There are a few sites that I revisit that are not in the links list of many West Ham blogs. And we do need to read some stuff from non-West Ham sites to distract us from the dire news released about our Club, don't we? In a series of posts I'll present some of my "off topic" favourites.
If you know of an interesting site we have missed, please direct us to it!
First out is a site that one wish would be totally irrelevant, however, this angle on football, or any sport for that matter, is painfully important especially these days when we are struggling to escape the strangling grip of the Big Bad Puffin.
Political Economy of Football has quite a mouthful to chew and in a way they opt not to. They are like a bulletin board of snippets on these topics. Unfortunately they seldom offer any in depth articles, but they are a good starting point for further googling and may also suffice if you just like to keep reasonably up to date on these things.
One of my favourite parts of their site is the Statistics page with descriptic stats on club turnover, income, prize money, kit sponsors etc. Another interesting part summarizes financial information on UK proffessional clubs (nothing on West Ham mind you...)
A piece that I just read (I blame Santa for the delay), and that I pasted below, is on an all to familiar subject. Reading it may reemphasize importance of "choosing" the right owner. Also that we could be worse off (and may still be as we know precious little of the financial status of the "groups" that are bidding on us as I type.
Let's hope we are not ending up in the fire.
If you don't fancy what I chose, maybe they can tempt you with stuff on 'Arrys finances, Arsenes computer outburst, or the brothel visiting manager?
From the Political Economy of Football:
WATFORD STEP BACK FROM BRINK – 23/12/09
Championship side Watford have managed to avoid administration, but the more general lesson that emerges from this episode is that clubs can be put at risk by feuds on the board or the decisions of an individual that is funding them. Earlier in December Watford Leisure said that it required a further £5.5m to cover cash flow needs until July 2010. The company made a pre-tax loss of £2m in the year to 30 June on revenues of £23.1m compared with a £400,000 profit in the previous 12 months. Total liabilities amounted to £10.7m. The club's shares on Aim had to be suspended after the Russo brothers (chairman and vice-chairman) stormed out before the annual general meeting, leaving former manager Graham Taylor to chair the meeting. Their business, Valley Grown Salads, demanded immediate repayment of a £4.9m loan to the company. VGS has 30 per cent of the shares, Lord Ashcroft's Fordwat investment vehicle controls 37 per cent and he is backed by former chairman Graham Simpson who has 17 per cent. Lord Ashcroft, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, stepped in to pay the £4.88m debt to Russo. Lord Ashcroft is viewed by his opponents as a controversial figure, but he managed to save the club for now. Sir Elton John who has had a long association with the Hornets plans to stage a fund raising concert in 2010.
Trading in Watford shares resumed on December 23rd, but they closed down 11 per cent at 6p after an initial fall of 18 per cent. Sources close to the club described the loan as 'a road map to get us through the season.' However, Watford Leisure warned that it would still need further short-term funding at the end of January while it organises a rights issue. It is hoped to make some use of money from advance ticket sales for Sir Elton Johm's 'Paying for Players' concert which will not take place until June. The funds would be paid back to be available for player signings after the rights issue is completed.