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The organised supporter

The latest in the three part Financial Times series on 'football in crisis' focuses on the supporter, but in particular on 'the organised supporter'.   What is an organised supporter?   No definition is offered, but presumably it means someone whose involvement goes beyond attending games and then moaning on message boards and football phone ins about the manager or their favourite scapegoat player.

Barca fans split over shirt move

Barcelona is more than a football club: literally it is because it is involved in other sports as is often the case in continental Europe.  But more than that is a symbol of Catalan nationalism and is linked to memories of the Republican side in the Spanish civil war. 


 It is also held up as an example of how fans can own and run a club.  Unfortunately, this seems to have led to massive and almost unmanageable debts which is why Barca has had to compromise its principles and accept a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal from the Qatar Foundation.

Qatar swoops for Barca shirts

Having secured the World Cup for 2022, the rulers of Qatar have made their latest move in world football by securing the sponsorship of Barcelona shirts.    It is actually the Qatar Foundation that is the sponsor, but this is chaired by the wife of the Emir of Qatar who was highly visible when it was announced that Fifa was allocating the 2022 World Cup to the Emirate.  The Sh

United lose money in Ireland

Manchester United is one of the best supported clubs in Ireland, but it has lost a lot of money on a superstore it opened in Dublin.  The total deficit in shareholders' funds is €5.4m and €4.4m is owned to other companies that form part of the club.

39th game is back on agenda

New Livepool chairman Tom Werner has put the controversial idea of a 39th game back on the football agenda.   The idea was originally advanced in 2008 and would involve Premier League teams playing an additional competitive game in a variety of locations across the world including Asia, the Middle East and the United States.

Rich guy backs Bedlington

The latest American billionaire to get involved in English football, the aptly named Bob Rich, is devoting some of his fortune to Northern League Division 1 club Bedlington Terriers.   Interviewed on Radio 5 this evening he explained that genealolgical research had led him to discover family links with the area and his wife bought him the manorial title.   He then learnt about the football club which he has since visited.

Is code sharing bad for football?

One of the challenges in making a profit, or at least not making too big a loss, in football is the stadium.   You have a substantial capital asset which across the year is used about once a fortnight.  There are options, of course.   You can put shops and small businesses under the cantilevered stands: Utrecht is a good example.   You can rent out your suites for meetings and conferences, but that is a competitive business and you need a high quality, well located facilities.   Pop concerts or other events tend to mess up the pitch and are proba

Pie war breaks out

'Who ate all the pies?' is a favourite old football chant.   Some years ago Charlton had a rotund trainer who used to throw a pie into the crowd after each time he went on the pitch.  But now a pie war has broken out between an established supplier and a newcomer.  As always when there is real competition, the fan as consumer could benefit.

Sponsorship boost for Chelsea

Chelsea has agreed a lucrative long-term sponsorship deal with adidas which means that the sportswear brand continues in its role as kit supplier.   At over £20m the deal brings them closer to the £23m that Manchester United secured last year from Nike and moves them way ahead of Arsenal.   However, they are still some way behind the £26.6m earned by Barcelona.

Premier League trophy in Hong Kong

A Barclays Asia Trophy is to be staged in July 2011 in Hong Kong.   Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea and the winners of Hong Kong's 1st division will take part.   The choice of Hong Kong is significant given its relationship to the massive Chinese market which still remains largely untapped.