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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Finance

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Agents get more from top flight clubs

If you wonder where all the money earned by the Barclays Premier League goes, quite a lot ends up in the pockets of agents.   They paid a total of £77m to them in the year ending September 2012, a rise of £5.1m or 7 per cent compared with the preceding year.

Manchester City lead the way for the second successive year having paid just over £10.5m to agents. Liverpool are second with £8.6m followed by Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. Did  QPR get value for their outlay of £6.8m which represented a trebling of the amount they spent last year?

What would a salary cap mean for clubs?

Premier League clubs are considering a salary cap and sports lawyer Daniel Geey offers a detailed appraisal of the proposals on his blog, including the implications for individual clubs.

Geey notes that one of the main drivers for this proposal is the desire on the part of clubs not to see increased television revenues go straight into the pockets of players.  Arsene Wenger has recently noted that high wages are now more of a problem than transfer fees.

The future of the Champions League and Europa League

The future of the Champions League and Europa League is under discussion by Uefa.   One possibility is the absorption of the Europa League by the Champions League to create a 64-club competition.  Quite how this would work out in practice remains to be seen, but it could involve an eight club group stage but with only one fixture between clubs instead of two as at present.

Open season on Chelsea

It's been open season on Chelsea since Sunday's demonstrations against the appointment of Rafael Benitez at Stamford Bridge.   For example, The Times has a one page article today that essentially makes one point: Chelsea fans are not ready to bite the hand that feeds them.  Actually, one Chelsea fan did put his head about the parapet on 606 and say that it was time to thank Roman Abramovich for all he had done to rescue the club and ask him to move on.

New crunch point at Coventry

Crunch talks over Coventry City's future have reached breaking point with Ricoh Arena bosses calling the current situation unacceptable.   Stadium bosses Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL) have hit out as the club's unpaid Ricoh rent bill is about to reach £1million.

Why changing the manager doesn't help much

Fans and boards think that changing the manager can make a big difference, but any effects are short lived.   Research by Warwick Business School for the League Managers Association shows that managers following a sacked predecessor enjoy only a brief honeymoon period, largely inspired by the rejuvenation of players looking to impress the new 'gaffer'.

Concern about wage spend worried QPR board

Concern about the club's high wage spend was one of the factors leading the QPR board to replace Mark Hughes by Harry Redknapp.   Following heavy spending on salaries in the summer, the club's wages to turnover ratio is understood to be 155 per cent, way above the recommended level.

Leeds takeover scheduled for 21 December

The takeover of Leeds United by GFH Capital is scheduled for 21 December.  It is believed that a price of £44m has been agreed.   David Haigh, deputy chief executive of GFH Capital and a Leeds fan from childhood, joins the board with immediate effect.

GFH Capital, which put £2m into Leeds last month, said that it had added to this amount and would inject more.   But some Leeds fans groups have questioned the financial robustness of the new owners.

Another Chelsea manager gets the chop

Roberto Di Matteo is the latest Chelsea manager to get the sack with the club's place in the knockout stages of the Champions League in jeopardy.   Roman Abramovich has now got through eight managers in nine years, spending hunderds of millions of pounds in the process.  At 262 days Di Matteo lasted longer than Villas-Boas on 263 and Scolari on 244.

Port Vale out of administration

Port Vale have exited administration after the £1.25m takeover by Paul Wildes and his business partner was completed.   The historic club entered administration in March with debts of £2.69m and required help from Stoke City Council to survive.

This article reviews the saga that followed.   As is often the case with football clubs in administration, there were many twists and turns, but probably even more so with Port Vale.