Football finance expert tells Sheffield United fans not to worry about setting up loan with Australian bank


Documents filed at Companies House last month confirmed the deal was still in place, with the London branch of Macquarie Bank loaning the Blades an undisclosed sum guaranteed against their Premier League parachute payments until 2023.

The news, just weeks after Aaron Ramsdale’s £ 24million sale to Arsenal and after a window that saw no permanent signing, sparked concern among some Blades fans over the financial situation of their club.

But according to Kieran Maguire, senior lecturer in football finance at the University of Liverpool and author of the book Price of Football, the isolated arrangement is relatively common – especially as clubs grapple with the financial impact of the pandemic. of Covid-19.

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“You have to look at a club’s short term and long term financial needs, and I think it’s short term cash flow issues,” Maguire told The Star.

“It’s certainly quite common. Southampton, my club Brighton took a similar loan from Barclays, West Ham… a lot of clubs are involved. And remember, we are emerging from the biggest health crisis the world has faced in a century.

“These arrangements were around before Covid, but they have accelerated since the coronavirus in terms of clubs going to these third parties. Southampton, Derby, Sunderland have borrowed… if I went through the full list, it would be pretty big.

Sheffield United still owe money on some of their assets, including Rhian Brewster, likely: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“But there is no need to panic at first glance.”

United have suffered a dramatic drop in earnings following relegation from the Premier League, while payouts on some of their important signings made since promotion to the league will still be owed to other clubs.

In return for providing the money up front, Macquarie charges a fee. While the exact cost to United is unknown, Maguire believes clubs typically pay between six and eight percent.

“It’s not cheap, but it’s not obscene,” Maguire added.

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