Football Football Finance (or lack of it...)


Champion Elect
Not sure everyone will be interested in this, but... During the Match of the Day coverage of the Championship tomorrow (Bristol City v WBA), Sunday 21st Feb, Bristol City fan Jonathan Pearce is apparently doing a feature on the "Ashton Gate 8".

For those not aware, in 1982 the AG8 tore up their contracts, in order to save the bankrupt football club known as Bristol City. Without that, plus the action of a few others, Bristol City Football Club would not exist today.

No doubt, JP's feature tomorrow has a lot to do with Portsmouth's current plight, as per this recent article on the BBC website.

Bristol City faced going to the wall, owing money to, amongst others, the inland revenue. A deal was thrashed out with local firms & accountants to save the club, but part of the deal involved eight players leaving.

The players Geoff Merrick, Chris Garland, Trevor Tainton, David Rodgers, Jimmy Mann, Gerry Sweeney, Peter Aitken and Julian Marshall, all had to agree to the proposed idea that they would only get half of their contract, if they left.

They had to weigh up saving their club against risking their family's financial security. With only minutes before the deadline the players agreed and walked away. Their actions saved Bristol City and allowed the club to stay alive.

Radio Bristol did a feature on the Ashton Gate 8 a few years ago, including interviews with the players involved.
Here is a radio Bristol article on the AG8, including links to the interviews with the eight players.

Perhaps Portsmouth will escape going to the wall, but when will football clubs learn the lesson of financial mistakes of the past?
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