Lower league football clubs attract big money investors

Investors are shying away from Premier League clubs in favour of smaller clubs in lower leagues, research suggests.

In the last year alone, around 40 per cent of the clubs outside of the English Premier League have received formal or informal approaches from potential equity investors.

Around 49 finance directors in the Premier League, English Football League Championship, Football Leagues One and Two, and the Scottish premiership were interviewed as part of an annual survey of football clubs.

Almost three quarters of clubs in League Two had received an approach from potential investors in the past 12 months.

Experts suggested that the potential for future growth in League Two clubs, which the top-flight teams do not necessarily have access to, appeals to investors with more medium to long term strategies.

Other findings include:

  • Premier League clubs will each have around £100 million to £150 million in broadcasting rights per season over the next three years
  • 88 per cent of Premier League clubs expect to make a profit before and after player trading in 2016/17. However, some 92 per cent of Championship clubs do not expect to make a profit after player trading
  • 83% of Championship respondents have a wages to turnover ratio of above 75 per cent
  • No League One club considers that their finances are in need of attention, and 27 per cent of League Two clubs believe they might be

The findings reveal that TV rights, fierce completion within the Championship, and Financial Fair Play (FFP) compliance in league One and League Two have “amplified the divergence between divisions”.

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Jamie Grossman

Jamie Grossman

Partner at Wilson Wright
Telephone+44 (0)20 7832 0444