Prudence, transparency, trust and 3 points


“There are rich teams and then there are poor teams. And then there is us”

That isn’t a quote from one of the current board of Lewes FC, although it could quite easily be one. It is from the excellent film, Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. It is a true story of the Oakland A’s baseball team and their meteoric rise to success despite having zero cash.

Having joined the board of Lewes six months ago I can certainly relate to Billy Beane, the character played by Brad Pitt and his quote above. The club have been through the mill in the past few years but have emerged from the other side with a Community Benefit Society, with over 800 members today, each of whom contributes to the ongoing survival of a club at the heart of the community.

Since I joined we have had a dream to become the most transparent club in Non league football. Others have called us mad, naive and made us feel we were breaking the magicians code of football when we stated our intend. One member of the board summed it up as follows:-

“The inner financial workings of a football club tend to be a bit of a black box. Any documentation, if it exists, is kept “in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard” Continue reading

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Decade-dance


I’m a bit late with my spring cleaning this year, using the last Bank Holiday weekend to do all of my clearing in my office and putting everything away.  Under a pile of papers and magazines that obviously hadn’t been touched for a couple of years I came across the Deloitte & Touche Annual Review of Football Finance dated July 2003.  Surely nothing had changed in English football in such a short period?  Well, you would be wrong.  In fact the last decade as seen more change in football than the previous century I would surmise.  This was a time when Wimbledon were still known as just that, playing their football in the 2nd tier (Still known as plain old Division One) of English football.

Even on page one you start to get the picture nobody knew what would happen in football. Dan Jones, Director and Partner in Deloitte & Touche Sport explain that the previous year had been:-

“a watershed in some fundamental aspects of football finance” and “we would never see loses like the 2000/01 levels in the Football League again”.

This was of course referring to the collapse of ITV Digital, a fact that many clubs used for not doing their homework for teacher for years to come.  Indeed I remember just a few seasons ago Gillingham stating that the reason why they still had their temporary stand (aka The Brian Moore Stand) in place was because of the collapse of ITV Digital.

Next up is a statement that just shows how wrong we all got it. Continue reading