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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

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The magic of the FA Cup?

As usual, there were some unexpected results in yesterday's FA Cup games.  However, some Premiership clubs put out weakened teams, while attendances were generally low, in some cases because of supporter boycotts.

Leeds deal sealed

After several months of rumour and negotiation, 50 per cent of Leeds United has been sold to Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani.   

Massimo Cellino's stake reduces to 30 per cent.  It may in time reduce further.  Radrizzani is understood to have an option to buy the rest of the club in the summer.

Record attendances

Gate money is less and less important to top clubs compared with broadcasting revenue and income from commercial sponsorship.   That is not to say that it is insgnificant, otherwise clubs would not bother spending large sums of money to expand their stadiums (although there is a prestige element there as well).   Gate money can give clubs a financial edge.

Some of the highest matchday ticket price are now to be found in the Championship.  Rotherham United fans had to pay £42 for the privilege of seeing their side beaten 3-0 by Leeds United yesterday.

Suppose Brighton were deducted points?

Ed Thompson has come up with a new analysis of the financial fair play (now 'profitability and sustainability') rules in the Championship as his original one contained a mistake, not surprising given the complexity of the rules and the uncertainty of their application.

Consider this hypothetical scenario.   It has been known for some time that Brighton and Hove Albion have been close to breaching the rules, although how close is difficult to assess on the available data.

Has Leeds' time come at last?

This site has argued for a long time that Leeds United have been punching below their weight.   The city is a prosperous regional capital and, unlike a number of other northern cities (Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham) it has only one club.    It is the fourth biggest city in England.

Leeds are now in the play off places and looking more stable.   There are persistent rumours that erratic owner Massimo Cellino, who has been banned for football activity for 18 momths, may be on the verge of selling up.

No Yuletide shocks for Championship clubs

The Championship would normally cast a shadow over Christmas celebrations by announcing which clubs had fallen foul of its financial fair play rules (now called profitability and sustainability rules). However, the Championship has now switched to a three year rule to bring it in line with the Premier League so there will be no bad news over the festive season.

Promotion crucial for Seagulls

Securing promotion is particularly important for Brighton and Hove Albion this season otherwise they may fall foul of financial fair play rules.   Championship clubs are allowed to lose £39m over three seasons, but the Seagulls made a £25.9m loss in 2015-16.    The allowance is much more generous for Premier League Clubs or even for yo-yo clubs, plus revenues in the top flight are so much higher.

Football League restructuring scrapped

Plans for a restructuring of the Football League into a five league, 100-team competition have been scrapped after talks with the Football Association broke down.   The FA was not prepared to move FA Cup games to create more weekend slots for matches.

The plans were unpopular with the non-league system which would have lost its leading clubs.  Clubs might have found it difficult to financially sustain league membership.

Canaries on Song

The author of the impressive Swiss Ramble blog has turned his attention to the finances of Norwich City and in general gives them a clean bill of health.   They have mixed sporting success with financial prudence.

Red Bull in market for English club

Red Bull are reported to be in the market for an English football club to add to those they own in Germany and Austria.  It would be a logical next move for them given the prestige associated with the Premier League.

The director of sports at RB Leipzig recently attended games at Brentford, Charlton and Chelsea. However, none of these clubs is for sale.  Charlton have had difficulties with their current Belgian owner, but it seems that the Charlton visit focused on a possible player acquisition.