Cobblers police investigation statement

It is clear that the Northamptonshire Police inquiry into alleged financial impropriety connected with a £10.25m loan to Northampton Town Football Club (under its previous ownership) is consuming considerable resources and is being conducted in a commendably thorough fashion.

It was ever thus

Today I submitted a proposal for a book based on this site which has already received an enthusiastic reception from the potential publisher.  The book will open with a warning about too much sepia-tinged nostalgia about how football used to be.  I watched football in the 1950s and there are many different ways in which it is incomparably better today from the state of the pitches to the facilities for spectators.

Football and new technology

Football has always been resistant to new technology.  The first, admittedly crude, experiments with flood lighting were carried out in the 19th century.  When more reliable methods became available, it was first seen as something of a novelty before being widely adopted with ever improving technology (although still vulnerable to a supply interruption at non-league level).

The Northampton riddle

Northampton is a propserous and growing town in middle England, close to the M1.  Some of the countryside and villages in Northamptonshire is really attractive and houses built of honey coloured stone attract half the prices they would in the Cotswolds.

La Liga plays catch up as it goes global

Most people would agree that the top two leagues in Europe are currently the Premier League and La Liga. Serie A has slipped back somewhat, in part because of a variety of scandals.  The Bundesliga is catching up in the money stakes and the French Ligue 1 has a higher profile simply because of PSG.

However, according to figures from Deloitte, the Premier League’s clubs generated €4.9bn in revenue in the 2015/16 season, whereas La Liga generated €2.4bn.   There is a lot of catching up to do and La Liga knows that it is behind the Premier League on the globalisation curve.

The changing nature of sponsorship

Writing his diary column in The Times on Saturday, Daniel Finkelstein seemed rather baffled by the arrival of shirt sleeve sponsorship at Chelsea, although we have discussed it here.  It is simply the latest way of extracting money from commercial sponsors.  

Whether they get value is for them to decide, although it is all tax deductible.  I doubt whether I get any value from my advert for this site in the Leamington programme, but it is another way of supporting a cash strapped club.