All over the UK, there are postcodes which are deemed to be more or less desirable than others. For die-hard football fans, the idea of living a stone’s throw from their club’s stadium might seem like a dream come true – but a new look at debt levels around the UK shows that living next door to a Premier League team doesn’t always mean that their riches rub off on you.
In a new report from Know Your Money, the debts of Premier League football teams and their immediate neighbours have been sized up, along with the debts of people living elsewhere in stadium postcode zones.
As well as noting that Chelsea’s debt to Roman Abramovich means that the team is in more debt than the entire SW postcode two times over, debt ranking tables note the highs and lows of Premier League and surrounding postcode debt.
People living near Watford FC have 94% more debt than their neighbours, while those living next door to Newcastle United have 85% less debt than the average NE resident!
Other interesting points from the report include:
- Londoners sharing a postcode with Watford FC, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea all have more debt than people elsewhere in their postcode zone
- People living next door to Southampton FC, Sheffield United and Newcastle United have substantially lower debt than nearby neighbours
- Burnley FC remains a model club and postcode area, with the team boasting no debt at all, and local residents pleased to have dramatically less personal debt than people elsewhere in the region
View the full report here – how do your team stack up when compared with the rest of the Premier League, and could you learn any lessons in money management from your favourite team?
Using football to inspire better personal finance
It might not seem like it at first, but there are lessons about our own personal finances that can be taken from football clubs and the way they manage their money.
First and foremost, the importance of living within your means. The cost of living is rising, often with wages not matching that, making budgeting and managing your finances a mundane yet essential task. Top-flight clubs are able to throw around millions during the transfer window, which is more than most of us could ever dream of handling, however, the teams are also held accountable for this cash.
Since the introduction of Financial Fair Play (FFP) in 2009, regulations have been put in place to ensure that clubs cannot unfairly financially benefit from their clout, or overspend beyond their means. The rules, which demand harsh penalties if broken, govern how much clubs are allowed to spend on transfers and loans of players.
While nobody is enforcing Financial Fair Play on your everyday bills and payments, it’s a reminder that it is important to stick to spending only the money you have available, or to continually set yourself realistic budgets.
Additionally, Manchester United can probably tell us all a thing or two about checking the small print when it comes to your money. In January 2019, Manchester United owed over £100 million in unpaid transfer fees, because the small print relating to those transfers also included rising interest over the years. Without paying the debts off quickly, costs have soon racked up.
Teams need to think twice about how much benefit a new star striker will have versus the long repayment period. You might be buying a new kitchen rather than a new goalie, but you should still think twice about the immediate advantages of a credit card transaction versus the years you’ll spend paying it off for a big ticket purchases.
Whether you are a die-hard fan, live in the same postcode as a club or are not interested in football at all, there are all kinds of things from the world of football that might inspire you to better manage your own cash – and to end up more like debt-free Burnley than top-of-the-debt-league Chelsea FC.