Welcome to This is MoneyBall, the podcast about what happens off the pitch – with Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce. While transfer speculation continues to dominate the back pages, the duo are focusing on something far more important than who plays for your club…who owns it! Leicester Tigers are the latest professional team to be put up for sale – CEO Simon Cohen talks to This is Moneyball. But how do you sell a sports club? How do you value one? What are the regulations around new owners? And how does it impact the fans?
It's that time of year again – Wimbledon, arguably the best tennis tournament in the world, starts next week. Assistant editor Lee Boyce and broadcaster Georgie Frost dust off their picnic blankets, pack the strawberries and cream and talk tennis with British pro – and plucky underdog – Marcus Willis, who has been ranked as high as 209th in the world. We look at the state of the game in Britain and why more youngsters are heading to the US, including 19 year-old Paul Jubb, a Wimbledon wildcard entry who may have to reject his £45,000 cheque. We discuss life after Andy and the true financial cost of training a child up to become a top tennis player – and the physical and mental cost to boot. Marcus also reveals all about his truly remarkable run in Wimbledon in 2016 in which he played Roger Federer on centre court – and managed to lob the best tennis player in history. He also reveals how much money that summer made him and how bonkers life became after he was thrust in the spotlight.
It's been an interesting last couple of decades for Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club to say the least. They fell to the basement division, had plenty of stadium drama and now find themselves an established Premier League team. In this week's This is Moneyball podcast, assistant editor Lee Boyce and broadcaster Georgie Frost are joined by the Seagulls chief executive Paul Barber, who previously worked with the FA and Tottenham Hotspur. He's been at the club since 2012 and gives the rundown of his day-to-day job and how the role has evolved. There is insight as to why the club has been 'scouting' managers for years, before recently appointing Graham Potter, who has a master's degree in leadership and emotional intelligence. He also gives his views on money in the game and why it is a good thing, the 'fit and proper' persons test for chairmen – and how his ingenious plan to give away replica shirts to seven year-old fans is reaping dividends as the Seaside-club goes global.
Pack those Thermos flasks, get on your bike and gobble down a veggie burger while watching the big match - this week, we take a look at the green revolution and how that filters down to sport. Broadcaster Georgie Frost and This is Money assistant editor Lee Boyce talk about what clubs are doing to reduce their environmental impact and whether it makes business sense to do so. Joining us is Julian Kirby from Friends of the Earth to reveal what fans and clubs can do to become greener, while Surrey Cricket chief executive Richard Gould explains the changes it's making. We go into detail about League Two club Forest Green Rovers who have fully embraced the green movement via chairman - and chief executive of Ecotricity - Dale Vince. Can clubs save much by trimming energy bills, would a carbon footprint league table be a good plan for sports clubs and could collapsible, reusable pint cups with a team emblem emblazoned on take-off?
This summer sees the cricket World Cup in England and Wales, alongside women's football in France and rugby in Japan. Broadcaster Georgie Frost and assistant editor Lee Boyce ask: does the hype of major events really impact grassroots participation? We zero in on one of these…and ask whether we can, at last say that with all the media hype, the increased sponsorship and prize money, that the women's game has finally arrived? We are joined by Beth Towle, club chair of South London Laces to tackle that very question. We also take a peek at Deloitte's latest annual football review with Tim Bridge and speak to Surrey cricket chief executive Richard Gould about the current world cup.
The next best thing to being at a sporting fixture has to be going to a pub with a group of mates – but the number of boozers is dwindling. This week, broadcaster Georgie Frost and assistant editor Lee Boyce take a deeper dive into the world of 'pub' sports, namely darts and snooker. As pubs continue to close or be 'gastro-ed' will we see the death of darts and pool being played for fun? We talk to Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association for her opinion. The Snooker World Championship is currently on and prize money is growing – but could that be at threat with betting advertising in the crosshairs of government? Although Britain is not as Snooker Loopy as it once was - with numbers playing dwindling - in China, some 60million are estimated to regularly play. Meanwhile, we talk to the 68th best darts player in the world – Matthew 'Prime Time' Edgar about how he got into the sport, its future, and why he wouldn't like it to become an Olympic event. We also take a look at the news that the Premier League wage bill has hit nearly £3billion and Lee reveals all on his La Liga, Athletic Bilbao experience.
Next month, the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) circus comes to Britain, with live shows in Belfast, Newcastle, Liverpool, London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff. For many, they will remember the days of Hulk Hogan, Bret the Hitman Hart and the British Bulldog. So, is wrestling just as popular in 2019 as it was in the 1980s and 90s. This week, Georgie Frost focuses on the billion dollar sport of wrestling with chief executive of the Wrestling Travel company Lee McAteer. He recently visited New Jersey, in the US, for Wrestlemania 35 - and returns to give us expert insight, talk about the money-side of the sport, and why more people are taking an interest in sports tourism.
Golf has something of a long-standing image problem in Britain. Women are still banned from joining some private clubs, young people now prefer to take up cycling rather pick up a set of golf clubs and it has found it hard to shake off its reputation as the sport of snobs. The monumental comeback by Tiger Woods might be the catalyst this ailing pastime needs. After 11 years out of the golfing – at least – spotlight, the US star has lifted the 83rd Masters trophy. In the latest This is MoneyBall, the podcast that looks behind the action and into the business and the books, Georgie Frost is joined by Alistair Dunsmuir, editor of The Golf Business, for a chat about where golf goes next. Do incredible wins such as this really filter down to the grass roots? Possibly not but the sport is trying to evolve. The big opportunity is women – only 13% of UK golfers are women. ‘If you’re struggling financially, the obvious thing to do is to present yourself as a female friendly club’, says Alistair. Something’s happening in golf. Watch this space – or hole – as one in the business might say. Let’s hope it’s not a black one.
It is 2019 – and yet we still haven't managed to kick racism out of football. We had the England vs Montenegro incident last month, distasteful incidents in Italy - and last weekend, closer to home, in the Championship. England international Danny Rose says he can't wait to 'get out' of the game altogether – what can be done? Assistant editor Lee Boyce and broadcaster Georgie Frost are joined in the studio this week by former Chelsea, Manchester City and England winger Shaun Wright Phillips for his views. Are players given enough support by clubs, do clubs and fans need to do more to finally stamp it out and can the Premier League really tackle the matter in house by throwing cash at the problem? Shaun also gives his views on football agents after it was revealed £211m was spent on agent fees between February 2017 and January 2018, while expert Darren Bailey explains their role. He also lifts the lid on what life was like at two clubs who saw investment pour in when he played for them – Chelsea and Manchester City. Shaun also reveals whether he'd like to get into football management, why players are told to watch what they say and how he lived in Bradley's basement in the Big Apple… for five months.
This week, broadcaster Georgie Frost and assistant editor Lee Boyce are joined by cricketer and author Isabelle Duncan, to talk about The Hundred, which is set to launch next year and what it could do for the game (and its finances). How do the 18 county clubs feel about the move, who will be involved, is it all about the money, can a draft system work and can it help encourage the next generation of cricketers to get involved? Elsewhere in the world of cricket, they talk Mankading, grassroots level, whether the old format will die off, why the game is booming in… Germany and what football can learn from the way women's cricket has boomed. Also on the show, Tottenham Hotspur finally move into their new ground this week with a game against Crystal Palace. We speak to broadcaster and Spurs supporter David Levene who has visited the new stadium about his first impressions – and whether it will spell a stint of success on the pitch. And Georgie gets caught up in a protest at Craven Cottage, as Fulham FC fans fightback against high ticket prices.