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Financial worries in the Football League

Two-thirds of teams in the Football League who responded to a BBC survey are worried about the financial health of teams in the competition.   They are more positive about their own financial health, only four describing it as worrying and getting on for half (18 out of 41) describing it as more than adequate.

Npower to end Football League deal

Npower is to end its sponsorship of the Football League.  The current three year deal worth £21m concludes at the end of the season.   Npower is changing its brand positioning and market strategy to give it more of a retail emphasis, emulating brands such as John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.

Bradford could opt out of Europa League

Bradford City will consider withdrawing from the Europa League next season should they qualify by beating Swansea City in the Capital One cup final at Wembley tomorrow.

The club is concerned that it lose money by competing.   They think that the cost of staging matches and funding travel would outweigh any income from television and prize money.

Involvement in one Europa League qualifying round tie alone was worth about £77,000 per club last season.   The club also earn additional money from sponsorship of matches and even of away travel.

Fifth winding up order for Shrimpers

I don't know whether it's some kind of record but Southend United are facing their fifth winding up petition in four years,   All but one of the previous petitions have involved Revenue & Customs which is the case on this occaion.   The club are due in court on March 18th.

Chairman Ron Martin said that the tax bill would be 'dealt with in the normal order of business', but obviously it was not paid on time, although Revenue & Customs tend to move more quickly on such matters than in the past.

Barnet FC to move to Edgware

Barnet FC will be playing on a different branch of the Northern Line after the club announced that it will be moving the five miles to Edgware by the beginning of the next season.   The Football League has given formal permission for the move.

Big losses at Oxford United

Oxford United lost £750,00 last year and are expected to lose a further £660,000 in 2013.   One factor has been falling attendances that have fallen by around 2,000 to a season's average of 5,977, costing the club £200,000.   Even against the background of a difficult economic climate, this is a big fall, particularly in relation to comparable clubs.

Why does Bristol punch below its weight?

It's a question we've raised before: why does the city of Bristol punch below its weight in football terms? Here one has a city with a population of half a million if you count in the surrounding areas.   It's a dynamic and innovative city, the only one to vote for its own elected mayor.   Yet the more successful of its two clubs is at the wrong end of the Championship.

Boosting attendances

Boosting attendances against a difficult economic backdrop is not easy, although it could be argued that they have held up well considering the circumstances.   Clubs have tried all sorts of initiatives with Morecambe letting in fans free for one midweek match.   It certainly trebled attendances, but does not seem to have boosted them much in subsequent games.

Bradford's Wembley bonanza

Bradford City expect to make £1m through television and gate receipts out of their trip to Wembley for the Capital One cup final.   Winning would add £100,000 in prize money. The club had expected to overspend on wages by £600,000 this year, but they have already cleared at least £1.3m from their quarter and semi-finals.   The players will receive £250,000 of the Wembley receipts in bonuses.