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Will football clubs suffer in the downturn?

The last few hours have brought to light what could turn out to be a major problem for the UK sport of football with many clubs now under foreign ownership. While largely unnoticed in the UK press, last week we saw problems with players wages at Heart of Midlothian football club where the main shareholders is a Lithuanian bank. Even though the wages were finally paid at Hearts it seems that West Ham could well be in trouble.

West Ham is owned by an Icelandic consortium and while there has been no official comment from the club it is known that the majority shareholder has seen his wealth hit by the collapse in the Icelandic economy. So is West Ham up for sale or is there enough funding to save the day?

If only it was that easy! West Ham is currently in a battle with Sheffield United for compensation adjudged to be due to the Yorkshire club after West Ham narrowly escaped relegation at the expense of Sheffield United, only then to be adjudged to have fielded an illegal player. That claim alone is said to be worth in the region of £30 million!

UK football may come under serious pressure over the next few weeks with many surprises left in store before the credit crunch is over.

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