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A new kind of football ranking, the stewardship league

Think tank Tomorrow’s Company, often a source of interesting fodder on responsible business, has produced a ranking of Premiership football clubs by order of stewardship.

A good way to consider comparing clubs long term. Especially when you consider just how vulnerable football clubs are to the sometimes fast changing wishes of their owners, who often get themselves in over their heads financially, and with the fans.

The overview and ranking is here. And a short BBC article is here.

It will be fascinating to see how, and by how much, this changes next year.

Tomorrow’s Company tell me they’ll be doing the same again in 2010.

As an Arsenal fan, I wonder if we’ll be in second place, (despite current corporate shareholding lockdowns), given the behind the scenes activity involving one controversial shareholder, who apparently supports another club on a personal level and is an Uzbek billionaire (at least on paper).

For football fans with an interest in business, this new book ought to be worth a read.

The authors make the point that football is not so big a business as many people think, if you look at turnovers compared with other sectors.

But the emotional attachment matters far more than just about anything in business to most fans.

Jobs, for many people, come and go. But football clubs generally stick around, even if they are managed as badly as Liverpool by their owners!

By almost pure chance I had lunch last year with one of the key executives that bought the club for one of its current owners.

I’ll tell any reader who wants to know about what I heard. Off the record, of course! Catch me at one of our conferences if you want to know the full story.

Almost needless to say, the description of the buying process was hilarious.

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