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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Redknapp gives it large on transfer window decision

One of the rituals of transfer window day when Harry Redknapp was at Premier League clubs was him rolling down the car window as he left the training ground and giving it large on what he thought was happening.

Now supremo at Birmingham City, Redknapp was ready with his views for Radio 5 on the decision by the Premier League to close the transfer window before the start of next season.   Redknapp was all in favour, reckoning that it would stop players feigning injury while they waited for a move.  Who could he mean?

Vialli pitches crowdfunding scheme

We recently reported on the success of Stevenage in raising funds for a new stand through a mini-bond, even though the cluib has a wealthy owner. This was done through Tifosy which claims to be 'the only fully authorised sports crowdfunding platform' after being approved by the Financial Conduct Authority,

Former star footballer Gianluca Vialli is the founder of the platform alongside chief executive Fausto Zanetton, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.   This week Vialli has been pitching the concept to the Financial Times.

Tebas keeps up the heat on City

Spanish league president Javier Tebas is keeping up the heat on Manchester City.  He has threatened to complain to the European Commission if Uefa do not take action against Manchester City as well as Paris Saint-Germain for an alleged breach of state aid rules.   If that complaint does not succeed, they will resort to the courts.

However, he has also opened a new front over five players loaned to Girona, which is part-owned by City. For their part, City have described some of Tebas's comments as 'pure fiction' and they are taking legal advice.

Labour would ban betting firms from football shirts

The Labour Party would ban gambling firms from sponsoring football shirts if it came to power, according to the party's deputy leader Tom Watson.  Betting on football was worth £1.4bn to bookmakers in the last year for which figures are available.

University teams

When I was on a visit to Chile, I switched on the television and Universidad Católica were playing. Eventually they scored and the successful player ripped off his shirt to reveal a huge tatoo on his back of Jesus on the cross.

Are the English bad at playing football?

The Economist (it likes to call itself a newspaper not a magazine) runs the occasional article on football.  It ticks a number of boxes: globalisation; popular culture; big money; unusual markets.  It also shows that the magazine is not too stuffy and can get down with the masses.

No FFP investigation into City

Manchester City are not to be the subject of a special investigation under Uefa financial fair play rules unlike Paris Saint-Germain.  In an unusual intervention, Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga complained that City were 'irreparably damaging the football industry' by creating an inflationary spiral. His intervention had the backing of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Giving it large in Billericay

From the age of nine until I went to university I lived in Billericay.  Billericay Town played on the Archer Hall field and had an annual dinner-dance in the Archer Hall. One player from the 1950s remembered playing a German team, Emmerich Rhine, there. 'Billericay' almost sounds like an Irish place name, but I think it is a corruption of the Norman-French 'Ville de Cray'.  Other explanations are available.

Has the 'bubble burst' for Chinese owners?

I am always suspicious of articles which claim that the bubble has burst or is about to burst in relation to the Premier League.   If I was given a pound for each time I had read such a story, I could afford a good meal out on the proceeds,

The Billionaires Club

James Montague has brought out a new book called The Billionaires Club which is about 'the unstoppable rise of football's super-rich owners.'   I have only dipped into it to so far but he is a journalist and can tell a story well.

It starts with a chapter about Crewe Alexandria and finishes with one about Portsmouth.  The main body of the book is about owners from Eastern Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.