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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.

Stadium crowdfunding bond is a first

Stevenage FC are the first club to successfuly use a crowdfunding campaign to develop their stadium. They raised £500,000 in one month to help build the club a new North Stand.

EFL wants a slice of the action in China

The draw for the much derided Carabao (i.e. League) cup took place at 4.15 am UK time.  Mouthy Charlton manager Karl Robinson will sound off at any opportunity to get a quote, but this time I agreed with him when he said that he could not respect a competition which held its draw in the small hours of the morning (not to mention the mistakes in earlier draws with Charlton drawn twice in the first round).

Morecambe's troubles continue

Following an ownership fiasco involving an absent new owner who turned out not to have the readies (yet again), Morecamble were in serious financial trouble last season with players not being paid.

After the Shrimps' new Brazilian owner Diego Lemos went AWOL, Italian businessman Joseph Cala claimed to have bought the club.  He turned up at the Globe Arena and started giving it large, before Lemos returned as if he had never been away.

Rampant Stags

Fans generally have many, often justified, criticisms of club owners so it's nice to see praise for a change.   At Mansfield Town's annual meeting Darren Shaw, representing Stags Fans United, credited finance director Jim Beachill for his steadfast work on the club's finances saying 'Fans really appreciate it.'  Dean Foulkes, chairman of the Stags Supporters Association was even more effusive: 'The finances are incredible, brilliant. People are so excited to support the club.'

Hatters must go up to compete

Luton Town vice-chairman David Wilkinson has said that the Hatters must go up this season if they are to continue to compete.   In his view the gap between the divisions is becoming greater.

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.

Crawley Town FC's Turkish owner pumps in £1m

Crawley Town FC's Turkish owner Ziya Eren has pumped £1m into the club in his first four months in charge. This takes the form of investment and interest free loans.

It is estimated that the club lost £270,000 in 2015-16.  It faces competition from Premier League clubs Brighton and Hove Albion to the south and Crystal Palace, with a new manager, to the north.

Attendances up in Football League

More than 18 million people attended Football League games this season, the highest number for almost 60 years.   Sky Bet Championship attendances surpassed the 11 million mark, with average crowds over 20,000.  

Bid for Port Vale

A takeover offer for relegated Port Vale has been made by the owners of Burslem-based IT company Synectics Solutions. The company has an annual turnover of £13m and its headquarters are near Vale Park.

The offer is for £1.25m which is the amount owner Norman Smurthwaite paid with his then business partner when taking the club out of administration in 2012.  However, he claims to have ploughed in £3.7m since then.