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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

Football Finance

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United's financial success

After a summer break the author of the superb Swiss Ramble blog is back.   This time he takes on the big task of analysing Manchester United's finances, providing his usual forensic and informative analysis, backed up by lots of charts and tables.   Everything you want to know about United's finances is there and I certainly gained some insights.

Sky Blues should be sold

Coventry's local newspaper The Evening Telegraph has called for hedge fund Sisu to sell the club after nine years of 'disastrous' ownership.

The club is currently at the foot of League One.  Revenue has halved, the future tenure of the Ricoh Arena is uncertain, as is the fate of the Academy.    Relationships with fans and a range of relevant stakeholders have broken down.   This is in spite of £60m of investment in the club.

United break through half billion barrier

Manchester United have become the first English club to break through the half billion barrier in terms of revenues in a financial year.   They earnt £513.3m in their 2016 fiscal year, compared with £395.2m the previous year.  They made an operating profit of £68.9m and a net profit of £36.4m.

Income was boosted by winning the FA Cup and 14 new sponsorships.  Commercial revenue was up 36.3 per cent to £268.3m.  This more than offset the substantial compensation of £8.4m paid to Louis van Gaal and his team.

Champions League changes a price worth paying

Arsene Wenger thinks that changes to the Champions League that will stop Arsenal and other Premier League clubs receiving as much money as they have in the past from the competition is a price worth paying to stop a breakaway league.

Real Madrid and Juventus are thought to have been the driving forces behind the changes.   As part of China's project to secure a dominant position in world football, a Chinese conglomerate is trying to set up a rival competition.

New Main Stand opens at Anfield

Anfield's new Main Stand is to be officially opened today.   A local friend who is a Liverpool supporter has a seat in the top tier.   I hope he doesn't suffer from vertigo and has a good pair of binoculars!   There is an incredible view, not just over the rest of the city, but as far as Snowdonia.  It is the largest individual stand in the country.

Spanish football boss backs Chinese Champions League rival

The head of Spain's La Liga has come out in support of plans by China's richest man to launch a rival to the Champions League.  Dalian Wanda Group, the property and entertainment conglomerate run by billionaire Wang Jialin, wants to create a tournament for Europe's top clubs.  Javier Tebas said there was a 'greater opportunity to generate more revenue' under the breakaway plans.

City could lose out on Champions League money

Manchester City were the biggest earners of any club in the Champions League last season, collecting about £63m in television and performance money, despite losing to Real Madrid in the semi-finals. However, rule changes agreed by Uefa and the European Clubs Association (ECA) could benefit the red side of Manchester.

Hope for football in Uganda?

It was interesting to see the following article in Red Pepper Uganda:

The challenges facing the Welsh Premier League

Tucked away at the back of The Non-League Paper one can find brief reports for the Welsh Premier League (WPL).   The league is currently headed by The New Saints, the only full-time professional club in the league.   They play in Oswestry and their full name is The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club (Clwb Pêl-droed y Seintiau Newydd).  

Morecambe becomes first Brazilian owned club

With teams in the Premier League and the Championship snapped up, the attention of foreign investors is turning to Leagues One and Two where they hope there may be bargains to be had.   Morecambe was put up for sale in March and has become the first club to be acquired by a Brazilian investor.