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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Uefa launches investigation into PSG

Uefa has launched a formal investigation into whether Paris Saint-Germain has breached financial fair play rules following 'recent transfer activity'.   There has been concern that the effectively state-owned super club has taken financial competition in European football on to a new level.   

There are indications that Uefra president Aleksander Ceferin is inclined to take a harder line on such matters than his predecessor Michel Platini.

Transfer window records are broken once again

The fact that transfer window records have been broken once again is hardly a surprise.  Spending by Premiership clubs on the closing day was £210m compared with £155m last year as they scrambled to close last minute deals.  Overall spending was a record £1.4bn.

Some widely predicted transfers did not go ahead and some players are stuck in clubs where they are clearly unhappy, leading one commentator to describe the final day as 'anti-climatic'.

Rationality, Kim Jong-un and the transfer window

Everyday understandings of rationality often miss the point.  You may disapprove of someone's objectives, but that does not make them irrational.  For example, portly North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is clearly a nasty piece of work.

Football luxury tax could be blocked by EU

Uefa is becoming increasingly concerned about competitive imbalance in European football with the emergence of super clubs, state surrogates in the case of Paris Saint-Germain.   They think that a situation in which only a small number of clubs could win the Champions League could reduce the appeal of the game and hence broadcast income.

Stadium crowdfunding bond is a first

Stevenage FC are the first club to successfuly use a crowdfunding campaign to develop their stadium. They raised £500,000 in one month to help build the club a new North Stand.

EFL wants a slice of the action in China

The draw for the much derided Carabao (i.e. League) cup took place at 4.15 am UK time.  Mouthy Charlton manager Karl Robinson will sound off at any opportunity to get a quote, but this time I agreed with him when he said that he could not respect a competition which held its draw in the small hours of the morning (not to mention the mistakes in earlier draws with Charlton drawn twice in the first round).

Bolton should escape points deduction

Bolton Wanderers should escape a points deduction after Sports Shield, the company that owned 37.5 per cent of the club, entered voluntary liquidation.

The EFL have announced that they will 'review' the situation with an announcement expected in September. However, it would be a great shock if they took any action against Bolton.  If a club appoints receivers, a ten point deduction is automatic.  If the parent company (in this case not even a majority one) appoints receivers, it becomes a matter for discretion.

Morecambe's troubles continue

Following an ownership fiasco involving an absent new owner who turned out not to have the readies (yet again), Morecamble were in serious financial trouble last season with players not being paid.

After the Shrimps' new Brazilian owner Diego Lemos went AWOL, Italian businessman Joseph Cala claimed to have bought the club.  He turned up at the Globe Arena and started giving it large, before Lemos returned as if he had never been away.

Few clubs have no foreign players

Sheffield United are the only club in the top two divisions with a purely British and Irish squad.  Indeed, they do have two players from Ireland, both from the south.  Following Brexit, the Republic of Ireland will be in the EU and the UK won't, so even if the common travel area is maintained, it is difficult to see why it should not be counted as a foreign country.

Watford receive record fine for forgery

Watford have received a record fine of over £4m from the Football League for forgery.  The actual fine was £3.95m, but they also had to pay £350,000 in costs.   The fine would have been £5.75m if the club had not pleaded guilty and cooperated fully with the investigation.