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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership


New Spurs stadium could stage NFL

Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium could host American football matches.  Plans for the new stadium show a much larger changing room in the East Stand.  A typical ''locker room' must accommodate 53 players and 15-20 coaches, far more than for a football team.

Wembley has hosted at least one NFL match a year since 2007.  There will be three more games there in October and November.   Jacksonville Jaguars have an agreement to play a home game at Wembley every year from 2013 to 2016.   The Football Association is thought to collect about £3m per game.

United top wages league

Manchester United overtook Manchester City as the biggest payers in the Barclays Premier League in the 2013-14 season.  Their wages bill came to £215.8m compared with City's £205m.    The wage bill of Burnley was just £21.5m, one tenth that of United.

Chelsea were third with a wage bill of £192.7 with Arsenal some way behind with £154.5m.  Liverpool were just behind with £144m and then there was a big gap to Tottenham Hotspur with £100.4m.  Newcastle United were next, but one might question whether they got value for money.

West Ham reduce season ticket prices

West Ham have become the first club to reduce season ticket prices on the back of the new Premiership television deal.   From 2016-17 their cheapest season ticket will be £289.

The Hammers have been in the middle in the price range for London clubs, cheaper than Arsenal and Chelsea, but more expensive than Crystal Palace.

Sceptics have questioned what they are going to do about price categories, ordinary admissions and away ticket prices which have been the focus of recent campaigns.

The gap with the super elite gets wider

The gap between the super elite of European clubs and the next tier is getting wider.   Clubs like Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Southampton have enjoyed success through good management and smart player acquisitions, but sustaining that success is difficult.

Newcastle sitting on pile of cash

Newcastle United's full accounts have now been filed at Companies House and they show that £38.6m has been transferred into the club's bank accounts as a cash flow sum, £4.5m of which was used to pay off an overdraft.

This news will reinforce criticisms that the club puts profit before ambition, having failed to sign a player in the January transfer window.   Fans are planning a boycott of Sunday's home game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Aston Villa deal imminent

A deal to sell Aston Villa to a consortium for around £150m is thought to be imminent.  Due diligence has been in progress and the purchasers are just waiting to ensure that the club's Premiership place is secure.

Because of the impending deal Villa have not made any arrangements for a pre-season tour.   Randy Lerner will make a rare visit to a Villa match when he attends the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

It remains to be seen whether new owners can realise the potential of this sleeping giant.

Labour's plans for football

The Labour Party manifesto issued today contains a section on football, a subject of considerable interest to shadow health minister Andy Burnham.

It states, 'Football clubs are an important part of many people’s identity and sense of belonging. They are more than just businesses. But despite their importance in the lives of their members and supporters, too often there are no effectivemeans for fans to have a say in how their clubs are run.'

Lot of interest in buying Baggies

At least five groups have now expressed an interest in taking over West Bromwich Albion.  An Australian consortium, two groups from the Far East and a potential buyer from the United States are known to have expressed an interest.   At least one other group of possible buyers has already been shown round The Hawthorns and the training ground.

The Ashley formula at Newcastle United

Top football journalist David Conn takes an in depth look at the state of Newcastle United under the regime of Mike Ashley.

Conn's assessment that Ashley wants to hold on the golden riches of the Premier League, but reckons he cannot compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.   Hence, he is happy to settle for mid-table.

Crystal Palace make good profit

As the Premier League returns to the black, Crystal Palace are the latest club to report a profit.    They have managed to achieve 25 per cent pre-tax profits, £23m on turnover of £93.4m.   They achieved a good profit in percentage terms in their last year in the Championship, £3.5m on a much smaller turnover of £14.5m or 24 per cent.

Their case illustrates how much the smaller clubs in the Premier League rely on broadcasting revenue which accounts for 81 per cent of their turnover.