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Minor Set Back For Sky TV

Decisions by the media regulator Ofcom on live television rights represent a setback for Sky, but not the major blow they could have been. It has been proposed that the satellite television operator should sell its live football to rivals at regulated wholesale prices. But following an 18-month investigation, OfCom declined requests by BSkyB's rivals to immediately refer the company's allegedly unhealthy dominance of the pay TV market to the Competition Commissioner.

Only Three MLS Teams are Profitable

Only three of the teams in North America's Major League Soccer competition are profitable: Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Dallas and Toronto FC. The last club might seem surprising given that they have served up two seasons of last place soccer. But there are plenty of British expats in that part of Ontario who are hungry for live soccer. However, a local correspondent tells me their presence is not the main factor and the club is attracting a much younger demographic who have no experience of live football in Britain.

Financial Worries At Pompey

Although Harry Redknapp has denied that there will be any 'fire sale' of players in the January transfer window, concern about the financial situation of Portsmouth FC persists. They have the smallest ground capacity in the Premiership and are set to lose about £25m as staggered payments of player purchases become due in January and August. Top earners in the side such as Peter Crouch are pulling in over £50,000 in wages with others not far behind. The club currently brings in around £65m through ticket sales, TV money and merchandising, but £60m of that is swallowed up in staff costs.

Mike Ashley Cuts Newcastle United Sale Price

Mike Ashley will now settle for a price of £280-£300m for Newcastle United which would still leave him with a profit of £30-£50m from his 15 months in charge. Prospective buyers would get a debt-free club and one with prime commercial property assets in the vicinity of the club's St.James's Park stadium worth in the tens of millions of pounds. Ashley is now taking a more sober view of the situation after his initial sales pitch launched in the Middle East a day after putting the club up for sale, during which he reportedly hawked the club for around £480m.

Sheffield United Rule Out Appeal

Sheffield United will not allow West Ham to take the judgement by an arbitration panel over the Carlos Tevez affair to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. The CAS has already made it clear that it will not hear the case unless Sheffield United agree. West Ham are also exploring taking the case to the High Court as they believe the three-man FA tribunal 'based much of its findings on opinion'. The panel chaired by Lord Griffiths has hearings on Thursday about when it will decide the amount of compensation.

Why Buy A Premier League Club?

Nine out of the 20 clubs in the Premiership are wholly or partially owned by non-British entrepreneurs and the number may well increase soon. Arsene Wenger has asked, what is the motivation for a billionaire to buy a Premiership club? It's interesting to look at a perspective from the Gulf states where many of the owners are increasingly likely to come from. Jumana Al Tamini from gulfnews.com argues, 'While the buyers' motives might vary, they all share the same goals: more social exposure; huge profits and high financial returns.

Sheffield Wednesday Top Of Empty Seats League

Sheffield Wednesday are top of the Championship empty seats league with Hillsborough the most under-occupied stadium. Average attendances at home games is 19,005, leaving the 39,814 capacity stadium only 47.7 per cent full in the four games played there. Top of the Championship stadium filling attendance league are Cardiff City, although this shows that a lot depends on how big your ground is. On average Ninian Park is 93.3 per cent full even though their average gate is just 19,031.

English Premier League Clubs Shirt Sponsors - 2006-07

English Premier League Clubs Shirt Sponsors season 2006-07 with details on their estimated sponsorship value. That season, Manchester United had the largest shirt sponsorship deal by far, worth some £12.3m (with AIG finance). Chelsea managed over £10m (Samsung) and Arsenal and Liverpool both had deals worth £5.4m (with Emirates and Carlsberg respectively.)

At the lower end of the scale deals were at the half-a-million range, with Wigan Athletic lowest at an estimayed £3.1 million.

Heart of Midlothian Sort Out Pay Problems

Last week weekly paid players at Hearts didn't get paid and those on monthly salaries faced delayed payments, but the problems should all have been sorted out today. Hearts maintain that the failure to pay employees was down to a technical problem. It appears that the problem arose when owners Ukio Bankas Investment Group, who regularly deposit money into Hearts' bank account, stopped making payments earlier this month. HBOS, who have their own problems, refused to let the overdraft rise above £100,000.

Blades Win Case Against Hammers

A FA arbitration tribunal has ruled in favour of Sheffield United and against West Ham in the Carlos Tevez affair. West Ham were found guilty of breaching league regulations in the signing of Tevez and Javier Mascherano in 2006. The Hammers survived in the Premiership in 2007 at the Blades' expense. Rather than being docked points by the Premiership arbitration panel, West Ham were fined £5.5m. The FA panel has found that the presence of Tevez made the difference in terms of West Ham staying up.