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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

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Football and new technology

Football has always been resistant to new technology.  The first, admittedly crude, experiments with flood lighting were carried out in the 19th century.  When more reliable methods became available, it was first seen as something of a novelty before being widely adopted with ever improving technology (although still vulnerable to a supply interruption at non-league level).

Brand management key for Saudi football

Brand management is seen as key to the future of Saudi football with the qualification of the Green Falcons for the World Cup a big boost to domestic interest in the game.

The Northampton riddle

Northampton is a propserous and growing town in middle England, close to the M1.  Some of the countryside and villages in Northamptonshire is really attractive and houses built of honey coloured stone attract half the prices they would in the Cotswolds.

Farewell then, Frank de Boer

After 77 days in charge Frank de Boer has been sacked as Crystal Palace manager and it looks as if he will be replaced by Roy Hodgson.

Some might think that Palace have done very well to stay in the Premier League, but de Boer was supposed to take them to the next level.   This involved imposing a different style of play which the squad was clearly unhappy with, or at any rate needed more time to get used to.

La Liga plays catch up as it goes global

Most people would agree that the top two leagues in Europe are currently the Premier League and La Liga. Serie A has slipped back somewhat, in part because of a variety of scandals.  The Bundesliga is catching up in the money stakes and the French Ligue 1 has a higher profile simply because of PSG.

However, according to figures from Deloitte, the Premier League's clubs generated €4.9bn in revenue in the 2015/16 season, whereas La Liga generated €2.4bn.   There is a lot of catching up to do and La Liga knows that it is behind the Premier League on the globalisation curve.

The changing nature of sponsorship

Writing his diary column in The Times on Saturday, Daniel Finkelstein seemed rather baffled by the arrival of shirt sleeve sponsorship at Chelsea, although we have discussed it here.  It is simply the latest way of extracting money from commercial sponsors.  

Whether they get value is for them to decide, although it is all tax deductible.  I doubt whether I get any value from my advert for this site in the Leamington programme, but it is another way of supporting a cash strapped club.

Celtic upset by changes in television payments

From this season the payments made to clubs who have a Scottish FA Cup game televised will be cut by £50,000 from £82,500 to £32,500.  The change was approved by the majority of clubs.

Redknapp gives it large on transfer window decision

One of the rituals of transfer window day when Harry Redknapp was at Premier League clubs was him rolling down the car window as he left the training ground and giving it large on what he thought was happening.

Now supremo at Birmingham City, Redknapp was ready with his views for Radio 5 on the decision by the Premier League to close the transfer window before the start of next season.   Redknapp was all in favour, reckoning that it would stop players feigning injury while they waited for a move.  Who could he mean?

Vialli pitches crowdfunding scheme

We recently reported on the success of Stevenage in raising funds for a new stand through a mini-bond, even though the cluib has a wealthy owner. This was done through Tifosy which claims to be 'the only fully authorised sports crowdfunding platform' after being approved by the Financial Conduct Authority,

Former star footballer Gianluca Vialli is the founder of the platform alongside chief executive Fausto Zanetton, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.   This week Vialli has been pitching the concept to the Financial Times.

Tebas keeps up the heat on City

Spanish league president Javier Tebas is keeping up the heat on Manchester City.  He has threatened to complain to the European Commission if Uefa do not take action against Manchester City as well as Paris Saint-Germain for an alleged breach of state aid rules.   If that complaint does not succeed, they will resort to the courts.

However, he has also opened a new front over five players loaned to Girona, which is part-owned by City. For their part, City have described some of Tebas's comments as 'pure fiction' and they are taking legal advice.