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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 August 2013

Football and big business: time to reclaim the game

John Reid

At the start of the new football season, the same old robbers are wrecking the game. Since the outset of the Premier League, over 50 clubs have gone into receivership.

The latest club in trouble is Coventry City. Docked ten points, and without a ground due to the antics of the money men in charge, fans have to travel to Northampton to see their team play!

Mismanagement has already ruined Portsmouth, Luton Town and also Glasgow Rangers, which was expelled from the Scottish Premier following off-field dodgy dealing.

Football is a game at the top owned by billionaires and played by multi-millionaires.

Premier League revenue has risen to over 3 billion - half of which comes from TV deals. However, wage costs eat up 83% of the revenue growth as players' wages continue to soar.

The race to get into the Premier League has pushed the debts of Championship clubs to 0.9 billion. These clubs have a wage to revenue ratio of 90%.

They spend 30% more than they receive. The aggregate losses of Championship clubs in 2011/12 were 147 million.

Fighting to stay in the Premier League or qualify for Europe has rocketed debts to 2.4 billion, including 1.4 billion of 'soft' debts.

Chelsea are 895 million in debt, Newcastle 262 million and QPR 93 million. QPR were the third highest spending club and still got relegated!

The cost of football in the Premier League is phenomenal, 40 to 60 per ticket, cutting young people and low wage earners off from their clubs, many of which, like Coventry, were formed by workers.

We need to reclaim the game, the clubs need to be brought under the democratic control and ownership of the fans with the ground being safeguarded for the use of the football clubs.

The new edition of Reclaim the Game by John Reid will be out soon - 3.50 including p&p.

Place your orders with Socialist Books: 020 8988 8789 or

Cheques, payable to Socialist Books, can be sent to Socialist Books, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD

They've taken our jobs, factories and hospitals - now it's our football club!

Thousands march to demand 'Keep Cov in Cov'

On Sunday 12 August, at least 7,000 fans attended a Coventry City ex-players' charity march at the Ricoh Arena, while the Sky Blues' first home game in Northampton was only attended by 2,200 fans from both teams!

This followed a 7,000-fan protest on 20 July against the decision to move Coventry City home games to Northampton.

At the rally, former Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist pointed out, to rapturous applause, that while in other countries clubs are owned by the fans, we have here a situation where owner SISU, an offshore hedge fund, is only interested in maximising profits from the people of Coventry.

The tragedy of Coventry City is a perfect example of how profit hungry parasites like SISU attack working class communities and culture.

They must be stopped, with discussions needed on how we can get fan and community ownership and control of clubs, football and sport in general.

Football and big business: time to reclaim the game

Public meeting with John Reid hosted by Coventry Socialist Party

Monday 19 August, 7.30pm

Coventry SQ Club, Whitefriars Lane, Coventry city centre, CV1 2DT

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In The Socialist 14 August 2013:

Socialist Party campaigns

Zero tolerance for zero-hours!

End zero-hour contracts now!

Socialist Party editorial

A tale of two Britains

Socialist Party news and analysis

Beware a recovery!

Met finally apologise for G20 death

London Olympics legacy - one year on

Football and big business: time to reclaim the game

Socialist Party subs appeal

Them & Us

Socialist Party events

Come to the Socialist Party Summer Camp

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Hunt attacks NHS staff and patients

Save Our Hospital!

Protest at the Tory Conference in Manchester

International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia: Mobilise to bring down the government

South Africa: Limpopo WASP launch

Seattle: Socialist challenge to corporate Democrats

Socialist Party workplace news

Defend the Four: Tribunal compensation award to Unison activists

Postal workers ballot for action

On your bike, Serco

Swansea council pay attacks angers workers

Anti-Bedroom Tax

Winning a reprieve from the bedroom tax

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Building TUSC in Caerphilly

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Reflections and sycophancy: Kinnock versus the socialist Liverpool council

The Mill: A change from the usual TV

Successes, failures and stalemates: A week in the life of a trade union rep


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