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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


Promoted Teams Need Careful Business Strategies

Getting promoted to the Premiership can seem like a bonanza, but getting relegated can bring a cold dose of reality. Once the parachute payments run out, life becomes very difficult, as clubs like Leicester and Southampton have found. Recently we reported in depth on the prudent strategy being followed by Hull City. But what of the other two newly promoted teams? For Stoke City it's a long awaited return to the top flight, but West Bromwich Albion have the reputation of being a yo-yo team.

Setanta Seeks New Supremo As TV Rights Battle Looms

Setanta Sports is searching for a new chief executive of its British operations after the broadcaster fell foul of football fans for failing to sell highlights of England's win over Croatia to ITV. The broadcaster is also preparing to line up more cash from its shareholders, which include Goldman Sachs, to help to finance a bid to renew its Premiership television rights in the spring. Mark O'Meara, who was the chief operating officer running the British operation, has returned to his native Ireland where he will have a consultancy role.

Intermediary Says There Will Be More Gulf Sales

Amanda Staveley has emerged as a key figure in major deals with Britain and the Gulf States, recently facilitating the purchase of a 16 per cent stake in Barclays Bank for Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. That deal follows the sheikh's £210m purchase in September of Manchester City by means of Abu Dhabi United Group. Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, still harbours hopes she can purchase Liverpool for him.

Two U.S. Investors In For Magpies

Two US-based investors are left in the race to buy Newcastle United off Mike Ashley. Both of them are believed to already be involved in the management of sports franchises. Seymour Pierce who are acting as advisers on the sale of the club have confirmed that the original field of seven potential bidders has been whittled down to two. It is believed that Mike Ashley has scaled down his expectations of what he can get from the sale following recent financial turmoil.

Pompey Look For Buyers

Europe's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, has turned down an opportunity to buy Portsmouth FC. An intermediary acting for the club is believed to have approached representatives of System Capital Management, the holding company that controls Akhmetov's other businesses, with a prospectus, but was shown the door. Akhmetov, who made his fortune in mining and metallurgical businesses, has been the president of Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk since 1996.

Abramovich Really Is A Chelsea Fan

Roman Abramovich really is a Chelsea fan - and we have a 134-page ruling from Mr Justice Christopher Clarke to prove it. The ruling, dealing with a Siberian oil dispute, reveals a great deal of information about Abramovich's lifestyle. It emerged that as much as 92 per cent of the time he spent in England in any given year was specifically connected with Chelsea matches, rather than any personal or professional ties. Mr Justice Clarke rules that the club, on which he has lavished around £500m, was a 'hobby and a leisure interest'. 'It is not a business investment,' the judge determined.

Spurs Go For New Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed their intention to build a new 60,000-capacity stadium near their current White Hart Lane ground. The Northumberland Development Project will be a large-scale development including leisure facilities, public space and housing as well as the new stadium. The scheme includes the current site and adjoining land with the stadium largely sited to the north of the existing one.

Recession Hits Non-League Clubs

Non-league football clubs are taking a big hit as the economy slips into recession. Conference outfit Grays Athletic have cut their players' wages by a 50 per cent payment deferral to avoid going into administration which is technically a breach of contract and allows players to leave. Workington managed to negotiate a voluntary 10 per cent cut. Despite riding high in the Ryman South, Folkestone Invicta are on the verge of financial meltdown.

The Hull Phenomenon

Hull City FC were tipped for an instant return to the Championship at the beginning of the season, but their victory against West Brom on Saturday made them joint first at the top of the Premiership before today's matches. So how does one explain the Hull phenomenon? I'm not talking about what has happened on the pitch. When I saw Hull in the Championship last season I did not think they were anything special, but clearly manager Phil Brown has weaved some magic. But what interests me here is the city of Kingston upon Hull and its economic geography.

Figures Don't Add Up At Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC fans will be celebrating today's victory at Chelsea. The club has had its best start to its Premiership campaign for many years. The red half of Merseyside can realistically talk about securing the Premiership title. Off the pitch, things are less rosy. Of course, what with a holding company in Delaware (the state with a reputation for business friendly rules) and a Cayman Islands tax haven link, the corporate arrangements of the current owners would not win a prize for transparency.