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The plight of Midlands football

A few weeks ago we published a story about Aston Villa which made some comparisons with West Bromwich Albion.  A Villa fan took exception, pointing out that Villa still draw bigger crowds, even if they have declined.

Truro City given deadline

Truro City FC have been given until 5 p.m. on Thursday to satisfy the Conference that they can see out the season or they will be removed from the Blue Square South.   The club has asked that the criteria be kept confidential for reasons of commercial sensitivity.   City's players have not been paid for several weeks.

Port Vale sale in October?

The administrator of Port Vale, Bob Young of Begbies Traynor, is hopeful that a deal that can take the club out of administration will be agreed in October.   Three contenders have emerged to buy the club with others in the wings.

In March Lancashire businessman Keith Ryder was named as preferred bidder with a proposed £1.3m deal.  When it collapsed last month, the administrator said that he had never known this to happen at such an advanced and late stage.

Leeds takeover confirmed

A Bahrain-based firm that operates on Islamic financial principles has confirmed that it has acquired Leeds United.

Arsenal rely on transfer dealings

Arsenal's latest accounts which will be made public tomorrow are expected to confirm how much the club is reliant on the transfer market to make a profit.   A profit of around £45m is expected, largely generated from the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

The players' sales raised about £54m in the summer of last year which offset an operating football loss before transfers for the year to May 2012.   This loss reflects the impact of a high wage bill and relatively modest commercial income.

New bid for fan ownership at Blackburn

The decision taken by Blackburn Rovers owners Venky's to give controversial manager Steve Kean the vote of confidence has given added significance to developments in the structure of fans' trusts at Ewood Park.   The decision on Kean is reported to have 'disgusted' some Rovers supporters, but his position remains 'under review' and hence is far from secure.

How can Premier League spending be curbed?

The Premier League is holding discussions with its clubs about how excessive spending can be curbed. There is a general willingness to do something, given cumulative losses of £380m in 2010-11.   The difficulty is that different clubs have conflicting interests, making it difficult to arrive at a consensus position.   Any proposal requires the agreement of 14 out of 20 clubs to come into effect.

Investors at Elland Road for game

Potential investors in Leeds United were present at Elland Road yesterday for the 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.   Four representatives from Bahrain were at the game.  The investors are a banking institution with interests across the Gulf, Africa and Asia.

It is not clear at this stage whether they intend to acquire all of the 72.85 per cent stake in the club held by Ken Bates.  However, it is evident that talks have been going on for some time with London lawyers representing the investors.

Fifth bid made for Portsmouth

A fifth formal bid has been made for Portsmouth by Portco Ltd., a group of UK investors fronted by Scottish businessman Harry Kerr.    Kerr is the director of a successful financial services company called Avalon and is a fan of Hibernian and Arsenal.

The group has produced proof of funds.  It is believed that they are interested in the 'sleeping giant' potential of the club and the possibility of redeveloping Fratton Park.   That is, however, linked with 10 acres of car park and office space to the north and west of the stadium.

Celtic relaxed about loss and debt

Celtic are relaxed about a small profit turning into a loss of more than £7m and debt increasing by £2m.

The club's preliminary results for the year ending 30 June showed a decline in turnover to £51,34m, an increase in operating expenses of £1.93m and an overall loss of £7.37m.   The level of debt has risen from £0.53m in June 2011 to £2.77m in June 2012.