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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



Scarves as symbols of protest

Paul Breen discusses how scarves have been adopted as symbols of protest by football fans.   This was started with the green and gold protest at Manchester United.   It didn't dislodge the Glazers, but it did give a boost to the supporters' trust.    The tactic was also adopted by Arsenal fans over the issue of high ticket prices.

Half-and-half shirts

Half-and-half shirts (or scarves) made up of the kit of two opposing teams are a curious football phenomenon.   Some of them are evidently run up at home, but commentators see them as representative of broader unhealthy trends in the game.

Chinese president is Blue not Red

As part of his state visit to Britain, Chinese president Xi Jinping is to visit Manchester on Friday.  He is going to visit the Etihad stadium of Manchester City, snubbing their rivals Manchester United.  To ensure that the Reds do not feel excluded, some representatives of Manchester United will be invited to their rival's ground during the visit.

Rebranding Belgium

This post is an interesting piece of analysis on how the Belgium national team reconnected with its disilluisoned fans.   Part of the process was a 'rebranding' which involved a new red devils logo.

Of course, having a group of exciting and talented players that helped Belgium finish top of their European qualification group also helped.

Shirt sponsorship deals break through £200m barrier

Thanks to new deals at Chelsea and Liverpool, Premier League shirt sponsorship deals have broken through the £200m barrier for the first time.   The total value of all deals is now £218.65m.  This is over twice the value of all deals in the German Bundesliga.

United's tour boosts sponsors

Manchester United's 17th successive summer pre-season tour, this year in the United States, has been meticulously planned both in footballing terms, to keep the demands on players within bounds, and also to boost sponsors.   The club is working tirelessly to deliver for their sponsors with the entertaining of every VIP guest a personalised experience.

Super size shirts

Knowing the market for your merchandise in football or any part of the economy involves identifying niche markets that you can satisfy. There are some very large fans around and three clubs are producing their 2015-16 shirts in 6XL size.

The three clubs are Arsenal, Aston Villa and Norwich City, but there is no reason to suppose that they have more very large fans than any other clubs. Some clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, sell 5XL shirts.

Bulls revival

Leading football journalist David Conn provides an interesting account of the revival of Hereford United as Hereford FC. They have sold a thousand season tickets which is well above the norm for the level of non-league football they are now at.   A recent away game at Malvern Town broke their attendance record with over 2,000 present.

Winners in the air miles league

International pre-season tours are not really about preparing the side for the season ahead. Indeed, all the travelling may fatigue the team and being in different climates may not help that much either.

It's really about marketing, increasing the global profile of the team and creating new opportunities to sell merchandise.

Which team is going to rack up the most air miles this summer? The magazine Four Four Two has provided the answers. Manchester City are way ahead by 39,223 miles on a trip that takes them to Toronto, Houston and Melbourne.

New mascot causes social media storm

Partick Thistle don't normally get a lot of attention, but their terrifying new mascot has caused a social media storm.    If nothing else, it should put a stop to 'Partick Thistle nil' jokes.  However, if mascots are mainly meant to appeal to younger children, this one doesn't fit the bill.   It would probaby give them nightmares.