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FSF Writer of the Year – Dr John Beech

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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FSF chair Malcolm Clarke will tomorrow present sports finance expert Dr John Beech with the FSF’s Football Writer of the Year award for the 2009/10 season. John is author of the ever-informative Football Management blog which analyses the fiscal fortunes of clubs throughout the football pyramid.

A Portsmouth fan, full-time researcher at Coventry University, and member of the University’s Centre for the International Business of Sport, much of John’s recent work has looked at the worringly high levels of insolvency at English football clubs. “I’ve always felt that failure in business is a much more fertile topic to investigate than success,” said John.

“To use a comic sporting cliché I’m over the moon. It is a tremendous honour for me to be given such a prestigious award and I’m flattered that Malcolm is coming to Coventry especially to give it to me. I am passionate about sport and follow the finances of football clubs with interest as my own club, Portsmouth, has had its own particular problems for some time.

“It is a very testing time for clubs at the moment, especially those that do not have rich backers. I am humbled that the FSF find my blog informative and entertaining and consider my musings worthy of recognition!”

John’s research suggests that, despite seemingly ever-increasing revenues from broadcasting, sponsorship and merchandising, a financial malaise is sweeping through the game – something he blames on the “benefactor” business model. That is the assumption that one investor has infinitely deep pockets and an unshakeable commitment to throwing money at a club.

Previous winners of the FSF’s Football Writer of the Year award include David Conn (The Guardian), David James (Observer), Martin Samuel (for his writing at the News of the World), Stuart Brennan (Manchester Evening News), and Andrew Jennings (for his book on alleged FIFA corruption Foul!).

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