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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Champions League

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It's getting tougher at the top says Wenger

Arsene Wenger reflected changing global geopolitical realities and the way they are changing football when he commented at Arsenal's annual general meeting, 'Our world is changing quickly. Europe as a continent is becoming poorer, the rest of the world is becoming richer, especially Asia, and these people invest in football in Europe.' Erck Thohir, an Indonesian billionaire, bought a 70 per cent stake in Inter Milan this week to become the second foreign owner in Serie A.

Uefa punish six clubs

Uefa have temporarily withheld prize money from six clubs who took part in last season's competitions while they further investigate their financial affairs.   This can be seen as a warning shot across the bows and it has not been taken against a major club in one of the 'big five' leagues.

Platini: 'I'll see you in court'

For some time I have been suggesting that a club penalised by Uefa's financial fair play rules would challenge them in court.   But now it appears that Michel Platini himself is eager to sue a club to enforce his organisation's rules.

City best paid sports team in world

With an average salary of £100,764, Manchester City are now the best paid sports team in the world. Real Madrid have dropped back to 3rd place and Barcelona to 4th, although that partly reflects the effect of currency flictuations.

Paradox of Champions League money

Uefa gave out a total of €904.6m to last season's Champions League competitors.   Yet the most money (€65.3m) went to Juventus who got knocked out in the quarter finals by the eventual winners Bayern Munich who received €54.1m.

Would Uefa's FFP rules stand up in court?

We have consistently taken the view that Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules are open to challenge in court.    It is therefore interesting to see Belgian lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont, who was part of the team who won the Bosman case in 1995, arguing a similar case in the Wall Street Journal.

Arsenal could survive missing out on Champions League

Arsene Wenger has been the target of fan fury and media speculation since the club's defeat by Blackburn in the FA Cup and their 1-3 loss at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.   But Wenger retains the support of the Arsenal board with owner Stan Kroneke expected to emphasise his backing for the belaguered manager at today's monthly board meeting.

Does money buy success?

This is the question that football economics guru Stefan Szymanski poses in his latest blog posting.  His broad answer is yes in terms of domestic leagues, but not to anywhere near the same extent in relation to club competition at international level for a number of reasons.

Szymanski argues that the influx of money into the Premier League has improved the quality of play.  But some foreign players and managers are reluctant to relocate to the UK and have to be paid above the odds to be persuaded to come.

Understanding financial fair play

This is by no means easy as the rules are complex, perhaps deliberately so in order to give Uefa plenty of wriggle room.  As we have said many times, a lot depends on how the rules are enforced and whether they are challenged in the courts.

Sports lawyer Daniel Geey has produced his 'ten top tips' for understanding the rules.   So if you want to know what an acceptable deviation is, and how it is calcjulated, here is your chance.

Profit turns into loss at Spurs

The effects on a club of not being in the Champions League are illustrated by the accounts of Tottenham Hotspur for the 2011-12 season.   A £700,000 profit the previous year turned into a £4.3m  loss.

Club revenue was down 12 per cent from £163m to £144m while 'profit from operations' dropped to £23m from £38m.   Commercial revenues continued to increase but merchandising fell by four per cent. The club made a loss of £1.6m before interest and tax, down from a £1.4m profit the previous year.