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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


The cost of relegation

Friends of mine who are West Ham fans have feared that the club would be relegated for some time and now it has happened.    Although the owners have taken something of a 'not me guv' stance about the course of events, they must take some responsibility.

Football dominates sports rich list

The Sunday Times published its sports rich list today and 51 of the 100 on the list come from football - players, managers and former players.   Collectively they are worth a cool £1.264bn.   It should be noted that the list ignores 'owners who buy clubs for personal gain or as an expensive hobby' which means that the Glazers and Roman Abramovich do not appear.

Usmanov wants his say

Alisher Usmanov, who holds a 27 per cent stake in Arsenal, has made it clear that he wants a greater say in the running of the club.   He has written to new majority shareholder Stan Kroenke asking for a meeting, but so far has had no response. 

Is merger the answer for Rushden and Kettering?

Merger is a normal reorganisation device in business, although most mergers are not the coming together of two equal partners but the acquisition of a weaker firm by a stronger one.   However, football is a business not like any other and mergers are rare events, although they do occur sometimes, e.g., Hayes and Yeading.

Mittal considers his options at QPR

Steel baron Lakshmi Mittal is reported to be re-considering his share ownership options at Queens Park Rangers after the club was promoted to the Premiership.  Up to now he has always said that he never intended to be a long-term shareholder let alone take over the majority stake.

The magic of the Cup?

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis is upset that tomorrow's FA Cup Final with Manchester City may be overshadowed by what could be a title deciding match for Manchester United.   This year's date was affected by the fact that Uefa insisted that no matches should be played at Wembley for 14 days before the Champions League final on May 28th.

No complete control for Kroenke at Arsenal

Stan Kroenke is unlikely to gain the 75 per cent holding he would need at Arsenal to instigate a major capital restucturing of the business.   His holding is likely to be not much more than the current figure of just under 63 per cent which means that he can control the day-to-day running of the business including player transfers and contracts.

Alisher Usmanov's Red & White Holdings company have indicated that they will not accept Kroenke's offer and are still picking up odd shares where they can to enhance their 27 per cent stake.

Spurs launch another judicial review

Tottenham Hotspur have broadened their fight over the allocation of the Olympic Stadium to West Ham.  Last month they applied for a judicial review into Newham Council's role in arranging a £40m loan to finance West Ham's move to the stadium.    Now they have applied for a judicial review against the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the Mayor of London, the Minister for Sport and the Olympics and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Big financial problems at West Ham

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has said that the club's finances are the worst of any in the country.  This would seem to be something of an exaggeration given the problems that other clubs face, but there is no doubt that they would face serious financial problems if they are relegated from the Premier League.

Irish group in for Argyle

A mystery Irish consortium has been given preferential status to bid for Plymouth Argyle by administrator Brendan Guilfoyle.   The group - who are working with investment company BCK Wealth Management - is expected to pay a six-figure sum to secure exclusivity, putting paid to bids from Devon-based businessman James Brent (who was the front runner to buy the club) and property developer Paul Buttivant.