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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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Malaga to fight financial fair play sanctons

Malaga has announced that it plans to appeal to the Court for the Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne over sanctions imposed by Uefa under its financial fair play scheme.  

The sanctions do not affect its current Champions League campaign, where it is the Round of 16, but would see it banned for at least one season the next time it qualified.   They are currently fourth in La Liga and have a good chance of qualifying next season.

Has football replaced Catholicism in Spain?

This article by Canada's leading news magazine on the state of Spanish football perhaps goes too readily down 'the football bubble has burst' route which is the increasing first resort of journalists everywhere.   Undeniably, Spanish football faces big challenges which are in part related to the country's economic, financial and political problems.   It could suffer the kind of decline experienced by Italy's Serie A.

Spain could lose their free to air matches

The economic news coming out of Spain is grim.   Unemployment, always on the high side by EU standards, has soared, particularly among young people.   Many of them are choosing to emigrate to Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America.   The banks are in deep trouble and, whatever the Government may say, the country may well need a bailout from the IMF and the EU.

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.

Real Madrid plan football island

Real Madrid are planning a $1bn 'football island' holiday resort in the United Arab Emirates that is due to open in January 2015.   The Real Madrid Resort Island will be supported by the government of the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.   The island will include luxury hotels, a club museum and a futuristic 10,000-seat stadium with one side open to the sea.

Marketing Barcelona

The former vice-president and general manager of Barcelona, Ferran Soriano, has written a book entitled Goal the title of which is clearly designed to appeal to football fans, but the sub-title reveals its real intended market Management Ideas from the World of Football.    Moreover, the book is published by Palgrave-Macmillan, the publishing house I primarily use, but we took The Transformation of European Football to Manchester University Press who are building up a list in the area.

Barca supremo wants to cut size of La Liga

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell wants to cut the size of La Liga from 20 to 16 clubs, although he is prepared to accept a transitional membership of 18.   This appears to be his price for accepting a more equal distribution of television money through collective selling.

Is the European super league back on the agenda?

A little while ago I noted that there was renewed interest in the idea of an Atlantic League for smaller European countries.   I have also heard a few whispers that the idea of a European Super League for top clubs is being revived.

Levante's remarkable success story

Until last weekend La Liga led Spain's Primera División.   That was a remarkable story in itself, although no doubt the Barcelona/Real duopoly will re-establish itself by the end of the season.   The negotiation of individual broadcasting contracts in Spain means that the top two enjoy a 10:1 ratio of television income over many clubs in the division.   The case of Spain is discussed by Borja Garcia and his colleagues in our forthcoming Manchester University Press book

La Liga sets up commission to monitor club finances

Top flight Spanish football clubs are plagued with debt problems.  Barcelona and Real Madrid account for €1.2bn of the €3.5bn debt, although they also ttake in half of the €600m annual television revenue.   After the top two, Valencia and Atletico Madrid are the the clubs with the most debt.