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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Why United are not Tesco

Market dominant firms often find themselves knocked off their perch if they become complacent, their offer becomes tired and they are challenged by new entrants.   Yesterday Tesco issued another profit warning and slashed their dividend as they struggled to maintain their market share.

There might seem to be an analogy with Manchester United.   Certainly for lazy journalists writing off United is an easy way to generate some copy.   However, there are some significant differences between the retail and football giants.

Fashion for flotation is over

At one time it seemed as if almost every club was keen to float and sell shares, even glamorous ones.  It was seen as a way of raising money, a mark of prestige and, in some cases, a way of involving fans.  In all about 50 clubs have floated since the 1990s when television income started to pick up.

El Tel kicks off football fund

Terry Venables is a larger than life character from the school of hard knocks typical of an earlier generation of managers perhaps best represented today by Harry Redknapp or new Palace manager Neil Warnock.

'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Top Premier League transfers

An interesting infographic has been produced on top Premier League transfers, both in and out of the top flight.

The folks behind this say, 'We're highlighting 6 of the biggest transfers into the Premier League and the 6 biggest out of the league.  The players highlighted in the graphic are the players we believe were the biggest moves, but obviously that is just an opinion that's open to discussion.'

Bashing the Premier League

It's fashionable to bash the Premier League.  It may be a commercial success, it may bring world class players to England and it may have a global profile, but this only encourages its opponents to cut down the tall poppy.

The charges are well known, and they are not all without some justification, but are often exaggerated. It is claimed that it has undermined the national team; it has killed off lower level teams and grass roots football; and the players are all overpaid. 

Being careful with your money

Turf Moor is one of the most atmospheric old style grounds in football.  I have sat in the away end, but also in the home stand for a game against Hull.   Tonight it is the money men of Chelsea who are the visitors.

Premiership set for new cash bonanza

The rivalry between BT and Sky means that the Premier League looks set for a new cash bonanza when the live television rights are auctioned at the end of the year.

BT have set their sights high, having managed to outwit rivals with a shock swoop for games in the last round.    It won't have the element of surprise this time, but the telecoms group reckons that having secured the Champions League rights last November puts them in a stronger position in this round. However, they will not be satisfied with keeping what they have.  

Bulls on the Brink

Hereford United, expelled from the Conference and playing in the Southern Premier League, are once again on the verge of going out of business.

The Bulls tried to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors, but there was insufficient support.  In particular, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which is owed £170,000, refused to agree. For some time now the tax authorities have lost their patience with football clubs them using them as a free credit card at the expense of other taxpayers.

Which cars do Premier League footballers drive?

Once you have made the grade as a footballer the first thing you will want is an expensive car.  But which car do footballers favour? The Range Rover is the most popular car with Premiership footballers, according to research by Oracle Finance. 

British made cars do rather well, although perhaps more of the minority of English players in the Premier League use Oracle Finance.  The Range Rover is made in Solihull in the West Midlands and the second favourite, the Bentley, is made in Crewe.   That is followed in third place by the Range Rover Sport.