The Impact of Current Financial Crises on English Premier League

Findings

The cases that were studied were Chelsea Football Club and Sunderland Football Club. Their financial situation for the period between 1990 and 2013 was studied in order to see if it was possible to decipher any trend. The period of observation was then split into two phases, the first phase being the duration from 1990 to 2007, and the second phase from 2007 to 2013. The reason for this is that the global economic crisis was most evident immediately after the year 2007, and the major aim of this research is to determine how the football club’s financial situation was affected by the global slump (Van der Burg, 2000).

Chelsea FC

Chelsea has had a bumpy history, as far as its financial position is concerned. The club was founded in 1905 and won the first league title fifty years later. The apparent popularity of the club in the 1960s had its owners refurbish Stamford Bridge, an undertaking that consumed a lot of money that the club was left bankrupt. The club almost became extinct and was saved by the Mears family to Ken Bates for £1 in 1981 (Eckard, 2003). This is marked to have been one of the most famous transactions in football history (UEFA.com, 2013). Bates run the club till 2003 when the financial problems returned forcing him to sell it to a Russian billionaire called Roman Abramovich. Under the patronage of Abramovich, the team prospered and increased its game prowess winning a number of titles. Any financial problems facing the club have been attended to by its owner giving them interest-free loans (Bilal, 2008).

There is scanty data on the financials of Chelsea FC from 1990, and the ones that were readily available were those from 2000, a little while before that club was bought by the Russian oligarch. As of 2008, that is, during the recession, the debt level of Chelsea had risen to £736 million. The club was bailed out by the owner. They now owned Abramovich that amount, with no interest. It seems as if Roman is willing to continue funding the club with interest-free loans until it starts generating profits. The structure of the ownership of Chelsea football club is a bit complicated. Abramovich finances the club through a holding company called Chelsea Limited which then lends to Chelsea FC PLC that actually runs the club. Chelsea limited recapitalized a debt of £726 million owed by the club and converted its shares in the financial year 2008/09 (Conn, 2010). This in effect made the club debt free. However, the holding company that was changed from Chelsea Limited to Fordstam still owes the Russian that amount of debt. Abramovich reserves the right to demand his money with a notice of 18 months (Conn, 2010). Before the debt on the club got technically written off, Chelsea FC had the largest debt in the whole premier league, followed closely by Manchester United with a debt of £717 million (Conn, 2010).

The performance of the financials of Chelsea FC from 2000-2013 reveals that the global economic crisis had little effect on the performance. The statement of profit and loss shows that profit was realized only once in that duration. The year that recorded the worst performance was 2005. The wage bill rose steadily, as did the turnover (TheChels.Org, 2013). The number of non-playing staff had increased gradually up to 2008 when they were reduced, most probably in response to the lean economic times in that period. The number of non-playing staff was further reduced in 2009 most probably in a bid to contain the wage bill that kept on rising (Carmichael, 1999 pp. 1–26). The club only increased the number of staff in 2011, maybe in response to better economic times (TheChels.Org, 2013). Other than the number of non-playing employees, there is no other parameter in the financials showing peculiarities that coincide with the global economic meltdown.

The graph below shows the financial trends for Chelsea FC over the period observed.

(Source: http://www.thechels.co.uk/club/finances/)

Sunderland FC

Sunderland FC was founded in the year 1879 and is run by Sunderland FC limited. It has had a history of good performance majorly in the middle of the twentieth century but not so much in recent years (Demmert, 1973). Data on the financial history of Sunderland FC was very scanty, probably due to the confidential nature in which financial reports of the football clubs are handled. Sunderland has constantly been in debt as a result of overspending by the team’s management (Conn, 2010). The global economic meltdown impacted the owners of Sunderland negatively. The Irish investors, unable to run the club, sold it to Drumaville Company owned by Ellis Short. In 2010, Short invested £ 67.5 million in the club and converted it into shares. He further loaned the club £10 million interest-free. This made Sunderland have a lesser premier league debt of £46 million, which was significantly lower than the turnover of the club that year.

The ratio of the wage bill of Sunderland to its turnover was 77% in that year, but that was better compared to Chelsea FC whose ratio was 80% (Conn, 2010).  In the very same year, Sunderland FC recorded a loss of £27.9 million before tax as a result of selling players at lower prices and buying them at higher prices. The decrease in attendance of home matches by Sunderland fans also contributed to dwindling revenues. The biggest cause of the financial woes of Sunderland FC however, is due to a prolonged absence from the FA premier league (The Guardian, 2011). The losses incurred reduced to £26.9 million in 2012 and the turnover increased from £65 million to £78 million in the same period.

Interviews

The researcher interviewed three men who are stakeholders in the EPL. These were Bruce Buck, Richard Creitzman, and Niall Quinn. Bruce Buck is the current chairman of Chelsea FC while Richard Creitzman is one of the directors of Chelsea FC plc. Niall Quinn is the Sunderland FC chairman. Contacting these interviewees and setting an appointment with them was a daunting task, and the time the researcher had with them was limited. This is due to the demanding work that they do, plus they get so many requests for interviews from numerous reporters. They, therefore, treated the researcher as any other reporter. It took the researcher a while to convince them that the information given out would be used confidentially and objectively. They, however, were willing to have their identities revealed in the research report.

Interview with Bruce Buck

The revelations that were made by Bruce Buck during the interview were equivalent to praising Abramovich for having saved Chelsea FC when it was just about to go under. On the question of overspending that is commonly witnessed in the clubs, Buck was of the opinion that the teams are required to risk in order to increase the chances of getting quality players that will inspire victories in their teams. The players have to be kept motivated and shown that they are valued by the team, hence the high wages paid out to them (Lucifora & Simmons, 2003). The club has other workers who function to make sure that the club is run smoothly. These workers too, he mentioned, have to be kept motivated as well.

When asked about the club’s sources of income, Buck responded that there are various channels through which the club gets income. The major sources of income are the broadcasting rights that are shared by the teams that participate in the EPL. This is why it is detrimental for any club to get relegated to the premier league. They lose a lot in terms of finance. The other form of income is the sale of tickets at Stamford bridge stadium and the sale of promotional materials such as jerseys to the football fans. Endorsements by corporations wanting to be noticed internationally also bring in a significant amount of income, he added. When asked about the sale and buying of players, the manager was skeptical about the amount of cash brought in by that. “The cash from the sale of players is usually used to settle loans or in purchasing or getting players on loans from other teams. It is rarely used or viewed as income,” said Buck.

The researcher then asked Buck how the global economic slump affected the club. He was adamant that the club’s rich owner, Abramovich, is the one that helped the team to weather the troubles that were faced during that difficult period. The sale of tickets in the stadium during matches went down, as did the sales of the promotion materials. The endorsements were reduced as corporations struggled to remain afloat. In his words, “It was a nightmare…” Abramovich offered the club interest-free loans that saved the club from the ordeal of having to borrow from banks. The club was saved from the ordeal that faced Manchester United, of having to service a debt that was generating interest of £81 million annually. Despite the gloomy times that the club was experiencing financially, the game had to go on. It was a welcome distraction for many people in the world, at least to forget their problems for two hours and cheer on. On the issue of Chelsea having had it debt to Abramovich written off, Buck was at pains to explain that it was only the club that was rid of the debt, which the holding company, Fordstam, still owed the billionaire more than 700 million pounds.

Interview with Richard Creitzman   

In his position as a director in the management of the club, Richard was among the first person to feel the impact of the global slump as the accounts just started to look bad. He was one of the persons involved in trying to brainstorm how to finance the club in a way that it would not prevent it from getting stuck in debt or falling into bankruptcy. To him, it was a welcome suggestion by his boss to finance the club with interest-free loans. It was not economically sound for Abramovich to do so, it was unfair to him and should be counted as a loss of capital on his part. “But then again,” asserted Richard, “He has a great love for the game and an even greater love for Chelsea FC.” He intimated that the Russian billionaire claimed to sacrifice his money for the sake of all the fans in the world that love Chelsea. Richard is skeptical whether Chelsea would have remained competitive if it had not been bailed out.

He is in agreement with Buck that Abramovich has been the lifeline of Chelsea. He has been patient with the club and its management even when it has failed to perform well. His influence must have contributed to the club’s consistent participation in the premier league. Richard agrees that football clubs in England spend money haphazardly causing them to be in debt perpetually. This is why he welcomes the FFP (financial fair play) guidelines that are to allow the clubs to compete fairly and stop the uncontrolled spending of the wealthier teams at the expense of the modest ones. In fact, Chelsea has been described as one of the clubs that have fulfilled the FFP requirements. The s club is on its way to clearing debts and begin making profits to at least benefit the owner who has sacrificed so much for it. Now that the debts of the club have been eased a little by the conversion of the amount owed into shares, the club has a clean slate to start on and ensure that the spending is controlled and the avenues of income generation increased.

Interview with Niall Quinn

Having being in the team that negotiated the takeover of Sunderland by Irish investors, Quinn was sad to have them let go of the club after it was mired in financial difficulties. This happened during the economic slump period (Guzm\’an and Morrow, 2007). Quinn describes how hard the times were for the club, with the ticket sales dwindling, and yet there were wages to be paid. Needless to say, Sunderland FC became trapped in debt and was only saved by its current owner and chairman, Ellis Short. Quinn speaks highly of Short, and it is obvious that he is to Sunderland what Abramovich is to Chelsea. Sunderland has suffered major setbacks in the form of being relegated from the premiership occasionally. This has really had a negative effect on it financially, as being in the premiership grants the clubs a part of the broadcasting rights. Quinn repeated what he has said time and again that being in the premiership should be a priority above all the others (Noll, 2002).

Niall admitted to the researcher that the economic downturn of 2008-09 affected the club so badly, that it had to change its ownership after the Irish owners by then were almost rendered bankrupt. He is, however, proud to have played a part in getting the club back on its feet. The financial situation of Sunderland FC is still far from ideal, as its assets are by far superseded by its liabilities. The only lifeline for Sunderland FC must be the faith that the stakeholders and the banks have in it as a somehow infallible entity. The faithful fans of the club have also contributed to its survival even during the times when it was performing dismally (Simmons, Forrest & Feehan, 2002). They are the main reason why Ellis Short continues to invest in the club even to the extent of granting it interest-free loans as done in the 2009-10 financial year (Conn, 2010). Quinn is no longer the chairman of Sunderland having resigned in 2012. He left Ellis Short to act as both the owner and chairman while he has taken the role of pursuing the club’s interests abroad.

The questionnaires

The questionnaires used in the research were designed to target the general public and in particular, football fans. The questionnaire is designed in such a way that the respondents that are not football fans are eliminated at the initial stages of the questions asked. The researcher went to various places where football fans were likely to be found such as in pubs during a match. The researcher even went to stadiums where the games were taking place and gave respondents questionnaires to fill out after the game was over, or before the game began (Szymanski & Kuypers, 1999). The researcher had initially planned to seek responses from only the fans of Chelsea and Sunderland. This was to enable for comparison of their responses to those of the officials’ interview. The researcher decided against the idea after it was pointed out by a learned friend that that would most likely result in biased results. A decision was then made to give questionnaires randomly to all the willing respondents.

The questionnaires were brief so that the potential respondents would take as little time as possible in their response and give essential information at the same time. The researcher went to public places where a mixed population was bound to be found, one that would not be supportive of a particular club. The researcher gave out 150 questionnaires: of the respondent given these 123 were men while the rest were women. 37 questionnaires were not adequately responded to and were not used in the analysis. The response rate was 75.33%. The questionnaires not considered were either not responded to fully, or the respondents were not followers of football thereby giving irrelevant information. 20 of the 37 spoiled questionnaires were from females. The average age of the respondents was 32.4 years with the youngest being 14 years old and the oldest 67 years. Below is a pie chart showing the gender representation of the respondents.

The first significant question on the questionnaire was how the respondents were affected by the global economic meltdown of 2008. They were then asked how it affected their expenditure on football, in form of buying tickets to watch football at the stadium and in the purchase of the football clubs’ promotional items such as jerseys. The other question was whether they were in the know concerning the financial status of the teams they supported, as well as the competing teams (Szymanski & Valetti, 2003). The previous question was in the affirmative. They were further asked whether they were satisfied or pleased with the state that the teams were in. They were finally asked to give their take on how they thought the English premier league teams could best improve their financial status in the upcoming seasons.

The respondents had a vast knowledge about the backgrounds of the teams they were in support of, but very little information concerning the finances of these teams. The little knowledge they had, had to do with the financial transactions of the teams in buying or selling players that were broadcast through the mainstream media (Szymanski & Smith, 1997). On the effects that the recession had on football fans, 84 percent of the respondents reported having been adversely affected financially during that period. The rest were either too young or in school to realize how the economy was affecting their parents (Szymanski & Hall, 2003). Some of the forms of adversity mentioned were loss of jobs and homes, reduced purchasing power, and general frustration and depression. Having established that the recession had negative effects on most of the respondents, the researcher wanted to know whether this had a bearing on their support of football clubs.

The reduced purchasing power caused 67 percent of the respondents to reduce their spending on football match tickets and consumption of promotional materials such as jerseys and magazines. The query on whether they were aware of the financial status of their football clubs proved that most were not adequately informed. This could be due to the secretive nature of football clubs concerning their finances and the public relations given by the management of football clubs. 90.59 percent of the respondents were under the impression that football clubs are very wealthy and incapable of having debts (Szymanski, 2003). This was a result of the items in the news media that repeatedly narrate the thousands and millions of pounds paid to the footballers and the hefty amounts of money spent in purchasing and selling players. This definitely portrays the teams as very wealthy entities that rival even corporations. Some (5%) were however skeptical, having witnessed a number of football clubs become bankrupt over the years. The majority of the skeptical persons were the senior respondents (Quirk & Fort, 1992).

The fact that the football supporters spent less on football-related items during the recession seemed to contradict the response concerning the effect that the recession had on the revenues and the financial status of the teams. Most (55 percent) of the respondents were in agreement that the owner of quite a number of teams was changed or restructured, but they could not explicitly associate it with the effects of the economic downturn. In their opinion, the football industry was not affected by the economic downturn as the premier league season went ahead as planned. They admitted, however, that attendance to the games had been reduced in a way. On the contrary, 26 percent of the respondents admitted that football was the best distraction for them from the many financial problems that assailed them during that period, they, therefore, had done all they could to attend as many matches as possible and be a part of the excitement first hand (Coates & Brad, 2003).

Overall, 90% of the respondents stated that they were satisfied with the financial status of their teams. 5.3% were dissatisfied while the rest were neutral. The level of satisfaction might be explained by the ignorance of the respondents regarding the real financial situations of the clubs in the premier league. Asked how they felt the clubs in the premier league could improve their finances in the near future, 73 percent were of the opinion that the clubs should reduce the money they spend on the players, both in purchasing and the wages given to them. 13% felt that there was no need to change, while the rest had no opinion (Humphreys, 2003).

Findings from the Secondary Sources

It was tasking for the researcher to come across secondary sources with information on the finances of EPL. The few the researcher came across had either scanty or irrelevant information. Despite those constraints, the researcher was able to come up with findings regarding the financial situations that most of the EPL clubs are in. Most of the clubs, according to Deloitte (2013) have been operating in perpetual debt. This was despite the huge income earned by these football clubs in the premier league. The major reason for the continued indebtedness has been a bloated wage bill that has increased at a higher rate than the rate of revenue growth (Osborn, 2003). Analysis of the revenue trends from 1997 to 2012 revealed that the year that recorded the worst dip in revenue was 2005. This was so not only in English football but in the leagues of Europe. The reason for this dip in revenues is not accounted for, despite it having been three years before the recession fully settled in. the recession began to bite in 2007 and was at its worst in 2008. The financials for EPL clubs did not show any peculiar decline in either wages or revenues but showed continuous growth in both. This may constitute the limitations of this research.

The observation of the premier league clubs having not been affected by the global economic crunch was an interesting phenomenon to the researcher. It then came to suffice that a majority of the EPL clubs were shielded by their owners from the global crunch through soft loans that were interest-free. For some such as Manchester United and Chelsea, their debt levels rose around this period. Generally, the better performing clubs in EPL have bigger stadiums that accommodate larger crowds, have higher sales of promotional products and in effect can handle higher levels of debt and wage bills (Baim, 1994). The smaller clubs in EPL have the opposite, smaller stadiums and lower promotional sales. This is in addition to the constant risk of being relegated from the premier league, which constitutes to a great reduction in the revenues gained. The methods of the more successful clubs in handling finances in a way contribute to the maintenance of their superior status (Marburger, 2003). On the other hand, the smaller clubs cannot apply similar methods, as they would be unsustainable or (Hall, Szymansky & Zimbalist, 2002). This inequality of the teams in the English premier league, combined with the tendency for the clubs to accumulate huge debts, caused the EPL governing authorities to come up with Financial Fair Play regulations aimed at reducing the debt levels of the European clubs and incrementing the revenues concurrently. This will help in ensuring that all the teams have the capacity to participate equally in all leagues and make football a sustainable venture. Clubs will have to start adhering to these regulations beginning with the 2013/14 season. Any club not following the rules stipulated will be penalized.

In a bid to reduce the debts the teams owed to their owners, it was converted into equity and the club, therefore, was rendered debt free or had a reduced debt burden. The holding companies of such clubs, however, still remain indebted. The owners of various clubs in the premier league have injected more than £2 billion into the league’s clubs in a bid to supplement their operating expenditure, invest in infrastructure and talent, and prevent the accumulation of interest-generating debts. It is estimated by Deloitte (2013) that these injections to funds were equivalent to 15 percent of the total revenues of all the clubs in the premier league in the period between 2006 and 2012. Indeed most of the influential clubs in the EPL are owned by billionaire families, companies, and individuals that significantly contributed to the sustenance of the football clubs during the financial crisis experienced in the year 2008. Worthy to note is that the interest-free loans stared to be given to clubs by their respective owners in 2006, which might have resulted from the poor performance financially that had been experienced in the previous year.

Banks have been of late unwilling to lend to football clubs, states Deloitte (2013). This may in a way be a result of the banks have not fully recovered from the effects of the economic downturn to give them the confidence to lend huge sums of money to clubs that have a long history of being indebted. Some of the clubs have been forced to resort to short-term finding agreements based on secured transfer receivables, future television or ticket revenues (Cassy, 2003). The debt phenomenon is seen as something negative when viewed in a generic manner. If the club is able to sustain the debt, and the repayment manageable within the cash generated from the club’s operations, then it is not necessarily a bad thing (Deloitte, 2013). The ticket revenues have remained stable for the EPL even during the recession despite the findings from the questionnaires that the respondents had reduced their spending on football-related items and activities. This is because the attendance rates in the premier league games have remained above 90% for the two decades it has been in existence. Most of the teams have invested heavily in the construction of ultra-modern mega stadiums having recognized the need to garner as much ticket revenues as possible (EPL Data Book, 2013).

Conclusions

From the findings, it was discovered that there is a gap in the information available publicly regarding the financial histories of the football clubs participating in the English Premier League. The little information that was made available through the Deloitte reports and EPL data book suggested that most of the clubs operate in debt. It was also observed that most of the clubs in EPL have a wage bill to revenue ratio of more than 70%. This according to analysts is not sustainable and might be one of the contributing factors. The effect of the global recession is not reflected in the financial statement of most of the teams. This is partly due to the fact that the teams were bailed out with soft loans, and the addictive nature of the game to the spectators kept the ticket revenues constant (Feess & Gerd, 2002).  There are other aspects that this research did not cover, like the effect of the recession on the non-playing staff number in EPL. The case study on Chelsea showed that the number of non-playing employees was reduced significantly during the recession period only to rise later on (Dawson & Stephen, 2002). This might have happened to other clubs and not reflected on the financial statements due to the progressive growth of the wage bill. A smaller proportioning the increase of the wage bill may have been interpreted as an improvement instead of the savings made on the laid off employees.

The financial fair play regulations that UEFA came up with are geared towards deceased the debts accrued by the clubs and ensuring that their operating expenses are controlled to make it a sustainable venture with a positive financial outlook. This is very much unlike the present situation. These regulations will make the clubs with lower rankings compete in a more favorable financial environment. The researcher, therefore, concludes that the financial crisis had little if any effect on the EPL clubs. This was possible due to the reasons outlined above.

Recommendations

While seeking information on the financials of EPL football clubs, it was disappointing for the researcher to learn that the sources of such information were not readily available in the public domain. This, therefore, serves as one of the recommendations the financials of the clubs be put online and in the public domain for scrutiny by the public. This is because being fans of football, the public is a stakeholder in the clubs. Further research that will be more encompassing rather than concentrating on the finances of the EPL teams is recommended in order to give a clearer picture of how the financial crisis affected the EPL clubs as a whole. The adoption of the financial fair play rules is very commendable, and the researcher implores the clubs to follow them through in order to increase their appeal to the masses. The example of Manchester united listing on the New York stock exchange should be emulated by the other clubs, as it will make their financial statements available readily and the public is more than willing to invest in the clubs it celebrates.

Transcripts of the Interviews

The interviews that were conducted by the researcher were semi-structured to get as much relevant information as possible.

Interview with Bruce Buck

Q: How did your club pull through the recession period?

Bruce: the recession affected the whole economy, even me personally. The club would have gone under after the sales of promotion materials went down. The management was of the opinion that the club borrows from banks, but Abramovich would have none of that. He came and bailed the club out in ways I never could have imagined. He is in a way Chelsea’s messiah.

Q: do you think that operating in debt is healthy for your club? What do you think of the extravagant spending done by football clubs?

Bruce: A football club is generally concerned about its performance. To get good performance, we need the best players and we have to risk it if Chelsea is to remain relevant. Once the players have been purchased, they have to be kept motivated by high wages and get the feeling that our club values them. The non-playing staffs have to be kept motivated too, and there is no other way around it.

Q: What are the sources of revenue for Chelsea football club?

Bruce: the major source of revenue for this club is the broadcasting rights, ticket sales, corporation sponsorships and sale of promotional materials, that is, the commercial part of the club’s activities. The sale of players rarely brings any revenue, as the clubs uses those very funds to offset the purchases made.

Q: any general comments about how your club handled the economic slump? Recently on the news, there was this item about Abramovich having forgiven Chelsea of the debt owed to him. How true is that?

Bruce: To be honest, the recession was a nightmare for the management of Chelsea. We are grateful that Roman was around to bail us out. About the forgiving of debts, I find it absurd for a debt of more than £700 million to be written off just like that. What happened is that the loan was converted into equity for the team. As a result, the club has no debt, but the holding company Fordstam still owes Abramovich the full amount of the loan.

Interview with Richard Creitzman   

Q: Could you please tell us how it was for you and the club during the recession?

Creitzman: I must admit that it was a very trying moment. The banks that we would have relied on for funding were filing bankruptcy, and we as the team of directors were at a loss on what was to be done to save the club. The suggestion by Roman that he grants the club an interest-free loan was a pleasant surprise and a very welcome idea. I somewhat felt it was unfair to him and a loss as that huge capital would not gain any revenue. But then again, he has a lot of love for the team and claimed he was doing it for the sake of the fans.

Q: How would you describe Abramovich?

Creitzman: I think he is the lifeline of this club. Without his assistance and patronage, this club would not have withstood and achieved the much it has.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Financial Fair play regulations?

Creitzman: It was genius for UEFA to come up with those regulations, as they will help streamline the spending nature of the EPL clubs. I personally believe that the way money is expended by English teams is wasteful. Chelsea has embarked on embracing those rules now that the debt burden has been eased a little.

Interview with Niall Quinn

Q: how was Sunderland affected by the economic downturn?

Quinn: the economic downturn affected negatively the Irish financiers of this team that they had to let go of its ownership. It hurt me for I was the one that had negotiated that deal in which they came to own it just a few years earlier. The new owner, Ellis Short, is the one that saved this club from bankruptcy.

Q: how would you describe the financial position of Sunderland presently?

Quinn: the financial situation of Sunderland is not that impressive, but it is improving. The financial difficulties experienced by this club are majorly caused by the dwindling ticket revenues and the number of times that this club has been relegated from the premier league. Qualification for the premier league is one of the best ways to improve the financial position of the club due to the broadcasting rights revenues.

Q: What are your parting thoughts regarding Sunderland?

Quinn: I believe that the fans of this football team and the stakeholders are the ones that have made it survive up to now. They have remained committed to the club even when it has been performing poorly, and that is a great thing.

The Questionnaire

The questionnaire used in this study was open-ended due to its brevity. The researcher wanted to gather as much information as possible from the respondents and did not want to limit their responses. Below is a sample of the questions that were contained in the questionnaire.

 

  • Respondent Details
  1. Name:……………………………..(optional-confidential)
  2. Gender:……..[male] [female]
  3. Residence ……………………….
  4. Hometown……………………….
  • Are you a football fan? [yes]    [No] ………..(if yes, proceed. If no, terminate)
  • Which premier league club do you support? …………………………………………
  • For how long have you been a supporter of that team?………………………………………
  • What attracted you to supporting that team?………………………………………………………
  • Have you ever attended a match in a stadium? [yes]    [no]
  • If yes, how many times per season on average?……………………………………………………
  • On average, how much do you spend on football per season, and on what particular items?……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • How did the economic crunch affect you?…………………………………………………………….
  • How did it affect your football consumption?………………………………………………………….
  • How was your favorite club affected?…………………………………………………………………..
  • Depending on the effects, do you think it has recovered?………………………………………
  • What do you know concerning the finances of premier league teams?……………………
  • Where did you get the information above (13)?……………………………………………………..

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