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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

UK Leagues


Arsene gets his man

Chelsea and Manchester City got their transfers sorted out well before deadline day while Manchester United continued to splash the cash but were also able to offload players to offset their expenditure.  In terms of gross expenditure, it is their biggest transfer window spend ever.

As always, Arsenal were cautious.   At Sunday's draw against Leicester, Arsenal fans had chanted 'Buy an [expletive deleted] striker.'    Well, Arsene Wenger managed to secure Danny Welbeck's services against competition from Tottenham Hotspur.

Bulls get another reprieve

The long drawn out saga of Hereford United has seen the club given another seven days by the High Court to sort out its financial affairs and pay its debts.  

The club says that new investment is coming in, but the question is whether it is happening quickly enough given that Revenue and Customs want the £170,000 they are owed.   The former management team is also owed money.  It is evident that the patience of the court is wearing thin.

United's dilemma

On Saturday I published a comparison between Manchester United and Tesco.  Hey presto!  What appears in the Financial Times today?   A comparison between the Red Devils and Tesco.

I can't decide whether it's a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery or great minds think alike, in this case the Pink Un's Sporting Life columnist Matthew Engel.   The content is actually rather different from my article: it's a well written but somewhat humourous piece.  

Finding a league sponsor

It's not so easy to find someone to sponsor a league, especially in the non-league system.   The returns are more diffuse than sponsoring a club.   Local businesses are often willing to support a non-league club.  One of their directors may also serve on the club board or their employees may play for the club.

Why United are not Tesco

Market dominant firms often find themselves knocked off their perch if they become complacent, their offer becomes tired and they are challenged by new entrants.   Yesterday Tesco issued another profit warning and slashed their dividend as they struggled to maintain their market share.

There might seem to be an analogy with Manchester United.   Certainly for lazy journalists writing off United is an easy way to generate some copy.   However, there are some significant differences between the retail and football giants.

Fashion for flotation is over

At one time it seemed as if almost every club was keen to float and sell shares, even glamorous ones.  It was seen as a way of raising money, a mark of prestige and, in some cases, a way of involving fans.  In all about 50 clubs have floated since the 1990s when television income started to pick up.

Can Dean's blessing lift Ricoh curse?

The Dean of Coventry Cathedral, the Very Reverend John Witcombe, played a crucial role in the talks that led to Coventry City returning to the Ricoh Arena.   This was consistent with Coventry Cathedrals's tradition of activism in reconciliation which started with work with Germany after the Second World War.

'I'll see you in court'

Football disputes are increasingly referred to the courts rather than being settled by the game's governing bodies or directly between those involved.

Crystal Palace now face the prospect of being taken to court by Cardiff City over the so-called 'spygate' affair.   Cardiff City take the view that the fine imposed by the Football Association for the leaking of their team's details was insufficient.   

'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Back to the Ricoh

The Coventry Evening Telegraph has done a great job in covering the exile of the Sky Blues from the city. They have provided extensive, in depth coverage today and it can be found here.

As a Charlton fan I know what it's like to be exiled from your own ground as the result of the machinations of owners.   I am very pleased to see the Sky Blues back where they belong.  I enjoyed the Olympic matches at the Ricoh and I will try to get to a game some time.