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The Championship


How firm are the foundations of Bournemouth's success?

Bournemouth are enjoying unprecedented success.  They are in the quarter finals of the league cup for the first time and two points off the top of the Championship.

But how firm are the financial foundations of their success?   The club is owned by Russian Maxim Victorovich Demin.  He has a petrochemical company registered in Germany and a mansion in nearby Sandbanks.

He bought  halft he club for a reported £850,000 in 2011 and the other half in 2013.   The club almost went out of existence in 2008 with debts of about £4m and a 17-point penalty.

Forest in breach of FFP rules

Nottingham Forest look likely to be hit with sanctions under the Football League's Financial Fair Play rules.  They may have exceeded their maximum permitted losses of £8m for the 2013-14 season.

Accounts for the period have yet to be published, but they reported a £14m loss in 2012-13.  Billy Davies, their former manager, spent £7m on players last term.

Bolton for sale

Bolton Wanderers is for sale to the right purchaser, but the question is whether any purchaser can be found.  Not only are the club bottom of the Championship, but they are £160m in debt.

Could 39th game be from the Championship?

The Premiership met resistance when it suggested the idea of a '39th game', a fixture to be played abroad in the Middle East, Asia or the United States.   However, it has now been suggested that the idea could be used in the Sky Bet Championship.

Millwall chief executive Andy Ambler reckons that the time for the idea has come with a multi-cultural division with so many foreign players and a number of foreign investors.   The game could be beamed back to the home stadiums so that fans wouldn't miss out, although he doesn't say anything about the time difference.

Tan may sell Cardiff City

Controversial Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has told Sky News in an interview that he may sell the club if they get back to the Premiership.  He would then buy another Championship club and try to get them to the top flight.

Tan already has a club in Sarajevo, Bosnia in which he takes particular pride and hopes to buy a club in the United States.  At that rate he would soon have a network of clubs to rival Roland Duchatelet at Charlton.

What is going on at Blackpool?

Just what is owner Karl Oyston's strategy at Blackpool?   The benefits of the short stay in the Premier League have been dissipated and, as things stand, the club is heading for League One.  Staying within financial fair play constraints is one thing, but this is surely taking parsimony too far.

Where should FFP fine money go?

It has been argued that as many as half of the clubs in the Championship could fall foul of the new financial fair play regulations, although figure is on the high side given the legitimate deductions that can be made from losses such as for youth development.

Clubs like Charlton are lobbying for a share of any fines imposed.   Their chief executive Katrien Meire estimates that they could receive £2m from a share of any fine on QPR.

Owls sale is off

The proposed £45 millon sale of Sheffield Wednesday to Azerbaijani businessman Hafiz Mammadov has collapsed.   Milan Mandaric, who has been the owner of the Owls for three-and-a-half years, will now have to find a new buyer.

The players have been sporting the 'Azerbaijan Land of Fire' logo on their shirts.  Due diligence had been completed.   Mr Mandaric has now threatened legal action against Mammadov.

Have Watford lost their identity?

This interesting blog post rebuts suggestions made by a journalist that Watford have lost their identity under the ownership of the Pozzo family, given the recent resignation of the manager.  It makes the contrast between the current owners and their flawed predecessors and points out that the Pozzo family have built the long awaited East Stand.

'I'll see you in court'

Football disputes are increasingly referred to the courts rather than being settled by the game's governing bodies or directly between those involved.

Crystal Palace now face the prospect of being taken to court by Cardiff City over the so-called 'spygate' affair.   Cardiff City take the view that the fine imposed by the Football Association for the leaking of their team's details was insufficient.