English Football Clubs Can’t Defend from Fraud Says Report
October 27, 2011
The University of Portsmouth and PKF Accountants & business have published a report warning that English football clubs haven’t got the resources to counter fraud with one of the authors estimating fraud counts for at least £100million ($160m) each year across the professional leagues.
Ticket sales, merchandising, payroll and agents’ fees were identified as problem areas for clubs by the Fraud in Football survey, which was based on a survey of football club finance directors.
Jim Gee, PKF’s director of counter fraud services and one of the authors of the report, insisted: ‘The results should give rise to serious concern since it is surely right to expect all clubs, regardless of their league, to protect themselves against a problem that on average costs businesses almost 6% of annual expenditure. The cost of fraud in football could account for well over £100 million per annum across all of the professional leagues.
‘Our findings also chime with the Department for Culture, Media and Sports’ recent assessment that football’s ‘corporate governance structures look like they belong to another era’. We discovered that fewer than a quarter of clubs had their own internal audit function to keep track of revenues and costs – something that would be seen as wholly unacceptable in almost any other industry in the UK.
‘Reducing the cost of fraud in football is an important issue as it affects the financial health and stability of not just the clubs themselves but, in many cases, the communities that live around them. Regardless of their league, if football clubs want to provide the best deal for their fans then they need to review the current practice and ensure that they are properly protected against fraud.