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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Championship


No more Wonga at Blackpool

Wonga is to end its shirt sponsorship at Blackpool after five years.   The Championship strugglers may not find it easy to attract a new sponsor.

The payday lending sector has been hit hard by a tightening of regulations, although, as a market leader Wonga is expected to survive while other firms cease trading.   Its sponsorship of Newcastle United will continue, although its name is being removed from children's kits.

Tuna tycoon takes over Owls

Thai tycoon Dejphon Chansiri has purchased Sheffield Wednesday.   His family controls Thai Union Frozen Products, the world's largest producer of canned tuna and one of the biggest worldwide general seafood producers.   It owns the John West brand in the UK.

The value of the deal was reported to be about £30m.   The club lost £3.7m in the 2012-13 season, which is quite a low figure compared with some Championship clubs, on turnover of £15m,  It had £11m in debt.

A roller coaster ride at Leeds

This article reviews the roller coaster ride that has characterised Massimo Cellino's tenure at Leeds United.   It concedes that Cellino has done some good things for the club.   One also has to assess his period at the helm in the light of the regimes that preceded him and the damage they did to the club.  Few clubs have been so unfortunate in their owners.

More troubles at Birmingham City

What has been described as the 'soap opera' at Birmingham City has taken a new twist.   The club has revealed that £2.55m may have been misappropriated by a former employee from the parent company Birmingham International Holdings Limited.   Shares in the Hong Kong based company were suspended six weeks ago and trading will not be resumed until further notice.

Cellino ban poses dilemma for Leeds

Massimo Cellino has lost his appeal against being disqualified from owning Leeds.   He will not be able to be involved in running the club until April 10th when his conviction is regarded as being spent.

Quite what this will mean for the club is uncertain.   It is unlikely that he would be required to sell the club, but he might have to transfer his shares in the interim to a relative, probably his two sons, or a lawyer.   He will have to stand down from the board within 48 hours.

A true benefactor

Benefactors have a variety of motives for investing in clubs, often personal prestige.   Sir Jack Hayward, who died earlier this week, was a true benefactor for Wolverhampton Wanderers.   His motivation was love of the club.  He grew up a few streets away from Molineux and used to squeeze under the turnstiles to get into matches free as a child.

It's tough for managers in the Championship

At the weekend Charlton Athletic's Belgian owners bid 'au revoir' to manager Bob Peeters after a poor run of results.   He was the 14th Championship manager to bite the dust this season.   In contrast only two managers in the Premiership have been forced out this season, although two have departed of their own accord.

Blue skies over Cardiff

Cardiff City fans have won their battle to revert to their traditional blue colours, owner Vincent Tan having finally seen sense.   He re-branded the club in red kit because he thought that it would increase the club's appeal in global markets.

Making Cardiff City a global brand was always going to be a big ask.  Playing them in a red kit was never going to make that much difference.   It was a bad marketing ploy which damaged the relationship with fans.  The Bluebirds were rewarded for the change with their second highest attendance of the season yesterday.

Cardiff debts shifted to Tan

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has paid off some of the debts relating to the building of the club's new stadium, as well as other debts relating to player acquisitions.

However, this does not change the club's underlying financial situation, just who the money is owed to.  It is estimated that the club could now own Tan over £150m.   Only converting some of this debt into equity would change the position.

Carson Yeung refused bail

Birmingham City majority shareholder Carson Yeung has been refused bail ahead of an appeal against his conviction for money laundering to be held in March.   He does have some hopes of success in the appeal.

In another twist, a mystery individual has bought a large stake in the club and it could be Yeung's common law wife.