One in Eight Scottish Football Clubs Faces Financial Trouble

May 6, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. financial distress
[fi-NAN-shuh l dih-STRES] (noun phrase) – a situation in which a company fails or has difficulty paying its debt
Example: Football clubs face financial distress as they struggle to pay off their debts.

2. lay emphasis on [ley EM-fuh-sis on] (idiom) – to highlight or focus on something
Example: The football coach laid emphasis on the most important plan to win the game.

3. go through the roof [goh throo thuh roof] (idiom) – to increase greatly
Example:  Ticket sales went through the roof as people filled the football arena for the final game of the season.

4. worrisome [WUR-ee-suh m WUHR-] (adj.) – causing worry or concern
Example: The coach found his team’s lack of energy to be very worrisome.

5. tricky [TRIK-ee] (adj.) – unpredictably difficult; requiring care and skill
Example: Playing in the rain can become a tricky situation for soccer players.

Read the text below.

A recent survey conducted by Begbies Traynor, an accountancy firm in the UK, revealed that one out of eight football clubs in Scotland is in financial distress.

According to the firm, six out of 32 clubs are facing financial difficulties, while only four clubs are doing better financially. Begbies Traynor also stressed that Scottish football clubs are still in the same level of distress as last year.
Analysts laid emphasis on the Scottish Premier League (SPL), Scotland's top-level league of professional football clubs. The survey shows that SPL's attendance has crashed from 13,861 to 9,901.

This drop happened after Rangers Football Club, a popular Scottish football club, moved to the bottom division last year. As devoted fans followed the Rangers, ticket sales in the bottom division went through the roof. However, Rangers’ transfer resulted to the decreased attendance in the SPL’s top division.

The overall ticket sales of the SPL, while worrisome, actually improved compared to last autumn’s attendance. Analysts believe that this improvement can be a sign that the football clubs are finally coping with their financial troubles.

According to Ken Pattullo, a football finance expert at Begbies Traynor, the survey implies that the football industry is starting to address its financial management issues. But, Pattullo stressed that the football clubs are in a very tricky situation and must be very careful in handling their finances if they want to return to profitability.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think football is popular in so many countries?
·         Aside from entertainment, what other good things does watching sports provide?

Discussion B

·         What are some of the common reasons why people go through financial problems?
·         In times of economic difficulty, how can people manage their finances well?


May 6, 2013