Audio & Podcasts

The Price of Football – 12 Days of Podmas

It was so popular last year that we decided to do it again! Join us this holiday season as we introduce you to twelve of our favourite podcasts in the 12 Days of Podmas.

English professional football is a strange environment as we move through the third decade of the 21st Century.  We are told, frequently, that the game is richer in this country than in any other in the world, and the Premier League is ranked, often, as the best – usually ahead of Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A.

Beneath this lies an unprecedented level of debt, with clubs in England’s second tier reporting annual losses amounting the hundreds of millions a year.  More clubs are going into administration than ever before, and in the last two to three years – even before the pandemic – a couple of professional clubs have gone out of business.

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So, how does the country’s richest sport find itself at the centre of such a trail of losses?  How can a player bought for £35 million and sold for £15 million not represent a £20 million pound loss to the club?  What is Financial Fair Play?  How does it work, and what are the loopholes that clubs seek to exploit to avoid sanction?  Just how well are English clubs run?  Why have so many clubs sold their grounds?  The Price of Football seeks to answer all of these questions.

Presented by comedian Kevin Day, the podcast utilises the considerable insights of the University of Liverpool’s Kieran Maguire.  Kieran is an accountant by trade, with a background in insolvency.  In recent years, he has taught modules on football finance, as well as having been engaged to value a number of football clubs – a process he has explained in detail both on the podcast, and in the related book.  So far, so dry.

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What lifts the show, however, is the compatibility of the two hosts, the points of difference between them, as well as the sheer weight of knowledge Maguire brings to proceedings.  Kevin is a professional comedian, Kieran is an academic. Kevin likes a drink, Kieran is teetotal. Kevin is a Crystal Palace fan, Kieran is a fan of their rivals Brighton.  This last point is key: they both care about the game – speaking out on issues such as the relationship between football and the gambling industry; and their names are enough to draw such figures as the PFA chief executive, EFL chief executive, and even a well- known professional gambler, onto the show to discuss the state of the game.

With two shows a week, a news edition and a show dealing with listener questions, The Price of Football is a must-listen for those looking to understand why the game in England is the way it is.

You can listen to The Price of Football on various platforms.

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