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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

European Leagues

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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.

The decline of the company team

Once works or company teams were a familiar feature of football, but gradually their numbers have declined.   Paternalist firms saw them as a good way of boosting the morale or fitness of their workers and getting some publicity for their brand, in a way that is now done by sponsorship.   Players were given easy jobs and time off for training.

Bayern pay off stadium debt

Further evidence of how well run Bayern Munich is as a club comes with the news that they have paid off the debt on their Allianz Arena stadium.   The debt of £346m was taken out in 2005 and was supposed to be paid off over 25 years rather than just nine.

All this has been achieved alongside success on the pitch.   However, as always, a note of caution is needed about the 'German model'.   It doesn't always translate easily elsewhere.

Spanish court strikes blow at financial fair play

We have argued for some time that financial fair play (FFP) rules at the European and domestic level are open to legal challenge.   In an order of November 17th the Spanish Commercial Court has struck a blow at the rules of La Liga on FFP.

La Liga had penalised Getafe by preventing them from playing Pedro León.   They argued that by doing so it would have exceeded the total amount of money it could pay to players under the Spanish FFP rules. The Court was asked for an interim measure to allow him to play.

Bundesliga tops attendance table

The Bundesliga has the highest average attendances in football at 42,609 and is only beaten in professional sport by the NFL in America.   The Premier League comes 2nd in average attendances at 36,695, but has a higher aggregate attendance at just under 14 million.  The discrepancy is explained by the fact that it plays 74 more games.

Russian football hit by crisis

Russian football is being hit hard by the crisis in Ukraine and the depreciation of the rouble.   The fall in the world oil price and associated gas prices is also a concern as the economy is highly reliant on these revenues.

Bayern aim to be world's richest club

Bayern Munich aim to be the world's richest club and their latest financial results show that they are well on the way there.  On a turnover of £417m they recorded a prodit of £13m.   20 per cent of their revenue came from merchandise sales.

Unlike rivals Manchester United and Real Madrid, they are free of debt.

Uefa urged not to penalise wealthy benefactors

Uefa have been urged by Manchester City not to penalise wealthy benefactors under their financial fair play (FFP) rules.   The meeting with Uefa president Michel Platini was also attended by Paris Saint Germain who, along with City, have received the heaviest penalties so far under the FFP rules.

Uefa may target United and Real debt

Uefa is considering changes in its financial fair play regulations which would target the amount of debt accumulated by clubs.   This would hit Manchester United and Real Madrid in particular.