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The Championship

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EFL to revisit fit and proper persons test

The English Football League is to revisit its fit and proper persons test for club owners.   The specific stimulus appears to have been events at Leyton Orient, although protests at other clubs are also mentioned.

In particular, the EFL is looking at what happens to a club after it has been purchased.

Big boost in Championship television coverage

There will be a big increase in the number of Championship matches shown live on television according to a tender document issued by the English Football League.  

The EFL would allow the number of league games broadcast live to almost treble from 112 to 324 matches a season in 2019-20. Up to 228 of the 552 Championship matches would be live, compared with 92 at present.

Sunderland takeover talks fail

Talks with a German consortium for the takeover of Sunderland have ended in failure.   The club set a time limit on the talks so that preparations could begin for next season and have now brought in Simon Grayson as manager.

Financial pressures on Championship clubs

The financial pressures on Championship clubs as they seek promotion to the Premier League are emphasised by the fact that they made an average loss of just under £10m in the 2015-16 season.  Only Wolverhampton Wanderers made a profit and that was because of a player sale.

Middlesbrough made the biggest loss at £32m, followed by Brighton and Hove Albion at £25.9m.  QPR had the biggest wage bill at £40.8m, almost equivalent to their turnover.

Leeds United buy back Elland Road

The new owner of Leeds United has bought back their Elland Road home.  The ground was sold on a lease back deal in 2004 when the club was in financial difficulty.

Germans now sole bidders for Sunderland

A consortium of Sunderland supporters bidding to take over the club has pulled out of the running. Because of film and television commitments they think it isn't the right time to get involved.  It is hoped that new owners will be in place before the end of the month.

Rival bids for Sunderland

A consortium of wealthy supporters is ready to rival a German bid for Sunderland.    It is believed that there is a big gap between owner Ellis Short's valuation of the club and its crippling debt and what the German consortium is prepared to offer.

Takeover interest at Sunderland

Sunderland are engaged in takeover talks with a German consortium that has a longstanding interest in English football.   The £110 million price tag on the club asked for by owner Ellis Short does not appear to have deterred them.

Sunderland are being advised by Dr Keith Harris who has advised on the purchase of many clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.

Underdogs win promotion

Huddersfield Town, who won promotion to the Premier League by beating Reading on penalties, are a much smaller club in financial terms than the Royals.   Reading have annual revenues of £26m and Huddersfield £11m.  Reading's wage bill is £31m and that of Huddersfield £13m.

Both clubs, it will be noted, pay out more than 100 per cent of their revenue in wages, but that is not unusual for Championship clubs trying to win promotion.   Huddersfield lose £5m a year.

Decision on QPR fine near

A decision is at last near on whether QPR breached financial fair play regulations in winning promotion to the Premier League three years ago.   The dispute with the Football League will be heard by an arbitration panel made up of three QCs at a hearing next week.