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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


Is the political weather turning against Spurs?

There is a sense that the politcal weather is turning against Spurs in their bid to secure the Olympic Stadium.   Many Spurs fans, of course, do not want to move to Stratford, although just how many is difficult to assess.

Island football comes of age

A new island football club, Guernsey FC, is planning to join the English non-league pyramid next season starting in Division 1 of the Combined Counties League (CCL) at Step 6.   Last September Guernsey represented England in the UEFA Regions Cup held in Croatia after winning the National League Systems Cup.

Crowds of more than 2,000 regularly turn out for matches with Channel Island rivals Jersey and 500 are anticipated for home CCL games with up to 30-40 travelling to the mainland.   It is hoped to arrange discounted travel for visiting fans.

Are Argyle the biggest losers in the transfer window?

This is an argument that is being made by some analysts.   Given their financial crisis, Argyle needed to raise as much cash as possible and were open to offers for any of their players. Big earners Bradley Wright-Phillips and Reda Johnson both moved for undisclosed fees.  In the case of Wright-Phillips it was probably just about enough to pay off the club's tax debt.

However, this debt has apparently not been paid yet, so the club is still operating under a transfer embargo and faces its next court hearing on February 9th.

Should January transfer window go?

There have been calls for the winter transfer window to be scrapped because of its distorting effect on the market.  Richard Bevan, chief executive of the League Managers' Association said in the transcript of an interview to be shown on BBC Midlands Late Kick Off show tonight, 'It doesn't create stability and it doesn't create a level playing field and certainly in the Football Leafue they are very keen that the domestic window to be scrapped.'

Transfer records broken

Although it is not yet possible to give a precise estimate of how much top clubs spent in the January transfer window, it is clear that clubs threw caution to the winds as the deadline approached.  £135m changed hands on deadline day.   Radio 5 estimated the total in the transfer window this morning at £218m, well past the previous £175m record for the January window.

Deadline day fever

Transfer deals in Europe's top leagues have been on a downward trend.   However, deadline day fever with its auction room atmosphere may change all that as far as the Premier League is concerned.   Fernando Torres is having a medical at Chelsea to seal a reported £50m deal.   Having had an offer of £30m for Andy Carroll turned down, Liverpool have upped their bid to £35m which looks likely to succeed.

U's depend on subsidy

Colchester United have the fifth worse crowds in League 1 with an average attendance of 4,221.  This means that their owner has in effect to subsidise everyone who enters the ground, but he is determined to stay the course.

Clubs that are an easy train journey from London face the challenge of competing with the top Premier League sides that are within easy reach.    Many people who live in Essex have historic family ties with clubs like Spurs or West Ham United.

Wages not paid at Welling

The financial problems of Blue Square South club Welling United continue and now the players and management have expressed their concern publicly about the late payment of wages, to the annoyance of owner Barry Hobbins.

Having met tax debts through a whip round among supporters, Welling lost revenue as a result of the winter weather, including a potentially lucrative Christmas fixture.

Transfer spending up

After a slow start, spending by Premiership clubs in the January transfer window is gathering momentum with some big deals in the offing.  However, it is still likely to be well below the record total of 2008.

Football's negative image

The furore over the sacking of Sky pundit Andy Gray over sexist remarks has attracted massive attention in the media over the past week.   As far as one can judge from radio phone-ins, imprompu polls and vox pop, fans are divided in their opinons.  For some of them it is simply banter or what 'most men would say anyway', an illustration of political correctness gone mad.   For others, it reflected the fact that football had not caught up with changes in society.