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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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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.

Television shake up in Spain?

In Spain football teams negotiate individually with broadcasters for the right to show matches.  If that was the case in England, Manchester United and Chelsea could strike their own deals and smaller top flight clubs would lose out.

Last week in Spain the satellite broadcaster Digital Plus concluded a series of football rights deals.   Digital Plus is part owned by Telecinco (T5) which is the leading television group in Spain and is controlled by Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset.

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.

Business, football and Real Madrid

Business and football are intimately linked.   In fact, they always have been.   However, today the stakes are higher and the opportunities more rewarding, not necessarily for profit but for networking that can facilitate business transactions.