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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Back to the Ricoh

The Coventry Evening Telegraph has done a great job in covering the exile of the Sky Blues from the city. They have provided extensive, in depth coverage today and it can be found here.

As a Charlton fan I know what it's like to be exiled from your own ground as the result of the machinations of owners.   I am very pleased to see the Sky Blues back where they belong.  I enjoyed the Olympic matches at the Ricoh and I will try to get to a game some time.

Top Premier League transfers

An interesting infographic has been produced on top Premier League transfers, both in and out of the top flight.

The folks behind this say, 'We're highlighting 6 of the biggest transfers into the Premier League and the 6 biggest out of the league.  The players highlighted in the graphic are the players we believe were the biggest moves, but obviously that is just an opinion that's open to discussion.'

Coventry are coming home

A statement confirming Coventry City have agreed a deal to return to the Ricoh Arena after more than a year of playing their football in Northampton is expected later this morning, reports the Coventry Evening Telegraph.

A deal for a return has been signed after terms were agreed following secret talks between lawyers acting for club owners Sisu and Ricoh Arena operators ACL. The finer details of the deal are yet to be announced, but sources suggest the club could now return to Coventry by September.

Bashing the Premier League

It's fashionable to bash the Premier League.  It may be a commercial success, it may bring world class players to England and it may have a global profile, but this only encourages its opponents to cut down the tall poppy.

The charges are well known, and they are not all without some justification, but are often exaggerated. It is claimed that it has undermined the national team; it has killed off lower level teams and grass roots football; and the players are all overpaid. 

Being careful with your money

Turf Moor is one of the most atmospheric old style grounds in football.  I have sat in the away end, but also in the home stand for a game against Hull.   Tonight it is the money men of Chelsea who are the visitors.

Premiership set for new cash bonanza

The rivalry between BT and Sky means that the Premier League looks set for a new cash bonanza when the live television rights are auctioned at the end of the year.

BT have set their sights high, having managed to outwit rivals with a shock swoop for games in the last round.    It won't have the element of surprise this time, but the telecoms group reckons that having secured the Champions League rights last November puts them in a stronger position in this round. However, they will not be satisfied with keeping what they have.  

Financial fair play scores own goal

We have long argued that financial fair play could have unintended and perverse consequences.  This view is supported by the latest authoritative annual survey of football by accountancy firm BDO.  The survey found that few clubs thought the rules were having the desired effect.

Premier League opens up new technology war

The Premier League is concerned that fans are threatening its earning power by recording content from matches on smart phone and other devices and sharing them on various sites.  Vine, which is a short-form video sharing service is often used (it is owner by Twitter).  The Times and The Sun pay a lot of money for exclusive rights to this sort of content.

Bulls on the Brink

Hereford United, expelled from the Conference and playing in the Southern Premier League, are once again on the verge of going out of business.

The Bulls tried to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors, but there was insufficient support.  In particular, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which is owed £170,000, refused to agree. For some time now the tax authorities have lost their patience with football clubs them using them as a free credit card at the expense of other taxpayers.