The championship is for sale – The Athletic

Owning a football club is fun and there are worse ways to spend your money than bringing thousands of fun and pride.

But they’re damn expensive – money pits, if you will.

According to Kieron O’Connor, the football finance expert behind Swiss Ramble’s Twitter feed, Championship clubs have lost a total of £2.5bn over the past decade, which is what happens when you spend £1.16 in wages for every £1 you earn, as the clubs did in 2019-20.

So they’re all “for sale,” to some degree, as no one can afford this level of exhaustion forever – their accountants, families, or investment committees won’t allow them – but some are clearly much more for sale than others.

Here, then, is our attempt to rank them in terms of how much they need someone else to pay the bills, or how willing they are to share the burden.

For sale or foreclosed

You can’t get more “for sale” than sitting in administration, so let’s turn the championship on its head and start with Derby County.

Local tech mogul Mel Morris bought the two-time England champion in 2015 and spent the next five years breaking transfer records and churning managers. After faltering twice in the semi-finals of the play-offs, Derby went through another bad season in 2019 from Aston Villa.

That was the beginning of the end for Morris. He sold the club’s Pride Park stadium to himself to help Derby avoid violating the English Football League’s spending rules, but the controversy that sparked it eventually caught up with them.


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