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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

German Bundesliga


'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Top 30 German Bundesliga Football Clubs by Average Attendances 2013

A list of the top thirty German Bundesliga football clubs as ordered by average home attendances (domestic league matches only) for season 2012-13.

Borussia Dortmund retained their top spot, averaging over 80,500 spectators per match. Bayern Munich retained second position, averaging 71,000, with Schalke 04 coming in third at 61,170.

The average attendance for Bundesliga 1 was 42,625 (the highest in Europe) and for Bundesliga 2 football clubs it was 17,235.

Bayern Munich tainted by association

We are always being told by David Conn and other advocates of transplanting the 'German model' into English football (and other aspects of UK life) that the Bundesliga and its clubs are in effect morally superior to those in the Premiership. They charge fans less, have more fan involvement and have managed to be both ethical and profitable.

£130m spend in transfer window

Premier League clubs spent around £130m in the January transfer window, according to analysis by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. This figure is above the amount spent in January 2013 (£120m), but less than the record level seen in January 2011 (£225m).

The multi-club model

New Charlton Athletic owner Roland Duchatelet owns or has interests in five other football clubs: Standard Liege, FC Brussels and AFC Tubize in Belgium; (through his son) Upjest FC in Hungary; and Carl Zeiss Jena in Germany. He is also said to be eyeing Ad Alcorin in the Spanish second division.

What is the motivation for such a multi-club model? Charlton blogger New York Addick has considered its possible commercial merits:

Cheaper to go to a game in Germany?

Arsenal have a body of French fans who travel over for games by Eurostar. That's not so surprising given that they have a French manager, have had many French players and are conveniently placed for St. Pancras.

It is, however, something of a surprise to learn that Borussia Dortmund can attract as many as a thousand English fans for a top Champions League or Bundesliga game. Dortmund hardly has the attractions of London.

Transfer window breaks all records

Player transfer spending by Premier League clubs in the summer 2013 transfer window was a record, according to analysis by Deloitte. Gross spending totalled £630m, 29% up on the equivalent 2012 figure of £490m and £130m more than the previous record of £500m set in 2008.

In depth critique of the Premier League

David Conn's line on the Premier League is well known: it's a bad thing and the Bundesliga is a good thing.  However, he always argue his case powerfully and this latest piece offers an in depth historical treatment in which he develops his arguments.   It should be of particular interest to Manchester City fans.

German teams need to globalise says Bundesliga boss

Christian Seifert, chief executive of the Bundesliga, says Germany can learn from the Premier League's success in selling commercial and media rights overseas.   The idea of developing club brands gloobally is more developed in England, he believes.

In Germany most club sponsors are German companies.   Mr Seifert told the Financial Times, 'I'm sure we'll see more international-oriented sponsors in the next few years.'   German clubs must become more financially savvy if they were to sustain their success.

Is football a public good?

Is football a 'public good'?  That is the rather surprising claim made by the chief executive of the Bundesliga in an interview with The Guardian's David Conn.