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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Italy Serie A

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Match fixing scandal in Italy

Italian police visited the national team's training ground near Firenze earlier this week as part of an ongoing match fixing investigation.   Among those arrested in the latest phase were Stefano Mauri, the captain of Lazio.

Police from Cremona in northern Italy are leading the so-called 'Last Bet' investigation which is said to involve eight matches from the 2010-11 season.   It is alleged to involve several teams in the top three divisions and an international betting syndicate that extends to Singapore and South Africa.

United top brand league

Manchester United have once again topped the football brand league compiled by Brand Finance. Their brand value of $853m is up by 29 per cent and gives them an A+++ rating.   The list takes into account various revenue streams for clubs, such as ticket sales, merchandising, sponsorship deals and money received from the sale of broadcasting rights.


United have invested heavily in professional marketing skills, bringing in specialists from firms such as Pepsi and Disney.   There is no doubt that their brand is one of the few that has a global reach.

Losses and debts rise in Italy

Losses and debts rose among Italy's leading clubs last season.   Losses by professional clubs rose 23.2 per cent in the 2010-11 season to €428m.  Debts in Serie A increased 14 per cent to €2.6bn.  

The number of spectators at Serie A matches fell by 2.4 per cent with average turnout at a disappointing 56 per cent of stadium capacity.   This was in spite of the fact that the average top division ticket costs €20.90 compared with €50.40 in Spain and €48.30 in the UK.

Challenges for Inter Milan

After a disappointing campaign, Inter Milan are facing a number of challenges as they seek to re-build, many of them financial in character.   Perhaps the most basic one is that they have too many players in the squad who are over 30, past their peak and difficult to ship out.    Many of them are on multi-million euro contracts.

Billionaire oligarch opens up new football cash front

Up to now billionaire Russian oligarchs have invested in top clubs like Chelsea.  But now Suleiman Kerimov is pumping money into a relatively unknown club that finished 14th in Russia's 16-team premier league last season.

Tax hike angers Italian footballers

Italian footballers are up in arms about a new 'solidarity tax' imposed on those earning more than €150,000 a year as part of the Government's austerity package.   The start of Serie A on August 27th is already threatened by a contract dispute.

Top 30 Italian Football Clubs by Average Attendances 2010-11

FC Internazionale were the best supported football club in Italy for season 2010-11, followed by cross-town rivals AC Milan and in third position SSC Napoli.

Foreign owners make continental moves

Until recently potential buyers of football club looked at the Premier League in England or possibly at the Championship if they thought a promising bargain was available.   Even Charlton went through a due diligence process with buyers from the Gulf.

AS Roma becomes Italy's first American owned club

AS Roma is poised to become the first American owned club in Italy.   In England, four clubs are already American owned, even before the completion of the Arsenal takeover.

Juventus losses highlight importance of Champions League

This article is contributed by Gareth McKnight: