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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


A cheap shot at the banks?

It's popular to take a cheap shot at the banks and this BBC blog has backed up Walter Smith in doing so.   I can accept that Rangers have faced particular constraints in this respect.   But the more general point is that the UK has been living beyond its means in terms of both private and public consumption and it has to be reined in.   That goes particularly for football clubs who admittedly face very special pressures in terms of fans' expectations.  B

Managerial merry go round in full swing

The managerial merry go round has been in full swing over the holiday period.  Phil Parkinson went at Charlton this week although the club are fifth in League 1.   However, the new owners at The Valley were not impressed by what they saw at Monday's 2-4 home defeat by Swindon.   29 managers have gone this season which is actually slight down on the 33 figure from this time last year (but the number could easily go up over the next few days).

Map of football support in London

This map of football support in London is interesting, if only as a talking point.   It's striking how geographically squeezed the support base of the smaller clubs is.  It's also worth bearing in mind that a lot of support for the bigger clubs comes from outside London: my guess would be at least 50 per cent.   In the case of Charlton, a medium-sized club, there are probably as many supporters who have migrated to live in Kent as live in the 'home bor

Cambridge United up for sale

Blue Square Bet premier club Cambridge United has been up for sale by chairman Paul Barry and director Adrian Hanauer.   Seattle-based businessman Barry is willing to sell up to someone who can secure the long-term future of the club which is in need of new investment.

Fans don't like Scottish league reforms

Major changes to the structure of Scottish football look almost certain to go ahead despite opposition from almost 90 per cent of Scottish fans and most of the Scottish media.   There will now be two top divisions of 10 clubs each and a regional structure is likely below that level.   From 2013 the bottom club in the premier division will be relegated while those finishing ei

Andy Mitten at Eurosport on Newly Minted Malaga CF

In an article titled Newly rich Malaga Sheikh up La Liga, Andy Mitten examines the recent fortunes of the Andalucian football club with an estimated 3,000 British expat fans. The Qatari Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani took control of the club in summer 2010 and has already financed some biggish names as players and brought in 'celebral' Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini.

Part-time football one response to big freeze

The harsh winter weather has hit already cash strapped clubs in Scotland hard.   Dumfries club Queen of the South is thinking about going back to part-time football as a response.   They have not staged a home game since November 13th, the worst record since the winter of 1962-3   They are hoping that a cup replay will go ahead tonight and that virtually their only geographical rival Annan Athletic will win.

Asian tycoons backed Red Knights

The Red Knights consortium that tried to buy Manchester United had the backing of two Asian tycoons.   They attracted support from Malaysian airline entrepreneur Tony Fernades and Singapore billionaire Peter Lim.

The role of agents

Football agents are beginning to find life harder.   Loans are likely to predominate in the transfer window and for those agents that do broker deals fees may be heavily squeezed.

In the 2009-10 season the total outlay on agents' fees in the Premier League was £67.1m, a drop of £3.6m compared with the 2008-9 season.   There is considerable variation in the amounts that clubs spend on such fees.   Chelsea and Liverpool each spent over £9m, but the amount spent by Manchester City fell from £12.9m the previous season to £5.9m. 

A quiet transfer window?

The conventional wisdom is that the January transfer window is not a good time to make signings.  Availability is limited, pushing up prices.   On the other hand, one key signing could secure a place in Europe or even the title or help to avoid relegation.   Given the tight yet fluid character of the Premier League this season that could be an even more important consideration than usual.