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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Governance

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Football League restructuring scrapped

Plans for a restructuring of the Football League into a five league, 100-team competition have been scrapped after talks with the Football Association broke down.   The FA was not prepared to move FA Cup games to create more weekend slots for matches.

The plans were unpopular with the non-league system which would have lost its leading clubs.  Clubs might have found it difficult to financially sustain league membership.

Getting round the rules

One can devise rules to restrict external investment in football clubs, but it is also possible to find ways of getting round them.   That is what the German Bundesliga has found.

RB Leipzig are currently second in the top German league.   They are sponsored by Red Bull, the energy drinks manufacturer, and play at the Red Bull Arena.   They are affiliated to New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg, the Austrian champions, both of whom play at grounds called the Red Bull Arena.

Football game takes Brexit on board

The latest version of the popular game Football Manager has been adjusted to take account of the possible consequences of Brexit.   Three main alternative scenarios have been built into the game.

The case for radical reform

This blog essay from Speri at the University of Sheffield sees 3rd party ownership of players as highlighing the issues that arise from the intertwining of football and capitalism.  It says that the transfer system does not redistribute resources between clubs, although that is not really its purpose.

Growing antagonism between owners and fans

Growing anatgonism between owners and fans is examined in this blog contribution with reference to the cases of Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.

In the case of Charlton it is ironic that fans have been referred to as 'customers' by the chief executive, yet there seems to be no concept of good customer relations beyond a series of gimmicks.

Five shady practices common in football

The Financial Times has identified five shady practices which it claims are common in English football.  It says that football's short termism, where players' careers are short and vulnerable to serious injury and where managers know they can be fired at any moment, may create the conditions for corruption.

Dual representation refers to a situation where an agent acts for both the player and the buying or selling club.   This conflict of interest is not against FA rules.   It means that the player does not have to pay the agent out of his own pocket.

Agents call for return of regulation

Football agents have called for the return of regulation of their activities.   This may sound like turkeys voting for an early Christmas, but they fear further damage to their already poor reputation.

The Association of Football Agents says that deregulation has created a system 'open to manipulation and abuse', calling for the Football Association to introduce a stricter licensing regime.  

New corruption allegations

A series of new allegations about corruption in football has emerged following the 'sting' which led to the termination of the contract of England manager Sam Allardyce.   If these allegations are shown to be true, it would suggest that there is a widespread problem of corruption in football.

B-teams idea knocked on the head

The idea of Premier League B-teams being allowed to play in a revamped Football League has been voted down.   It is allowed in Spain, and some Premier League clubs thought it might give their younger players more real match experience, but it was deeply unpopular with fans.

What can be done about rogue owners?

The problem of rogue owners at clubs like Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Charlton Athletic and Leeds United persists.   There is no easy solution, although some ideas have been put forward and are discussed below.

During the past week a lot of the focus has been on Blackburn Rovers where there was a well-attended meeting called by two fan groups last Thursday.   In November 2010, when the Indian conglomerate Venky's, took over Blackburn were a stable, well-run Premier League club that had won the title under Jack Walker's benevolent ownership in 1995.