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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

European Leagues

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Players to wear embedded cameras

Spain's FirstVision has created a shirt to be worn by players with an embedded camera at chest level to provide broadcast standard video.   The device has been tested by players in training sessions at Barcelona and by officials in a match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.   The content was distributed by 150 broadcasters.

Points deduction for not sorting out finances

The Dutch football authorities have deduced FC Twente three points for failing to make progress on required financial reforms.

One wonders if this could be used more widely given that fines are not a big constraint for wealthy clubs and even transfer embargoes or squad restrictions have their limitations.   It could, of course, only be applied at a domestic level.

Greek government backs down on football ban

The new left-wing Greek Government has had to compromise in its negotiations with the European Union and now it has had to back down on a proposed indefinite ban on football in the Greek Super League.  Governing party Syriza is facing internal tensions over its deal with the EU and could not expend political capital stopping the country's favourite sport.  There will now be just a ban on this weekend's Super League Matches.

The sad tale of Parma FC

Recently I was one of the examiners for a PhD thesis on cheese.   One of the other examiners was Italian and there was a big debate about the quality of different types of Parmesan cheese.   There are real cheese wars going on between 'New World' and 'Old World' countries and it's a major source of conflict in international trade negotiations, not least over what can be sold as 'Parmesan' cheese.

The strange tale of the club on top of a car park

As far as I know, only one European club has its stadium built on top of a car park: Monaco's Stade Louise. Of course, space is at a premium in the densely populated principality with its very rich inhabitants.   The principality's royal family is an endless source of fascination for celebrity magazines.   If it was a Hollwyood film, you would think it was pure fiction.  

Barcelona in best economic position in history

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeou has claimed in an interview with the Financial Times weekend magazine that Barcelona are in the best economic position in their history.   Annual revenues have tripled in a decade to €530m.   Only Real Madrid does better with €604m.

Barca probably have the lowest average ticket prices of any of the top 15 clubs in Europe.  However, after eschewing commercial shirt sponsorships for many years, it is now highly reliant on the €30m a year it gets from its Qatari shirt sponsor.

Did Scudamore score an own goal?

There has been plenty of moral outrage at the amount of money coming into the Premier League under the new television deal and the amount of money being paid to its players.   One political economy blog has already asked me to write a suitably indignant piece which really be a less eloquent rendering of the kind of article that David Conn writes so well in The Guardian.

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.