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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."
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European Leagues

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Match fixing a challenge in Malta

This article suggests that unstable finances and poor pay for largely part-time players leaves Maltese football open to the temptation of match fixing for Asiann betting syndicates.   For example, a top team might go behind in the first half without arousing too much suspicion.

However, the article also suggests that such behaviour is also a problem in other low profile leagues across the world.

Scandinavia Football Club Attendances 2014 - Norway vs Sweden vs Denmark

A comparison of match attendances across the 3 main football leagues of Denmark (SuperLiga), Norway (Tippeligaen) and Sweden (Allsvenskan).

The Swedish 16 club Allsvenskan league averaged 7,135 supporters per match in 2014. The 16 club Norwegian Tippeligaen averaged 6,960 per match. The 12 club Danish SuperLiga averaged 7,930.

Table: Top 30 Scandinavian Clubs - Ranked by ave. match attendance

AC Milan plan to leave San Siro

AC Milan are considering proposals to leave the San Siro for a 48,000-capacity stadium.  They share the stadium with Inter Milan.   The San Siro once had a capacity of 85,000, but AC Milan averaged 40,061 last season while Inter had 46,246.

They have teamed up with the designers of Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena and Beijing's Bird Nest stadium.  It is hoped to open the new stadium in time for the 2018-19 season.

Bernebau may be re-named

The Bernebau, the iconic home of Real Madrid, may have a change of name.   The Santiago Bernebau may in future be known as the Abu Dhabi Bernebau.   This follows a sponsorship deal with oil company IPIC which owns a Spanish company and is itself owned by the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

English clubs dominate world transfer market

English clubs are dominating the world transfer market to such an extent that they are now involved in nearly as many deals as Brazil, the world's biggest production line for players.

According to a Fifa report, of the 13,090 transfers in 2014, England was responsible for 9.6 per cent of transfers compared with just over 10 per cent for Brazil. The number of transfers involving English clubs increased by 193 over the previous year, while Brazil's total declined by 101.

The travails of Lens

RC Lens are facing difficult times.  Such are their problems that they could be expelled from the professional leagues altogether.

Last season they were denied promotion from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1 because of financial irregularities.  The decision was overturned on appeal, but they are having to deal with Ligue 1 with a squad assembled for Ligue 2.   They are also having to play away from their stadium while it is renovated for Euro 2016.

Real Madrid top money league again

This year's findings from the Deloitte football money league show total combined revenue for top 20 Money League clubs up 8% to €5.4bn.

Real Madrid retain the top spot for a ninth consecutive year with a revenue of €518.9m. Bayern Munich leapfrog Manchester United to secure third place. Paris Saint-Germain are up to fifth place with revenue of almost €400m.   Liverpool are pleased to be back in the top ten.

First Chinese stake in top flight European club

Wang Jialin, chairman of the Dailan Wanda property group, is to buy a stake in Atlético Madrid.   This represents the first Chinese investment in a top flight European club.   It should help Atlético to build a fan base and attract sponsors in the key Chinese market.

Wang Jialiin is China's second richest man with personal wealth estimated at $13.2 billion.  His ambition is to build a global entertainment empire stretching from China to Hollywood.   Last year his group bought the landmark Edificio Espana tower in central Madrid for €265m.

Political cronyism hits crowds in Turkey

Attendances at top league games in Turkey have more than halved since last season because of Passolig, which requires anyone buying a ticket to do so with a credit card issued by a bank with close links to President Erdogan.

Either in protest or through unwillingness to surrender personal data to obtain the card, many fans have stopped going to matches.  Crowds at Fenerbahce, which has the highest attendances in the league, have dropped from an average of 42,000 in 2012-13 to about 15,000 this season.

Will fall in oil price hit top clubs?

Will the fall in oil price lead to tightened budgets at top clubs whose owners derive much of their wealth and income from oil?   Among the clubs that could potentially be affected are Chelsea, Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain and Malaga.