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European Leagues

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Top Polish Football Clubs by Average Match Attendances | 2005-06 to 2007-08

A list of the top ten Polish Football Clubs as ranked by Average Match Attendances for seasons 2005/06 to 2007/08. The top-tier league in Poland is called the Ekstraklasa. It was founded in 1927 and currently comprises of 16 teams, operating a system of promotion and relegation with the Polish First League (also called the Orange Liga). The 2007/08 and 2008/09 Champions were Wisła Kraków - although season 2007-08 was plagued by a corruption scandal that saw seven teams relegated - including four from the 1st Division.

Arsenal Can Cope With Loss Of Champions League Place

Arsenal's chances of an assured Champions League place appear to be dwindling, but chairman Peter Hill-Wood has reassured fans about the financial implications. He has insisted that there will be no impact on the mortgage payments on the club's £360m Emirates Stadium. The club, which made a £36.7m profit last season, need to sustain £20m a year repayments over 23 years to cover the £250m bonds issue which financed the project. Hill-Wood said, 'There is no denying that it would be a real financial drain on the club if we didn't qualify for the Champions League next season.

Gloomy View of Spanish Football

A study by a professor of finance and economics at the University of Barcelona, Professor Jose Maria Gay, takes a gloomy view (perhaps excessively so) of the future of Spanish football in the context of the global economic crisis. 'Spanish football is bankrupt,' he declared.

Smith Wants Rangers Out Of Scotland

Glasgow Rangers manager Walter Smith has revealed that the club would be prepared to field a 'B' team to fulfill their Scottish League obligations in order to bridge the gap with Europe's elite clubs. The Rangers manager has floated the idea of an updated version of the Atlantic League, an idea unsuccessfully advanced in the late 1990s by the continent's geographically handicapped. He foresees a new European league made up of the top sides in Holland, Belgium, Scandinavia and Scotland, running in parallel with the domestic divisions and providing entry to the Champions League.

More Foreign Players in Top European Leagues

The annual review by the Professional Football Players Observatory of the European football players' labour market shows that the percentage of players having grown up in a different country to that of their club of employment in the 2007/08 season reached a new record (42.4 per cent). There was 3.6 per cent increase compared to the preceding season. The most marked change was recorded in Italy (+7.5 per cent).

Real Madrid Tops Money League

Deloitte's annual Football Money League, which analyses revenues in the 2007-8 season, shows Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona retaining their top three positions. Manchester United saw revenue increase by 21 per cent and only the depreciation of sterling against the euro prevented it from coming top. Overall attendances for the top 20 clubs are slightly up in the first four months of the season compared with the same period last year. Seven of the clubs in the top 20 are English, four are from Italy and the same number are from Germany with two each from Spain and France.

Premiership Agrees To Debt Probe

Barclays Premier League officials have signed up to a voluntary investigation into debt levels among their clubs as part of their efforts to head off threats of regulation by Europe. Top clubs have been threatened with explusion from the Champions League as Uefa rails against the overwhelming success of Premiership clubs. Premier League officials are taking a leading role in a new Association of Professional Football Leagues (APFL) formed to represent the senior leagues in all 27 member states of the European Union.

Paul Davidson bid for Real Mallorca

Paul Davidson, the colourful City entrepreneur knwon as the Plumber, is running out of time to clinch a €38m bid to become the first foreign owner of a Spanish football team. Davidson, who this summer agreed to buy Real Mallorca, now has only a few days to seal the deal after requesting an extension to raise finance. If Davidson fails, former Newcastle chairman Freddie Shepherd and an unnamed Russian oligarch could step in. Real Mallorca is a mid-ranking La Liga team.

West Rules OK in Bundesliga

Not one side from the former East Germany (DDR) has won a Bundesliga title in the nineteen years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It looks like the wait could go on for quite a while, as Energie Cottbus are the old East's sole representative in the top flight and even their position is under threat - they are currently bottom of the division. After reunification, the only DDR sides in a financial condition to join the top flight were Dinamo Dresden and Hansa Rostock.

UEFA Threat To Debt Ridden Clubs

Uefa are threatening to ban debt ridden clubs from their competitions. This is a major threat to leading English clubs to whom Champions League football is a key slice of their income. Some might feel that the move is motivated by continental jealousy at the success of English clubs in the Champions League. Others might feel that Uefa are trying to tackle a genuine problem facing football.