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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

Spanish Liga

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How long would you have to work to afford a footballer's car?

This site enables you to calculate how long you would have to work to afford a footballer's car.   For example, Cristiano Ronaldo would only have to work for one hour to afford my ageing hatchback.  

His special edition Ferrari is worth £847,000 and he could pay for it with three weeks' wages (presumably gross rather than after deduction of tax which would be complicated).   It would take me eleven years to afford the same car (assuming I spent nothing on anything else).

Spain's third force

For a long time Spanish football has been dominated by a duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona.  The championship victory of Atlético Madrid in 2013-14, along with their Champions League final, challenged that pattern.

How footballers choose their homes

The House & Home supplement of the weekend Financial Times included an analysis of how footballers (and elite sportsmen more generally) choose their homes.   Not surprisingly, some of them have got their fingers burnt, but their buying habits can also have a major impact on local property markets.

Messi to face tax charges

Lionel Messi and his father, who is his manager, are to face tax fraud charges and Spanish prosecutors are calling for a 22-month jail term.   They deny any wrongdoing and blame a former agent of the player.  Of course, even if they were found gullty, this would not necessarily be the sentence that was handed down.

El Clásico under threat after vote

Nationalist parties have won the regional elections in Catalonia.   They plan to hold an independence referendum within eighteen months.  Spain has said that it would challenge any such referendum in the courts.

Real Madrid no longer world's most valuable sports team

Real Madrid are no longer the world's most valuable sports team according to a new study by Forbes.  At £2.1bn they have been overtaken by the Dallas Cowboys at £2.6bn.

Barcelona are in fifth place at £2bn.   The only other football team in the top ten are Manchester United at £2.01bn.

European leagues hit by Premiership wealth

The wealth of the Premier League is having an increasing effect on other European leagues.  Often highly priced transfers bring a welcome stream of income, but the standard is getting worse.   Even in top leagues such as that of Spain it is becoming more and more difficult in terms of salaries to compete with almost all the Premier League clubs and even some in the Championship.

Networking at Real

Access to the Palco executive box at Real Madrid's Bernebau stadium is higly prized.  As well as watching the football, it is where Spain's political and business elite come to network.

However, Madrid's new left-wing mayor, Manuela Carmena, won't be putting in an appearance.   She hasn't been invited yet anyway, but if she was, she would turn down the invitation.   She doesn't like the traditional closeness between Madrid's businessmen and politicians, something which has worked to Real Madrid's advantage.

Valencia hopeful of brighter future

Singapore billionaire Peter Lim acquired control of Valencia last year.   The club had struggled financially for years with debt increasing faster than income.

His plans remain unclear, but there are hopes of a brighter future.   As the Spanish economy recovers, that should also help.

Spanish clubs face state aid decision

A European Commission investigation into illegal state aids to Spanish football clubs will be concluded by the end of the summer.  Seven clubs are involved, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.

If the allegations are found to be justified, they could face paying back billions of euros.  However, the Spanish government has said it will defend the clubs to the last as they are part of Spain's 'brand'.