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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

European Leagues

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The rich get richer in European football

Critics of the Premier League get a boost when clubs from the English top flight fail to progress.  With the success of Manchester United yesteday evening, two of the eight clubs in the quarter finals are English.  David Conn must have been choking over his cornflakes.

Are feeder clubs the wave of the future?

Many Charlton fans were upset yesterday at the replacement of their popular manager Chris Powell by a Belgian coach, although in some cases that was tempered by the realisation that football remains a results business.

There was also resentment at the conversion of Charlton in what is perceived to be a feeder club for the Belgian Pro league leaders, Standard Liege. However, given the state of football finances and the difficulty of achieving success without a wealthy benefactor, could that be the way ahead for smaller clubs? Are Charlton ahead of the curve?

Bayern Munich tainted by association

We are always being told by David Conn and other advocates of transplanting the 'German model' into English football (and other aspects of UK life) that the Bundesliga and its clubs are in effect morally superior to those in the Premiership. They charge fans less, have more fan involvement and have managed to be both ethical and profitable.

Duchâtelet targets Italian club

Standard Liege and Charlton Athletic owner Roland Duchâtelet has been aiming to add an Italian club to his European network of clubs and it looks as if he might have found a suitable candidate in Serie B Bari, according to Belgian sources.

One time Serie A club Bari were run by the family business Matarrese for 37 years, but they can no longer cope with the club's debts. These are said to amount to €30m and the club is on the verge of bankruptcy.

There have been no new developments in relation to the Belgian microelectronics millionaire's efforts to buy a Portuguese club.

Uefa investigating 76 clubs under financial fair play

UEFA is investigating 76 unidentified Champions League and Europa League clubs for potentially breaking the Financial Fair Play rules designed to curb excessive spending. Chelsea are thought not to be under investigation, but Manchester City are.

The first sanctions against clubs will be announced in April, UEFA announced today. Clubs involved in more serious cases will also be identified then, with UEFA setting a June deadline to publish verdicts ahead of the qualifying round draws for next season's competitions.

Barcelona deny tax irregularities

Barcelona have denied any tax irregularities in relation to the signing of Neymar. However, in order to safeguard their reputation, they have made a tax declaration of just over €13.5m (£11.1m). However, they insist that the original tax payment was in line with their obligations.

Charlton owner may sell his Belgian club

Often reliable Belgian newspaper Le Soir is reporting that the owner of Standard Liège Roland Duchâtelet may sell the current leaders of the Belgian Juliper Pro League, ten points clear of their nearest rival. The offer is believed to be around €50m with the money already paid into the Rothschild Bank. However, Roland is understood to be holding out for €60m.

The owner has a family of six European football clubs in ownership either directly or indirectly. However, the Walloon club is regarded as the mother ship with other clubs performing a player development role.

£130m spend in transfer window

Premier League clubs spent around £130m in the January transfer window, according to analysis by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. This figure is above the amount spent in January 2013 (£120m), but less than the record level seen in January 2011 (£225m).

Racing Santander banned from 2014-15 Copa del Rey after Thursday's no-play protest

Players and footballing staff at Spanish football club Racing Santander (Real Racing Club de Santander, S.A.D.) had declined to compete against Real Sociedad in the second leg of the quarter-final of the Copa Del Rey (King’s Cup) in protest at not having being paid for several months.

Is it really financial fair play?

The recent Deloitte annual Money League report shows how important the commercial segment of the revenue of top clubs is becoming. An average of 41 per cent of the revenues generated by the top 20 clubs came from commercial sources.

Match day sales now account for only a fifth of revenues. At AC Milan, it is as low as one tenth. Even broadcast revenues are now behind commercial revenues, their share falling from 42 per cent to 37 per cent.