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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

The Championship


Forest sale would have some unusual conditions

The owners of football clubs sometimes have some unrealistic expectations about the price their club might fetch when they try to sell.   However, the conditions apparently being attached to the sale of Nottingham Forest are among the most extraordinary I can recall.

Birmingham City takeover completed

The takeover of Birmingham City by Trillion Trophy Asia has at last been completed after a 16 month process.  It ends the seven year period of ownership of Carson Yeung who was jailed for money laundering in 2014.  The deal values the club at £12.3m.

Dutch clubs struggle to compete

Dutch clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to compete even with the English championship in the transfer market.   Clubs like Ajax were at one time among Europe's leaders.

Many clubs in the Championship are willing to splash out in the hope of gaining promotion to the Premier League and new owners are willing to fund the expenditure.

Growing antagonism between owners and fans

Growing anatgonism between owners and fans is examined in this blog contribution with reference to the cases of Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.

In the case of Charlton it is ironic that fans have been referred to as 'customers' by the chief executive, yet there seems to be no concept of good customer relations beyond a series of gimmicks.

New corruption allegations

A series of new allegations about corruption in football has emerged following the 'sting' which led to the termination of the contract of England manager Sam Allardyce.   If these allegations are shown to be true, it would suggest that there is a widespread problem of corruption in football.

A toxic brand

Foreign owners sometimes acquire clubs in order to boost their brands, both in their domestic market and globally.   However, when the Indian conglomerate Venky's took over Blackburn Rovers, it quickly became apparent that, while they might know something about chickens, they didn't understand much about football.

The one time Premier League champions have been effectively run into the ground.  At the bottom of the Championship, attendances are falling and financial problems are increasing.   Turnover has fallen from £58m a year to £12m a year under Venky's.

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.

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.