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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



Financial fair play faces an obstacle course

In a recent issue, The Economist confidently asserted, 'the days of clubs living beyond their means are coming to [an] end.  From this season, premier league clubs will be found by two sets of "financial fair play" rules'.   The Economist never makes any judgment that it is not a confident assertion, but the reality is more complex than this throwaway line would suggest.

Roland Rat takes on the Premiership

Whatever one thinks about Greg Dyke, he has not had a boring life. He was the man who revived the fortunes of faltering breakfast television by introducing the character Roland Rat who was an instant hit with children.

Now, as head of the Football Association, he is taking on a rather tougher target in the form of the Barclays Premier League. When I say 'taking on', Dyke has made it clear that he is more than happy to work with the Premiership. However, his stance may well be seen as a threat to the interests of the Premier League.

Platini: 'I'll see you in court'

For some time I have been suggesting that a club penalised by Uefa's financial fair play rules would challenge them in court.   But now it appears that Michel Platini himself is eager to sue a club to enforce his organisation's rules.

Are football clubs improving their governance?

Public scrutiny heaped on football clubs is forcing their finance directors to pay more attention on corporate governance than if they worked outside the sport, the recent report by BDO has shown.

According to the ‘A New Dawn for Fair Play?' report, nearly two thirds of the 66 finance directors surveyed said they are more focused on their corporate governance than if they were to work in the same sized business outside of football.

Judge throws out Coventry judicial review

A High Court judge has thrown out an application by Sisu to have a judicial review of Coventry City Council's actions on fhe Ricoh Arena.   The application will not proceed to a full trial.

Reading face Companies House investigation

Reading FC face a Companies House investigation into their finances.   They have not provided all the financial information they should have done, but are claiming an exemption.

Premier League clampdown on pubs

The Premier League is clamping down on pubs and clubs that show unauthorised live games on Saturday afternoons.   It is a hired a firm of corporate investigators from Glasgow to carry out spot checks. Last week the Premiership won a High Court action to require the six leading Internet Service Providers in the UK to block First Row Sports, the leading provider of unauthorised streaming.

Can a football club be a luxury brand?

How does one market a club like Monaco, newly promoted to France's Ligue 1? Given the size of the principality, it's difficult to generate big crowds. With a population of just over 36,000, Monaco is the second smallest country in the world and the smallest with a coastline. Only Vatican City is smaller.

No fire at the Ricoh, but Sky Blues fans on fire

Pictures spread through social media yesterday evening suggesting that Coventry's Ricoh Arena, but in fact it was an over enthusiastic rehearsal of a pyrotechnic display for a concert on Wednesday. Even BBC Midlands News had to deny the story, but perhaps it is not surprising that it spread given understandable nervousness about the fate of Coventry City.

Legal challenge launched against financial fair play

The long anticipated legal challenge against Uefa's financial fair play rules has been launched, not by a club, but by an agent who is being represented by Jean-Louis Dupont, the lawyer who secured the Bosman ruling that revolutionised European football.

Belgian player agent Mr Daniel Striani is complaining that the Uefa rules infringe fundamental principles of EU law. In particular, the complaint challenges the restrictions imposed by the 'break even' rule which is central to the financial fair play rules.