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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Using football as soft power

Britain is increasingly using football as part of its 'soft power' arsenal to boost post-Brexit trade.   'Soft power' relies on an ability to appeal and attract.   Britain has a high score in global indices of soft power

Connecting with younger supporters

Connecting with younger supporters is a challenge for football clubs.  They tend to watch games in bite sized chunks rather than as a whole on their devices.   They are likely to follow multiple clubs.  Research on 24,000 fans worldwide found that they followed an average of 4.6 clubs. They also increasingly follow individual players as well as teams.

Spireites in trouble

Chesterfield face the threat of administration after the chairman and a number of directors resigned.  They need to find £500,000 before Christmas to cover expenses.

No one has expressed any interest in buying the club.   The town is relatively small (population 71,000) and quite close to the two clubs in Sheffield.   Many larger towns only manage to support Conference clubs, although there is a long football heritage.

Saudi Arabian investors target London clubs

Saudi Arabian investors are reported to be targeting London clubs for takeover after it was decided to privatise the country's national football league.   Up to now most teams have been government owned, but a study from Deloitte recommended the change.

No easy path for Bury

Lower league clubs in Greater Manchester face some of the biggest challenges of any clubs in securing financial stability.  The attractions of City and United are close at hand and these clubs are generally located in not particularly prosperous areas of the conurbation.

Fan run club may need overdraft

FC United of Manchester may have to apply for an overdraft as they are 'in a worrying financial position'. They are struggling to meet their targets and heading towards a loss this year.  That will leave the club unable to meet further obligations for the development of Broadhurst Park which they moved into in 2016.

The Red Rebels had appointed a new board in the summer and hoped their financial situation would improve.   However, they now admit that they had a staffing structure that was 'unfit for purpose' and an 'unrealistic' financial plan for the 2015-16 season.

Germany and China sign football pact

It is a diplomatic first, but Germany and China have signed a football pact.   At a meeting in Berlin last week representatives of the German and Chinese governments, as well as of sporting organisations in both countries, signed a series of football-related agreements.

Bolton deny Saudi takeover reports

Bolton Wanderers have denied reports that they are in talks with a Saudi-based group about a takeover. In September chairman Ken Anderson did say that he was looking for more investment from abroad.

Before the takeover deal by a consortium in March the club had accumulated debts of £170m, although these were cleared as part of the settlement.   The club are currently under a transfer embargo for failing to comply with Financial Fair Play obligations.

Internal audit critical of Cobblers loan

An internal audit has found that a loan of 13.5 million pounds made to Northampton Town by Northampton Council was made too quickly, on the basis of inadequate information and with insufficient safeguards. This was partly because the then council leader and now local MP was pressing for it.  

In particular, the council failed to compare the rapid payment of tranches of the loan with the slow and stalled progress at the Sixfields stadium.

Pro-rel back on the agenda in the States

The issue of promotion and relegation (or 'pro-rel' as it is called there) from MLS is back on the agenda in the United States, in part driven by activist fans on social media.  A poll has shown that 88 per cent of fans favour it, but the owners of the MLS are adamantly opposed.

It is argued that it is not part of American sporting culture in a franchise based system.   There is no promotion or relegation in the other major sports.