£60 Million Plus?
We let him loose below
Yeah, I know, I'm supposed to be writing an opera about *oyley.
But every time I get started, this irritating tune gets in my head. From 70s poppers Middle of the Road, it's called 'Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep', with it's oft-repeated line 'where's your mama gone'.
Only when I hear it now, it's 'where's the money gone'. And when I hear it, it's about Burnley Football Club's thus far sole season on the gravy train of the Premier League... when we were going to make so much money life would never be the same again. Right?
Well, maybe. But there's been more than a few comments on this site that we should be flashing it about a bit more than we are doing, on new players and higher salaries. And since we're not, the folk who post those comments sometimes ask 'where's the money gone?'
I'm going to get to that. I'm even going to write a piece about whether or not we went down stronger. And one on the amazing story of Brendan Flood's financial involvement with our club.
But today, I'm just going to try to work out how much money there was.
And while I am doing that, as in the rest of this mini-series of Views from the Couch, there are two things you have to keep in mind. First that I have not got all the facts. Second, that if you join in debate in the thread that follows, and share your insights and knowledge, then it's possible we'll all make each other a little bit wiser. Okay? Here we go...
In the Introduction to his typically readable latest book - Entertainment, Heroes and Villains - Dave Thomas writes about the May 2009 Wembley win engineered by *oyley that 'he brought a £60million payday at a time the club could barely pay its bills and only more directors' loans kept the ship afloat in the weeks leading up to Wembley. Another £48million was assured from parachute payments after that.'
Dave Thomas knows what he talking about, so these figues must be right. Right? I have the highest admiration for Dave, and all his books. But I think it's possible he's got it wrong here. And here's why...
1. I had always understood that the £60 million was only ever a made-up number, cobbled together by some newspaper or other, and possibly by one that doesn't even exist any more. I don't know. But I do know that it wasn't a fixed sum that all Wembley winners were guaranteed.
2. I had always understood that it included every piece of extra income you would get from one season in the PL: extra gate money, TV money, prize money... and the parachute payments if you were relegated at the first time of asking.
3. When Swansea won at Wembley in May 2011, this headline number had been increased to £90 million. Now why should that be? My thoughts are that it was partly because the SKY money has gone up (Is Rupert Murdoch so bad if he gives us all this money?), and partly because the parachute payments were increased at the last PL meeting that Bfc attended.
4. If I am right about that, the £60million we 'won' definitely did include the parachute payments. They were not, after all, on top of the £60million.
5. But we'd have got more than £60million because the parachute payments had gone up, right? I wish I could be so sure. But every time I have read news reports of the meeting when the payments were put up, the wording has been ambiguous as to whether they were going up for clubs relegated that season (us), or starting with those relegated the next season (not us).
6. Regardless, there are a few other things to remember. Like the fact that you don't get all the parachute money straight away. It's spread over 3 years. Or maybe 4. And the extra money that you get from extra b*ms on seats won't be as much if you've only got room for an extra 6,000, as opposed to having room for an extra 10,000. Which could go against us as we tot up our winnings.
7. Anyway, here's what I reckon is the clincher. If you're of a nervous disposition, you might want to sit down... and dig out your copy of When the Ball Moves Issue 86 (What? You didn't buy one? Shame on you.) and read the article on pages 50 and 51 by Steve Kelly. As Steve puts it about himself 'my business involves running a management consultancy that gives financial advice to the NHS, so while I now *ugger all about football, I do know about money'.
8. And what Steve says in his neatly set out extracts from the accounts of Burnley Football Club, for the 2009/10 year, is that the club's income that PL year was £46 million, and the income in the year we got promoted was £11million.
And that, dear reader, means that the extra income we got in our PL year was £35million, not £60million; and that therefore Dave Thomas's Introduction in his book Entertainment, Heroes and Villains is wrong on this point.
Sorry Dave, but I have plugged your book twice, and I am getting a lot out of reading it, and I recommend that everyone else reads it too.
So. What does anyone think about this article? And what can you share to help us all be a little bit wiser about what money came in... before we turn our attention in a future article about where it's gone?