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European Leagues

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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.

City decision may be delayed

A decision on the sanctions to be applied to Manchester City under Uefa's financial fair play rules has been expected for some time now.  Indeed, the details of the Uefa offer including a £49m fine and player restrictions has been widely leaked, although it was clear that the club was unhappy with the proposed settlement.

However, the chair of the Uefa panel, former Belgian prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, has been ill and he has now passed away.   This may result in a further delay in a decision.

Uefa tone down financial fair play threats

It looks as if Uefa is backing down from a confrontation with leading clubs over its financial fair play rules. Michel Platini has announced that no club will be banned from the Champions League or Europa Leage next season.   Of course, they could still receive transfer bans and big fines.

Top 30 German Bundesliga Football Clubs by Average Attendances 2013

A list of the top thirty German Bundesliga football clubs as ordered by average home attendances (domestic league matches only) for season 2012-13.

Borussia Dortmund retained their top spot, averaging over 80,500 spectators per match. Bayern Munich retained second position, averaging 71,000, with Schalke 04 coming in third at 61,170.

The average attendance for Bundesliga 1 was 42,625 (the highest in Europe) and for Bundesliga 2 football clubs it was 17,235.

Atletico's success is on shaky foundations

Atletico Madrid have emerged as a third force in Spanish football.  However, there is a history in Spain of clubs emerging to challenge the Real-Barcelona duopoly and then fading as they find it too hot at the top. It seems that Atletico's success is built on shaky financial foundations.

Top 30 Italian Football Clubs by Average Attendances 2013

A list of the top thirty Italian football clubs as ordered by average home attendances (domestic league matches only) for season 2012-13.

FC Internazionale regained their top spot, averaging over 46,500 spectators per match. AC Milan dropped down to second position, averaging 43,650, with AS Roma coming in third at 40,180.

The average attendance for Serie A clubs in 2012-13 was 23,235 and for Serie B clubs it was just under 5,000.

Table: Top 30 Italian Football Clubs by Average Home Attendance - 2012/13

Risk to Nou Camp redevelopment project

Barcelona fans have to vote today on whether they want the project to redevelop the Nou Camp to go ahead.   However, its approval is at some risk after the recent bad publicity enjoyed by the club.

Top 20 Spanish Football Clubs by Average Attendances 2013

A list of the top twenty Spanish liga football clubs as ordered by average home attendances (domestic league matches only) for season 2012-13.

Barcelona retained their top spot, averaging over 71,000 spectators per match with Real Madrid close behind, averaging 70,000. Atletico de Madrid ranked third with an average home attendance at Estadio Vicente Calderón of 44,295.

The average attendance for La Liga was 28,235 and for the second tier (Segunda División - Liga Adelante) football clubs it was 6,785.

Big blow for Barcelona

Fifa has slapped a 14-month transfer ban on Barcelona for breaking rules relating to the transfer of under-18 players that are designed to protect them from exploitation.   The Catalan club has also been fined, along with the Spanish football federation.

The club's squeaky clean image had already been damaged earlier in the year by allegations of tax evasion surrounding the transfer of Neymar.   The then president resigned, but his successor may now face demands for new presidential elections.