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Financial experts confident Premiership clubs will survive downturn

Financial experts say Premiership clubs will be able to survive the economic downturn.

"It's not that clubs can be complacent. Things like corporate hospitality are among the first to be squeezed, and clubs are freezing or even reducing season ticket prices for next season to keep gates level," said Paul Rawnsley, director of Deloitte's Sports Business Group, to the Sunday Times.

"The underlying fundamentals are good for English football, however. The Premier League have just renegotiated their television deal and secured £1.8bn from Sky, while attendances are at a modern high. And clubs are more sensible now - the wages- to-turnover ratio among Premier clubs has stabilised since 2000 to an average 60-63%.

"Plenty of clubs are still going to be stretched by the credit crunch, but I wouldn't expect to see the volume of insolvency cases the game witnessed in 2002. Then, just after ITV Digital, 10 clubs declared themselves insolvent. The following year it was six. This season it's only happened to Darlington, and in the next year I'd be surprised if it was more than two or three."

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