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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Governance

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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.

Taxing problem for financial fair play

Gabriele Marcoti makes an interesting point in an article in The Times yesterday about how different tax regimes across Europe undermine the fairness of Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) ruiles.

His thoughts on the subject were stimulated by France's 75 per cent tax on higher earners, struck down by the Constitutional Court but likely to come back once the law has been re-written to deal with the court's objections.

Hearts hit by new sanctions

Hearts have been hit by new sanctions after they failed to pay bonuses and appearance money to players and coaching staff and also failed to tell the Scottish Premier League (SPL) 'in a timely manner' about their latest financial shortcomings.   They have been handed a further registration embargo by the SPL.

What would a salary cap mean for clubs?

Premier League clubs are considering a salary cap and sports lawyer Daniel Geey offers a detailed appraisal of the proposals on his blog, including the implications for individual clubs.

Geey notes that one of the main drivers for this proposal is the desire on the part of clubs not to see increased television revenues go straight into the pockets of players.  Arsene Wenger has recently noted that high wages are now more of a problem than transfer fees.

Rangers and Scottish football attendances

How has the demotion of Rangers affected football attendances in Scotland?   This is the question football economics guru Stefan Szymanski poses in his excellent blog.