Owning a football club is a dream that only a very select few will ever be able to achieve in their lifetimes, as there is a lot of money required in order to make sure each and every aspect of the team is able to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Indeed, regardless of whether the team is in the Premier League, the Championship or the remainder of the English Football League, there is still going to need to be a significant amount of investment required, although the rewards can potentially be life-changing; not only financially, but also for individuals and communities.
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A football club can often be the heartbeat of a community and with teams that typically feature in the Championship and the leagues below England’s second-tier, it perhaps could not be truer as these teams will not generally have the big international fanbase that teams such as Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool will have following and supporting them.
With this in mind, owning a Championship club could be one of the best moves to make when investing in a football club, as there is also the rewards of being able to achieve promotion to England’s promised land, which will tend to make that individual a “legend” in the eyes of the community in which the club is a part of.
Take the new season as an example, which is already a couple of weeks old, Fulham are already considered the favourites in the Championship betting odds after the fast start that they have had and if they are able to make an instant return to the Premier League following relegation last season, then the Khan family would receive the praise after the recruitment that they did this summer in order to help facilitate it happening.
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Whilst the praise and recognition sound incredibly appealing, there are a number of things that owning a club will entail. Here is everything that you need to know about owning a Championship club:
A significant amount of finance
Whilst it is pretty obvious that an investor is not going to need the same amount of funds to own a Championship club compared to one that is in the Premier League, it is still going to be a rather costly transaction.
On average, it could be suggested that a team in England’s second-tier could cost anywhere between £40-£60 million. There will be a number of factors and reasons as to why this is the case, but the fact that they are only one step from being able to play in the top division, as well as the fact that these teams are generally well supported by a number of local fans continuously (unless poorly managed), these will only make the team even more valuable. Location can also play an important role, as the more populated the area is, the chance that the team is better supported.
Pass a “Fit & Proper” Test
In addition, there are “Fit & Proper” tests that need to be passed in order to run a football club at any level within the English Football League, which will determine whether the prospective owner has all the capabilities and the best interests at heart.
As the sport is essentially a national institution, it was decided that the highest level of protection needed to be brought in to ensure each of the 92 clubs in the professional level of the game were secure against any negligence and calamity. Of course, whilst it has stopped many from falling to the wayside, there have been clubs that have failed and ceased to exist but it is rather rare in the grand scheme of things.
If a prospective owner is able to provide the required evidence and is looking to do good with the football club, then there should not be any issue passing these stringent tests in place.
Learn about all the commitments that the club may have
There is a lot to know about running a football club, with money being spent all over the place to ensure it is being run as effectively as possible. Therefore, it is important for any buyer looking at a club to know exactly where money will need to be spent.
For instance, some football clubs will not own the stadium that they play in but will instead rent it from a private landlord. If this is the case, then the team’s owner will need to ensure that the lease is continued to be paid, otherwise they could have to relocate or even worse, be rendered “homeless”.