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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

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Jam tarts kit disaster

I have just returned from a visit to Scotland and there has been much attention given in the media to the new away kit for Hearts.

The new economics of the Premier League

Manchester City want to sign defender John Stones from Everton for £40m.   Everton have insisted on £50m and at that price the deal is unlikely to go ahead.

This has a broader significance beyond these two clubs.   The revenue from the new broadcasting contract means that no club has to sell a player if they don't want to in order to stay afloat.

Another busy summer transfer window

Boosted by the new television contract, the Premier League is expected to exceed last summer's transfer spend of £670m.   Ten years ago in 2006 it was just £250m.   Between 2007 and 2012 it fluctuated around a figure just short of £500m, although it reached that amount in 2008 and fell back to £385m in 2010. There was then a big jump from £480m in 2012 to £630m in 2013.

Gulls takeover reaches crisis point

The prospective takeover of Torquay United has reached crisis point with bidders Gaming International issuing what the Torquay United Supporters Trust has described as an ultimatum to Torbay Council.

It has now emerged that Swindon-based Gaming International, operating through their subsidiary Riviera International Limited, want to take ownership of Plainmoor and then build a new ground elsewhere. Torbay Council currently own the freehold of Plainmoor.   It is quite an extensive site in a built up area of Torquay with development potential.

China's growing impact on football

This is the third story we have posted in three days about China and football.   What China wants, China tends to get.   Turning coral reefs in the South China Sea into military bases, and in particular infringing the sovereignty of the Phillipines, was recently condemned by the International Court in The Hague, but it is unlikely to change China's behaviour.

Wolves sold to Chinese conglomerate

The growing Chinese presence in English football has been strengthened by the acquistion of Wolves by Chinese conglomerate Fosun heded by Guo Guangchang.   The group has leisure and entertainment interests around the world.

Villa's Chinese charm offensive

Earlier this year I was on a panel with someone in the marketing department at Aston Villa whose job was to promote the club in China.   Given the way in which the club have been dragged down under the ownership of Randy Lerner, he had a bit of an uphill struggle.

Gulls fans still in the dark

Torquay United fans are still in the dark about the club's future after its annual general meeting.  The takeover deal with Swindon-based Gaming International seems to be stuck in the sand.  Moreover, the cash strapped club may have to pay back a £50,000 loan if the deal falls through.

Aston Villa Toryism

What is it about Aston Villa and celebrity supporters?   The Duke of Cambridge is one and David Cameron claimed to be one.  The economist John Maynard Keynes went to see a match against Blackburn Rovers there in 1913, although he seemed most interested in the drinks in the bar afterwards.

Huddersfield's dilemma

There was a time when Huddersfield Town were one of the giants of English football, but then manager Herbert Chapman left fot Arsenal.   Recently they have been in the lower reaches of the Championshop and the author of the Swiss Ramble blog has taken his usual forensic look at their situation.

In 2014/15 they made a pre-tax loss of £7m.  Chairman Dean Hoyle has pumped in £45m in loans and share capital.   They need to become financially self-sufficient, but there is no easy route to achieving that.