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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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The challenge facing Everton

Approval from Liverpool City Council for their new £300m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is another step forward for Everton.   Unlike the club's previous plan to relocate away from th city in Kirkby, this proposal has the broad backing of supporters.

However, fulfilling the ambition of Everton becoming a top six club will not be easy, even with the backing of millionaire owner Farhard Moshri.   In age of financial fair play, clubs can no longer simply spend their way into the elite, as was the case for Chelsea and Manchester City.

Chelsea hold ground share talks with West Ham

Chelsea have held renewed talks with West Ham over a potential ground share at the London Stadium during the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.  The club's preference is still to play games at Wembley during the three years the redevelopment will take, but it is making contingency plans in case it cannot reach agreement with the FA.

The London Stadium has emerged as the only credible alternative.   A possible move to Twickenham has been ruled out because of opposition from the Rugby Football Union and local residents.

Big losses at Charlton

Charlton Athletic have reported a loss of £13.5m for the 2015-16 season, up by £9.5m from the previous twelve months.   These 'unsustainable' losses are attributed to efforts to maintain the club's Championship status in what turned out to be a rather expensive relegation.

Spurs get stadium funding

Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium redevelopment is a significant step closer after the club agreed a £350 million funding package with three investment banks.

HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch will provide almost half of the money required to complete the £750 million rebuilding of White Hart Lane. The rest of the funding will come from advanced ticket sales, a ten-year ground rental arrangement with the NFL and a possible naming-rights deal.

Progress on new stadium for Bees

Work is underway on Brentford's new ground project at Lionel Road South.  Temporary hoardings have been put up and initial site preparation work has been carried out, including the start of essential demolition work.

The Bees plan to build a 20,000 capacity stadium by 2019 and believe it will help secure the long-term sustainability of the club.  The new stadium is situated next to Kew Bridge station, less than a mile away from the club's current home at Griffin Park.

It will also be home to the London Irish professional rugby team..

Big losses at Boro

Middlesbrough's push for promotion to the Premier League led to big losses in the year to 30 June 2016. The club lost £31.9m compared with £9m in the previous year.  Wages went up from £18.1m to £28.6m, well above 100 per cent of income when the recommended level is 50 per cent.

Parachute payments questioned

Established Premier League clubs want to tighten the system of parachute payments for relegated clubs to stop unscrupulous owners making off with the vast sums of money on offer. Changes and even cuts to parachute handouts are likely to be proposed at the Premier League’s annual meeting in the first week of June.

Spurs hesitate over Wembley move

Tottenham Hotspur have asked the FA for more time to confirm their intention to play at Wembley next season.  Brent Council gave them permission to host 27 matches at the stadium this week.  The present deadline is 31 March.

The club's hesitation arises from possibility to delays to the building work on their new stadium.  Delays on major building projects seem almost inevitable.  The club doesn't want to enter into a contract with the FA prematurely.   The FA has indicated that it is willing to be flexible.

Sky Blues mediation offer

At the instigation of sports minister Tracey Crouch, Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris has offered to act as a mediator in the Coventry City saga.   He is an assistant government whip.

There is no shortage of offers of mediation.   Sitting in Coventry Cathedral for the mayoral hustings on Wednesday evening, I heard Conservative Candidate Andy Street offer his services.  The question is whether the various parties will come to the table for talks.

Charlton is being sold

Despite denials by the club, Charlton Athletic fanzine editor Rick Everitt asserts that the club is being sold. The process is likely to be a long drawn out one of because of various complications such as loans owed to former directors of the club.  

However, various straws in the wind all seem to point in one direction.  Everitt is confident that it is the end of days for the regime of unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet.