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Duration: 1 hour

Lord Sugar, one of the country's leading entrepreneurs and a football fan, investigates the business side of the beautiful game. Despite generating billions in TV and other income, the professional English game is struggling to make ends meet. Most Premier League clubs are in the red, and debt stands at 3.3 billion pounds.

Lord Sugar interviews bosses, owners, agents and players and asks what has gone wrong, who is to blame and what can be done. In typically forthright fashion, he delivers his verdict and his own business blueprint designed to help the game he has followed since childhood.

Last on

Tue 10 May 2011 23:20 BBC Two

Music Played

31 items
  • Whelan is in no doubt about the biggest problem facing football

    “The big problem is wages, pay. We’re paying too much in wages. I think that is for every single club in the premier league, every single club. I think there’s only Arsenal really who are making a profit at present, so the rest of us struggle, we fight. If we could control the wages, I think the Premier league would go from strength to strength.”

  • Lord Sugar on The Chairman

    "Having met Dave Whelan, he is a rare breed I have to say, a very rare breed he’s put his money where his mouth is but his deep concern is players salaries and how his club is going survive, how he can compete he doesn’t want to spend the lion’s share of his income on players salaries he wants to do something about it but it seems no-one else is listening."

  • Dave Whelan The Footballer

    As a player, Whelan received a basic wage of twenty pounds a week.

    His career culminated in the 1960 FA Cup final.

    But for the Blackburn Rovers defender, the game ended in disappointment. Whelan suffered a broken leg and Blackburn went on to lose three nil to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

    Retiring as a player, Whelan turned to business, building the retail empire JJB sports and after creating a personal fortune of around sixty million pounds, Whelan’s football fever returned. In 1995, Whelan bought bottom division Wigan Athletic for half a million pounds.

    Over the next ten years, his support provided Wigan with a new stadium - and promotion up through four divisions.

    But achieving top flight football has come at a cost. Wigan’s debts, largely underwritten by Whelan, are the tenth highest in the Premier League-around one hundred million pounds.


Lord Sugar
Executive Producer
Michael Tuft


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