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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Is Villa or Newcastle the bigger club?

I am always a little supsicious of attempts to say which of two clubs is the bigger one, as there are no accepted criteria.  At least this report from Sky on Aston Villa and Newcastle United looks at a range of criteria, whilst avoiding offending fans of both clubs by coming to no clear verdict.

Top Chinese club phase out foreign players

China's top football team has pledged to phase out foreign players after the government called on clubs to stop 'burning money' on 'irrational' international transfers, amid a wider crackdown on capital outflows.

Guanzhou Evergrande, winner of the Chinese Super League (CSL) for the last six seasons, led the way in the importation of foreign talent.   They spent several hundred million dollars, winning the Asian club championship in 2013 and 2015.

Chaos at Orient

Leyton Orient are in a state of chaos under owner Francesco Becchetti and face relegation to the non-league pyramid for the first time in their history.   Becchetti is now neglecting the club, using protests as an excuse, and refusing to authorise any squad additions.

It will be difficult to find a buyer for the League 2 club, the second oldest professional club in London, as the owner has loaded it with £9m to £10m of debt.

Spurs and Chelsea have different stadium naming strategies

Tottenham Hotspur are planning to drop the name White Hart Lane while Chelsea hope to retain the name Stamford Bridge in some form as the London rivals seek to secure naming rights for their new stadiums.

Bolton owners at odds

Bolton co-owners Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth have an increasingly strained relationship and the whole matter could end up in court.

Chairman Anderson spoke out on the club website about the sale of Zach Clough to Nottingham Forest for £2.5m, claiming that he was left with no alternative after Dean Holdsworth refused to provide any funds to financially support the club.

'A merchandising company that happens to play football'

As Manchester United report a good set of quarterly results, it is worth recalling the description of them in the Lex column of the Financial Times last month: 'a merchandising company that happens to play football.'

QPR change new stadium plans

Queens Park Rangers have decided to go for a more modest version of their planned new stadium, according to a report in The Times.

Queens Park Rangers hope to draw up plans soon for a new 30,000-seat stadium on the site of the Linford Christie athletics track in west London.

Is piracy problem hitting viewing figures?

The number of viewers watching Premier League matches on Sky during the first half of the season is 12 per cent down on the previous year.   Sky's latest six month results showed that profits had been affected by a £314m increase it had to pay to the Premier League in that period.

Big spending does not always guarantee success

Using a KMPG database, the Financial Times has analysed the accounts of 69 clubs over four seasons. The results reveal that big spending does not always guarantee success.

Arsenal season ticket hike angers fans

Arsenal's decision to increase 8,000 of their Platinum ticket prices at the Emirates by 3 per cent (above the rate of inflation) from next season has angered fans.   Club level seats range from £2,910 in the corner to £5,755 on the halfway line.