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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme


How much fans pay per goal

Four Four Two has attempted to work out how much fans pay per goal.  They have taken the price of a season ticket for a seat halfway up the stand above the halfway line and then divided that by the goals scored in their home league games last season.

Not surprisingly, five London teams top the list: West Ham, Fulham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur who top the list at £47.17 per goal.  Next in line are Birmingham City and Ipswich.

Non-league clubs close

The past couple of weeks has seen more non-league clubs close.  There are usually special factors in each case, but what is perhaps surprising is that the majority of the recent examples are in prosperous towns in southern England where the recession has struck less hard.   In general, however, non-league clubs are vulnerable to cash flow problems and often do not control their own grounds.

North-South divide

The divide between a more prosperous north and a less prosperous south may have had a long-term impact on football, although one has to remember that in the early days of the game there was a preponderance of teams in the north.

Wrexham face closure threat

With their players effectively on strike after the club ran out of money, Wrexham FC face a real threat of closure.   The club has been mired in financial problems for years, but the latest blow came when Crusaders, who have shared the ground, withdrew their application for a Rugby Super League license because they had run out of cash.

Commons report on football published

The report of the House of Commons select committee on Media, Culture and Sport on football has been published.   The report has been welcomed by fans' organisation Supporters Direct and says the things one would expect it to say about transparency and good governance of the game.

Breakaway league back on agenda

After a decade when it has not been a serious agenda item the idea of a breakaway European Super League is back on the agenda of football.   This time it is not a group of media interests but Europe's top clubs that are considering the idea.

Air Asia boss makes bid for QPR

Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes is reported to be making a £100m bid for QPR.   This follows the news that steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal is ready to sell his 33 per cent stake in the club following his bust up with Bernie Ecclestone who has a 62 per cent share.   This spring Mr Mittal tried to increase his stake to become the majority shareholder but had no joy.

No financial crisis at Birmingham City

Peter Pannu, the acting chairman of Birmingham City, has played down mounting fears of a financial crisis at the club.  The assets of owner Carson Yeung have been frozen in Hong Kong before his appearance in court next month to face five charges, which he denies, of money laundering.  Shares in the club's holding company have been suspended.

Lack of activity in transfer window

It has been a relatively quiet summer transfer window so far as there is always a late spurt as clubs accept more realistic valuations for their players or decide there is a gap in their squad they must fill.  However, in 2007 165 players moved to top flight clubs, a figure that fell to about 130 last year.  There have been fewer than 60 arrivals so far this year so the total is likely to fall well short of that for last year.

Why sacking a manager doesn't help (much)

How long will it be this season before the first manager is sacked?   Not that long if prior experience is anything to go by.   As the season progresses, we can expect more managers to be sacked.   Managerial tenure is become shorter.

But does sacking the manager actually make a difference?   Sue Bridgewater of Warwick Business School in her book Football Management suggests that it does not: 'managerial changes in football do little to improve performance.'