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Birmingham finances could hit Uefa cup place

Birmingham City's finances continue to concern the football authorities and could lead to the club being barred from the Uefa cup.  The club won its place in the competition by winning the Carling Cup.


Clubs need a licence to take part and the Premier League is going to talk to Birmingham.  A final decision is expected around the middle of next month.

Silent Stan's game plan

The Lombard column in today's Financial Times asks what Stan Kroenke sees in the UK football business.  The column continues, 'The industry is dominated by its customers (the fans) whose forceful demand for a rare product (trophy winning team) push shareholders into paying astronomical sums to their staff (the players).  The net result is that the customers are rarely happy, shareholders rarely make any money and the staff run off with the takings.  Good luck, Mr Kroenke.'

Usmanov counter bid likely to fail

Alisher Usmanov has made a counter bid for Arsenal, but it is evident that it is going to fail.   The current board, the two selling shareholders and Arsene Wenger all prefer Stan Kroenke as prospective owner.

Kroenke swoops for Arsenal

The long battle for control of Arsenal looks like it is reaching its final phase.   American sports enterpreneur Stan Kroenke is poised to buy out the stakes of both Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith and so take control of the club.   Danny Fiszman has been ill for some time and it is understood that he decided that the time had come to sell his stake, prompting the bid.

Posh bail out Diamonds

Peterborough have come to the aid of cash strapped Rushden and Diamonds.  They have handed over the £60,000 balance on the signing of Lee Tomlin last summer rather than paying it in £10,000 instalments.   They have also bought goalkeeper Joe Day for a reported £50,000, even though he will not be able to play this season.

More clubs delay pay

Conference outfit Kettering Town FC are the latest football club to pay players late.  They were due payment last Tuesday but got 50 per cent then and the remaining 50 per cent on Friday.  The club is owed a substantial amount of money by a sponsor.

FC United find new stadium site

FC United Manchester have found a new location for their planned 5,000-capacity stadium.   A deal to build on Ten Acres Lane, Newton Heath was torpedoed by local government funding cutbacks.  However, with the approval of Manchester City Council's executive committee, the club have selected the Ronald Johnson playing fields in nearby Moston as their new home.   The Red Rebels currently play at the Giggs Lane home of League Two club Bury.

Saints lose £7.6m

Southampton look increasingly likely to win automatic promotion to the Championship, but they have announced a pre-tax loss of £7.76m for the year ending 30 June 2010.    Turnover increased from £8.85m to £14.28m in the year after the late Marcus Liebherr rescued the club from administration.


However, they spent over £12.2m on wages, with broadcast revenues falling by £500,000 following relegation.  They also made a net outlay of £1.08m in the transfer market.

Protecting the Premier League brand

Premier League bosses are concerned about the reputation of their brand against a background of austerity and the focus there will be over the next 18 months on young athletes pursuing their Olympic dreams.


In this context Wayne Rooney's outburst has worried the Premier League, even though most fans don't seem to be that bothered.   However, a Premier League insider told the Financial Times, 'There is a reputational risk.  If your'e charged with marketing and selling the League, do you want any unknown quantity out there?'

Brands converge at Liverpool FC

The world of 6ft 8" basketball star LeBron James is quite a way from that of Anfield.  But what they have in common is that they are both brands with James making more than $40m a year from endorsements.   This week the two brands moved closer when James took a stake in Liverpool Football Club.