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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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Changing the manager

This interesting article is concerned specifically with the rapid turnover of managers at Norwich City which Paul Lambert looks like ending, but also looks at the phenomenon more generally.   There is a table listing the longest serving managers in English football, headed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

It's not all over for Cardiff

The sight of a dejected Bluebird sitting on his own in a vast expanse of Wembley Stadium said it all.  He could not believe what had happened and couldn't muster the energy to join the other Cardiff fans streaming out of the stadium at the end of yesterday's play-off final.

Premiership goes Tangerine

Over the past few months we have been boosting Cardiff City as a Premiership prospect on economic grounds, but in football it's what happens on the pitch that matters, which is as it should be.  The Premier League will take on a tangerine hue with the promotion of Blackpool

£6m loss at Leicester

Leicester City have reported losses of £6.2m for the financial year to 31 May 2009.  Admittedly, the club lost more than £14m in the same period in 2007/8 and won promotion back to the Championship by winning League 1 in 2008/9.   Chairman Milan Mandaric cited reduced television revenue in League 1 as a big reason for their losses.

Away fans overcharged

Everyone knows that away fans often get a raw deal.   Our headline may read like 'Pope is a Catholic shock.'  Fans in the away end or its equivalent (sometimes a corner) get the worst position in the ground, in older grounds often with obstructed leg room and obscured views.   Catering and toilet facilities are often inadequate and stewards can be less than welcoming.

Preston served with winding up order

Preston North End are the latest team to be served with a winding up order by HM Revenue and Customs.  The order relates to the failure to meet PAYE and National Insurance debts for April, so the bill is only 20 days overdue.   This is perhaps indicative of the tougher line that Revenue and Customs is taking with clubs.

How a club's financial troubles hit home

There are many losers when a football club hits financial problems and this interesting article about cup finalists Portsmouth touches a number of bases.   It includes a testimony from their most famous fan who changed his name to include that of the club, but also a community organisation that had to curtail some of its other activities when the club failed to pay for the hire of pitches.

Wages deferral at Hull

Players at Hull City have been asked to defer 30 per cent of their wages over the summer months.  The money would be paid back when the club's financial situation stablised.   The club is trying to cut its wages bill by more than half as it seeks to avoid administration and the associated ten point penalty.

Premiership prospects for Cardiff

Whether Cardiff City can win promotion to the Premiership through the play offs remains to be seen, but they have taken the first step down that road, albeit one that can have many twists and turns.  For some months now we have been taking a relatively optimistic view about the Bluebirds.  That may seem surprising given that Peter Ridsdale has been a controversial figure in football after his involvement in Leeds.  There have certainly been some short-term problems at Cadiff and at times the club has been very near the brink.

Local lad made good

Below the Premiership level, a local lad made good can often be found running medium-sized and smaller clubs.   Bristol City's Stephen Lansdown is a typical example.  Starting with nothing with his business partner Peter Hargreaves he built up Hargreaves Lansdown into a hghly successful business.  It provides personal investment services to over 70,000 customers (I am one of them).