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Bolton - Football Finances

 13th January 2010

The move of Michael Coyle from Burnley to Bolton raised some questions about the relative finances of the two clubs. The general feeling being that Bolton were a "bigger" club than Burnley and more likely to be able to give Coyle the long term support he deserved.

This site tries to show the finances of Bolton in an easy to understand, plain English, style. The numbers presented are taken from the accounts of either Bolton Wanderers or Burnden Leisure, who are the parent company of the football club.

The first thing that springs to mind at looking at the accounts is the similarity in what has happened over the last few years with what has happened to Portsmouth. Except Portsmouth bought themselves an FA Cup win.

The wages have leapt up, the borrowings have increased, mainly to finance the purchase of expensive players, the directors are paying themselves more, and the club is losing money hand over fist.

The football club owes 110m to various sources, mainly to the ultimate owner in Mr David. Other clubs though were owed 16m for transfer fees as of July 2009.

The following pages split the accounts into various sections to try and show various issues. One particular area of concern has to be the club income. Currently only 10% of the club's income comes from "bums on seats", this is frightening low. At the other end of the scale Sky contribute are responsible for 72% of the money coming in. This is okay if the club are playing in the Premier League, however if relegation came along it would be disastrous.

The wage bill for the club has been too high for the last three seasons, and shows no sign of being managed carefully. Again if relegation did happen there would have to be a fire-sale of players to reduce the wage bill, otherwise the remaining players may well be getting paid as regularly as the Portsmouth ones.

That Mr David is so key to the survival of the club is major concern. The club is so in debt that there is no where else for it to go to borrow money apart from Mr David and he is currently charging the club 10% interest on the money he lends it.

It all sounds bad, but it isn't bad news for everyone connected with the club. Messrs Duckworth and Gartside have between them taken out 4.6m in pay from the club over the last 9 years. Whether they are worth that amount of money is up to you to judge !

This site is aimed at giving a bit more insight into the club accounts. Hopefully it presents to you the financial results in words that we can all understand. All the numbers quoted about the club have come from the club's own accounts. If a mistake has been made in this, and you spot it, then PLEASE let us know, the aim is to be as honest as can be. If you have more accurate information then please get in touch.

Also if you have any suggestions on what else should or could be looked at please get in touch. The intention of the site is to give as much information as possible without necessarily commenting positively or negatively on what has happened. Occasionally there will be something that really does need comment and there is no apology for this !


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