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Chinese firm takes Cobblers stake

A Chinese firm 5USport has taken a stake in Northampton Town FC.   The size of the stake has not been revealed.  However, it shows that Chinese firms are prepared to take an interest in football clubs below the Premier League level.

5USport was formed in Guangzhou in 2008.  It appears to have a relationship with Eurosport News.

Dyche urges realism

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has urged Burnley fans to be realistic as the club seeks to establish itself in the Premier League.   The Clarets have to operate in accordance with a business model more than most clubs in the Premiership.

Promoted Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United both have big money behind them, although Huddersfield Town are in the unusual position of having more limited resources than Burnley.

FA pulls out of Ladbrokes deal

The Football Association has pulled out of a sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes Coral worth up to £4m a year, after concern about the gambling industry's influence over the national game.  It is understood that the FA has paid Ladbrokes for the value of one year of the contract and no further penalty for ending it early.

Ladbrokes has similar deals with the Scottish FA and the Football Association of Ireland.

Orient: the long nightmare is over

Francesco Becchetti is no longer in charge at Leyton Orient after a controversial period of ownership which saw the club relegated out of the Football League.

An Eagle Investments consortium led by Baskin Robbins and Dunkin' Donuts chief executive Nigel Travis has taken over.  He is a lifelong fan.   The price paid has not been disclosed.

Chinese team to play in German league

China's Under 20 team is to be invited to compete in one of Germany's regional leagues.   Teams will be paid €15,000 compensation for each of the home games they play against the team.

This would seem to be further evidence of the march of globalisation in football.   It also reflects global power politics.   President Xi Jinping is to be in Berlin in early July when the scheme is to be presented to him.   

Germans now sole bidders for Sunderland

A consortium of Sunderland supporters bidding to take over the club has pulled out of the running. Because of film and television commitments they think it isn't the right time to get involved.  It is hoped that new owners will be in place before the end of the month.

Rival bids for Sunderland

A consortium of wealthy supporters is ready to rival a German bid for Sunderland.    It is believed that there is a big gap between owner Ellis Short's valuation of the club and its crippling debt and what the German consortium is prepared to offer.

Chinese offer for Newcastle

Mike Ashley is considering an offer from a Chinese consortium to invest in Newcastle United.   A stake rather than a full takeover seems to be on the table, but a minority investment could lead to a complete takeover in time.

Ashley values his stake at £350m -£400m which has so far deterred potential buyers, but the Chinese appetite for a slice of Premiership action is strong.   A substantial investment would help Newcastle to recruit top players.

Leyton Orient survive court hearing

A winding up petition against Leyton Orient has been dismissed at the High Court after the four creditors on the petiition were paid in full.   However, it is believed tbat there are other creditors who were not on the petition.   The total amount paid is thought to be around £250,000.

Fans packed the courtroom and others waited outside.

Takeover interest at Sunderland

Sunderland are engaged in takeover talks with a German consortium that has a longstanding interest in English football.   The £110 million price tag on the club asked for by owner Ellis Short does not appear to have deterred them.

Sunderland are being advised by Dr Keith Harris who has advised on the purchase of many clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.