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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


FC United get stadium go ahead

A court hearing has rejected an attempt to quash the planning permision for FC United's new stadium. The club currently plays at Bury's ground at Giggs Lane.

Boosting attendances

Boosting attendances against a difficult economic backdrop is not easy, although it could be argued that they have held up well considering the circumstances.   Clubs have tried all sorts of initiatives with Morecambe letting in fans free for one midweek match.   It certainly trebled attendances, but does not seem to have boosted them much in subsequent games.

News International buys Premiership mobile and web rights

News International, the publisher of The Times and The Sun has secured the near-live mobile and internet rights to 380 Premier League games per season unxder an exclusive three year deal.

It is the first time that a newspaper group has bought audio-visual rights for the Premiership which were previously shared by American broadcaster ESPN and internet company Yahoo!.   It is believed that News International bid more than the combined sum of £30m paid by ESPN and Yahoo! under the last deal.

Bradford's Wembley bonanza

Bradford City expect to make £1m through television and gate receipts out of their trip to Wembley for the Capital One cup final.   Winning would add £100,000 in prize money. The club had expected to overspend on wages by £600,000 this year, but they have already cleared at least £1.3m from their quarter and semi-finals.   The players will receive £250,000 of the Wembley receipts in bonuses.

Real Madrid break through €500m revenue threshold

Real Madrid has become the first club in any sport to surpass the €500m revenue threshold in a single year, according to the 16th edition of the Football Money League from Deloitte, the business advisory firm. The Spanish club achieved a €33.1m (7%) increase in revenue to €512.6m, and in doing so has claimed the top position in the Money League for a record equalling eighth year, matching Manchester United’s reign from 1996/97 to 2003/04.

Bundesliga breaks through €2bn barrier

The Bundesliga broke through the €2bn barrier in terms of revenues in the 2011-12 season, a 7.2 per cent rise on the prevous season.    Clubs recorded an aggregate of €55m in post-tax profits with 14 out of 18 clubs showing a profit.

What is particularly significant is that the ratio of expenditure on playing staff and coaches to revenue was 37.8.   Most clubs in England do not achieve the 50 per cent level recommended by Deloitte with many recording figures in the seventies or eighties.

Understanding financial fair play

This is by no means easy as the rules are complex, perhaps deliberately so in order to give Uefa plenty of wriggle room.  As we have said many times, a lot depends on how the rules are enforced and whether they are challenged in the courts.

Sports lawyer Daniel Geey has produced his 'ten top tips' for understanding the rules.   So if you want to know what an acceptable deviation is, and how it is calcjulated, here is your chance.

Profit turns into loss at Spurs

The effects on a club of not being in the Champions League are illustrated by the accounts of Tottenham Hotspur for the 2011-12 season.   A £700,000 profit the previous year turned into a £4.3m  loss.

Club revenue was down 12 per cent from £163m to £144m while 'profit from operations' dropped to £23m from £38m.   Commercial revenues continued to increase but merchandising fell by four per cent. The club made a loss of £1.6m before interest and tax, down from a £1.4m profit the previous year.

Valencia acquired by regional government

Many clubs in continental Europe play in stadiums owned or subsidised by local government.   Even so, it is relatively novel for a local government to own a football club.   However, that is what has happened at La Liga's Valencia.

The Adkins sacking

Foreign owners of teams have something of a penchant for sacking managers, even if they are being apparently successful.   Sam Allardyce was shown the door at Blackburn Rovers when they were mid-table in the Premiership and look where they are now.     The Kuwati owners of Nottingham Forest fired Steve Cotterill within days and then Sean O'Driscoll within months.