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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 Premiership

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Why United are not Tesco

Market dominant firms often find themselves knocked off their perch if they become complacent, their offer becomes tired and they are challenged by new entrants.   Yesterday Tesco issued another profit warning and slashed their dividend as they struggled to maintain their market share.

There might seem to be an analogy with Manchester United.   Certainly for lazy journalists writing off United is an easy way to generate some copy.   However, there are some significant differences between the retail and football giants.

'I'll see you in court'

Football disputes are increasingly referred to the courts rather than being settled by the game's governing bodies or directly between those involved.

Crystal Palace now face the prospect of being taken to court by Cardiff City over the so-called 'spygate' affair.   Cardiff City take the view that the fine imposed by the Football Association for the leaking of their team's details was insufficient.   

'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Top Premier League transfers

An interesting infographic has been produced on top Premier League transfers, both in and out of the top flight.

The folks behind this say, 'We're highlighting 6 of the biggest transfers into the Premier League and the 6 biggest out of the league.  The players highlighted in the graphic are the players we believe were the biggest moves, but obviously that is just an opinion that's open to discussion.'

Bashing the Premier League

It's fashionable to bash the Premier League.  It may be a commercial success, it may bring world class players to England and it may have a global profile, but this only encourages its opponents to cut down the tall poppy.

The charges are well known, and they are not all without some justification, but are often exaggerated. It is claimed that it has undermined the national team; it has killed off lower level teams and grass roots football; and the players are all overpaid. 

Being careful with your money

Turf Moor is one of the most atmospheric old style grounds in football.  I have sat in the away end, but also in the home stand for a game against Hull.   Tonight it is the money men of Chelsea who are the visitors.

Premiership set for new cash bonanza

The rivalry between BT and Sky means that the Premier League looks set for a new cash bonanza when the live television rights are auctioned at the end of the year.

BT have set their sights high, having managed to outwit rivals with a shock swoop for games in the last round.    It won't have the element of surprise this time, but the telecoms group reckons that having secured the Champions League rights last November puts them in a stronger position in this round. However, they will not be satisfied with keeping what they have.  

Premier League opens up new technology war

The Premier League is concerned that fans are threatening its earning power by recording content from matches on smart phone and other devices and sharing them on various sites.  Vine, which is a short-form video sharing service is often used (it is owner by Twitter).  The Times and The Sun pay a lot of money for exclusive rights to this sort of content.

It's tough at the top

Burnley FC manager Sean Dyche has admitted that transfer fees and wages being asked for by potential targets are making it difficult for the promoted club to recruit players before the Barclays Premier League season starts.

Burnley punched above their weight last season through good organisation and effective team work.  It was pleasing to see a club from a relatively small town succeed, particularly given that they were one of the founders of the Football League.  Turf Moor is an atmospheric, traditional ground of a type that is disappearing.

Soft wage cap benefits top clubs

Sports lawyer Daniel Geey points out on his blog that many people are unaware (including me) that the Premier League has introduced a 'soft' wages cap.