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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

English Leagues


A different way of ranking teams

The Football League Power Rankings devised by Karl Sears analyse stats and results from all Premier League and Football League games this season to give each team a Power Ranking score.  The points are awarded based on a particular criterion. These include the match result, Standard of Opponent, Match Goal Difference, League Position Differential, Away win and Clean Sheets.

West Ham top choice for Olympic Stadium

As expected West Ham United have been named the preferred bidders for a tenancy in the Olympic Stadium.   The decision was taken unanimously by the board of the London Legacy Development Ciorporation (LLDC). But as London mayor Boris Johnson has emphasised, there is still a lot of negotiating to do.

Pompey fans would like to settle out of court

Portsmouth Supporters' Trust (PST) would like to settle their dispute with Balram Chainrai's Portpin group over the control of Fratton Park out of court.   The PST need to secure control of the ground to complete their takeover of the club.

However, with the court hearing due next week, there has been no contact between the two teams of lawyers and this does not bode well in terms of an out-of-court settlement.

Transfer window could see big spending

With prices high and bargains rare, clubs are not usually incentivised to go out and spend in the January transfer window.  In the last post-Christmas window the net spend was just £32.3m.   However, it may be different this year.   The compressed nature of the table may give clubs the motive to splash the cash.

Agents get more from top flight clubs

If you wonder where all the money earned by the Barclays Premier League goes, quite a lot ends up in the pockets of agents.   They paid a total of £77m to them in the year ending September 2012, a rise of £5.1m or 7 per cent compared with the preceding year.

Manchester City lead the way for the second successive year having paid just over £10.5m to agents. Liverpool are second with £8.6m followed by Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. Did  QPR get value for their outlay of £6.8m which represented a trebling of the amount they spent last year?

What would a salary cap mean for clubs?

Premier League clubs are considering a salary cap and sports lawyer Daniel Geey offers a detailed appraisal of the proposals on his blog, including the implications for individual clubs.

Geey notes that one of the main drivers for this proposal is the desire on the part of clubs not to see increased television revenues go straight into the pockets of players.  Arsene Wenger has recently noted that high wages are now more of a problem than transfer fees.

Crunch point for West Ham and Olympic Stadium

Crunch point for West Ham's planned move to the Olympic Stadium is approaching with a meeting of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) board scheduled for December 5th.  It looks likely that the club will be named the preferred bidder for the tenancy, but there is still a lot could go wrong.  The talks have been overshadowed throughout by the threat of a legal challenge.

Open season on Chelsea

It's been open season on Chelsea since Sunday's demonstrations against the appointment of Rafael Benitez at Stamford Bridge.   For example, The Times has a one page article today that essentially makes one point: Chelsea fans are not ready to bite the hand that feeds them.  Actually, one Chelsea fan did put his head about the parapet on 606 and say that it was time to thank Roman Abramovich for all he had done to rescue the club and ask him to move on.

New crunch point at Coventry

Crunch talks over Coventry City's future have reached breaking point with Ricoh Arena bosses calling the current situation unacceptable.   Stadium bosses Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL) have hit out as the club's unpaid Ricoh rent bill is about to reach £1million.

Social media key as Arsenal refocuses membership strategy

Arsenal's marketing manager and head of social media, Charles Allen, has told the Financial Times, 'We're refocusing our whole membership strategy away from the UK market.'   Social media are key to getting '100m people inside the Emirates on matchdays.'

Arsenal now has a digital matchday programme available for £3 as an iPad app, the same price as the print programme.   It has been downloaded an average of 5,000 times per match, compared with sales of 12,500 per match for the print programme.