A Premiership Rake’s Progress
Not To Mention Those Clubs Lower in The Pecking Order
Liverpool St.Helens/.....Readers of the sports pages of the Times newspaper will have possibly been somewhat surprised by the revelations that at least a third of the Aviva Premiership clubs are up for sale or seeking investment to compensate for ever escalating losses.
Wages account for more than 65% of a club's turnover, a factor which contributed to the Premiership clubs losing a combined total of around £30 million last year. Many of the clubs have plans to raise funds in ways other than via fans through the turnstiles -
The financial problems, albeit on a much smaller scale but just as relevant to the clubs involved, are highlighted in the lower leagues of the sport where a number of clubs are paying their players, often perhaps just five or six of the better performers, a sum of money handed out by a generous donor. And when the donor calls time on the loosening of the purse strings the club often goes hurtling down the minor leagues to obscurity. Look around you and you will soon note the sudden rise in standards at a particular club as it races through one or two leagues and then comes racing down again when the source of the money dries up.
We at Liverpool St.Helens FC endured such a procedure and only now have come to terms with the priorities of an amateur rugby union club -
When I hear of the size of some of the players' seasonal salaries -
Any sport must have its elite players and clubs to promote itself to the general public, and money must be raised and sought to maintain such a hierarchy. But at lesser levels there should be no reason for any club to put itself in financial difficulties on account of the misuse of its income.