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European Leagues

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El Tel kicks off football fund

Terry Venables is a larger than life character from the school of hard knocks typical of an earlier generation of managers perhaps best represented today by Harry Redknapp or new Palace manager Neil Warnock.

'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Is football making a break through in the US?

It's a question which has been asked many times before and usually gets a positive but over optimistic answer.   However, the attendance of 109,318 for last night's game between Manchester United and Real Madrid was the biggest ever recorded in the US for a soccer game and was impressive by any standards. Apparently, the fact that the crowd sat on benches helped to cram them in.

Top 100 European Football Clubs Ranked by Average Attendance 2014

Presented below a list of the top 100 European Football Clubs as ranked by their average match attendances in domestic league matches during season 2013/14. Borussia Dortmund (80,295) maintained their first position from last year, followed by Manchester United (75,205) and Barcelona (72,115). Real Madrid (71,565) and Bayern Munich (71,000) rounded out the top 5.

Clubs get over €1bn from European club competitions

Clubs taking part in the Champions League and Europa League in 2013-14 received €1.1bn from Uefa with 86 per cent of the money going to clubs taking part in the Champions League.

Performance bonuses were paid for every win or draw in the group stage (€1m per win and €0.5m per draw) and each knockout round reached, while funds from the market pool were divided according to the proportional value of the national television market.

Valenciennes hit financial problems

Ligue 2 club Valenciennes, relegated from Ligue 1 last season after finishing 19th, are facing financial problems. Yesterday Finorpa Group, who specialise in financial aid to companies (including football clubs) in the Calais region, decided not to grant a €1 million subsidy to the club. This is another blow for the club, who have to present their plans to rescue the club’s finances in the coming days to the DNCG.

Salaries for the month of May have not been paid and the total deficit is believed to be in the region of €8m.

Financial problems hit three Dutch clubs

The Dutch football association has placed three Eredivisie sides on special measures because of their precarious finances. FC Twente, NAC Breda and Excelsior will come under KNVB supervision as will De Graafschap and Fortuna Sittard from the Jupiler league.

Atlético not a model club

Atlético Madrid may look like Davids compared to the Goliaths of Real Madrid, but they have a complex financial history.   Uefa may well see them as far from being a model club given a record of financial recklessness and the regular use of third party signings, something Uefa would like to see stopped.

Their financial model is so complex that Singapore billionaire Peter Lim, who wanted to buy a club n Spain, took one look at Atlético and walked away.   Last week he bought Valencia.

City sanctions eased

Financial fair play (FFP) sanctions are expected to be eased on Manchester City.  Rather than having to name eight 'home grown' players in their Champions League Squad, the number looks likely to be reduced to five.   This would allow them to field 16 foreign players, just one short of the normal number of 17.

This would reduce pressures on City as it looked as if they would have to omit some foreign stars and offer contracts to English players who were surplus to requirements, making it more difficult for them to break even.

Commission gives FFP clean bill of health

The European Commission has given Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules a clean bill of health, stating that they are compatible with EU competition law.    This might seem to be a surprising decision, given that many sports lawyers have argued that the rules are in conflict with competition law.   However, the Commission was extensively consulted about the rules.