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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

English Leagues

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Financial stringency at Sunderland

Sunderland fans are understandably disappointed at an indifferent start to the season.  Some of them think that owner Ellis Short is 'asset stripping' the club in preparation for a sale.  They are particularly aggrieved that so little of the £30m transfer fee for Jordan Pickford has been spent on new players.

Which player offers most value for money?

One can spend millions on a player who then doesn't live up to his potential, doesn't fit in with the rest of the squad, causes trouble in the dressing room, gets injured and eventually has to be sold at a loss.

Alternatively, one could spend relatively little on a player who fits into the team well, keeps himself fit and shows more talent than was anticipated.

New EFL television deal

The English Football League has agreed a new five year television deal with Sky worth £600m, 36 per cent more than the current deal.   Outside of the 3pm Saturday blackout, clubs will be able to stream their own matches online.  All midweek Championship matches will be available for selection by television viewers.

Concerns have been raised about the impact of the deal on attendances and how the money will be distributed between clubs.

Barnsley takeover has great potential

Outgoing Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne is terminally ill with bowel cancer and does not expect to see the end of the season.  His poignant programme notes for Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie (actually written by his wife Jean) justifiably attracted widespread and sympathetic attention on the internet and my thoughts go out to him and his family at this time.

At the match against Aston Villa in the 66th minute supporters in all four stands stood with their mobile phones illuminated and sang the name of their 66-year old owner.

Cobblers police investigation statement

It is clear that the Northamptonshire Police inquiry into alleged financial impropriety connected with a £10.25m loan to Northampton Town Football Club (under its previous ownership) is consuming considerable resources and is being conducted in a commendably thorough fashion.

It was ever thus

Today I submitted a proposal for a book based on this site which has already received an enthusiastic reception from the potential publisher.  The book will open with a warning about too much sepia-tinged nostalgia about how football used to be.  I watched football in the 1950s and there are many different ways in which it is incomparably better today from the state of the pitches to the facilities for spectators.

Royals confident of Premiership green light

Reading FC's chief executive Ron Gourlay is confident that the club's majority Chinese owners will be approved by the Premier League as fit and proper persons should the Royals be promoted.

Football and new technology

Football has always been resistant to new technology.  The first, admittedly crude, experiments with flood lighting were carried out in the 19th century.  When more reliable methods became available, it was first seen as something of a novelty before being widely adopted with ever improving technology (although still vulnerable to a supply interruption at non-league level).

The Northampton riddle

Northampton is a propserous and growing town in middle England, close to the M1.  Some of the countryside and villages in Northamptonshire is really attractive and houses built of honey coloured stone attract half the prices they would in the Cotswolds.

Farewell then, Frank de Boer

After 77 days in charge Frank de Boer has been sacked as Crystal Palace manager and it looks as if he will be replaced by Roy Hodgson.

Some might think that Palace have done very well to stay in the Premier League, but de Boer was supposed to take them to the next level.   This involved imposing a different style of play which the squad was clearly unhappy with, or at any rate needed more time to get used to.