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£60 Million Plus?

£60 Million Plus?
'Where's the Money Gone?' some of us are asking but Couch Potato from the Couch would like to know first how much actually came in?

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?

Couch Potato

Date:Friday July 22 2011
Time: 10:16AM

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I think CP, Blackpool were also rumoured to stand to gain £90 million but I think all these figures include the parachute payments. In the case of £90 million that would include £48 million if relegated in parachutes if no promotion in four seasons (£16m season 1&2, £8m in season 3&4). That increased from previous seasons at the time Blackpool went up. That could explain the approximate short-fall,not sure aint got a calculator! If you take out the parachute that suggests you are left with £42 million/season from TV revenues etc but I don't think too that would include increased gates and increased merchandising but again not totally sure.
22/07/2011 10:23:00
I think also the bottom line is whatever the figure, a promotion to the Prem is supposed to give you financial security for a time especially if you stay up. I am told that if it wasn't for the parachute payments we would be in dire financial straits so maybe the question we should be asking rather than 'where has the money gone' is more 'why has it gone so wrong' when we did not even go into debt?
22/07/2011 10:27:00
Aww, tmp, my story doesn't even get top billing when it goes up? And in the seond thread you're already trying to change the subject? :-) Get yer WTBM Issues 86 out and read pages 50 and 51! Our total (repeat total) income in the PL year was £46million. One thought that has occurred to me since writing this piece is that that £46million would presumably have been a bit higher but for the refunds of season ticket purchases as a result of Barry Kilby's Premiership Pledge. So when you do find your calculator, you'll need to factor that in, unless it was recorded as both a income and cost. Anyone know? And by the way, did you mean to say 'Couch Potato from the Couch' in your intro? Thanks for letting me loose. Back to the studio...
Couch Potato
22/07/2011 10:49:00
Sorry,you got top billing now! (forgot to change my sticky thing-don't even go there!!). One thing that puzzles me is where and when the Directors took their loans back. Is that out of the £46 million or whatever? You are right about the Chairman's Pledge, think that was a loss of about £3 million was it not, co-incidenatlly the same amount it would cost to buy the Turf back?
22/07/2011 10:58:00
Couch literary genius at its best ! I know when I watched the Cardiff v Blackpool game it was billed as a £90M winner takes all game so on this point I concur with TFM. You are absolutely right though this figure has to be key be for we start to have a discussion on who spent what and why. Can anyone out there help us with this figure? I will see what the PL says about this I am not actually sure what the clubs accounting period is but I will have a look at last years accounts and see when this years are due to be posted this should give us a better idea Any more factual help would be very much appreciated, I can assume Blackpool fans will start to ask the same question perhaps they may have an handle on what they received and when
22/07/2011 11:05:00
Hollins - are you casting doubt on Steve Kelly's article in WTBM 86, which states categorically, after a review of the accounts for the PL season, as released at the AGM in Dec 2010, that the total income for the PL season was £46million? I welcome the input of further research. But my money is firmly on Steve reporting this entirely accurately after his having read the relevant accounts. I've no idea whether he posts on here, but I have sent word out on the jungle drums that we'd like him to. I will also invite Dave Thomas to comment. In the meantime, I reassert my firm view that both the £60million and £90million figures are just media attention grabbers, not fixed income, and basically irrelevant to informed financial debate. The two bits of data I would like to know (a) are how much the PL Pledge cost the club, both in terms of refunds and in terms of admin cost (b) did we or did we not qualify for the increased parachute payments? I am nowadays leaning to us having got them; but all the wording I have read (PL, BBC) is ambiguous. Can someone Twitter DazB on this? (I don't Twit. Well... I'm not the sort of person who likes to be limited to 140 characaters, am I? Bit to each their own.) Thanks for the front page upgrade, tmp. Much appreciated. Be intersting to see how far this debate runs. I'll start work on the next article...
Couch Potato
22/07/2011 11:50:00
Couch - not casting doubt but clearly looking to clarify!. IF the income for the trading period April 09 to March 10 was as you suggest £35M, ( direct P L monies let's exclude the trading activity number of £11M in order that we can identify the Prem Monies only) then two separate parachute drops would need to make up the final£25M to get us to the assumed £60M ( £35m initial drop+£25 split two seasons= £60M) so I guess we need to establish what was the Parachute payment last year and is it correct to suggest our final payment is £16M this year, if this figure is correct that means we would over 3 years have had PL income ABOVE the suggested £60M, because some would suggest there is a weighting issue and we would have received a larger parachute last year than the £16M for this our final year, also it would be improbable that it would reach £90M but probable than we would exceed the original £60M do you agree Couch? ...
22/07/2011 12:26:00
Good article CP and I look forward to reading more of them. I would also be fairly confident that Steves figure is correct - As you/he point out. Finance is his area. I will see if we can get him involved.
22/07/2011 12:30:00
Also was I on holiday when this happened ? when I look at the companies register it shows John B terminated as a director in March 2011 is this correct ?
22/07/2011 12:38:00
C D ... tell him there's a pie and a pint in it! that's got to work for any clarets fan hasn't it ?
22/07/2011 12:41:00
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