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The Championship


Blackburn's fall from grace

Twenty years ago Blackburn Rovers joined the small group of clubs that have won the Premier League title.  It was a considerable achievement then and it is doubtful if a club of Blackburn's size could manage it today.

Russell Crowe rules out Leeds bid

Hollywood actor Russell Crowe has ruled out fronting a bid for Leeds United.   Earlier in the year, he asked his followers on Twitter whether he should make a bid.

Crowe thinks that the club could be turned around and restored to its former glories, but is concerned about the toll it would take on him and his family.

Championship clubs have £1.1bn of debt

Championship clubs have amassed total debts of £1.1bn.   Bolton Wanderers have the largest debts of £182.1m, followed by £179.6m at QPR with Ipswich Town some way behind on £82.1m.

How fair is financial fair play?

The Football League has issued detailed guidance on its revised financial fair play regulations.   Championship clubs are allowed a loss of £13m in 2015-16 or £39m on a rolling three year basis.

The regulations attempt to take account of clubs moving between divisions.   This is necessary given that Premiership clubs are allowed to make a loss of £105m.   However, the question that arises is whether new unfairnesses have been set up.  

Tractors have a formula

The most impressive blog on football finance is the Swiss Ramble.  He provides careful, in depth analysis of particular clubs.   His latest report is on Ipswich Town, currently topping the Championship.   Supporters of other Championship clubs should note that there are a lot of interesting comparative charts and tables covering all clubs in the division.

What a load of rubbish

Fans have been vociferous on social media criticising the new Channel 5 football highlights show.  Some fans had initially welcomed the change as the programme goes out at 9 p,m. rather than late at night after Match of the Day as was the case when it was on BBC.

The show has a studio audience who seem to add little to the show and indeed disrupt the flow.   One of them couldn't be heard last night because they didn't have a mike on him.

QPR likely to settle for around £8m

Queens Park Rangers are likely to settle their dispute with the Football League over their breach of financial fair play regulations for around £8m.   At one time it was feared they might be liable for £58m.

Such a compromise was always likely because the rules have a dubious legal basis and the last thing the Football League wants is for them to be tested in court.

Bristol City fans complain about Owls ticket prices

It looks as if most Bristol City fans will stay away from their first game back in the Championship after it was revealed that getting into Hillsborough would cost them £39.   The cost of travel from Bristol will not be small and when you add in food the total cost could start to approach £100.

Reading's finances in better shape

Reading's finances are now in better shape according to majority shareholder Narin Niruttinanon.   However, he admits that he initially underestimated the magnitude of the task facing him.

Like most Championship owners, he sees the enhanced riches of the promised land of the Premier League beckoning him.  Whether Reading will have the financial muscle, and whether they spend wisely, remains to be seen.

Hull City name change turned down

Contrary to expectations, the FA have turned down Hull City's application to change their name to Hull Tigers. FA chairman Greg Dyke is believed to have supported the application. The idea now looks dead in the water.

Fans have campaigned against the name change, although some argue that it is only a vociferous minority of fans that are opposed.