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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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Barnsley takeover has great potential

Outgoing Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne is terminally ill with bowel cancer and does not expect to see the end of the season.  His poignant programme notes for Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie (actually written by his wife Jean) justifiably attracted widespread and sympathetic attention on the internet and my thoughts go out to him and his family at this time.

At the match against Aston Villa in the 66th minute supporters in all four stands stood with their mobile phones illuminated and sang the name of their 66-year old owner.

Royals confident of Premiership green light

Reading FC's chief executive Ron Gourlay is confident that the club's majority Chinese owners will be approved by the Premier League as fit and proper persons should the Royals be promoted.

The Northampton riddle

Northampton is a propserous and growing town in middle England, close to the M1.  Some of the countryside and villages in Northamptonshire is really attractive and houses built of honey coloured stone attract half the prices they would in the Cotswolds.

Has the 'bubble burst' for Chinese owners?

I am always suspicious of articles which claim that the bubble has burst or is about to burst in relation to the Premier League.   If I was given a pound for each time I had read such a story, I could afford a good meal out on the proceeds,

Bolton should escape points deduction

Bolton Wanderers should escape a points deduction after Sports Shield, the company that owned 37.5 per cent of the club, entered voluntary liquidation.

The EFL have announced that they will 'review' the situation with an announcement expected in September. However, it would be a great shock if they took any action against Bolton.  If a club appoints receivers, a ten point deduction is automatic.  If the parent company (in this case not even a majority one) appoints receivers, it becomes a matter for discretion.

Morecambe's troubles continue

Following an ownership fiasco involving an absent new owner who turned out not to have the readies (yet again), Morecamble were in serious financial trouble last season with players not being paid.

After the Shrimps' new Brazilian owner Diego Lemos went AWOL, Italian businessman Joseph Cala claimed to have bought the club.  He turned up at the Globe Arena and started giving it large, before Lemos returned as if he had never been away.

Watford receive record fine for forgery

Watford have received a record fine of over £4m from the Football League for forgery.  The actual fine was £3.95m, but they also had to pay £350,000 in costs.   The fine would have been £5.75m if the club had not pleaded guilty and cooperated fully with the investigation.

Chairman Gao has no readies

Southampton fans have contacted me to express their concerns that their new Chinese owner, Chairman Gao, has no money to invest in the club having borrowed large sums to acquire it.   Given that from the perspective of now minority 'partner', Katharina Liebherr, the whole point of the takeover was to provide much needed investment, this has to be a concern.   Instead of going to the next level, the Saints may find it harder to stay at the present one.

Barnsley targeted by Chinese billionaire

The long march of China into English football has been going for some time now, but I have to admit that Barnsley was not on my short list of possible targets.   However, it is being reported that they are in advanced talks with Chien Lee, the billionaire who is a majority shareholder in Nice and has been seeking an English club.  He made his money with a hotel chain and an investment group.  

Southampton is latest Chinese owned club

Southampton has become the third Premier League club to receive Chinese investment.   Property magnate Jisheng Gao paid £200m (some reports say £210m) for what is believed to be a 80 per cent stake in the club, about the same amount as Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar.   However, it is a decent profit for the Liebherr family who bought the club for £13m in 2009.  It is a reminder that one way of making money out of a football club is through capital appreciation.