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The future of North Ferriby United

The following statement has been issued by North Ferriby United: 'The last two years have seen an injection of over a quarter of a million pounds into North Ferriby United. This has undoubtedly led to the recent success that all involved in the club have enjoyed and experienced.'

Is MLS like a pyramid scheme?

Soccer economics guru Stefan Szymanski has controversially suggested that America's Major League Soccer has the appearance of a pyramid scheme.   MLS is losing over $100m a year, yet new franchises are often sold for over a $100m.

United top wages league

Manchester United overtook Manchester City as the biggest payers in the Barclays Premier League in the 2013-14 season.  Their wages bill came to £215.8m compared with City's £205m.    The wage bill of Burnley was just £21.5m, one tenth that of United.

Chelsea were third with a wage bill of £192.7 with Arsenal some way behind with £154.5m.  Liverpool were just behind with £144m and then there was a big gap to Tottenham Hotspur with £100.4m.  Newcastle United were next, but one might question whether they got value for money.

West Ham reduce season ticket prices

West Ham have become the first club to reduce season ticket prices on the back of the new Premiership television deal.   From 2016-17 their cheapest season ticket will be £289.

The Hammers have been in the middle in the price range for London clubs, cheaper than Arsenal and Chelsea, but more expensive than Crystal Palace.

Sceptics have questioned what they are going to do about price categories, ordinary admissions and away ticket prices which have been the focus of recent campaigns.

The gap with the super elite gets wider

The gap between the super elite of European clubs and the next tier is getting wider.   Clubs like Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Southampton have enjoyed success through good management and smart player acquisitions, but sustaining that success is difficult.

Leeds United accounts scrutinised

The auditing of the accounts of Leeds United are to be scrutinised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales over a potential conflict of interest.

The accounts were audited by a firm where one of the partners is a brother of Leeds United Andrew Umbers, although they were signed off by another partner.

Newcastle sitting on pile of cash

Newcastle United's full accounts have now been filed at Companies House and they show that £38.6m has been transferred into the club's bank accounts as a cash flow sum, £4.5m of which was used to pay off an overdraft.

This news will reinforce criticisms that the club puts profit before ambition, having failed to sign a player in the January transfer window.   Fans are planning a boycott of Sunday's home game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Foreign ownership creates opportunities for tax avoidance

Almost one in three Premier and Football League clubs are now owned overseas and this detailed report argues that it creates potential opportunities for tax avoidance, particularly when clubs are sold.  Football clubs, it is argued, are treated as speculative business opportunities.

Aston Villa deal imminent

A deal to sell Aston Villa to a consortium for around £150m is thought to be imminent.  Due diligence has been in progress and the purchasers are just waiting to ensure that the club's Premiership place is secure.

Because of the impending deal Villa have not made any arrangements for a pre-season tour.   Randy Lerner will make a rare visit to a Villa match when he attends the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

It remains to be seen whether new owners can realise the potential of this sleeping giant.

Big losses at Shrewsbury Town

The cost of relegation to League 2 is reflected in losses of £285,000 at Shrewsbury Town.   Substantial losses are also anticipated this year as the club has spent to secure promotion.

Attendances did fall in League 2, but at an average attendance of 5,104 the club is ranked sixth in League Two.  As the only senior club in Shropshire, it has a good catchment area to draw on.