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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

The Championship

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Question marks over would be Reading purchasers

The Chinese Dai family that are behind a proposed takeover of Reading were previously subject to a Premier League investigation that raised 'red flags' about their commercial background.   This happened when they made an earlier bid for Hull City.

Their most high profile investment is based on transforming unused air raid shleters in China into shopping malls.   They have to be vacated if war ever breaks out.   This raises the bizarre spectacle of people sheltering amid displays of luxury western goods.

Reading takeover near

The acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Reading by Chinese duo Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li appears to be closer.   They were involved in an unsuccessful bid for Hull City.  This week Lady Sasima Srivikorn, part of the Thai consortium that owns the club, said that running the club had become 'too costly'.

This was met with scorn by some Reading fans, given that majority shareholding Narin Niruttinanon has a bank balance of over £400m.

Chinese investors interested in Brentford

Chinese investors are interested in Brentford.   The club recently reported losses of £7.5m and there are question marks about how long owner and fan Matthew Benham can carry on pumping in £15m a year.

The International Investor Group already has a 80 per cent stake in Ligue 1 Nice.  A key figure in the group is Chien Lee, chief executive officer of NewCity Capital, a private investment company that focuses on the hospitality industry.

Four clubs in danger of folding

Four English Football League clubs are in danger of going out of business, says a study by financial experts.

Tough finances in the Championship

With all the clubs in the Championship in 2015/16 having now published their accounts (except Bolton Wanderers), the author of the authoritative Swiss Ramble blog has now come up with some fascinating statistics.  

Of course, it is well known that Championship clubs like to splash the cash in an effort to reach the Premier League.   However, these figures show how difficult it is to avoid a loss in the Championship and how much parachute payments distort the financial picture.   One wonders if their level stops clubs reining in wages as much as they should.

Sixth year of profits at Newcastle United

Newcastle United have recorded their sixth consecutive year of profits.   However, they fell to £4.6m in the year to June 2016, compared with £32.5m in the year to 2015.   Turnover was down by three per cent with a £4.5m fall in media income.

Progress on new stadium for Bees

Work is underway on Brentford's new ground project at Lionel Road South.  Temporary hoardings have been put up and initial site preparation work has been carried out, including the start of essential demolition work.

The Bees plan to build a 20,000 capacity stadium by 2019 and believe it will help secure the long-term sustainability of the club.  The new stadium is situated next to Kew Bridge station, less than a mile away from the club's current home at Griffin Park.

It will also be home to the London Irish professional rugby team..

Parachute payments questioned

Established Premier League clubs want to tighten the system of parachute payments for relegated clubs to stop unscrupulous owners making off with the vast sums of money on offer. Changes and even cuts to parachute handouts are likely to be proposed at the Premier League’s annual meeting in the first week of June.

City to expand global reach

Manchester City's owners are assessing a number of locations as they consider expanding their network of clubs.   The City Football Group already owns New York City and Melbourne City and has a share in Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos.

The Chinese Super League has been identified as a market with potential, while there have been reports of a possible move into South America.   Neither of these locations offers much in the way of gate money, but City may see commercial revenue opportunities.

Is Villa or Newcastle the bigger club?

I am always a little supsicious of attempts to say which of two clubs is the bigger one, as there are no accepted criteria.  At least this report from Sky on Aston Villa and Newcastle United looks at a range of criteria, whilst avoiding offending fans of both clubs by coming to no clear verdict.