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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

English Leagues

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Tight margins at Bath City FC

Bath is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Britain.   I organised a conference there a few years ago and the foreign visitors were enchanted.   The town exudes an air of prosperity, although no doubt there are pockets of poverty as there are everywhere.

Kettering Town FC may move to Nene Park

It looks increasingly unlikely that Rushden and Diamonds can be saved.   Even if a phoenix club can be formed, it will not be in time for next season.

Steel City decline

An interesting feature can be found here about the decline of football in the Sheffield, not in the sense that it no longer arouses great passions but that Wednesday and United are now both in League 1 but both would aspire to be and have been Premiership sides.

It's the FA Cup with Budweiser

Budweiser is to be the new lead sponsor of the FA Cup.   The Football Association has signed a three-year deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev that is worth £8m a year for three years.   An attempt is to be made to revive a competition that has declined domestically in recent years in comparison to the Premier League and the Champions League.  Whether replacing the traditional early afternoon kick off by a 5.15 start will help remains to be seen.

Player wins case against Blackpool

Marcel Seip has won a case against Blackpool for bonus payments arising from their promotion to the Premier League.   He was loaned out from Plymouth Argyle to the Tangerines from September to December 2009.

McLeish will cost Villa

The authoritative Midlands football correspondent of the BBC has said that moving former Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish to Villa Park could cost owner Randy Lerner around £20m.   This includes the cost of paying off Gérard Houllier and his backroom staff; bringing in McLeich's own backroom staff; and compensation to the Blues (although that will probably be negotiated downwards from the £5m they are asking for).

Manager turnover greatest in League 1

Billy Davies at Nottingham Forest is the latest league manager to be given the sack after reports of disagreements with the board.   However, League 1 managers are more likely to be dismissed than those in the Championship.


Last season there were 58 managerial changes, 40 of them dismisslas, but only seven of them came in the Premier League whereas there were 12 in League 1 according to figures released by the League Managers Association.   There were 10 in the Championship and 11 in League 2. 

Diamonds get a reprieve

The winding-up order brought against Rushden & Diamonds has been adjourned for 21 days.  This will give potential Japanese investors a chance to show their hand.   Having spent a long time now observing events of this kind, I am always cautious about mystery investors, but let's hope for Diamonds fans that it works out.

MUST give cautious welcome to United float plan

Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have given a cautious welcome to the idea of the club being floated by the Glazers on the Hong Kong stock exchange.   They point out that while fans may not like the idea of the Glazers walking away with a big profit, the long-term interests of the club should be paramount.

Could United float in Hong Kong?

The Sunday Times Business section provides authoritative coverage of football among other areas of the economy and today's issue leads with the story 'Glazers eye Man Utd float in Asia'.   The idea of listing the club on the Hong Kong stock exchange is certainly an interesting one with many potential implications.