22 February 2021 - 4:17 PM


PA Images | FC Barcelonas astronomical liabilities, and the mismanagement that has driven them so high, set the club apart from all others in football, but the reaction to their debt level has been unerringly similar to responses seen elsewhere. Frequently, when a club sinks into debt, observers react with shock and dismay. Almost inherently, debt at a football club is seen as a bad thing. Should it be?

Analysis: Debt is football’s dirty word – should it be?

  • FC Barcelona’s financial woes have again raised the spectre of debt in football. The debt of Tottenham Hotspur is bigger – but differs significantly in nature.
  • Lending by clubs is not necessarily an evil: many do so to fund important ventures.
  • Looking at Burnley, their debt could be a troubling burden if they should face relegation. On the contrary, the greater debt at Manchester United is likely to remain more than manageable.
  • Bigger clubs can generally carry big debts without much worry; smaller clubs are at a greater risk of failure if on-field performance drops.

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