on home grown talent. SKY will not want the standard of players to drop as they sell the rights to the EPL all over the world. There looks likely to be EPL v FA battle and if SKY do not get their way then there will be many clubs in the same situation as my team.

  • Comment number 8.

    Don't see the point of the tribal sport bunch of useless overpaid over opinionated vacuous shallow prancing weirdo's, for the amount of money footballers get they should be able to score a goal from the carpark.
    Does it matter who owns a club, no as long as its never public money.

    If a bunch of fools want to donate thier cash to watch these numptees chase a ball for 90 mins go for it. I never could see the attraction.

  • Comment number 9.

    Personally,

    I would like to see football banned entirely. It is a dishonourable activity run, played and managed by people of equally ill repute.

    To call footballers sports men, is an insult....

  • Comment number 10.

    I just can't understand why the fans and Liverpudlians in general don't buy it and keep the club exclusively under their control. It doesn't matter which external buyer buys the club, their only reason for buying will be to make a fast buck. 1 million people x £250 = £250,000. Perhaps ownership buy the fans and population of the Pool would get rid of the nonsense we've had to put up with since Paisley's days. I'm sure there are plenty of talented Liverpudlian lads that would give their hind teeth to play for Liverpool but they don't get the chance because of agents and the transfer market. No two finer players than Stevie Gerard and Jamie Carragher, home grown, playing for their city, that's how it should be, not a bunch of foreigners. I think the manager that just left was trying to create his own Spanish team, I likened him to turnip head Taylor, changing the team every week, such a load of nonsense. In Shankley's and Paisley's days Liverpool had settled sides that were the most successful in Liverpool's history, doesn't that tell you something?

  • Comment number 11.

    Considering that successive governments have allowed most manufacturing industry/business to be sold off abroad, including our power suppliers etc etc.
    Who cares about a football club.

  • Comment number 12.

    The answer is no. Maybe you should off use my suggestions for Have Your Say topics?

  • Comment number 13.

    If you want an answer to your stupid question, ask HMRC or any Portsmouth supporter!

  • Comment number 14.

    1. At 12:40pm on 05 Aug 2010, Tio Terry wrote:
    It wouldnt bother me if football ceased to exist tomorrow, let alone who owns which club. I have no interest in it. If it's your sport thats fine, no problem, but it's not for me.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then why comment at all?

  • Comment number 15.

    Footballs current model cannot be maintained especially in the current financial climate.

    But regulations will only come in once the market has crashed, just like with other markets around the world.

    That is how human beings work, we only react when disaster strikes, and football is inevitably heading for one.

  • Comment number 16.

    It matters in the sense that if the owner loves the club and cares about the club, then they're a lot more likely to look after it aren't they? If it's some 'investment', then like any other asset, it is disposable and could be stripped, sold on, abused.

    Fans love their club, literally, I can't wait for the season to start, even though I'm on holiday and will miss the first three games of the season, but I'm buzzing about it (Charlton, by the way). If the owners feel similarly to the fans, then the clubs would all be safe, our new owners, led by Murray, have the clubs interests at heart, not on the balance sheet (acknowledging that is also important) so the future feels OK.

    However, football is going down an unsustainable alley and whilst I'd love my club to be up there, I don't know how I'd feel if the success was 'bought' like Chelsea and Man City. No offence guys, but you were pretty average up until your big bucks backers came in.

  • Comment number 17.

    Does it matter who owns a football club?

    It depends on their long term intentions.

    If its true that this Chinese guy is the front man for the Chinese government then they won't be looking for the usual Billionaires toy.

    They'll be wanting the club to turn substantial profit as a return on their investment.

    And there aren't too many clubs in the Premier League that turn any kind of real profit, when you offset it against the club's debts.

    Just look at Man United - simultaneously one of the richest clubs in the world, whilst still being dangerously close to bankruptcy.

  • Comment number 18.

    Does it matter who owns a football club?
    Yes, because it can expose a club to ramifications, like Syrian ownership if Syria becomes involved in Middle East conflict.
    It can also make the team a "target" during conflict. A better question might be: Would you want to play for a team that is foreign-owned by China or Syria?
    Also, if there is trouble abroad, the club may suffer financially and become unable to maintain itself.
    I'd like to point out that investment bank Barclays Capital are leading the sale; it is this company that will elect a preferred bidder by the end of next week. I'm sure Barclays Capital is seeking advice from Foreign Affairs and the PM's office.


  • Comment number 19.

    Anyone but another big business simply in it for the money!

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    7. At 1:12pm on 05 Aug 2010, Graham wrote:
    Yes I do care who owns my football team.

    I think that the (English) Premier League is heading for a big fall. It is completely bankrolled by SKY and teams, even with the billions they receive, are deeply in debt.

    England's performance in the World Cup shows that if they, the English, want to win anything they need to concentrate on home grown talent.
    ======================================================================
    Actually not only did England's team do badly in the world cup almost ALL the foriegn players in the English premiership did badly as well.

    I do not care who owns what team, there is far too much importance attached to what is basically a commercial spectator sport.

    A few years ago there was a scandal involving Liverpool football ground and Liverpool City Council. One of the main questions the councillers were asked was 'which club do you support?'.

    Lets face it, football was on it's knees in the 1980's. With riots, disasters and deaths, the government even passed a law (that was never en-acted) banning away supporters.

    Then along comes world cup 1990, we reach the semi-final and Gazza cried.

    We created the premiership (where teams at the top think there are too many clubs and there should be no relegations) and built expensive new stadium. All built on the dreams of businessmen and supporters.

    Now what do we have, at one time Manchester United locked out thousands, each week, not anymore. Look at the attendances, half the premiership cannot get 20,000, the championship average is half that and the rest of the leagues are only in 4 figures.

    This 'sport' was NEVER as popular as its supporters thought it was. In the 1970's the most important TV programme on Saturday evening was Match of the Day.

    I hope that Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United et al are all sold to foriegners. I hope they asset strip the clubs and ruin the whole 'sport'.

    Then we can have our city and town centre's back on Saturdays. And sport will be permanently relegated to the back pages of the papers where it belongs.



  • Comment number 22.

    Does it matter who owns a football club? Nope. Bye, Bye Pompey.

  • Comment number 23.

    Toothpick Harry wrote:
    I just can't understand why the fans and Liverpudlians in general don't buy it and keep the club exclusively under their control.


    They don't have the money, they've tried several times but can not get enough money together to buy the club and unlike wealthy businessmen normal fans and fan clubs aren't able to use the future profits of the club as security against a loan to buy it.

    Even though I'm an Everton fan I hope that whoever buys Liverpool F.C. does so because they care about the club and want to see it return to the top of the league, unlike the current owners who don't care about the club or its fans and only ever bought the club in an attempt to make themselves even more money.

    While I would like to see all clubs owned by their fans I don't mind that much who owns the club as long as they have the best long term interests of the club at the heart of their plans.

  • Comment number 24.

    14. At 1:42pm on 05 Aug 2010, FrankandTomsDad wrote:
    1. At 12:40pm on 05 Aug 2010, Tio Terry wrote:
    It wouldnt bother me if football ceased to exist tomorrow, let alone who owns which club. I have no interest in it. If it's your sport thats fine, no problem, but it's not for me.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then why comment at all?



    Because someone asked the question. Thats the idea of HYS, someone asks a question and contributors answer. Having looked at a number of other contributions I'm not the only one who's non-plussed, and some have said much ruder things than me.

  • Comment number 25.

    I would much rather that the Chinese consortium expend their efforts and expand their wealth with buying a football club (or three). Rather than continuing in their pursuit to buy a UK networks business and (by default) find their way in to our gas and electricity industry in this country!!

  • Comment number 26.

    CORRECTION
    10. At 1:35pm on 05 Aug 2010, Toothpick Harry wrote:
    I just can't understand why the fans and Liverpudlians in general don't buy it and keep the club exclusively under their control. It doesn't matter which external buyer buys the club, their only reason for buying will be to make a fast buck. 1 million people x £250 = £250,000,000 (MILLION).Perhaps ownership buy the fans and population of the Pool would get rid of the nonsense we've had to put up with since Paisley's days. I'm sure there are plenty of talented Liverpudlian lads that would give their hind teeth to play for Liverpool but they don't get the chance because of agents and the transfer market. No two finer players than Stevie Gerard and Jamie Carragher, home grown, playing for their city, that's how it should be, not a bunch of foreigners. I think the manager that just left was trying to create his own Spanish team, I likened him to turnip head Taylor, changing the team every week, such a load of nonsense. In Shankley's and Paisley's days Liverpool had settled sides that were the most successful in Liverpool's history, doesn't that tell you something?

  • Comment number 27.

    I'd prefer it if football clubs were owned by people who genuinely love the game, rather than those who see it as just another investment to add to their portfolio.

    The club I support is owned by a couple of fools who profess to love the game but clearly know nothing about it, judging by the some of the decisions they've made!

  • Comment number 28.

    For football "CLUB", read football "BUSINESS"

    It all comes down to money, and the supporters no longer have any say in their "club". As long as that remains the case we will have wealthy individuals/companies buying and selling them like any other commodity

    Sad but true

  • Comment number 29.

    Does it matter who owns a football club?

    My very old Granny owns the ground a couple of local teams play on - is that what you mean?

  • Comment number 30.

    EPl is about the entertainment business not sport. EPL clubs see themselves as 'brands' and are marketed as such. Certain EPL club's have more fans in Indonesia than they do in the UK.
    Satellite TV demanded the EPL and the F.A. connived in the arrangement.
    There is really no economic reason why the big clubs in the EPL and in Europe need a local fanbase, or for that matter a local stadium.
    A European Super League of the top 16 clubs, funded by TV rights and advertising, playing anywhere and the games piped into subscribers homes, will be a reality within the decade.

  • Comment number 31.

    As long as all Football clubs their players and directors pay their taxes and have no subsidy of any kind from the state I dont care who owns them.

    The real thing is that they are able to contribute to the local community by employment. Enough of paying underperforming unfit footballers.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    LOL talk about slow news week! Topics HYS rejected this week include....
    Recent reports suggest tea has risen in price by 10%, do you drink tea? what effect will this have on your tea drinking habits.
    Lyndsey Lohan has been released from jail, how much do you care?
    Jordan did something to someone how sharp an object would you like to gouge your eyes out with to avoid ever seeing her again?
    & in answer to the question No I don't give a poo who owns a football team.

  • Comment number 34.

    14. At 1:42pm on 05 Aug 2010, FrankandTomsDad wrote:
    1. At 12:40pm on 05 Aug 2010, Tio Terry wrote:
    It wouldnt bother me if football ceased to exist tomorrow, let alone who owns which club. I have no interest in it. If it's your sport thats fine, no problem, but it's not for me.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then why comment at all?


    Could it be because the forum is called: Have Your Say?

  • Comment number 35.

    24. At 2:23pm on 05 Aug 2010, Tio Terry wrote:
    14. At 1:42pm on 05 Aug 2010, FrankandTomsDad wrote:
    1. At 12:40pm on 05 Aug 2010, Tio Terry wrote:
    It wouldnt bother me if football ceased to exist tomorrow, let alone who owns which club. I have no interest in it. If it's your sport thats fine, no problem, but it's not for me.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then why comment at all?



    Because someone asked the question. Thats the idea of HYS, someone asks a question and contributors answer. Having looked at a number of other contributions I'm not the only one who's non-plussed, and some have said much ruder things than me.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fair enough, respect that, I just think if I got to writing 'i have no interes.......', I wouldn't have finshed the sentence.

    Yes people are being rude aren't they, most unlike HYS posters indeed!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Let it be someone else's problem!

  • Comment number 37.

    21. At 2:19pm on 05 Aug 2010, JohnH wrote:


    "I hope that Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United et al are all sold to foriegners. I hope they asset strip the clubs and ruin the whole 'sport'."

    John, Manchester United (the Glasers), Liverpool (a couple of American business men), Chelsea (Roman Abramovic), Fulham (still Mohammed Al-Fayed?) and others are already owned by foreigners. In some cases, the clubs have been loaded with debts unheard of under former owners.

    The asset exploitation (perhaps a form of stripping?) in already under way in certain clubs.

    Shame!

  • Comment number 38.

    Does it matter who owns a football club?

    No, of course not. As long as the British Tax Payer doesn't have to bail out any club. Like the banks, or any other business, they are first and foremost a commercial enterprise solely to benefit its management, employees and shareholders.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    I welcome the day when all sports return to their amateur status, and all profits made go towards the maintenance of its respected venues and supporter comfort.

  • Comment number 42.

    As long as club ownership is ethical in a business sense, i.e the new owners are not seeking to burden their acquisition with existing debt, then I see no problem.
    At the moment, there seems no stronger financial backer for a club than the People's Republic of China. Historically, Liverpool is one of the world's great ports, and has the oldest established Chinese community in Europe.
    Good luck to them!

  • Comment number 43.

    It might have mattered once upon a time when we had home grown players who were proud to play for a particular club and who aspired to play for their Country.It showed quite clearly in the recent World Cup what certain players thought about playing for their Countries. Alas nowadays it is all about money and getting the best players in the world, playing in the Champions League, and making a profit for the owner(s). So does it really matter who actually owns the club? No, not really. My interest in football is evaporating !

  • Comment number 44.

    Top flight English football is all about the money these days and to be successful you have to have loads of it.

    To be able to compete with the billionaire owners of Chelsea and Manchester City, and the billion pound debt of Manchester United, Liverpool will need some serious investment.

    If it comes China then good luck to them.



  • Comment number 45.

    Nice one, that right? we send foreign aid (money we don't have) to China and they buy our football clubs with it.
    To the "fans" its a club and it matter, in some cases a lot. However, it belong to the guys who buy it. Their interest is in getting assest out. They put the club more into hock by pledging its assest against money they withdraw. They export that £'s sterling (impoverishing further our Economy) they then sell it on even more debt ridden than when they bought it.
    The only way for them to become "clubs" again is for those fans to dig very deep and buy it. Then like Building Societies some Honarary smarty pant on the Club Committee in 25 years persuades the committee to float it, makes a load of dosh for him/herself (them) and round we go on the carousel (again!) Doesn't matter a light.

  • Comment number 46.

    It only matters if the owners don't know what they are doing. I'm sure the Chinese know exactly what they are doing so as a Liverpool fan I would have no worries about them owning the club. At the least the half time food will improve! Sweet n Sour anyone?

  • Comment number 47.

    Politics is politics while sport is sport,,,,,,,,,,,,what the press and media should do,,,,,is not to mislead the readers and audience.....

    It really doesn't matter who owns a football club but it is really very ridiculous for BBC to confuse sport with politics........

  • Comment number 48.

    @9. At 1:32pm on 05 Aug 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Personally,

    I would like to see football banned entirely. It is a dishonourable activity run, played and managed by people of equally ill repute.

    To call footballers sports men, is an insult....
    ------------------------------
    What's your sport then Phil, jousting ;-)

  • Comment number 49.

    28. At 2:38pm on 05 Aug 2010, Muppet_Master wrote:
    For football "CLUB", read football "BUSINESS"

    It all comes down to money, and the supporters no longer have any say in their "club". As long as that remains the case we will have wealthy individuals/companies buying and selling them like any other commodity

    Sad but true

    .......................................................................
    Quite right. Unfortunately those buying into football these days have no love of the sport and therefore no love of fans.

    Perhaps they should be reminded who the Customer is.

  • Comment number 50.

    Like any business, as long as they not subsidised by the taxpayer, like Portsmouth and others who owe HMRC taxes, who cares?

    If there were restrictive rules on ownership then I would guess the Office of Fair Trading would be the place to start to clean it all up.

    If the grass roots fans want more say then they are presumably free to buy or start a football businesses if they want.

    Clearly if fans boycott ticket or merchandise purchases, or Sky subs, then the clubs are doomed.

    It’s just a business despite the spin and hype.

  • Comment number 51.

    Football ownership is about business greed - it has ruined the sport. The best football is played in parks or the minor leagues and is watched from the fence for £2.00 per ticket. The fans of those minor clubs know what it means to be properly connected to their team - something a fan of a Premier league team will never know. They just get ripped off by the corporation that pretends it is their for them.

    It would be nice to see clubs, maybe even liverpool, being bought by the fans in a share ownership system where no one person is allowed to hold more than 1 percent and all businesses combined could not have a combined total of more than 30%. Also, 30% of the share holders must be minor shareholders who cannot own more than say 5,000 pounds worth of shares.

    That way there is some connection when the club chairman holds its AGM and half the fans turn up as shareholders demanding to know what the hell he has done.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    So many people think "It really doesn't matter who owns a football club but it is really very ridiculous for BBC to confuse sport with politics"
    I guess people who think along these lines couldn't care less then if a football club was owned by say an African Warlord who funded everything via blood diamonds, or a master criminal who dealt in illegals arms trade and if Hitler was around would he be acceptable too?

  • Comment number 54.

    I think it matters a great deal who owns any UK business, particularly if the business has always been a UK owned. We should not be selling UK business the likes of Liverpool and Man U to Americans; or selling Cadbury's to Americans. It will cost us all in the end. Any gain to the UK Exchequer is only short term.

  • Comment number 55.

    Depends on where you want to see the profits going to.

    If you like the money going abroad, sure, sell it to foreign buyers.
    If you want communism to profit and prosper, sell it to the Chinese.

  • Comment number 56.

    Yes it does matter,there should be no foreign ownership of football clubs allowed; they are a british institution and should be kept as such players wages should be capped at £100,000 for premier clubs and at a reducing scale for the rest,no foreign players allowed and a big reduction in transfer fees. Clubs should train their own players in preference to buying them only 1 purchase a year permitted ,at the moment they are a bad influence on our children who think they dont need to work at school because footballers earn a fortune for just kicking a ball around.Get rid of all the leaches who have been sucking the life out of the clubs and get back to the good years of the 1960s and pay the footballers a living wage and only then can we start instilling some affordable pride in the local clubs again, they are doomed if they carry on the way they are.

  • Comment number 57.

    Ideally clubs should be owned by their supporters.

    If some kind of control was exerted on clubs to stay solvent without billionaire cash we might just get an England football team back!

  • Comment number 58.

    The problem nowadays is that football is big business. The Premier League formed in 1992 wants to lord it over everyone connected with Association Football in this country even trying to usurp the Football Association.

    The consequences of this is that we have foreign owners and a myriad of foreign players all chasing the 'big money'. As a result owners have no affinity to the area or the city their Club is in which can have a detrimental on the die-hard fans who have supported their home-town team since they were kids.

    Too often we see Clubs change hands, it not working out, millions of pounds being spent and in some cases leaving the Clubs in a worse state than before they arrived. In other cases Clubs are left on the brink of financial ruin and possible oblivion. Can this be good for the game. I ask?

  • Comment number 59.

    Might be a good idea letting the Chinese have Liverpool, they certainly know how to get rid of non performers. The incentive might improve the team , and as somebody else said , the half time snacks might improve.

  • Comment number 60.

    Sometime around the 80s, football slowly ceased to be about the sport and representing your city or, country and instead, became about making money. It's all a complete farce now and everyone who continues to support football is just putting money into other peoples pockets, under the illusion that they're supporting 'their' club. It sickens me that there is the money available to make millionaires from people who kick around a football, not to mention the hierarchy of individuals that surround it while, people still die from poverty - of course, that doesn't just apply to football.

  • Comment number 61.

    China in
    Yanks out

    Come on Liverpool, bring back the good ol' days!

  • Comment number 62.

    1:
    We live in a supposedly capitalised society, so taking a strict capitalised viewpoint, it shouldn't make a difference. People pay their money and takes their choice.

    Unfortunately, most fans of the club, and most supporters of the game, want a ''good owner'' rather than a ''bad owner''.

    Seems to depend on how much invested interest(money,time,support,e.t.c) one has...

    Thing is, if you don't like football, do you have an interest in other sports,things,etc.

    So 1. again...

    [Personally, I think football is a reasonable reflection of 'society'. Which is why I am not too bothered when the politicians to use the game as an analogy for events. Even though they often use poor examples.

    The foolocracy remains...
    Wink.]

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    Clearly the rules are not strict enough otherwise all the people who have recently owned Portsmouth, for example, wouldn't have passed them.
    Maybe there should be something in place that requires a little more than saying you've got a lot of money. Or saying you've got a lot of money that turns out to be someone else's money, or borrowed money that maybe the putative "owner" doesn't have much long term access to.
    Its not as if we can only blame the foreigners either. I remember that some years ago there was a cheeky chappie who got some way towards taking over Man. Utd before anyone thought to ask whether he had more than the bus fare to Old Trafford. And the guy who owns Newcastle hasn't covered himself with---well he hasn't covered himself with anything nice anyway.
    I guess it would be possible to put together a set of criteria that people would have to satisfy to be eligible to own more than a nominal proportion of a club. Which might include factors like solvency, a commitment not to try to buy the club with its own money. an ability to pay off current debt; the track record of running a business successfully, a cogent story on love of the game, supporting and so on, and ideally that you haven't served jail time or been convicted of fraud anytime recently. I'd want to include that there should be no political baggage ( since I don't want the Chinese to be able to respond to an economic rebuff by Big Dave by pulling the rug on Liverpool or Arabs responding to a poor run of results at City by jamming the price of oil up.)
    Problem is though that if the criteria were even remotely sensible then you just wouldn't get any candidates. You kind of have to be an idiot, or have an ulterior motive, to want to run a football club. I mean the people who now run the clubs were believed by the people they succeeded weren't they?
    And its not like the ownership is the beginning and end of the story is it? The players don't like paying tax leading to complex and dubious pay arrangements. You've got these agents hanging around like parasites, ostensibly because the players are not financially aware enough to negotiate their salaries with the likes of Harry Redknapp, but who in practice will earn more if their players are unhappy. And it goes on- there's a lot wrong with football other than the ownership of clubs, and a lot of things that even good-as-gold owners would struggle to sort out.

    Be fun to watch someone try though!

    It would be nice to think that clubs had to be owned by their supporters, that no-one could own more than 10%, that debt was not allowed and any trading losses had to be made good by the shareholders in the year they occurred. I'm not holding my breath though.

  • Comment number 66.

    Of course I would prefer it if British Football clubs were British owned and managed - these days when there are far too few British players we are fast in danger of losing the identity of the National game.

    How can we expect to feel a close connection to a team consisting of mainly foreign players, managed by a man from overseas and which is owned by a super rich glory seeking foreigner? I am old enough to remember when the opposite was true. Team loyalty was much higher and supporters felt much closer to their chosen club.

    Oh for the good old days when shorts were short and vezuvala's hadn't been invented.

  • Comment number 67.

    1. At 12:40pm on 05 Aug 2010, Tio Terry wrote:
    It wouldnt bother me if football ceased to exist tomorrow, let alone who owns which club. I have no interest in it. If it's your sport thats fine, no problem, but it's not for me.
    -------

    Thanks for your contribution. I look forward to commenting on something in the future which I have absolutely no reason to comment on.

    As a Liverpool fan I can't say I like the human rights implications but then again the company I work for have a client recently found guilty of toxic dumping and I don't see our employees leaving in righteous droves, nor do I see our other clients questioning our ethics.

  • Comment number 68.

    Of course it matters.

    To those who have no love of the beautiful game (step forward Messrs. Hicks, Gillett, assorted Glazers etc.) the club is simply an investment to be bought and sold for a profit. These people have no concept of what a club means to British football fans, of the passion and loyalty involved. In the States sports teams have been moved from coast to coast at the whim of the owner (will we ever see Manchester Utd. relocated to London to tap into its majority fan base ?)

    The fans, who, let us not forget, provide the clubs' income whether via attendance, SKY subscription or other, want loyalty and commitment from directors, managers and players. There is precious little these days from any of these groups.

    Ultimately, it's not about who has the thickest wallet because that person will always regard the club as an investment or a plaything. A real hero of English football is someone who has followed the club for years before buying it, who buys it to protect the interests of the club and its fans and to whom the club will never be simply a commodity. Such men should be lionised. There are a number of examples but perhaps foremost is Bill Kenwright at Everton; more of his ilk would be good for English football.

  • Comment number 69.

    Who cares?

    This is no longer a sport it's a circus activity. It seems to be only about money, and has infected non-league as well. Hardly sets a standard for manly sportsmanlike behaviour. Yes, I do know girls play- seems appropriate.

    Something seemed to go wrong with football about 30 years ago.

  • Comment number 70.

    Very difficult to think of anything in the UK that is not for sale.Most of our better industries were sold long ago.
    Would be no surprise if we see John Lewis Partnership and our BBC changing hands.
    It is called the Free Market.You can buy anything if you have the money.
    And Politicians afraid to intervene.
    Wonder how much Rupert Murdoch would pay for outright control of the BBC?
    Wonder how many current UK Politicians think this would be a fantastic idea?
    Could well be the answer to solving our deficit.Unthinkable?
    Think about it.Our Politicians have a great track record of selling off National Assets to the highest bidder.
    There is really not much left to sell.
    But they are always prepared to listen to offers.

  • Comment number 71.

    If there's a topic here on a subject that I have no interest in or knowledgeof then I don't bother to comment. But that's just me.

    But to return to this one? It matters. But with football chasing results and all the money flying around in it is it possible to get a balance between big money and people who love the club? I don't think so anymore. The game is going to run into big problems somewhen down the line.

    By the way, crystal palace made staff redundant when they went into administration. Try telling them it's only a game.

  • Comment number 72.

    Clubs used to be owned by local businessmen.
    Then the money men moved in.
    After that came the Americans using clubs as loss drains.

    Why not have clubs owned by supporters?

    If each supportern owned a few shares, the chances of a takeover is lessened.

  • Comment number 73.

    Does it matter who owns one of more of our football clubs?
    Does it matter who owns one or more of our banks?
    Does it matter who owns one or more of our household food manufacturing companies?
    Does it matter who owns our entire (past) car manufacturing companies?
    Does it matter who owns one or more of our other world-renowned companies?
    Does it matter who buys our innovations.
    Does it?
    Damn right it does!

  • Comment number 74.

    What a plain daft question. It depends who you are, doesn't it? Some fans might be a bit coy at away games though, if their club was owned by the makers of KY Jelly, Ex-Lax, or Preparation H, say.




  • Comment number 75.

    England's performance in the World Cup shows that if they, the English, want to win anything they need to concentrate on home grown talent.
    -----------
    France,Italy ,Brazil, Portugal,Argentina amongst others underperformed as well. You can't blame it all on the EPL!

    Personally paying the players according to the amount of revenue actually received a fundamental of any sound business,seems to be beyond most club owners.

  • Comment number 76.

    Tio Terry wrote: It wouldnt bother me if football ceased to exist tomorrow, let alone who owns which club. I have no interest in it. If it's your sport thats fine, no problem, but it's not for me.


    So you felt you'd let us all know that you're really not interested in the topic, in any way. Thanks for that.

  • Comment number 77.

    We should try and get the North Koreans interested in our clubs. It may seem a strange idea, but just think, it might spur your favourite team on to perform a bit better if the players/manager thought that a bad run would end up getting them sent to work on a building site!

  • Comment number 78.

    If anyone thinks owners of clubs in the Premier League are interested in football then there goes another flying pig ; loads of money !! the true owners are in the lower leagues where proper football is played ; whos next to buy a club I know lets defrost Walt Disney and get the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse running Liverpool may see a decent game.

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm happy as long as whoever owns the club pays tax, and and local suppliers, and the St Johns Ambulance...

  • Comment number 80.

    Yes, it does matter. The owners need to make sure they employ the right people so that the club makes a huge profit, everyone gets paid and the fans are kept happy. They need to keep the club flying above the water too, better still the clouds. A lot of people depend on football for their welfare, livelihoods and happiness. How many men have you seen looking totally distraught because their team loses every week. How many get violent and take it out on people, animals and worse, property, not their own, but others' private property? The sellers have one too to sell it to competent owners. Let's see some responsibility.

  • Comment number 81.

    If you regard football as a business, then no it doesn't matter at all so long as whoever owns it runs it effectively.

    If you take the idea of a football CLUB as being an association of people who have joined together to play and watch the game they love, then it matters a lot who owns that club. Ideally, they should!

  • Comment number 82.

    76. At 6:16pm on 05 Aug 2010, luskentyre wrote:
    Tio Terry wrote: It wouldnt bother me if football ceased to exist tomorrow, let alone who owns which club. I have no interest in it. If it's your sport thats fine, no problem, but it's not for me.


    So you felt you'd let us all know that you're really not interested in the topic, in any way. Thanks for that.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    My pleasure.

    Might I suggest you take a look at contributions 34 and 35?

  • Comment number 83.

    55. At 4:44pm on 05 Aug 2010, Rob wrote:

    Depends on where you want to see the profits going to.

    If you like the money going abroad, sure, sell it to foreign buyers.
    If you want communism to profit and prosper, sell it to the Chinese.


    The Chinese Government forgot all about communism a long time ago - they just kept the dictatorship and oppression part.

  • Comment number 84.

    Tio Terry wrote: It wouldnt bother me if football ceased to exist tomorrow, let alone who owns which club. I have no interest in it. If it's your sport thats fine, no problem, but it's not for me.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Luskentyre wrote: So you felt you'd let us all know that you're really not interested in the topic, in any way. Thanks for that.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tio Terry wrote: My pleasure. Might I suggest you take a look at contributions 34 and 35?


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So, not only are you totally uninterested in the topic (but feel compelled to tell everyone), you also feel the need to check back. It hasn't changed - it's still the same question!

    Believe it or not, there are other ways to relieve boredom.

  • Comment number 85.

    Only if you're interested in football, and then it means a lot. If you want a football club as a kind of talisman for your town, forget it.

  • Comment number 86.

    Successive UK governments have been whoring the assets of this country to every other foreign country, so why should it stop at the water, electricity, rail network, nuclear power, uk roads and bridges. What next, the government themselves? Oops sorry, they whored themselves to the EU many many years ago for a fistful of sheckles and a promise of a lucrative career after leaving office.

    Believe me a football team to China is nothing.

  • Comment number 87.

    No I could not care less,for me the Premier League is money,money,money.It does not care about real fans.Some footballers could & do not sign autographs "cant be bothered with the little people,just keep spending your hard earned cash on the trash we sell in the club shop,so I can buy the fastest,latest car".
    As for Mr Scudmore,I do not care about the England team .
    Well ive got news for you many people like me have cancelled Sky.Yes the dish did bounce in local metal skip,could not give it away.
    Many fans care about the England team,& the players let us down badly.
    So the premier league can go on its downward spirrel & good riddance to it.....

  • Comment number 88.

    Does it matter.. NO!

  • Comment number 89.

    Who cares? All big clubs run on false economies and debt. I hope it all crashes down upon them one day.

  • Comment number 90.

    When our basic necessities for survival, water and heating, are owned by foreigners (thank you Maggie), who cares?

  • Comment number 91.

    Ever since they stopped free-to-air telecasts, I've never paid a single cent to watch a football match. Now I follow the sports broadcasts on radio, if any, or read the morning papers.

    It is us, the football fans that has allowed this to happen.

    Unlike the Grand Prix that takes millions to stage, football requires only a pitch, a ball, a referee and 22 players. Players salaries should be capped to what clubs have already earned the previous financial year, through advertisements, sales of tickets and merchandising. It should not be based on future earnings. Agent's fees should also be stopped.
    But this is a pipe dream. A big chunk of the UK GDP is made from financial services. Any time a deal is made, any time there's a transfer of money, if gives the GDP a little boost.

    Call me a cheapskate. But I like the good old days where you pay to support a club. Now, you pay to support a system. A system that says "you'll get a share of this big pool of money if you qualify for Europe. You'll get a share of a smaller pool of money if you qualify for the Premier league", and so on.


  • Comment number 92.

    Soccer is undoubtedly seen like a big business.Important multinational corporations have invested huge amount of money in soccer clubs.It just doesn't matter who owns a football club,what really matters now is whether the football club will be profitable or not.

  • Comment number 93.

    As for the owner I don't care less as long as they bring money in.

    When the players are also foreign and even the manager then we have problems, we have little choice of a home grown country team and will always fail at European and World matches, we have limited choice of good international players. Do I need evidence, you all watched the world cup, what a bunch of muppets, we may as well played a pub Sunday league team.

  • Comment number 94.

    As long as the owner is happy to run the club well, and has enough money to run the club, I don't see it really matters who the owner is.

  • Comment number 95.

    Premier League is the worst league in the world judging by England's performance on the 2010 World Cup

  • Comment number 96.

    No. It doesn't matter because football is now nearly dead as a worthwhile spectacle. Killed by money, vanity, greed and cycnical manipulation by Murdoch via his grasping Sky empire.

    Look at the behaviour of the players and managers. There are now no moral, ethical or sporting values under-pinning conduct on the pitch, which is normally disgraceful. If I had a young son I wouldn't want him to witness the weekly foul mouthed tirades directed at match officials up and down the country. The FA is spineless and unable even to regulate its own house, let alone the national game.

    How can a true supporter take any joy from purchased trophies, which effectively is what Chelsea did last season, aided By Abramovich's billions? The game has been on a steady slide since TV money started to dictate everything (viz kick off times). We already know, a week before kick off, that only four teams have any real chance of winning the Premiership in 2010/11, yet again. Call that interesting?

    I feel very sorry for the dedicated life long supporters. They have been treated with contempt by owners, who regard then as cash cows and just jack up prices at every opportunity, exploiting young kids by selling absurdly priced kit, often unaffordable for parents, and which of course has to change at least once per season.

    We then get to the stage where the overpaid Premiership prima donnas, can't even be bothered to play a decent game for their country at the World Cup, presumably because they would rather be on the beach spending some of their £200k per week wages. Football has consumed itself and deserves all it gets. Chinese and Russian fat cats are welcome to it as far as I'm concerned; after all, they've got the money to lose.

  • Comment number 97.

    No - it's only a bit of fun so who owns the club is really unimporetant. Soccer is just a game.

  • Comment number 98.

    "FOOTBALL IS BIG BUSINESS" only people with very deep pockets, can now own a top football club like "LIVERPOOL", The others are just hobby clubs' today hand to mouth jobs, for the fans and players but they play with fairness passion and sportmanship {sometimes} long may all the football clubs last.

  • Comment number 99.

    Football clubs are no longer sports clubs, haven't been for years. They are merely businesses and therefore ownership is immaterial. It would, however be nice to have one or two wholly British-owned companies

  • Comment number 100.

    I actually feel sorry for the fans in a way.
    I mean they are deluded aren't they?
    They care for a team, indeed often slavishly follow it's every move, buy every new piece of kit, purchase season tickets, buy the programme at the match and fall for every other marketing trick going.
    And in so doing they think that they are showing a loyalty which they can reasonably suggest to be reciprocated.
    Football is a business, pure and simple, a money-making scam to part simple minded people from their money.

    So, it matters not a jot who owns a football club;

    It's a business, more like a scam actually.
    The management just want you to keep spending.
    The players don't care about you at all.
    The TV companies just want you to pay subscriptions.

    If you don't like the situation, then don't watch or pay.
    If you insist upon watching and paying, then expect to be ripped off by the whole organisation and quite frankly, that's no worse than you deserve for being so stupid.

 

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