Column: Now is the time to position yourself with your funders - but there are traps you need to avoid

4 May 2020

Photo: PA Images When talking to Funders, clubs will realize that funders, shareholders and commercial partners will be keen to understand the Clubs approach to Environmental, Social and Governance issues before they can commit to support the Club. It is therefore important to be clear how a Club addresses all the ESG issues.

Many clubs will have major financial issues during and indeed after the Coronavirus crisis but what are the options for clubs to survive and thrive in the future?

One thing which is crucial for clubs to survive this current crisis is to develop a sustainable business model.

Being transparent and a good communicator with funders, commercial partners and fans is key.

Clubs need the league to outline the post crisis business model and likely ongoing support.

Ian Dixon, sports financial expert

I’ve been a lender, advisor and credit analyst in financing sports entities for over 15 years (at Ambac, Investec and Fitch Ratings) looking at the long-term risks (e.g. Arsenal Stadium in 2006 and Real Madrid in 2019). Obviously, the current state, in which we all found ourselves, would not have been expected by anyone.

Below, I detail how I would advise a Football Club (“Club”) to prepare to go and see their bankers or bondholders (“Funders”) and commercial partners, in order to be best placed coming out of this pandemic.

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