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From hero to zero

Having won an unlikely Premiership title for Leicester City, Cladio Ranieri was peremptorily sacked as manager yesterday, a fortnight after winning the dreaded vote of confidence.

His dismissal reaffirmed two clichés of contemporary football.   First, it's a results business.  Leicester are in real danger of being relegated to the Championship.  

One off sponsorship deal upsets Sutton fans

A one off sponsorship deal between FA Cup giant killers Sutton United and Sun Bet for their match against Arsenal has upset some Sutton United fans.  The name of their regular sponsor, Greengo Waste, could still be seen in small lettering on the back of the shirts, but the front had a prominent sticker for Sun Bet.

Is Villa or Newcastle the bigger club?

I am always a little supsicious of attempts to say which of two clubs is the bigger one, as there are no accepted criteria.  At least this report from Sky on Aston Villa and Newcastle United looks at a range of criteria, whilst avoiding offending fans of both clubs by coming to no clear verdict.

Chaos at Orient

Leyton Orient are in a state of chaos under owner Francesco Becchetti and face relegation to the non-league pyramid for the first time in their history.   Becchetti is now neglecting the club, using protests as an excuse, and refusing to authorise any squad additions.

It will be difficult to find a buyer for the League 2 club, the second oldest professional club in London, as the owner has loaded it with £9m to £10m of debt.

Spurs and Chelsea have different stadium naming strategies

Tottenham Hotspur are planning to drop the name White Hart Lane while Chelsea hope to retain the name Stamford Bridge in some form as the London rivals seek to secure naming rights for their new stadiums.

Bolton owners at odds

Bolton co-owners Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth have an increasingly strained relationship and the whole matter could end up in court.

Chairman Anderson spoke out on the club website about the sale of Zach Clough to Nottingham Forest for £2.5m, claiming that he was left with no alternative after Dean Holdsworth refused to provide any funds to financially support the club.

'A merchandising company that happens to play football'

As Manchester United report a good set of quarterly results, it is worth recalling the description of them in the Lex column of the Financial Times last month: 'a merchandising company that happens to play football.'

QPR change new stadium plans

Queens Park Rangers have decided to go for a more modest version of their planned new stadium, according to a report in The Times.

Queens Park Rangers hope to draw up plans soon for a new 30,000-seat stadium on the site of the Linford Christie athletics track in west London.

Is piracy problem hitting viewing figures?

The number of viewers watching Premier League matches on Sky during the first half of the season is 12 per cent down on the previous year.   Sky's latest six month results showed that profits had been affected by a £314m increase it had to pay to the Premier League in that period.

Big spending does not always guarantee success

Using a KMPG database, the Financial Times has analysed the accounts of 69 clubs over four seasons. The results reveal that big spending does not always guarantee success.