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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Match fixing scandal in Italy

Italian police visited the national team's training ground near Firenze earlier this week as part of an ongoing match fixing investigation.   Among those arrested in the latest phase were Stefano Mauri, the captain of Lazio.

Police from Cremona in northern Italy are leading the so-called 'Last Bet' investigation which is said to involve eight matches from the 2010-11 season.   It is alleged to involve several teams in the top three divisions and an international betting syndicate that extends to Singapore and South Africa.

American takeover at Leeds?

A mystery American consortium may make a bid for Leeds United.   They are understood to have toured Elland Road and the Thorpe Arch training facility this week.

Leeds finished 14th in the Championship last season and supporters voted with their feet as the average home attendance fell by more than 4,000.   Fans consider that the club has been languishing in the Championship for too long and would welcome solid new investment that would underwrite a sustained bid for promotion.

Football market continues to grow

Against a background of recession and economic turbulence in Europe people are continuing to enjoy their football.   The latest report from Deloitte Sports Business shows that the football market is continuing to grow, although the Bundesliga remains the most profitable league.

Here are some highlights we have not covered in earlier reports:

Football League also doing well

The latest annual review of football finance from Deloitte Sports Business understandably focuses on the Premiership, but also points out the achievements of the Football League are sometimes overlooked, although there also grounds for concern.

Revenue in the Football League Championship increased by £17m (4%) to £423m, prompted by an increase in the solidarity payments from the Premier League and the promotion of some larger clubs into the division.  

Ground share proposed for Orient

Ground shares have never been popular with football fans and have usually happend as an emergency measure when clubs have been deprived of their normal home, e.g., Brighton and the Goldstone Ground, Charlton and The Valley.

Revenue up but profits down in Premiership

The publication of the annual review of football finance by Deloitte Sports Business is always a major event for those interested in the business side of football.   The latest review shows that, against a very difficult economic background, Premiership clubs have boosted revenues, showing the continuing appeal of the competition.

Fifa sticks its oar in at Rangers

It often seems to be one step forward two steps backward at Rangers.   After yesterday's court victory, Sepp Blatter and his bunch of cronies in Switzerland have stuck their oar in and are issuing all sorts of threats to the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

Rangers transfer ban quashed

Rangers have won a court case against a transfer ban imposed on them by the Scottish Football Association (SFA).  The ban would have seriously compromised their ability to compete next season.

Why is China a big spender?

China is a major emerging power economically and politically, perhaps destined to be the leading power in the world according to some analysts, although its per capita income is well below that of developed countries. Many people still live in relative poverty, despite the growth of the urban middle class.

Kettering quit Conference

Kettering Town's debts have led them to resign from the Blue Square Bet North where they had been relegated.  They will play in the Southern League Premier next season.

The club's debts total £1.2m.   Former chairman Imraan Ladak and other directors owed money have agreed to write off their loans and to leave £402,000 outstanding.   Creditors will get about 10p in the pound as part of a three year company voluntary arrangement.