Luton’s plea for financial help from Liverpool is turned down

Monday, January 07, 2008

Was saddened to see this article on The Times website about how Liverpool refused a request from Luton Town to donate their share of the gate money from the FA Cup game to their opponents, despite the Coca-Cola League One club being in such dire financial straits that they are in danger of folding and cannot afford to pay their players.

Luton are losing about £400,000 a month and went into administration in November. Their players have been paid only 2½ weeks’ wages in the past nine weeks. The club’s joint-administrator, Brendan Guilfoyle, asked the Barclays Premier League club if they were willing to forgo a share of the revenue from the tie, but was rebuffed.

“They probably said, ‘We have to pay players £100,000 a week. You must be joking, otherwise we will be like you,’ ” Kevin Blackwell, the Luton manager, said. “You just have to accept it. There are people in life who have got a Rolls-Royce while some people have a Mini. We are Mini drivers.”

The match will be televised live, earning each club £150,000, and Kenilworth Road will be full to its 10,000 capacity. Of the gate money, 45 per cent goes to each club and 10 per cent to a Football Association pool, so Luton and Liverpool stand to receive about £100,000 each from ticket sales. The winning club earns £40,000 in prize-money.

As the article highlights it is possible to be generous:

An FA spokesman confirmed that there is no rule to prevent a club donating their share of the gate money to an opponent. Chelsea gave £25,000 to Scarborough for youth development when the clubs met in the FA Cup in 2004, though Roman Abramovich, the owner, can easily afford such largesse.

at 5:52 pm  


I think the problem is, clubs such as Liverpool are being taken over by businessmen who put business above the game. From a business standpoint, it is fairly obvious why they turned down Luton's plea - you wouldn't want to give your profits away to help a competitor.

Phil Lewis said...
January 07, 2008 7:07 pm  

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