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How economic change affects football

When the original Football League was founded in 1888 its twelve members were drawn from the north-west and the midlands.  These areas formed the manufacturing heart of the country when industry was economically dominant.   A southern team did not win the title until Arsenal in 1931.

Motherwell in fan ownership

After a process that began in 2015, Motherwell FC have gone into fan ownership.  As some of those involved point out, the challenge now is to make it work.   It will require additional financial support from fans.

AFC Telford recently abandoned fan ownership, becoming the fifth club to do so.  Notts County, York, Chesterfield and Stockport County also revered after failing to make a success of supporter ownership.

Hull sale closer

The sale of Hull City moved closer after a 'heads of agreement' document was filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange.  A Far East consortium is prepared to pay £130m for the club.

The buying consortium, GreaterChina, says that it sees 'unparalleled opportunities' to promote the club to a Chinese audience.  

They would face competition for that audience from the growing number of English owners of Chinese clubs.   It is a big market, the biggest available, but it has its limits.

Forest sale would have some unusual conditions

The owners of football clubs sometimes have some unrealistic expectations about the price their club might fetch when they try to sell.   However, the conditions apparently being attached to the sale of Nottingham Forest are among the most extraordinary I can recall.

City control wage bill

Manchester City have dropped far behind Manchester United in terms of overall wage bill, the club's annual report shows.  City, who once had the largest Premier League salary costs. had a wage bill of £196m, putting them on a par with Arsenal and below United's figure of £232m for 2015/16 and Chelsea's £215m for the previous season.

Wages amounted to 50 per cent of turnover, the figure recommended by accountants Deloitte.  Three years ago City were penalised by Uefa for breaching financial fair play rules.

Birmingham City takeover completed

The takeover of Birmingham City by Trillion Trophy Asia has at last been completed after a 16 month process.  It ends the seven year period of ownership of Carson Yeung who was jailed for money laundering in 2014.  The deal values the club at £12.3m.

New effort to sell Notts County

Notts County chairman and majority shareholder Ray Trew has made a new effort to sell the club.   He has approached local businessman Alan Hardy who has made two bids for the club in the past.  He thinks that the world's old professional team has the potential to reach the Championship

Trew has had talks with potential buyers from China and the United States and also with a UK hedge fund, but these do not seem to have gone anywhere.

Trew originally put a price tag of £8m to £10m on the club.

Juventus need to globalise

Juventus made an operating profit of €4.1m on revenues of €397.9m in the financial year.   This is a respectable outcome, and a small improvement on the preceding year, but concerns remain.

The club remains highly reliant on television money.  Its commercial revenue amounted to €73.5m in a year compared with €278.1m at Bayern Munich.

Liverpool introduce Academy wage cap

Liverpool have introduced a wage cap of £40,000 for their 17-year old first year professionals.  This compares well with median gross annual earnings for full-time employees of £27,195.  The amount paid can increase with bonuses.   It is understood that Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur have similar policies.

Keeping up with Europe's elite

In his latest piece of analysis the author of the Swiss Ramble blog turns his attention to Borussia Dortmund. Their experience demonstrates the challenge of keeping in touch on and off the pitch with Europe's top clubs.