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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

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Millwall fans to contest general election

The Association of Millwall Supporters are to run a candidate in the general election in one of the Lewisham constituencies.   They have the necessary funds.

It follows a falling out with the local Labour council and mayor after an attempt to acquire land owned by the club through a compulsory purchase order so that a redevelopment, effectively a gentrification project. could go ahead.  

Why do investors buy non-league clubs?

A correspondent sent me some interesting questions about investors who get involved in non-league football and I thought it would be worth reproducing them and my answers here.

Charlton takeover talks stall

Talks for a takeover of Charlton Athletic by an Australian football consortium have stalled, but may yet be revived.   Unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet is willing to consider offers.

The consortium were prepared to pay £25m, a substantial sum for a League One club, but had difficulty in raising the money.   They are now looking at alternative ways of securing the required funds.

Bid for Port Vale

A takeover offer for relegated Port Vale has been made by the owners of Burslem-based IT company Synectics Solutions. The company has an annual turnover of £13m and its headquarters are near Vale Park.

The offer is for £1.25m which is the amount owner Norman Smurthwaite paid with his then business partner when taking the club out of administration in 2012.  However, he claims to have ploughed in £3.7m since then.

Big financial challenges for Sunderland

Sunderland face big financial challenges following their relegation to the Championship.  Their latest accounts to July 2016 show a loss of £33m up from £26.6m.   Only Chelsea and Aston Villa had higher losses and they had exceptional items in their accounts.

Chelsea stadium project delayed

Chelsea are planning to stay at Stamford Bridge until the end of the 2019-20 season because of delays to the start of structural work at their new stadium.  They are confident of being able to return in three years and open their new 60,000 seater stadium in the summer of 2023.   However, there is a possibility, given the scale of the project, that building work could take four years rather than three.

Leeds buy out deal near

Leeds United co-owner Andrea Radrizzani is negotiating to buy out the 50 per cent share of the club held by Massimo Cellino.  He had an option to buy the shares at the end of the season.

Cellino has been a controversial figure at Elland Road and has been the subject of various bans by the football authorities.   His replacement would give the club some much needed stability.

The financial rewards of the Champions League

Juventus will earn €115m if they win the Champions League (€98m up to now) while Real Madrid will earn €82m (€67m up to now).   Barcelona have earned €59m. These figures come from the author of the Swiss Ramble blog.

In the Premier League, Leicester City earned €78m through their progress to the quarter finals.  Arsenal earned €62m, indicating how much they stand to lose if they do not qualify this year.  Manchester City brought in €48m and Tottenham Hotspur €42m.

Chelsea in good financial shape

Chelsea are in good financial shape to pursue the transfer targets they want over the summer.   There were concerns that their absence from the Champions League would adversely affect them.  It did generate £58.5m of revenue in 2015-16 and even a good Europa League run could have yielded as much as £35m.

Eisner wants 100 per cent stake in Pompey

Former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner and his Tornante investment group wants to purchase a 100 per cent stake in Portsmouth. He is willing to pay £5.67m.

The Pompey Supporters Trust (PST) control 48 per cent of the shares.  Tornante have made a heritage share proposal which would allow the protection of certain identified issues and vetoes exercised by the PST.