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For richer or for poorer- Are the vast

finances of English football detrimental to


the game as a competition and are clubs
using their wealth in an ethical way?
An investigation into the effect of the financial wealth of football clubs in the
English game. This report will question how far the use of wealth by clubs is
fair and ethical and what effect this is having on the competitive element of
football, with a focus on the clubs of the English Premiership.



October 2011-March 2012
Sam Barnes- 8408




For richer or for poorer- Are the vast finances of Englishfootball detrimental to the
game as a competition and are clubs using their wealth in an ethical way?

An investigation into the effect of the financial wealth of football clubs in the English
game. This report will question how far the use of wealth by clubs is fair and ethical
and what effect this is having on the competitive element of football, with a focus on
the clubs of the English Premiership.

Introduction

Arguably, in England, football is unique. It is unique in the way that it dominates the sporting world, the
way it affects the lives of so many people and in the level of media coverage it receives. In the opinion of
many, football is glamorous and as the popular phrase goes, football is the beautiful game. For some of the
sports followers, the amounts of money involved in football are a reflection of the sports popularity and
importance. They suggest that there must be a good reason why the richest 20 football clubs in the world
have combined revenue of 3.9 billion
1
. However, not everyone agrees with this interpretation. To others,
the finances of football are crippling the game by destroying its competitive element and making the top
levels of the sport into the plaything of the rich; a game where success can be bought for the correct price.
Indeed, in a random opportunistic survey of 30 people, 20 agreed that the Premiership is becoming repetitive
with the same teams having the most success year after year. Whether this is as a direct result of the
Premierships finances remains to be seen, but it appears that the public believe that there is an issue. As
Campbell wrote in Dead Cert:

The widening wealth gap in the premiership is reducing Englands top league into an
increasingly unequal and uncompetitive struggle between small, rich elite clubs and others.
2

- Campbell, the Guardian, 2004.

To any fan of the sport, this is very worrying. In the opinion of most, the idea of football being reduced to a
financial competition is against the nature of sport. In addition, the same people argue that the wage bills
paid out by the largest clubs are morally wrong. They argue that the wages that are paid are unethical,
excessively large and that money could be put too much better use, possibly by distributing it amongst
football clubs in the local community.

The ethical framework that this report will use has two key approaches. These are the ones that best suit the
issue at hand, and are most applicable to this report. The first is the Utilitarian approach to ethics of J.
Bentham, who promoted the idea that an action should bring the greatest happiness possible to the greatest
number of people. The second is J.S Mills version of Utilitarianism, in which an ethical action is one that
protects the common good; this may link into the role of clubs in the community. Mill also maintains that
the quality of happiness is important- bringing intense happiness to few is better than bringing mild
happiness to many. The opinion of the public is that the finances of the game currently satisfy a small elite
number. Those who maintain this viewpoint claim that clubs are not doing enough to help the general
community, or the lower levels of football. According to the public, it therefore follows that Premiership
clubs are using their money in an unethical way.

This report will focus partly on the ethics of footballs finances and will investigate the problems outlined
above by answering the following question: How far is the use of money by Premiership clubs fair and
ethical? This will link into the other section of the report which will focus on the effect of football finances
on the competitive element of the sport, by investigating the question: Are the finances of football causing
results in the English Premiership to be more and more predictable, and if so, to what degree?

1
(Deloitte, 2009)
2
(Campbell, 2004)


1 The origin of todays football finances and the development of financial imbalance

To understand why the money in football may be an issue, an understanding of the origin of todays wealth
is necessary. In the early 1880s football became more popular and the income from entrance fees assisted
many football clubs in their attempts to be self-sufficient.
3
This newfound revenue culminated in a meeting
of the Football Association in 1885, which led to the approval of wage payment to players. In effect, football
had become professional sport.
4
Nevertheless, the Football Association (The FA) became displeased when
they discovered that some clubs were making a profit from this. Therefore, in 1912 the FA implemented a
rule that banned the payment of directors and limited the value of shares
5
. The idea behind this was to
maintain a fair balance between clubs by limiting the ability of the wealthier clubs to buy in the best players.
This is in stark contrast to the free market situation we have in place today.

The professional game continued to grow in popularity up until the First World War when the conscription
of players, managers, and ground staff stunted its expansion. After the war, the popularity of football
continued to increase, which led to a further rise in attendances.
6
Club directors took this opportunity to
increase ticket prices.
7
With larger industrialised cities such as Manchester and Liverpool having more
football supporters than ever before, a small financial divide began to appear between the clubs in these
large cities and clubs in other parts of the country.

Later in the century, televised football became more common and as the amount of football being shown on
television increased, members of the public became more interested in football and started to attend matches
themselves.
8
These people became regular spectators, and the increased attendances caused the financial
turnover of these clubs to increase.
9
As a result, the financial gap increased between the larger clubs shown
on the television, and the smaller clubs who were not.
10
However, at this time, there was no link between a
clubs finances and the success of the club.
11


Removal of the maximum wage

In 1957, a professional footballer by the
name of Jimmy Hill had begun a
campaign for the 20 maximum wage
limit to be removed.
12
At the time, 20
was near the average for a British
worker, but Hill believed that he and the
professionals deserved more. In 1961,
the FA finally succumbed to his
campaign and the maximum wage limit
was removed. Soon after, the salaries of
Hills fellow footballers increased
fivefold, but ironically, Hill himself did
not benefit as injury forced his early
retirement soon after the removal of the
maximum wage.
13


3
(Platts & Smith, 2010)
4
Ibid
5
Ibid
6
Ibid
7
Ibid
8
(King, 2002)
9
(Platts & Smith, 2010)
10
Ibid
11
Ibid
12
(White, 2004)
13
(White, 2004)
1961
Fig. 1- The average salary of a top-flight footballer since 1961.


As figure one
14
shows, the average salary of a top-flight footballer in England has increased dramatically
over the last 5 decades. The bottom left of the graph represents 1961 and the removal of the maximum wage.
The graph continues through to 2010 by which time the average weekly wage has increased to nearly
36,000. This is a dramatic increase and many think that this has had a detrimental effect on the sport.

Sky Sports and televised football

Although this report does not deal with the direct effect of televised football, an understanding of the money
involved is vital as it allows the origin of the majority of the sports wealth to be seen. Indeed, most
premiership clubs make the majority of their turnover from broadcasting and media.
15


The broadcasting of football has developed over time, with the industry becoming increasingly larger
throughout. After occasional one-off broadcasts of football, the cult BBC highlights show Match of the
Day began in 1964, and it was one of the first programmes showing televised football on a regular basis.
16


In 1983, the sport was regularly broadcast live for the first time. The broadcasters only showed ten games
per season, and this cost the contract holders BBC and ITV a comparatively paltry 2.6 million per year for
the rights to show these games.
17
Three years later, British Satellite Broadcasting (BSkyB) was created in
1986 and this threatened the dominance of the two main terrestrial channels. This led to televised football
entering its second key stage. After high-stake negotiation s between opposing corporations, ITV secured a
four-year contract valued at an increased price of 0.61 million per match.
18
This contract ran for four years
up until 1992, when the amounts of money involved increased dramatically.

BBC and BSkyB eventually struck a deal, in which BSkyB would broadcast live matches via Sky Sports,
and the BBC would show highlights later on in the day. BSkyBs contract was for 60 matches a season,
each with a fee of 0.71 million, meaning that the contract had a total worth 42.8 million.
19
From this point
onwards and up until the present day, BSkyB has owned the vast majority of live premiership football. In
2009, BSkyB paid 1billion for four out of six packages of live premiership football, and with another
package already in their possession Sky Sports had the rights to 115 live games per year from 2010-2013.
Realistically, BSkyB monopolised live premiership football. This multi-million pound deal meant that
premiership clubs were now receiving more revenue from broadcasting than ever before. Sections two and
three will deal with how this money is used, and what impact this is having on the competitive side of
football.

2 Premiership clubs and the community- to what extent are clubs ethical in their use of wealth?

The combined turnover of the Premiership clubs totalled 2.1 billion in the season of 2010-11
20
. Despite this
large sum, many people feel that not enough of this money is reinvested back into the communities that
surround Premiership clubs. As a member of the public said:

To say that these clubs earn millions of pounds a year from match tickets which we the public
buy, why dont they do more for us?
- Comment of survey participant 23, 2012.

This is an opinion that appears to be a popular one among the public. Indeed, in a random, opportunistic
survey of 30 people, 28 believe that clubs should make more of an effort to share their wealth in the wider
community. In fact, the quote from survey participant 23 appears to be representative of the opinion of

14
Figure one is taken from (Intelligence, 2011)
15
(D.Conn, 2011)
16
(English football on television, 2011)
17
(Baimbridge, Cameron, & Dawson, 1996)
18
Ibid
19
Ibid
20
(D.Conn, 2011)


many. That is the idea that Premiership football clubs, with their turnovers reaching millions of pounds
21
, do
not do enough to help their surrounding community. One community football club replicates this view. In
particular, they feel too reliant on sponsorship from local businesses, and suggest that financial help from
Premiership clubs in the form of lump sums would be extremely useful.

However, the views from the public and the views of that community club do not triangulate well with other
sources. Representatives of Premiership clubs, articles in the media, and the Premier Leagues Creating
Chances report seem to suggest that Premiership clubs, and their players, do more for charity and the
community than the work of which the public are aware. An article in Third Sector, an independent website
issues affecting voluntary work, claims that every Premiership club now has a charitable foundation and one
or more charity that they work with. The article praises the work of clubs, and supports the argument that
Premiership clubs do more charitable work than the public recognises. As one corporate representative said:

Every (Premiership) club experiences the same things we do, in that their projects are not
given the coverage that they deserve. But thats not why we do it.
22

Simon Taylor, head of social responsibility at Chelsea, 2010.

In 2008, the Premier League set up the Premier League Professional Footballers Association community
fund. This empowers individual clubs to meet the needs of their local community in key areas such as
community cohesion, education and sport participation.
23
The initiative claims to have organised the
spending of 12.9 million over 3 years, and created 249 jobs along the way. This is impressive, so it is
interesting when contrasted against the results of the survey, in which the vast majority of participants are of
the opinion that football clubs do not do enough in the community.

One example of the work carried out by clubs is that done by Chelsea FC. In July 2010, they launched the
Chelsea Foundation, an independent charity that works in the community to bring sport to youngsters.
Chelsea also contributes to other charities; in 2011, Chelsea FCinvested1.5 million, and their social
responsibility investment was 5.6 million. When it is considered that in the season of 2010/11, Chelsea
had losses of 78 million, this is a substantial investment. There is a strong argument that the work of
Chelsea is very ethical- their work aims to help the common good by bringing communities together, and
because of their work, happiness is brought to those affected. Both of those are qualities of Utilitarian
actions and the use of football as a social tool triangulates with the thoughts of the Minster for Sport, who
said:

Football is the fabric of society, and goes deeper than what happens on the pitch...the
work of clubs brings communities closer together, and changes peoples lives for the
better
24

-Gerry Sutcliffe, Minster for Sport, 2009.

Clubs also do work to help charities that are not as well established. Birmingham City FC is notable in their
work which smaller, local causes. They work with Wasp Hills autism unit whose premises are adjacent to
their training ground.
25
This is a good example of a club working within the community and bringing
happiness to people, which again, is Utilitarian. In addition, more clubs than Birmingham and Chelsea that
work with charities; every single club in the Premiership has at least one programme of their own, aside
from any collaborative initiatives run by the Premier League itself.
26
When compared against the ethical
framework set out in the introduction, the clubs are being utilitarian- their actions are helping the common
good, and in doing so are bringing happiness.

21
(D.Conn, 2011)
22
(Willgoss, 2010)
23
(Premier League, 2008)
24
Ibid
25
Ibid
26
Ibid


However, critics claim that the investment behind these initiatives is insufficient when compared against the
turnovers of the clubs. Indeed, although the 5.6 million
27
spent by Chelsea on its social responsibility
investment may appear to be significant when shown as a proportion of losses, it only amounts to 2.6% of
the annual turnover.
28
Additionally, this investment of 5.6 million is only 3.2% of the wage bill that
Chelsea pays out per year.
29
Because of these figures, the argument triangulates well with both primary and
secondary data, which means that this argument has more weight. Additionally, what appeared to be very
utilitarian before now appears to be less ethical. Chelsea spends thirty one times as much on player wages,
than on helping the majority in the community. Only a minority is helped, so this is not in conjunction with
the philosophy of utilitarianism.

So far Chelsea has been singled out, but this pattern is maintained throughout the clubs of the premiership.
Although over three years the clubs spent 111.6 million on charitable events, this amounts to only 3% of
their combined turnover.
30
In stark contrast to this, in 2010/11 the teams of the Premiership spent on average
75.9% of their turnover on paying their wage bills.
31
In fact, Manchester City and Blackpool both spent
more money paying wages than they turned over that year. This supports the surveys findings, which
suggest that football clubs spend too much on their paying their players and not enough on supporting
charity work. This is far from utilitarian. In focussing on their players, they are helping the elite few as
opposed to the wider community.

Despite this, another part of J.S. Mills theory implies that paying the wages of players is actually ethical.
Once the players have been paid, they then go on to provide entertainment to thousands of fans a week. In
turn, this brings intense happiness to the supporters affected. J.S. Mills theory is that the quality of
happiness is paramount. As many supporters quote feelings of religious euphoria on match days,
32
it
follows that by paying apparently disproportionately large wages, the clubs of the Premiership are actually
ethical in their actions.

Although the financial figures appear to be rather damning of the charity work carried out, some say that the
work is sufficient. They argue that the quality, not the quantity of the community work is important. Again,
this is the ethical theory of J.S. Mill. Although the actual magnitude of the investment may not look too
impressive, the way that the money is used brings desirable results. This brings happiness to the community,
which in turn makes the work of the clubs ethical. Indeed, the focus of the work by Premier League clubs is
on those who need it most. One example of this is the Kickz programme, which is a joint enterprise of all the
clubs, and is the focus of the work by Premiership clubs:

The aim of the Kickz programme is to target some of the most disadvantaged areas
of the country in order to create safer, stronger, more respectful communities through
the development of young peoples potential
33

- Paul Cullen, Safety Co-ordinator, Manchester City Council

This is in accordance with the statistics on the subject. Seventy five per cent of the Kickz programme
focuses on the 30% most deprived communities, with an third of their work affecting the 5% most deprived
youngsters in the country.
34
In addition to providing sport, Kickz also holds Be safe weapon workshops.
According to Creating chances, this has caused a 50% fall in crime at certain Kickz projects. This supports
the view that the quality of the work is there, despite the investments being small in comparison to the wage
bills that are paid out. In addition, it follows that lower crime rates mean a happier community, so the
argument that clubs are using their wealth in a utilitarian way appears to be well supported. However, these

27
(Premier League, 2008)
28
(D.Conn, 2011)
29
Ibid
30
(Willgoss, 2010)
31
(Premier League Club Accounts, 2010)
32
(Baimbridge, Cameron, & Dawson, 1996)
33
(Premier League, 2008)
34
Ibid


statistics should be viewed critically. The Creating chances report was created by the Premier League, so
exaggerated and manipulated statistics are likely.

The above statistics appear, at first glance, to support the work of the Kickz programme in helping the most
deprived communities. However, to provide a balanced argument, the inverse of these statistics need
analysing. Creating chances claims that crime rates have fallen by 50% at some Kickz areas, which leaves
us open to try and interpret what is meant by some. It could well be the case that crime rate has not fallen
at all in many areas.

Despite this ambiguity, the work with Kickz and the other charities previously mentioned shows that clubs
appear to be making an effort to bring communities together. However, while the work of Kickz, Help a
London child and the numerous other charities have been effective in helping those desperately in need, the
work of clubs to help causes in less deprived areas appear to be limited. In the Creating chances report,
there was a definite focus on helping the disadvantaged, but little emphasis is put on supporting established
local football clubs. One such club is Southwell City FC, who despite having 32 teams for age groups
between under 7s and veterans, is still very reliant on sponsorship from local businesses. As one of the
managers said:

We rely far too much on the good nature of local businesses for our sponsorship. If they
decided they could no longer afford it, wed be in serious trouble
-Southwell City FC youth team manager, 2012.

The strong triangulation between this, the thoughts of other grassroots clubs, and the apparent lack of
funding for grassroots clubs in the creating chances report strongly suggests that clubs are focussing the
majority of their money on the disadvantaged. Ethically this is utilitarian, yet clubs in communities that are
not receiving the funding feel that they should be getting help. In addition, if grassroots clubs were to
receive funding, there would be widespread happiness. This would also be very ethical, and therefore the
lack of funding for grassroots clubs is a limitation of the work of Premiership clubs. Indeed, a method
through which grassroots clubs had access to financial backing from Premiership clubs would be ethical.

3 Are the finances of football, particularly wage bills, causing results to become increasingly
predictable?

Sport is a contest between opposing teams or players, a contest where the winner is decided by the skill,
determination and application of the participants. The appeal of football is that anything can happen. In any
match, a more skilful and organised team can be beaten by a less skilful team. This may be down to an
element of luck, an individual piece of brilliant skill or a poor decision by the officials.
35
In a survey, the
unpredictable nature is what the public like most about the sport. This triangulates well with a report by
Baimbridge et al., which found cup upsets and surprising results to be a large factor
36
in the attraction of the
public to football.

However, there is a fear that football is becoming increasingly predictable. With an increasing differential
between the turnovers of clubs, there is a fear that a correlation is appearing between the wage bills and
turnovers of those at the top of the league, and the wage bills and turnovers of those struggling at the bottom.
This had led to a growing trepidation among supporters that the Premier League is becoming more
predictable. They suggest that top quality players, united in one team, then go on to outclass the opposition
and win the league.
37
Effectively, this would make the league unbalanced, and consequently more
predictable. Therefore, because Baimbridge et al. proved that surprise results are a factor in the sports
support; this would suggest that the finances have been detrimental. This is supported by the Independent
European Sport Review, which said:

35
(Baimbridge, Cameron, & Dawson, 1996)
36
Ibid
37
(Campbell, 2004)


Fig. 2- Turnover vs. final league position (2010-11 Season)
There is currently a direct link between the financial budget of a club and its financial
wealth...rich clubs are currently too able to buy success -J.L. Arnaut, 2006.

This section will analyse the results of the 2010/11 season and determine whether the size of the turnovers
and the wage bills of each individual club had any bearing on their success at the end of the season.


The above graph focuses on the English premier league, and appears to show that the fear of many football
fans is becoming a reality. In this graph, the final league position is given a relative value, and the turnover
is given in millions.
38
The net turnover acts as a gauge of how much money is involved in the club as a
whole- this gives the best reflection of the relative wealth of a club. The relative finishing position acts as a
measure of success. By combining the turnovers and the relative finishing position, it could be seen if the
overall financial powers of a club were having an effect on their success, as Jose Luis Arnaut suggests.

The correlation, shown by the black trend line, suggests that the higher the turnover of a club the higher they
finish in the league- they are more successful. Therefore, lower turnovers result in less success. However,
there are the odd anomalies- West Ham United appeared to greatly underachieve, finishing bottom of the
league despite having the tenth highest turnover. In addition, West Bromwich Albion slightly overachieved,
ending the season mid-table regardless of their low turnover. However, the above graph strongly suggests
that there is a link between financial strength and success. Despite this, figure 2only demonstrates a
correlation- other factors may well have a part to play in the success of a team.

The Effect of a Clubs Wage Bill on their Success
39


Another factor that may have an effect on the success of a team is the clubs wage bill. This has risen
dramatically since the removal of the maximum wage limit in 1961, so much so that the current average
wage of a premiership footballer stands at 1,460,000 per year
40
. Allowing for the inflation of 1755%
41

since 1961, the monthly pay of a premiership footballer has increased by an equivalent of 20,000.

38
(Premier League Club Accounts, 2010)
39
Data for figure 2 came from (Premier League Club Accounts, 2010)
40
(Sawyer, 2010)
41
(This is Money, 2012)
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Generally, the more skilful the footballer the more they are paid. To prove this point, a footballer playing in
League 2, the fourth tier of English football earns on average 65,000 per year.
42
In comparison to the salary
of a Premiership football, the gulf between the two wages is massive. The annual salaries of footballers in
the two leagues directly above League 2, the Championship and League 1, are 250,000 and 80,000
respectively.
43
This demonstrates that the higher the standard of football, the more a footballer is paid.

The general opinion of the public is that these high wages, which are reportedly in the most successful clubs,
are detrimental to the competitive element of the sport. The majority believe that clubs with larger wage bills
are more successful. Notably, even those who claimed to have very little knowledge of football seemed
confident in that idea. This argument is repeated in the Independent European Sport Review of 2006, which
states:

There is no doubt that football has been in financial crisis for many years now. This
financial crisis is directly linked to the massive wage inflation of recent years, which
can only be detrimental to the sport
- Jos Luis Arnaut, 2006.
44



This graph
45
was created in the same way as the one comparing turnover with the success of a team, but with
the annual wage bill replacing annual turnover. The black line of best fit demonstrates that a lower wage bill
causes a team to perform at a lower level, and more significantly the higher the wage bill of a club the better
that they perform. Again, there is an anomaly at West Ham United, which suggests that financial power does
not always mean success, and conversely West Bromwich Albion appear to have overachieved in relation to
their wage bill. Despite these anomalies, there is a clear pattern demonstrated in the graph. The significance
of this is that it supports the popular opinion that football is becoming increasingly predictable and less and
less competitive.

42
(Platts & Smith, 2010)
43
Ibid
44
(Arnaut, 2006)
45
Data for figure 3 was taken from (Premier League Club Accounts, 2010)
Fig. 3- Wage bill vs. League position (2010-11)
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Wage bill m
Turnover m
However, some may argue that the graph only provides data on one year of the Premiership, and that in
other years a team with less wealth may have been successful. A look at the results of years gone by
however shows that the above graph is no anomaly- in the 19 years of the premiership the winning team has
always been one of the five richest clubs in the league.
46
Manchester United has won the title 12 times,
Chelsea and Arsenal have both been champions 3 times, and Blackburn Rovers won their solitary title back
in 1995
47
. Blackburn won their title following the introduction of an extremely wealthy new chairman
named Jack Walker in 1991, who pumped millions of pounds into the club which at the time was
languishing low in the Second Division.
48


This data strongly triangulates with the view of the public, the vast majority of who believe that increased
wage bills result in better results. It also replicates the findings of the Independent European Sport review.
Consequently, the results of Figure 3 have a significant amount of weight.

Is there a correlation between wage bills and turnovers?

All the evidence in this section strongly suggests that increased financial power leads to increased success.
However, it could be the case that clubs with large turnovers have comparatively small wage bills and yet be
successful. This would imply that another factor, other than the payment of the best quality players, is the
cause of their success as a club. Therefore, that would suggest that the wage bill of a club is irrelevant-
instead of purchasing and paying high quality players, the money could be used in different ways.
Consequently, this would imply that there is no correlation between financial strength and success.
49





















However, Figure 4 suggests that this is not the case. There is a good correlation between turnover and wage
bill. The only clubs who spent less than 65% of their turnover on wages are Arsenal with 29%, Fulham with
63%, Liverpool with 64%, Manchester United with 46% and Tottenham with 56%.
50
This means that 15 out
of the 20 premiership clubs spent 65% or more of their turnover paying wages. This triangulates strongly
with the findings of Figure 3, which suggested that a high wage bills means increased success. It follows that
clubs will be inclined to spend as much as they can afford on paying wages. This provides an explanation for
the findings of Figure 4.

46
(Platts & Smith, 2010)
47
(P.Edwards, 2012)
48
(BBC, 2000)
49
Data for figure 4 came from (Premier League Club Accounts, 2010)
50
(Premier League Club Accounts, 2010)
Fig. 4- Wage bill vs. Turnover (2010-11)


Conclusion

There is conflicting evidence, but the overall balance suggests that Premiership clubs are far more ethical in
their use of money than the public believe. Despite the lack of public awareness, clubs are doing a
substantial amount of community work. When the lack of secondary sources on the subject is considered, it
follows that a lack of media coverage is the reason for this. Although there is a strong argument that the
amounts of money involved are not large when compared against wage bills, the quality of community work
is high, with good success rates in creating jobs and bringing happiness. Therefore, the work is ethical.

Some may claim that the statistics in the Premier Leagues Creating Chances report may have been
manipulated to make the work look more successful than it actually is. However, after triangulating the data,
statistics in the Creating Chances report are shown to be reflected in the opinions of project participants.
The participants say that the work is very beneficial, and that the community is a happier place
51
as a
result. This means the statistics in Creating chances are reliable, and support the clubs community work.

In addition, the majority of charity work focuses on the disadvantaged. This reflects the findings of the
discussion group with Southwell City FC and also the findings of Creating Chances, in which work with
established grassroots clubs is not mentioned. However, under utilitarianism help is to be given to those who
need it most. In addition, Southwell City is only one club, so the value of the evidence is limited.

Despite being ethical in their use of money in the community, the wage bills that are paid out by Premiership
clubs have found to be unethical. Figures 2 and 3 both clearly show that the higher the turnover and the
higher the wage bill, the more successful a club is. Furthermore, these findings strongly triangulate with
public opinion, media articles, and reflect the findings of the Independent European Sport Review. This
means that the findings of figures 2 and 3 have significant weight. In addition, figure 4 disproves the
suggestion that a large turnover is independent of a large wage bill. The importance of this is that wage bills
are shown to be a factor in the success of a team- not only must a club have a large turnover, it also needs a
large wage bill in order to be successful.

However, is this actually detrimental to the game? The public think so- 80% think the Premiership is
becoming less interesting because the same teams keep on winning. When it is considered that Baimbridge
et al. found shock results to be a key attraction of fans to the sport, the negative effect is evident.

In summary, after assessing the above arguments, the balance of the evidence strongly suggests that the
finances of football are detrimental to the sport. The richest teams are much more likely to be more
successful, and according to the public and journal articles, this is deemed detrimental. In conjunction with
the ethical framework, this is also unethical and unfair. The competitive balance is disrupted, and the richest
clubs are winning more often, which is bringing less happiness to the public. A survey reflected this point;
the majority felt that the Premiership was becoming less interesting, and a larger majority felt that the money
was damaging the sport. As for charity work, the balance of the evidence suggests that the use of money is
ethical, but the public are generally unaware of this.

In short, the findings of this report are as follows:

1. There are positive correlations between both high turnovers and large wage bills with successful
performance. These correlations have been found to be detrimental to the publics perception of
football.
2. Premiership clubs do more charity work than the public believe, with the majority of this work
focussing on the disadvantaged. This has been found to be ethical under the ethical framework of
Utilitarianism, and a lack of media coverage means that the public undervalues and are unaware of
the charity work of clubs.


51
(Willgoss, 2010)


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