Registered On: December 26, 2013
There are lots of billionaires in the EFL, why bail them out?
In 2018, Peter Lim was described by Forbes as a billionaire. He owns 40 per cent of Salford City. Peter Swann, who owns Scunthorpe, has estimated wealth in the region of £400m. Michael Eisner at Portsmouth is another billionaire, while Marcus Evans of Ipswich is not far short.
And these are just a sprinkling of the owners outside the Championship. Not representative of all, but not wholly unrepresentative either.
As for inside the Championship, the new consortium that owns Barnsley has a collective wealth of approximately £7bn, while the Coates family own Stoke, and Bet365, where chief executive Denise Coates has paid herself £588m over the last two years. Stephen Lansdown, owner of Bristol City, is another in the billionaire bracket, as is Lakshmi Mittal at Queens Park Rangers.
Operating at more than 10 times the estimated worth of Mike Garlick at Burnley would be the owners of Birmingham, Cardiff, Derby, Nottingham Forest and Preston — and maybe Huddersfield, too. So it is not as simple as pointing to a pyramid, and saying Garlick’s club has to cut costs, to help out Lim at Salford.
The Premier League has a pyramid, too, and those at the base of it, over by the corners, are much closer to the Championship clubs than those at the apex. They fear going short and empowering hungry rivals who will take their place. They resent the pressure being applied from below over curtailed seasons and relegation.
Why should they help richer owners who would swap places in a heartbeat? Brentford collected £27.7m from Aston Villa for Ollie Watkins last month. Do they need a bail-out? Norwich, boosted by parachute payments, fought off Barcelona to keep Max Aarons. They can’t be needing further Premier League largesse, surely?
And, no it isn’t the best look, spending £1bn on transfers as the Premier League have done, while clubs below fight for survival. But the BBC can’t survive by getting rid of all the actors to save administrative staff. Cut to a framing shot of Albert Square, empty, and then the titles roll.
The playing part of the business, those huge expenses, have to be maintained and standards must be kept. Chelsea and Manchester City are still striving to catch Liverpool, Leeds and Fulham want to remain in the division, Brighton and Newcastle fear another flirtation with relegation.
In fact, while recognising the moral imperative, it is easy to see why the Premier League clubs look after number one: so they don’t end up back in the Championship, needing a bail-out.