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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



Blatter to stand again

It's no great surprise to hear that Sepp Blatter is to stand again as President of Fifa.  Nevertheless, football fans broke open the champagne  and danced in the streets as they heard that their hero would be continuing his blend of high quality decision-making with being a scourge against corruption in the world governing body.   Without Blatter we may never have got the 2022 World Cup in Qatar!

Football economy in China

A couple of weeks ago I was in Beijing. Although growth may have slowed somewhat, and there are some problems in the financial system, not least in terms of local government debt, it remains a vibrant and dynamic economy. Indeed, if you take away the language and the cuisine, Beijing could be a large American city.

We therefore welcome this contributed article by Thibaud Andre.

Real time betting is changing football broadcasting

Online bookmakers are increasingly becoming sports broadcasters.   For example, today many of the top online bookmakers will be streaming the United States versus the Czech Republic.  The idea is to facilitate real time betting.

One of the main beneficiaries of this trend is a company called Perform.   It does not have a very high profile, but was something of a stock market favourite before the shares slumped from almost 600p in 2013 to around 210p recently.

World Cup viewing records in US

The World Cup has set new viewing records in the United States both for television and for live streaming through smartphones, tablets and consumers.   With most matches being shown in business hours, Americans have been turning to their devices to keep up.

The USA's match with Belgiym arrived a 9.6 overnight rating with ESPN, the highest for any World Cup match the network has broadcast.   There has been a 50 per cent surge in live streaming compared with the previous record, set during the 2012 London Olympics.

Ambush marketing at the World Cup

In some ways the biggest commercial winners from the World Cup may be those brands that are not official sponsors. Fifa partners were wrong footed by widespread protests over the cost of staging the competition in Brazil, although these died away once the competition started and Brazil progressed. However, it is difficult to stage and manage campaigns in countries experiencing deep social tensions and transformations.

Don't sack the manager after World Cup exit

The contract of Greece's manager ran out after yesterday's defeat to Costa Rica, but he came within a penalty shoot out of getting an extension.   Managers whose teams take a relatively early exit often then fall on their sword, but is this a good idea?

Cost of staging World Cup grows

This infographic shows how the cost of staging the World Cup has grown, while the benefits are generally very small.   For example, in South Africa many of the legacy stadiums are little used.

World Cup exit's impact on economy

Headline figures of £300m as the cost to the economy of England's early exit from the World Cup need a health warning attached.   Expenditure may dip in the short run, but the money may well be spent later, but on different things.

World Cup social media war

Facebook is gearing up for a fight over the World Cup with Twitter which has been seen as dominating live events marketing.   Facebook is claiming that it can reach 500 million fans and can offer advertisers more precise demographic targeting.

Facebook said that it had identified 500 million users with an interest in football.  This figure is double Twitter's total monthly active userbase of 255 million.    

Brokers make World Cup predictions

Financial analysts have been busy making predictions about the World Cup.  The 'stochastic [probablistic] model' of Goldman Sachs predicts a victory for Brazil, but most brokers are more interested in which companies might do well out of the tournament.