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The fight for a Champions League place

Securing a place in the Champions League, even a fourth place play off spot, has become even more important for top clubs.  Getting to the group stage alone is worth £30m.  Getting further could yield £50m as against £6m for a successful run in the Europa League.

Challenges for Inter Milan

After a disappointing campaign, Inter Milan are facing a number of challenges as they seek to re-build, many of them financial in character.   Perhaps the most basic one is that they have too many players in the squad who are over 30, past their peak and difficult to ship out.    Many of them are on multi-million euro contracts.

Wolves pay price off the pitch

Currently bottom of the Premiership, Wolves are paying a financial price for their lack of success on the pitch.  Season ticket renewals under their Early Bird campaign are 18 per cent down on this time last year, falling from 14,780 to 12,150.

What we don't know is how much the effects of poor performance are exacerbated by the economic downturn and squeezed incomes which could reinforce a reluctance to renew.

Lot riding on Etihad clash

There is a lot riding on tonight’s match between Manchester City and Chelsea for both clubs.  With their good home record, Manchester City are the favourites to win the game.  Betfair are offering odds of 1.94 for Manchester City, 4.5 for Chelsea and 3.7 for the draw.   Football betting tips are available for other matches.

Premiership rethinks TV rights

The Premier League is thinking of repackaging the sale of the television rights to screen live matches in Europe to offset the impact of last year's court ruling in the so-called 'pub landlady' case on its lucrative income.

Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, has said that the competition may abandon the sale of its rights on a country-by-country basis and sell them across Europe instead, something that is more compatible with the idea of a single market.

Four bidders for Rangers

Duff & Phelps, the administrators running Rangers, have confirmed that a fourth bid has been received for the club.   Some mystery surrounds this fourth bid.   Some reports suggest that it comes from a Middle East consortium, but others think it is a UK based bid.

Boro post big financial loss

The costs of making a push for the Premier League before parachute payments end are shown in Middlesbrough's latest accounts.   A loss of £13.81m was recorded over the 18 months to 30 June 2011 despite player sales.  The wage bill amounted to over £36m.

Chairman and benefactor Steve Gibson continues to bankroll the club.    At the end of the year the club owed banks £27m but this has been refinanced and covered by the Gibson O'Neill company meanning that Boro has no external borrowings.

Spanish clubs run up big tax debts

Spanish football clubs have run up tax debts totalling £625m.   £353m is owed by 14 of the 20 clubs in the top division.   Athletico Madrid are the worst offenders with debts of £128m but Athletic Bilbao owe nothing.

The situation has caused indignation in Germany with tabloids complaining that the country's taxpayers are subsidising the wages of top Spanish players.

Hearts slams players who won't leave

Hearts have slammed fringe players who won't turn in their contracts to ease the club's financial position. In a statement the club said that they preferred to take the club's money 'while offering very little or nothing in return.'

Does Hereford want a Football League club?

Does Hereford want a Football League or Conference side?   That is the question that has been posed by chairman David Keyte.   The club is currently averaging crowds 330 below budget which would mean losing £22k over the remaining five home matches.

He noted that the club had been run on a shoestring under the previous regime, but suggested that there had been a lack of investment in the ground.   Plans for both ends of Edgar Street were under discussion.