English Football League: Lower division teams receive unprecedented interest from overseas investors

 
Oliver Gill
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Charlton Athletic v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One
League One club Charlton Athletic are owned by Belgian Roland Duchatelet (Source: Getty)

Almost three-quarters of lower league football clubs have been approached by international investors over the last 12 months.

A survey of finance chiefs at England and Scotland clubs revealed 73 per cent of League One clubs had received either formal or informal offers from equity investors.

The analysis, by accountancy firm BDO, revealed interest was predominantly coming from international parties.

BDO said investors were seeing greater growth potential in lower league clubs because the impact of enhanced broadcasting rights may yet to be factored into their valuations.

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Battle

The findings come as broadcasters do battle over TV rights for England's top three divisions outside the Premier League.

Earlier this year, football league clubs voted against triggering a one-year extension to Sky's current TV deal.

However, reports in the Guardian earlier this week indicated Sky were closing in on a deal worth up to £900m to secure the rights for five years. Sources familiar with the situation told City A.M. the reported figures looked "high".

As BT Sport looks set to be pipped by Sky on live coverage, ITV is expected to pinch the rights for highlights from Channel 5.

A spokesperson for the Football League said the tendering process was yet to be completed and required approvals have not been secured.

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