PORTSMOUTH Football Club is leading the way when it comes to football finance.
That idea would have been unthinkable earlier this year, with the club fighting liquidation following a second period in administration in three seasons.
But a report by business advisory firm BDO, which bought out Pompey’s last administrators PKF earlier this year, is holding the club’s new ownership model up as an example to other clubs.
Pompey are fan-owned, and though it is now three leagues below the Premiership – where they were in 2010 – the club is being run sustainably.
BDO’s report is looking into the finances of clubs in the Premier and Football leagues, as new, tighter Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are introduced this season.
Stuart Lisle, a partner at BDO’s south coast office, said: ‘The divisions below the Premier League are crying out for a sustainable business model.
‘Football clubs play a vital role in the south and in local communities, so there is a clear need for greater financial stability and a higher proportion of clubs living within their means.’
The BDO report said 65 per cent of clubs surveyed rely on shareholders to finance operating losses, compared to 58 per cent last year.
The pressure means a third of club owners in League One, the tier above Pompey, are considering selling up.
Mr Lisle added: ‘Football clubs continue to attract huge interest and publicity but, when it comes to the crunch, only a limited number of potential investors have the resources and the appetite to bankroll the cost of their club’s ambitions.
‘Buyers are increasingly likely to be supporters.
‘For example Portsmouth FC is mostly owned by Pompey Supporters’ Trust, which recognises the important role that clubs play in their local communities and seems to be willing to go back to basics, with overly ambitious promises of silverware traded for closer ties and greater financial stability – a backlash, perhaps, against the profligacy of previous regimes.’