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Football Governance


The Watford model

Watford have come in for a lot of criticism from other Championship clubs this season for their use of international loan players.   They insist they have stayed within the rules, but their creative interpretation of them has led the Football League to propose rule changes that would bring international players within the five player limit.

New twist in Portsmouth saga

Most people in football, including the football authorities, would like to see the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST) take charge at Portsmouth.   The club has a particularly dedicated set of fans who have suffered a lot.   More generally, it would be a natural experiment that would allow us to see whether a supporters' trust can work at a 'big' club.   Lessons can be learned from any problems that arise and how they are dealt with.

Rangers get heavy fine but keep titles

Oldco Rangers have  been fined £250,000, but allowed to keep their league titles after a Scottish Premier League investigation into historic non-disclosure payments to players.   Rangers still feel aggrieved about what they see as draconian treatment but the outcome could have been a lot worse.

Are Bonanza days over?

Premier League clubs agreed a new set of financial rules yesterday, but by a very tight margin with the required two-thirds majority only just being obtained.   Thirteen clubs voted in favour and Reading abstained.    Six clubs voted against, Swansea City and Southampton joining the expected quartet of Aston Villa, Fulham, Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion.   If Chelsea had not changed their position from opposition to support, the measures would have failed.

Top clubs back Europa League

Europe's top clubs have given their support to the current format of Uefa competitions following speculation over the future of the Europa League.   In Novrmber Uefa president Michel Platini created a stir when he said that expanding the Champions League to 64 teams and getting rid of the Europa League was an option.

Sponsorship deal stores up problems for PSG

Last week Paris Saint-Germain not only signed David Beckham, but also concluded a five year sponsorship deal with Emirates worth £108m.   Given that their previous sponsorship deal was around £3.5m a season, it's a big leap forward, although it has to be set against a net spend of £208m over the previous four transfer windows.   It may also be storing up trouble for the future.

Commons committee dresses down FA

The follow up report of the House of Commons cross-party committee on Culture, Media and Sport on football governance  has attracted considerable attention on social media and elsewhere throughout the day.   There has been a variety of reactions, some seeing it as a feeble report and an admission of ineffectiveness, others as giving new momentum to the reform debate.

Understanding financial fair play

This is by no means easy as the rules are complex, perhaps deliberately so in order to give Uefa plenty of wriggle room.  As we have said many times, a lot depends on how the rules are enforced and whether they are challenged in the courts.

Sports lawyer Daniel Geey has produced his 'ten top tips' for understanding the rules.   So if you want to know what an acceptable deviation is, and how it is calcjulated, here is your chance.

Could Rangers join Conference?

Blue Square Conference clubs are discussing whether to invite Rangers to join their league.   Rangers are unhappy about a planned restructuring of the Scottish leagues that would see them languishing in the bottom division even if they won the third division this year.

Malaga to fight financial fair play sanctons

Malaga has announced that it plans to appeal to the Court for the Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne over sanctions imposed by Uefa under its financial fair play scheme.  

The sanctions do not affect its current Champions League campaign, where it is the Round of 16, but would see it banned for at least one season the next time it qualified.   They are currently fourth in La Liga and have a good chance of qualifying next season.