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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

French Ligue 1

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AS Monaco's dilemma

AS Monaco face a difficult financial balancing act.   In 2014-15, the club made €117m, less than a third of Paris Saint-Germain's total for the same campaign.  With little match-day and commercial revenue, they are very reliant on Champions League qualification.    They can make €2m from a Champions League game.  This means remaining competitive on the pitch while seeking to maximise profits in the transfer market, a difficult balancing act.

Premiership clubs make profit in transfer window

Premier League clubs made a net profit of £4m in the transfer window compared with a loss of £109m last year, according to figures from the Premier League. This January's transfer window saw the biggest spend ever of £237m, compared with £178m last year. Sales amounted to £241m.

According to figures from Deloitte Sports Business, the gross spend by Premier League clubs in the 2016/17 season totals £1.4 billion, surpassing the previous record of £1 billion by more than a third.

French football row erupts again

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has renewed his criticisms of the finances of Paris Saint-Germain, earning himself a public rebuke for denigrating another club.

Warning signs of insolvency

Soccer economics guru Stefan Szymaski has been undertaking work on insolvency in football clubs.  In particular, he has been taking a look at the French leagues where a stringent regulatory system has been praised by the international football authorities.   However, it does not seem to make much difference in the incidence of insolvency compared with the English leagues.

What does seem to be a warning sign is if attendances fall away over a few years below what might be expected from league position.

The petrodollar derby

Tonight's Champions League game between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain is more than a clash between teams representing two major European cities.   It is also has a geopolitical dimension, built around Arab oil wealth.   It is Qatar versus Abu Dhabi, the al-Thani family versus the al-Nahyan family.

Dr Christopher Davison, a reader in Middle East Politics at Durham University, has described the acquisitions of City and PSG as part of 'soft power' strategies ('hard power' is generally associated with military might).

PSG dominate French football

Paris Saint-Germain have a 24 point lead at the top of Ligue 1.  They remain unbeaten this season and they are almost certain to win the French title with more points that any other team in history.

It is now five years since the Qatar Investment Authority bought PSG, a deal that many belive was arranged by Nicolas Sarkozy, then the French president, and a PSG fan.   They were catapulted to the status of a super power in European football.

French football 'heading for cemetery'

With its finances in an ever worsening state, French football is heading 'straight for the cemetery' according to Montpellier coach Rolland Courbis.   A better television deal has been secured, but it is still dwarfed by what the Premier League obtains.

Manchester City freed of FFP penalties

Manchester City have had the penalties imposed on them for breach of Uefa's financial fair play rules lifted.   They have been subject to limits on transfer spending and Champions League squad size.  Paris Saint-Germain have also had their sanctions removed.

City were also fined £49m spread over three years, but only the first £16.3m has had to be paid,

Relegation penalty for Ligue 1 side?

Corscian Ligue 1 side Bastia could be relegated for financial irregularities.  The €1.2m they owe doesn't seem to be a lot by modern standards, and they hope they could cover it by selling some of their best players.   However, the French authorities seem to be taking a 'rules is rules' stance.

The strange tale of the club on top of a car park

As far as I know, only one European club has its stadium built on top of a car park: Monaco's Stade Louise. Of course, space is at a premium in the densely populated principality with its very rich inhabitants.   The principality's royal family is an endless source of fascination for celebrity magazines.   If it was a Hollwyood film, you would think it was pure fiction.