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For most local clubs, football is a loss-making business for now

Local league football was transformed by Gibraltar’s entry into UEFA in 2013, but a newly-released report shows that several years on, most of the Rock’s top clubs were losing money.

Four clubs reported operating loss margins of over 20% for 2017, despite receiving increased funding from UEFA, according to data in the UEFA Club Licensing Benchmarking Report.

Another reported a 10% loss margin, with only one club acknowledging a profit for that financial year.

Conversely, however, player salaries over the same period increased sharply by 26%, according to the report.

The data illustrates the challenges faced by local clubs which aim to progress into European competitions but are constrained for different reasons as to the revenue they are able to generate at home.

The debt ratios appear significant but fall within the criteria requirements set by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

Officials here indicated that there are many parameters which permit clubs to be in debt as they build up their teams.

Not only that, under new UEFA rules, clubs will also have to publish their accounts on their websites or other public platform if they wish to apply for UEFA club licensing, opening the doors to greater financial transparency.

Full article in today's print or e-edition.