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Football Finance


Could 39th game be from the Championship?

The Premiership met resistance when it suggested the idea of a '39th game', a fixture to be played abroad in the Middle East, Asia or the United States.   However, it has now been suggested that the idea could be used in the Sky Bet Championship.

Millwall chief executive Andy Ambler reckons that the time for the idea has come with a multi-cultural division with so many foreign players and a number of foreign investors.   The game could be beamed back to the home stadiums so that fans wouldn't miss out, although he doesn't say anything about the time difference.

Should Swans look for foreign investors?

Recent talks with potential foreign commercial sponsors has sparked a discussion about whether Swansea City should accept significant foreign investment.

The Swans have managed so far without large-scale foreign investment and are currently 5th in the Premier League.  Their model is treasured by their own fans and admired by fans elsewhere.

Ashley doubles Rangers stake

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has more than doubled his stake in Rangers to hold just under 9 per cent of the shares.  The maximum stake he is permitted to hold under an agreement he concluded with the Scottish football authorities is ten per cent.

Is it all about money?

There's a recurrent interest in statistics that can be used to predict team success and when they appear to show that how much a club spends in the best predictor, that appears to confirm conventional wisdom.

John Burn-Murdoch and Gavin Jackson have been writing a weekly series of articles in the Financial Times looking at sports statistics and what they tell us.   In their latest article they set out to replicate an analysis undertaken by Stefan Szymanski and Simon Kuper in their well-known book Soccernomics, but using contemporary data.

Portsmouth clear all debts

Portsmouth FC have now cleared all their debts following their exit from administration in April 2013.   The legacy debts amounted to £7m. The club is majority owned by the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust with thirteen presidents holding the balance of the shares.

The presidents have contributed £500,000 for ground improvements.   A supermarket is to be built on adjacent land which means that the whole site will have a neater appearance.   A new training ground is scheduled to open later in the year.

United may play friendlies in Middle East

Manchester United are considering playing midweek friendlies in the Middle East this winter to boost revenues.  It would also get the squad away from English winter weather for a few days.

With United out of the Champions League, they face a 10 per cent drop in revenues.  Following their exit from the Capital One Cup, they have a lack of midweek fixtures.

Tan may sell Cardiff City

Controversial Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has told Sky News in an interview that he may sell the club if they get back to the Premiership.  He would then buy another Championship club and try to get them to the top flight.

Tan already has a club in Sarajevo, Bosnia in which he takes particular pride and hopes to buy a club in the United States.  At that rate he would soon have a network of clubs to rival Roland Duchatelet at Charlton.

Chelsea could play at Twickers

Chelsea have held preliminary conversations with the Rugby Football Union about playing for a season at Twickenham while Stamford Bridge is redeveloped.   If nothing else, it would be convenient for Chelsea players who favour living in Cobham.

Chelsea have long wanted to increase capacity at Stamford Bridge from 41,800 to 60,000 to rival the gate revenues of Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as providing more corporate facilities.   This would make it easier for them to comply with financial fair play regulations.

Kroenke fees cause controversy

The revelation in the latest Arsenal accounts that majority shareholder Stan Kroenke was paid £3 million in 'strategic and advisory fees' has caused controversy.   However, Arsene Wenger has brushed the comments aside, saying that everything the club does is legal and in any case it's a matter for the board.

Cain Hoy drop Spurs bid

US investment group Cain Hoy has droppes its potential bid for Tottenham Hotspur.  The group, backed by Guggenheim Capital, said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange yesterday that after preliminary work on the offer it has 'subsequently terminated its assessment and is consequently no longer making an offer for Tottenham.'