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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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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.   

The rush to China

Barcelona is the latest European football club to invest in China on the back of President Xi Jinping's plans for a football revolution.  They have opened a €4m complex featuring a football school, Barcelona shop and fan zone on the island of Hainan.  They believe that revenues from China will be critical to Barcelona's target of generating €1bn of revenue by 2021, up from €679m in the 2015/16 season.

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.

Super club status a mixed blessing for City

Manchester City have been named as one of nine European super clubs by Uefa.  While the recognition is welcome, it could store up problems for the future.   Uefa may decide to target these clubs with new financial fair play (FFP) measures.  

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.

Getting round the rules

One can devise rules to restrict external investment in football clubs, but it is also possible to find ways of getting round them.   That is what the German Bundesliga has found.

RB Leipzig are currently second in the top German league.   They are sponsored by Red Bull, the energy drinks manufacturer, and play at the Red Bull Arena.   They are affiliated to New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg, the Austrian champions, both of whom play at grounds called the Red Bull Arena.

Keeping up with Europe's elite

In his latest piece of analysis the author of the Swiss Ramble blog turns his attention to Borussia Dortmund. Their experience demonstrates the challenge of keeping in touch on and off the pitch with Europe's top clubs.

The story behind the £1 billion headline

Media attention has focused on the fact that the 2016 summer transfer window was the first in which over £1 billion was spent (£1,071.5m in total), but it has to be remembered that this is a gross figure. The net figure was £612.9m, still very substantial.  For example, in summer 2014 the net figure was £374m.

Power grab by top European clubs

Uefa will guarantee more places for clubs from Europe's top football leagues in the Champions League, in a power shift towards the wealthiest teams.  The move, which follows threats from rich clubs to create a breakaway competition, will ensure more places for teams from Europe's largest television markets, but to the detriment of smaller nations.

Bundesliga gets tv boost

The four year television rights auction for the Bundesliga generated €4.64bn (£3.63bn), an 85 per cent increase on the previous deal, making it the second wealthiest league in Europe.   It has lagged behind rivals in England, Italy and Spain in commercial terms.   It is still some way behind the Premier League which pocketed £5.1bn in a three year rights auction last year.