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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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SPL meeting is latest weather casualty

A key meeting to discuss proposals to reconstruct the Scottish Premier League (SPL) that was due to be held today has been called off because of the bad weather.   It is now hoped that it can be held on 4 January.

Mr Campbell sees it differently on player wages

It took a minute or two for the penny to drop yesterday when I read the third article in the Financial Times series on football in crisis which looked at player wages and there started to be a series of quotations from a  'Mr Campbell'.   Then I realised that this was none other than Sol Campbell, currently at Newcastle United.

Ecclestone in charge at Super Hoops

Bernie Ecclestone has taken a controlling 62 per cent stake in Queen's Park Rangers.  He has taken over most of the shares held by Flavio Briatore with whom he led a takeover of the Super Hoops in 2007.   The Mittal family, steel billionaires from India, have a 20 per cent stake.   Their representative, Amit Bhatia, is vice-chairman and actively involved on a day-to-day basis.

Winter World Cup for 2022?

Holding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in the winter is the latest idea to come from Fifa's daft ideas department presided over by chief clown Sepp Blatter.   Well, I suppose it's not quite so daft when you consider that the temperature in Qatar in the summer is around 50 degrees centigrade.   The official evaluation report referred to health risks associated with staging the tournament there in the summer, but they were blithely ignored by the Fifa executive committee.

Hitting the road

It's a long time now since the bottom tier of the Football League in England was regionalised into a third division north and south, although the idea is being considered in Scotland.   Only one team got out of each division per season which meant that teams were condemned to play each other for decades.  But it was thought that it cut down on travelling times and costs at a time before the motorway network was built and teams often travelled by train.

The organised supporter

The latest in the three part Financial Times series on 'football in crisis' focuses on the supporter, but in particular on 'the organised supporter'.   What is an organised supporter?   No definition is offered, but presumably it means someone whose involvement goes beyond attending games and then moaning on message boards and football phone ins about the manager or their favourite scapegoat player.

What do fans think about the Olympic Stadium?

Earlier this week a group of Olympian athletes, including Kelly Holmes, issued an open letter making the case for the running track to be retained at the Olympic Stadium after 2012.   This was indeed the original plan for a legacy stadium, but football would generate bigger revenues and athletics tracks and football do not always necessarily go well together.  

Hull City takeover completed

The completion of the takeover of Hull City by the Allams has been greeted with relief by Tigers fans.  The club has been through a difficult and uncertain period and the delay was beginning to worry fans.  However, the finances of football clubs are rarely straightforward, lengthening the process of due diligence.

Vale fans unhappy with board

Although Port Vale are currently 2nd in League 2, fans are unhappy with the board's reluctance to accept new investment.    They feel that the club has the potential to return to what is now the Championship, but they are concerned that the board's stance may turn Port Vale into Port Fail.   About 100 supporters protested at the annual general meeting this week.

Jags need more through the gate

Partick Thistle need to raise £100,000 by the end of the season to avoid administration.  It's not a lot of money and levels of debt are relatively low, but cash flow is the problem.  Attendances have been dwindling as they have been elsewhere in Scotland and more fans are needed through the gate.