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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

European Leagues

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Unknown brands chase football sponsorships

Spread betting and foreign exchange brokers are chasing endorsements and sponsorships from top football clubs while regulators gear up to clamp down on the way they are marketed to retail investors.  There is a trend for partnerships between small, often unknown brands offering FX and contracts-for-difference (CFD) trading with some of the biggest names in global football.

Wenger says FFP will have to change

Arsene Wenger has claimed that changes are to made to Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations within the next 12 months.  No doubt the real agenda here is Paris Saint-Germain.  

La Liga plays catch up as it goes global

Most people would agree that the top two leagues in Europe are currently the Premier League and La Liga. Serie A has slipped back somewhat, in part because of a variety of scandals.  The Bundesliga is catching up in the money stakes and the French Ligue 1 has a higher profile simply because of PSG.

However, according to figures from Deloitte, the Premier League's clubs generated €4.9bn in revenue in the 2015/16 season, whereas La Liga generated €2.4bn.   There is a lot of catching up to do and La Liga knows that it is behind the Premier League on the globalisation curve.

Tebas keeps up the heat on City

Spanish league president Javier Tebas is keeping up the heat on Manchester City.  He has threatened to complain to the European Commission if Uefa do not take action against Manchester City as well as Paris Saint-Germain for an alleged breach of state aid rules.   If that complaint does not succeed, they will resort to the courts.

However, he has also opened a new front over five players loaned to Girona, which is part-owned by City. For their part, City have described some of Tebas's comments as 'pure fiction' and they are taking legal advice.

No FFP investigation into City

Manchester City are not to be the subject of a special investigation under Uefa financial fair play rules unlike Paris Saint-Germain.  In an unusual intervention, Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga complained that City were 'irreparably damaging the football industry' by creating an inflationary spiral. His intervention had the backing of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Billionaires Club

James Montague has brought out a new book called The Billionaires Club which is about 'the unstoppable rise of football's super-rich owners.'   I have only dipped into it to so far but he is a journalist and can tell a story well.

It starts with a chapter about Crewe Alexandria and finishes with one about Portsmouth.  The main body of the book is about owners from Eastern Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.

Uefa launches investigation into PSG

Uefa has launched a formal investigation into whether Paris Saint-Germain has breached financial fair play rules following 'recent transfer activity'.   There has been concern that the effectively state-owned super club has taken financial competition in European football on to a new level.   

There are indications that Uefra president Aleksander Ceferin is inclined to take a harder line on such matters than his predecessor Michel Platini.

Rationality, Kim Jong-un and the transfer window

Everyday understandings of rationality often miss the point.  You may disapprove of someone's objectives, but that does not make them irrational.  For example, portly North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is clearly a nasty piece of work.

Football luxury tax could be blocked by EU

Uefa is becoming increasingly concerned about competitive imbalance in European football with the emergence of super clubs, state surrogates in the case of Paris Saint-Germain.   They think that a situation in which only a small number of clubs could win the Champions League could reduce the appeal of the game and hence broadcast income.

Premier League have another super club to contend with

Premier League clubs have long been frustrated at their lack of success in the Champions League, falling foul of the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid, Bayern Munich etc.  Now they have another super club to contend with in the shape of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).   Up to now there has been a tendency to dismiss what has been happening in France and it has to be admitted that the league as a whole is not that strong.