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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Top Premier League transfers

An interesting infographic has been produced on top Premier League transfers, both in and out of the top flight.

The folks behind this say, 'We're highlighting 6 of the biggest transfers into the Premier League and the 6 biggest out of the league.  The players highlighted in the graphic are the players we believe were the biggest moves, but obviously that is just an opinion that's open to discussion.'

Bashing the Premier League

It's fashionable to bash the Premier League.  It may be a commercial success, it may bring world class players to England and it may have a global profile, but this only encourages its opponents to cut down the tall poppy.

The charges are well known, and they are not all without some justification, but are often exaggerated. It is claimed that it has undermined the national team; it has killed off lower level teams and grass roots football; and the players are all overpaid. 

Being careful with your money

Turf Moor is one of the most atmospheric old style grounds in football.  I have sat in the away end, but also in the home stand for a game against Hull.   Tonight it is the money men of Chelsea who are the visitors.

Premiership set for new cash bonanza

The rivalry between BT and Sky means that the Premier League looks set for a new cash bonanza when the live television rights are auctioned at the end of the year.

BT have set their sights high, having managed to outwit rivals with a shock swoop for games in the last round.    It won't have the element of surprise this time, but the telecoms group reckons that having secured the Champions League rights last November puts them in a stronger position in this round. However, they will not be satisfied with keeping what they have.  

Bulls on the Brink

Hereford United, expelled from the Conference and playing in the Southern Premier League, are once again on the verge of going out of business.

The Bulls tried to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors, but there was insufficient support.  In particular, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which is owed £170,000, refused to agree. For some time now the tax authorities have lost their patience with football clubs them using them as a free credit card at the expense of other taxpayers.

Which cars do Premier League footballers drive?

Once you have made the grade as a footballer the first thing you will want is an expensive car.  But which car do footballers favour? The Range Rover is the most popular car with Premiership footballers, according to research by Oracle Finance. 

British made cars do rather well, although perhaps more of the minority of English players in the Premier League use Oracle Finance.  The Range Rover is made in Solihull in the West Midlands and the second favourite, the Bentley, is made in Crewe.   That is followed in third place by the Range Rover Sport.

Football and the G-Word

For many years I has some involvement in a research centre concerned with the study of globalisation. It was quite a challenging experience.  We didn't really get to first base in terms of an acceptable definition.

We also had difficulty in developing a line on globalisation.   There are really four positions on globalisation:

Is it grim up north?

Today we take a look at four Championship sides from Lancashire and Yorkshire who have been facing a number of financial and, in some cases, ownership challenges.   Three of them (Blackpool, Bolton and Leeds) lost their opening day matches, while Blackburn drew a home against Cardiff on Friday.

It's tough at the top

Burnley FC manager Sean Dyche has admitted that transfer fees and wages being asked for by potential targets are making it difficult for the promoted club to recruit players before the Barclays Premier League season starts.

Burnley punched above their weight last season through good organisation and effective team work.  It was pleasing to see a club from a relatively small town succeed, particularly given that they were one of the founders of the Football League.  Turf Moor is an atmospheric, traditional ground of a type that is disappearing.