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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

English Leagues

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Big losses at Boro

Middlesbrough's push for promotion to the Premier League led to big losses in the year to 30 June 2016. The club lost £31.9m compared with £9m in the previous year.  Wages went up from £18.1m to £28.6m, well above 100 per cent of income when the recommended level is 50 per cent.

Parachute payments questioned

Established Premier League clubs want to tighten the system of parachute payments for relegated clubs to stop unscrupulous owners making off with the vast sums of money on offer. Changes and even cuts to parachute handouts are likely to be proposed at the Premier League’s annual meeting in the first week of June.

Spurs hesitate over Wembley move

Tottenham Hotspur have asked the FA for more time to confirm their intention to play at Wembley next season.  Brent Council gave them permission to host 27 matches at the stadium this week.  The present deadline is 31 March.

The club's hesitation arises from possibility to delays to the building work on their new stadium.  Delays on major building projects seem almost inevitable.  The club doesn't want to enter into a contract with the FA prematurely.   The FA has indicated that it is willing to be flexible.

Sky Blues mediation offer

At the instigation of sports minister Tracey Crouch, Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris has offered to act as a mediator in the Coventry City saga.   He is an assistant government whip.

There is no shortage of offers of mediation.   Sitting in Coventry Cathedral for the mayoral hustings on Wednesday evening, I heard Conservative Candidate Andy Street offer his services.  The question is whether the various parties will come to the table for talks.

Charlton is being sold

Despite denials by the club, Charlton Athletic fanzine editor Rick Everitt asserts that the club is being sold. The process is likely to be a long drawn out one of because of various complications such as loans owed to former directors of the club.  

However, various straws in the wind all seem to point in one direction.  Everitt is confident that it is the end of days for the regime of unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet.

Saints deal near

Southampton have received an improved offer from Lander Sports Development to buy a 100 per cent stake in the club for £190m.  The Chinese development company has proposed a phased takeover in which it would initially buy into the club before taking over full control.

Katharina Liebherr, the club's owner, rejected an offer of £180m in January.   Negotiations are now believed to be at an advanced stage.    The sale is being handled by the Zurich office of the international bank, UBS.

Billionaire bid for Pompey

American billionaire Michael Eisner, former chief executive of Walt Disney, is reported to be interested in launching a bid for Portsmouth FC.

A statement on the club's website said that if a bid was made it would be for shareholders to decide whether it was in the club's best interests.   Portsmouth Supporters' Trust is the largest shareholder.

Orient given June deadline

Leyton Orient's owner Francesco Becchetti has been given until June 12th by the High Court to settle all outstanding debts or sell the club.  The money owed to the Inland Revenue, thought to be around £250,000, which was the subject of today's hearing has been paid, but there are four other creditors.

Becchetti was not at the hearing, but his representatives said that he would inject £1m into the club to settle all outstanding debts, which include £6,000 owed to the club's photographer.

The Bradford model

Bradford City's co-owner Edin Rahic was the first German to become involved in owning an English league club.  He commissioned a detailed analysis of all 72 Football League clubs looking at history, transport facilities, manager turnover, squad size and average age and potential fan base.   The Bantams ticked all the boxes.

City to expand global reach

Manchester City's owners are assessing a number of locations as they consider expanding their network of clubs.   The City Football Group already owns New York City and Melbourne City and has a share in Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos.

The Chinese Super League has been identified as a market with potential, while there have been reports of a possible move into South America.   Neither of these locations offers much in the way of gate money, but City may see commercial revenue opportunities.