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European Leagues

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Warning signs of insolvency

Soccer economics guru Stefan Szymaski has been undertaking work on insolvency in football clubs.  In particular, he has been taking a look at the French leagues where a stringent regulatory system has been praised by the international football authorities.   However, it does not seem to make much difference in the incidence of insolvency compared with the English leagues.

What does seem to be a warning sign is if attendances fall away over a few years below what might be expected from league position.

Barcelona need to reduce debts

Barcelona need to reduce their debts by €100m if the redevelopment of the Camp Nou is to go ahead. The club has debts of around €300m and the redevelopment would cost €360m.   Transfer policy could also be affected,

Chinese group may buy AC Milan

The owner of AC Milan, Silvio Berlusoni, has been in negotiations with Galatioto Sports about the sale of the club.  They are representing a Chinese consortium headed by Robin Lee, the sixth richest man in China.

The intial offer would be for 70 per cent of the shares and is believed to be €700m.  The remaining 70 per cent would be acquired at a later date.

Italian football needs overhaul

This blog post suggests that Italian football requires a major overhaul if it is to regain its former stature. Doubtless so, but some of the five suggestions put forward would prove controversial, not least merging clubs.   The personal identity of fans is tied up with clubs and successful mergers are few and far between.

The petrodollar derby

Tonight's Champions League game between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain is more than a clash between teams representing two major European cities.   It is also has a geopolitical dimension, built around Arab oil wealth.   It is Qatar versus Abu Dhabi, the al-Thani family versus the al-Nahyan family.

Dr Christopher Davison, a reader in Middle East Politics at Durham University, has described the acquisitions of City and PSG as part of 'soft power' strategies ('hard power' is generally associated with military might).

Champions League spot secure

England's fourth Champions League spot is secure for 2017-18 afterJuventus were defeated by Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.   England now has a lead of 3.97 coefficient points over Italy, although the longer term Italian challenge remains a concern.

Champions League revenue and the associated prestige is of vital importance to top clubs.

'Leicester don't matter' says breakaway boss

The man behind the idea of a breakaway European super league has argued that Leicester City do not matter in terms of the global popularity of football.  'What would Manchester United argue, did we create soccer or Leicester?', said Charlie Stillitano, chairman of Relevent Sports.

The 'big five' teams would make far more money if they were guaranteed entry to a revamped Champions League.   Clubs like Manchester United deserved a permanent place in the competition.

Success on a small budget

Their town in the Basque Country has a population of 27,000, their municipal stadium can only accommodate 6,000, yet Eibar Ipurua are not only in La Liga, they are currently seventh.

Ordered to raise share capital to comply with the league's rules, the club turned to crowdfunding, selling shares at €50 each and raising €2 million.

Discussions about changing FA Cup

The possibility of offering the fourth Champions League spot to the winner of the FA Cup (if they have not already qualified) is one topic being discussed between the Football Association and the Premier League as they look at the future of the competition.

An alternative suggestion is that there should be a play off between the FA Cup winner and the club placed fourth.  All this depends, of course, on the fourth slot being retained.

Cash incentives to do well in Europa League

Premier League clubs may be offered cash incentives to do as well as possible in the Europa League. The plan is one of a number of measures that have been discussed to ensure that the top flight does not lose its fourth slot in the Champions League to a resurgent Serie A.

Italy made up more than half their deficit to England in Uefa's coefficient table in 2015.   They could leap ahead next season leaving the Premier League with only three slots from 2018.