The Price of Football SECOND EDITION

Understanding Football Club Finance

Kieran Maguire

£60.00  |  $90.00
ISBN 9781788213257
£12.99  |  $25.00
ISBN 9781788213264
£12.99  |  $25.00
ISBN 9781788213271
224 pages   |  240 x 170mm   |  21 January 2021


"Football needs Kieran. His brand of financial scrutiny is well thought out, simple to understand, but most of all consistent. He has no fear or favour and is always on the money. We have to change the financial and regulatory situation in football if we are to avoid more disasters like that at Bury, Bolton, Blackpool, Coventry and not least Accrington Stanley, a town that has first-hand experience of the desolation that can befall towns that lose their key social activity." – Andy Holt MBE, Chairman, Accrington Stanley FC

"Kieran Maguire combines financial expertise with a supporter's love of football, and does very valuable work documenting and explaining clubs' financial workings, including illuminating areas of concern for supporters whose clubs have fallen into crisis."  – David Conn, The Guardian and author of The Fall of the House of FIFA


The first edition of The Price of Football quickly established itself as the go-to guide to understanding football club finance for the serious fan. Kieran Maguire, one of the UK's top football finance analysts, shows how professional clubs operate as businesses and explains, in non-technical language, how to read, understand and interrogate club accounts.

As a clear-headed analysis and presentation of the financial imperatives and challenges facing football clubs across the English and Scottish Leagues, it has become a welcome resource not only for students of the industry, but by a wider constituency of supporters looking to understand their club's latest transfer deal, or season ticket price.

This revised and updated second edition includes analysis of the most recent club accounts, as well as the impact of Covid-19 on the game's finances, the latest legal rulings on club affairs, and expanded coverage of the "creative accounting" ploys that some notable clubs have used.


1. Introduction

Part I Football club financial reports
2. The balance sheet
3. The profit or loss account
4. The cash flow statement

Part II The price of football
5. Buying players
6. Ticket prices
7. Broadcasting and sponsorship income
8. Financial fair play

Part III Football club financial analysis
9. How to analyse club accounts 1: trend analysis
10. How to analyse club accounts 2: ratio analysis
11. Valuing a football club
12. Ownership models: love, profit, vanity and insanity
13. Red flags: things that make you go “hmmm” – creative accounting and football finance
14. Football finance in a post-Covid-19 world
Glossary of accounting terms

Author Information

Kieran Maguire teaches the Football Industries MBA at the University of Liverpool Management School. He specialises in financial reporting, financial modelling and football finance, and regularly appears on television and radio commentating on matters relating to club finance.

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