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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

Football Finance

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Premiership footballers splash out £1bn on high risk investments

Twelve Premiership and ex-Premiership footballers face financial ruin after they ran up £14m in losses from unregulated collective investment schemes (ucis) such as film schemes. Last year, the Financial Services Authority (as it then was) proposed a ban on selling such schemes to retail investors after it discovered that hundreds of them had lost money.

The contrasting challenges of Serie A and Serie B

There are some signs of improvement in the finances of Italian Serie A clubs with the overall level of club debt down, although it remains substantial.   It is thought that Uefa's financial fair play rules are having an impact on the financial discipline shown by clubs.

Real Madrid faces state aid probe

Real Madrid is one of a number of European football clubs facing a preliminary investigation by the European Commission into allegations of illegal state aid.   The underlying issue here is that many clubs in continental Europe receive favourable treatment from local authorities in terms of the construction of stadiums and other facilities.

Moving beyond the burger

Catering in UK football stadiums faces a shake up after US stadium catering provider Centerplate acquired loss-making British company, the Lindley Group. They have catering contracts at Celtic Park and White Hart Lane among other locations.

The new owners are seeking to move catering at grounds beyond the traditional cup of Bovril (not that many people drink that any more), the lukewarm pie or the burger of dubious provenance. Indeed, some fans have been saying 'Neigh' to them following the horse meat scandal.

Hollande scores own goal

France's President Hollande has decided to boost his dismal poll ratings by targeting French football clubs for extra tax payments. He might be better off considering whether allowing the French government to spend 57 per cent of GDP is a good idea when Germany manages to sustain its social model on 45 per cent.

Totton tells a tale

Meteoric rises involving benefactors who then withdraw their support often end in tears and that, sadly, appears to be the story at AFC Totton.   Players' wages have gone unpaid and there was even talk of a strike over Easter.

Another victory for the regulatory state?

Sports lawyer Daniel Geey provides excellent in depth analysis of developments in football and his latest post looks at the efforts of the Premier League to move towards its own financial regulatory framework. He identifies a number of unanswered questions relating to their proposals.

Hearts owner goes bust

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov has virtually all his assets and money wiped out after his bank Ukio Bankas was placed into interim administration.   Romanov has said that he will sell 51 per cent of the club to supporters' groups and he doesn't care about the price.    Hearts are currently around £25m in debt.

Staying in the Premiership at any price

Much has already been said and written about Paolo di Canio's appointment as manager at Sunderland. I do not want to add to the controversy about what his political views are and how they should be interpreted.

This is not because I do not have a view: indeed, knowing Italian society and politics quite well, and having written with Italians, I would have a perspective. However, there has already been overkill and people are taking up entrenched positions or jumping on a bandwagon to publicise their own agenda.

Would Uefa's FFP rules stand up in court?

We have consistently taken the view that Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules are open to challenge in court.    It is therefore interesting to see Belgian lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont, who was part of the team who won the Bosman case in 1995, arguing a similar case in the Wall Street Journal.