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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



Premiership success hits Welsh national team

Premier League football in Wales is a 'double-edged sword' that is drawing fans away from the national team, one of the country’s top football bosses claimed yesterday. Football Association for Wales (FAW) chief executive Jonathan Ford said that, while fans were 'packing' the Cardiff City Stadium and Liberty Stadium on a weekly basis, it meant that, in a tight economy, he had to 'fight hard' to get supporters to watch Wales.

Premier League to blame for England success?

Is the Premier League to blame for England qualifying for the World Cup with one of the best records in Europe, sardonically ask soccer economics guru Stefan Szymanski.  He questions the persistent narrative of failure in terms of the number of foreign players in the Premier League and also looks at England's performance in the World Cup over the years.

The cost of rescheduling Qatar

Although Fifa is now going to engage in a period of 'deep consultation', it seems inevitable that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be rescheduled either to November and December or January and February. Dates later in the spring have been mentioned, but would cause even more disruption to league programmes.

Air conditioning would cost tens of millions of dollars per match if the tournament was held in the summer. It would also be difficult to provide safe conditions for fans.

Greg Dyke and the future of England

England's 0-0 draw with Ukraine last night, although hardly an advert for the national game, means that the hope of automatic qualification for the World Cup in Brazil is alive.   Or, to put it more cautiously, the English team's fate lies in their hands.

What lies behind the Brazil protests

Brazil is a country whose economic growth has not been matched by the development of infrastructure or governance capacity with problems of corruption still rife.   It is also one of the most unequal countries in the world.

This blog post is an excellent in depth look at the sports economics behind the recent protest, drawing extensively on the insights of football economics guru Stefan Szymanski.

Biggest global brands avoid naming rights deals

A number of clubs are in the market for naming rights deals, not least West Ham in relation to the Olympic Stadium. Football takes just under a quarter of a global market worth $750m a year, according to data from Sponsorship Today. Multi-purpose venues, which would include the Olympic Stadium, account for 29 per cent.

The financial cost of failure

A number of controversies have arisen from the last two matches of the English national side. However, there is increasing concern about the possibility that England might have to qualify for Brazil via the play offs.

The Football Association has reached preliminary agreements to stage what should be lucrative friendly internationals against Germany, and Uruguay or Argentina, at Wembley in November. These would have to be called off if England had to go down the play off route.

The price is right

Tonights game between England and San Marino at Wembley is a sell out.   This in spite of the fact that the microstate surrounded by Italy is the joint worst team in the world (they rank 207th alongside the Turks & Caicos islands).   No doubt England fans will be hoping to see some goals, although it should be remembered that San Marino also have eleven men on the pitch and getting through a crowded goalmouth is not easy.

Wembley Stadium a financial albatross

As the Football Association celebrates the opening of the St. George's Park national Centre of Football Excellence by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it should be remembered that Wembley Stadium remains  a potential financial albatross round the organisation's neck.   The completion of the £105m centre of excellence was much delayed by financial challenges, with the whole project being shelved at one stage.

FA shirt deal will cost fans

The Football Association has signed a new shirt deal with Nike.  No doubt it is good business for them, but it will prove costly for England fans as they face the prospect of three different shirts in as many years. Fans will have to decide whether to pay £50 for a new shirt every season which, of course, costs a fraction of that to produce offshore.   Some fans have only recently bought the present kit.