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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

Spanish Liga

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Barca owe Cruyff charity cash

Former Barcelona coach and captain Johan Cruyff is upset with Barcelona because he claims that they owe him £850,000 for his children's charity.   The Johan Cruyff Foundation works with disadvantaged children.


Cruyff said that the foundation had called Barca every week and had got no response.  However, the cash strapped club has said that it will pay up by the end of the year.


Cruyff was outspoken in his criticism of Barcelona's acceptance of a commercial shirt sponsor from Qatar, accusing the club of 'selling out'.

United on track for title

Manchester United are on track to win the Barclays Premier League title.   That's not my view, but is the conclusion reached by the Professional Football Players Observatory (PFPO), a research organisation based in France and Switzerland.

How Barca is changing

Barcelona (both the city and the football club) has a very favourable image among those on the left of the political spectrum in Northern Europe.   For them the Spanish civil war defines their attitude to Spain and they invariably will not follow Real Madrid.   It was, of course, all a long time ago: the small but significant group of Spanish civil war refugees we had in the town in which I live has literally died out and all my current local Spanish friends (one who lives opposite me) are economic migrants.

Barca fans split over shirt move

Barcelona is more than a football club: literally it is because it is involved in other sports as is often the case in continental Europe.  But more than that is a symbol of Catalan nationalism and is linked to memories of the Republican side in the Spanish civil war. 


 It is also held up as an example of how fans can own and run a club.  Unfortunately, this seems to have led to massive and almost unmanageable debts which is why Barca has had to compromise its principles and accept a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal from the Qatar Foundation.

Qatar swoops for Barca shirts

Having secured the World Cup for 2022, the rulers of Qatar have made their latest move in world football by securing the sponsorship of Barcelona shirts.    It is actually the Qatar Foundation that is the sponsor, but this is chaired by the wife of the Emir of Qatar who was highly visible when it was announced that Fifa was allocating the 2022 World Cup to the Emirate.  The Sh

Is tourist cash the way ahead for Real Mallorca?

Like many La Liga clubs, Real Mallorca has faced serious financial problems.   But now it has been suggested that tapping into the tourist market on the holiday island may be the way forward for the club.


Utz Classen, a former president of Bundesliga Hanover 96 who has served on the boards of a number of German firms has bought a 10 per cent stake in the club.  He believes that there are real branding and marketing opportunities in the tourist trade.

Financial fair play rules hit home

It's becoming increasingly apparent that Uefa's financial fair play rules could hit Europe's top clubs hard and no more so than the debt-ridden outfits in Spain.   This article reckons that only Barcelona and Real Madrid would be able to compete in Europe which is surely not what Uefa intended - or perhaps they would like to make an example of clubs just below the top level?  It's also a bit of a paradox in the case of Real Madrid who are a very well connected club and have received all

Barca in financial trouble

Despite increasing revenues, Barcelona faces increasing financial problems.  Revenue has been growing, from €297.3m in the 2006-7 season to €415.4m in 2009-10.   However, expenditure grew even faster from €283.6m in 2006-7, which allowed for a small profit, to €486.9m in 2009-10.   All this adds up to a loss of close to €80, in the 2009-10 season.   Net debt has jumped from €291.7m in 2004 to €430.7m at present, in other words more than annual tu

When a new stadium lands you in trouble

Football clubs large and small often believe that a new stadium is the answer to all their problems.  A properly thought through project like the Emirates can contribute to a club's standing and revenue stream.  But all too often stadium projects are driven by considerations of prestige with the financial calculations based on hope rather than reality.

The problem of football debt

This article offers one of the most in depth journalistic analyses I have seen of the problem of football debt in Europe.  It ranges widely across Europe, but has a particular emphasis on England and Spain and the large debts run up by clubs there.