Should I buy my local football club? Dave Fishwick replies
I am tempted to bid on my local football club. They’re in the seventh level of the English pyramid and I think my investment could help them up a few cents.
I have relatively deep pockets after three decades as a successful entrepreneur and would love to give back to my local community. I was inspired by Ryan Reynolds’ investment in Wrexham FC.
The club has quite a large ground and a good following for this level of football.
I know you are a big fan of Burnley FC and I am interested if you have ever been involved in such a transaction or have you ever been tempted? And do you have any advice?
Ryan Reynolds, co-owner of Wrexham, celebrates as his team gains promotion to the English Football League after victory in the Vanarama National League
Dave Fishwick, this is Money’s business doctor, replies: First and foremost, owning a football club is a huge money pit into which you will regularly invest large sums of money.
You may feel good and confident because you have done well in business and made a lot of money, but you are competing against wealthy individuals.
These include oil sheikhs and hedge fund owners, in a competition to see who can pay the most money for players to win games at every level of the football leagues.
Buying a football club is no ordinary investment; it may only make sense for PR purposes or to raise the profile of your current company.
Otherwise, my advice would be: take a vacation, enjoy your wealth, buy real estate and solid investments.
But having said that, over the years I have been guilty of major involvement with two football clubs.
There is another way you can possibly help your local club without being directly involved with the owner of the football club.
I was involved with Colne Football Club many years ago; I loved helping a grassroots level club.
I helped by sponsoring the stands and paying the wages of a big star we brought in to play for the club – Andy Payton, who had played for Celtic in the early 1990s.
I had a lot of fun helping the club and I went to many games on Saturday afternoons with my young children.
We had a pie and a can of pop and enjoyed watching the games.
I thought that was a much better way to support the club with some money, rather than running the whole thing.
And recently I agreed to give the club a minibus to help move the Colne team; I didn’t ask for anything in return, I’m just happy that I was able to help a club after my own heart.
Also I have been a major sponsor of Burnley Football Club over the last two decades including sponsoring the David Fishwick Minibus Stand.
I’ve helped the club a lot over the years, and it’s returned the favor many times over.
I’ve been a proud partner of the club and recently it featured heavily in my Netflix movie The Bank of Dave, including a cameo from Burnley’s football manager at the time, Sean Dyche.
I’m good friends with the club owner, Alan Pace, and he’s been great.
Dave met former Premiership footballer Andy Payton and asked him to play for Colne FC
So there is a way to support your club without owning the company, you can be a big sponsor who donates and contributes and that will really help them.
You will meet great like minded people and sport is a great way to connect with your community.
Owning a smaller club with a strong army of fans has of course been put in the spotlight with Ryan Reynolds and co, and their success with Wrexham FC.
But success comes at a price – they’ve pumped millions to get them back into League Two…
The David Fishwick Minibus Stand at Burnley FC
Unless you’re on a Hollywood star budget, it’s probably going to be a tough, long slog.
Indeed, it is the subject of a book coming out in August (which Lee Boyce of This is Money has read) entitled: Nowhere to Run: The Ridiculous Life of a President of a Semi-Pro Football Club.
It documents Jonathan Sayer and his father buying Ashton United FC – a club in the seventh tier of English football.
This can give you a great insight into how difficult it is to make a team successful, even with the best intentions in the world.
Good luck to you (and the local club) whatever you decide to do!
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money and use it for free. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to compromise our editorial independence.