West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady has once again spoken out about the impact of the coronavirus global health crisis on football.
Brady was heavily criticised when she became the first senior club official in the Premier League to speak publicly on the matter just days after football was shut down last month.
The unpopular West Ham figure declared the season should be null and void in her controversial column with The Sun.
Now Brady has spoken out again in her new column overnight and it makes grim reading for West Ham fans.
New Brady comments make grim ready for Hammers?
Football will not return until it is safe and sensible to do so, which could be months away.
The impact of the virus is sending some football clubs to the wall, so should West Ham fans be concerned?
It seems so if Brady’s new comments are anything to go by. And she says players must take a 30% cut to help clubs survive.
“With no date for restarting the league, this is having severe financial implications,” Brady said in The Sun.
“Bearing in mind the majority of the broadcast revenue goes to pay the players’ wages it is unthinkable that the PFA don’t seem to understand this. They seem to suggest that the players taking a pay cut means the money somehow goes into the owners pockets which is totally ridiculous…
“No one wants to be having pay cut discussions with anyone because no one wants to be in this position.
“It is a global pandemic and extremely serious. And without any revenue — and no games being played — how on earth do we ensure the ongoing business survives?
“And, take it from me, unless a pay cut is put in place a number of clubs will be ruined.”
West Ham had already made delicate money situation public
Brady does not explicitly state she is referring to West Ham. But given what we already know and her use of the word ‘we’ and ‘take it from me’ the inference sounds ominous.
It was only a month ago that West Ham’s under fire owners David Sullivan and David Gold revealed just how dependent the club is on the bumper TV rights money.
In fact West Ham described it as a ‘necessity’ after announcing £27million losses (BBC Sport).
A report from The Athletic revealed clubs will have to pay back a whopping £762million over TV rights if games are not concluded in what would effectively be a breach of contract.
Here is where West Ham’s big problem lies.
Sullivan is West Ham’s money man. According to The Sunday Times Rich List in 2019, Sullivan is worth £1.15bn. That made him the 133rd richest man in the UK.
But his worth is mostly tied up in an extensive property portfolio.
CoStar News recently claimed Sullivan is putting one of his flagship sites up for sale for £50million.
The Hammers chief gets £1.6million in rent per year from the Russell and Bromley store on Oxford Street.
But CoStar News said he has put it on the market.
The trouble is with a global recession which is inevitable property prices and sales are hit hardest of all.
The TV money West Ham might potentially have to pay back is likely already accounted for in West Ham’s spending.
So Sullivan and Gold would have to suddenly find their portion of the refund over rights. That is estimated to be around £30million.
West Ham WAS the big cash cashflow stream for owners
Sullivan and Gold would have to ‘inject tens of millions’ to plug a black hole in West Ham’s finances should they be relegated according to Claret & Hugh.
But neither have a big cash flow stream to draw from other than West Ham.
The enforced break is almost a similar scenario to being relegated. This coupled with Premier League clubs failing to complete their fixtures or indeed West Ham actually being relegated could lead to the financial ruin Brady is suggesting.
Clearly there are a lot of variables at play.
But it would appear West Ham will need their players to take the 30% pay cut to stave off grave financial consequences.