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Football Governance

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Carson Yeung steps down at Blues

Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung has stepped down as chairman and executive director of Blues' holding company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL).

This latest announcement on 53-year-old Yeung's future was made in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Yeung, Blues' owner since 2009, is the football club's major shareholder.

Extraordinary events at Leeds

The sacking and reinstatement of Brian McDermott, a decent man who is popular with supporters, is unparalleled in recent football history. However, Leeds fans may not get the protection from the Football League's fit and proper person test that they could reasonably hope for.

Could other clubs kick Manchester City out of Europe?

It would give a whole new meaning to competition between clubs, but could rival clubs act to have Manchester City kicked out of European competition using Uefa's financial fair play rules? This is the argument made a report in The Independent.

What it shows once again is how complex the financial fair play rules are and how open they are to rival interpretations Manchester City's place in next season's Champions' League could be challenged by rival clubs this summer because of detailed new Uefa rules over Financial Fair Play (FFP).

Is it really financial fair play?

The recent Deloitte annual Money League report shows how important the commercial segment of the revenue of top clubs is becoming. An average of 41 per cent of the revenues generated by the top 20 clubs came from commercial sources.

Match day sales now account for only a fifth of revenues. At AC Milan, it is as low as one tenth. Even broadcast revenues are now behind commercial revenues, their share falling from 42 per cent to 37 per cent.

The managerial sacking epidemic

23 managers have been fired in England since the beginning of the season. As many of half of England's 92 league clubs have had a manager who has been in position for less than a year.

Despite some prominent exceptions, it is not a managerial merry go round in which managers leave one club and quickly find a berth at another one. 55 per cent of first-time managers never manage again (although some of these may not have been suited to the job). Only 36 per cent of those sacked last season are back in work. It takes an average of 1.63 years for a manager to find another job.

What will happen with financial fair play?

Sports lawyer Daniel Geey looks at recent financial fair play cases, with particular reference to the case of Malaga, to try and establish what sanctions clubs might face for breaking the guidelines.  As is often the case with legal matters, it seems that more case law is needed to come to any definite conclusions.

Rangers board sees off challenge

As anticipated, the Rangers board has seen off a challenge by rebel shareholders. The board defeated attempts by a group of shareholders led by former chairman Malcolm Murray to gain seats, with a comfortable majority.

About 1,800 shareholders greeted the club's board with chants of 'out, out, out' at the AGM which was held on a specially constructed stage at Ibrox stadium.

About a third of shareholders voted against the reappointment of finance director Brian Stockbridge - the only remaining director of the club's original board. His long-term future remains unclear, however.

The business case for fan engagement

Is there a business case to be made for better fan engagement in top flight football? It’s often said that any club owner is only really a temporary custodian. Owners, directors, managers and players are transient, only the fans are there throughout the good times and the bad.

But is there a case to be made that improving a club’s engagement with the fans will have a positive impact on the bottom line for the hard headed businessmen who own football clubs?

Hull name change bid submitted

The Football Association have received a formal request from the owners of Hull City AFC to change the club’s name from next season. If approved, the club will be rebranded Hull Tigers in a bid to make the Premier League club appeal to a wider international audience.

Owner, Dr Assam Allam announced in August that the business that runs the club had already been changed to Hull City Tigers but any attempt to change the club's name must be approved by an FA council.

The change has displeased the club’s fans who set up City Till We Die to represent various fans' groups and websites.

Roundness rules hit traditional football stitchers

Fifa rules on the roundness of balls have hit the traditional football producing industry in Pakistan. Ten years ago the city of Sialkot produced 85 per cent of the world's footballs employing 100,000 people as stitchers. Production has collapsed from over 40 million balls in 2007 to 22 million this year, while the workforce has shrunk to barely 10,000.