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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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New EFL television deal

The English Football League has agreed a new five year television deal with Sky worth £600m, 36 per cent more than the current deal.   Outside of the 3pm Saturday blackout, clubs will be able to stream their own matches online.  All midweek Championship matches will be available for selection by television viewers.

Concerns have been raised about the impact of the deal on attendances and how the money will be distributed between clubs.

Cobblers police investigation statement

It is clear that the Northamptonshire Police inquiry into alleged financial impropriety connected with a £10.25m loan to Northampton Town Football Club (under its previous ownership) is consuming considerable resources and is being conducted in a commendably thorough fashion.

The Northampton riddle

Northampton is a propserous and growing town in middle England, close to the M1.  Some of the countryside and villages in Northamptonshire is really attractive and houses built of honey coloured stone attract half the prices they would in the Cotswolds.

EFL wants a slice of the action in China

The draw for the much derided Carabao (i.e. League) cup took place at 4.15 am UK time.  Mouthy Charlton manager Karl Robinson will sound off at any opportunity to get a quote, but this time I agreed with him when he said that he could not respect a competition which held its draw in the small hours of the morning (not to mention the mistakes in earlier draws with Charlton drawn twice in the first round).

Aussie bidder for Charlton identified

The money man behind the Australian consortium interested in taking over Charlton from unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet has been identified by fanzine Voice of the Valley.   He is Andrew Muir who sold his family owned electrical chain for £585m last year.

EFL to revisit fit and proper persons test

The English Football League is to revisit its fit and proper persons test for club owners.   The specific stimulus appears to have been events at Leyton Orient, although protests at other clubs are also mentioned.

In particular, the EFL is looking at what happens to a club after it has been purchased.

Chinese firm takes Cobblers stake

A Chinese firm 5USport has taken a stake in Northampton Town FC.   The size of the stake has been revealed as 60 per cent. but the chairman of the Cobblers, Kelvin Thomas, insists that it is a partnership rather than a takeover.

It does show that Chinese firms from a variety of backgrounds are prepared to take an interest in football clubs below the Premier League level.

Portsmouth takeover approved

The takeover of Portsmouth Football Club by former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner has been approved.  80.3 per cent of the members of Portsmouth Supporters' Trust who own 48.5 per cent of the shares voted in favour of the deal.   Of the club's 'presidents', who hold the remainder of the shares, 75 per cent voted in favour.

Attendances up in Football League

More than 18 million people attended Football League games this season, the highest number for almost 60 years.   Sky Bet Championship attendances surpassed the 11 million mark, with average crowds over 20,000.  

Profit into loss at Gillingham

A profit of £180k at Gillingham in 2015 turned into a loss of £800,000 in the year ended May 2016.   Turnover was flat at £5.68m.

The wage bill was up 10 per cent in 2016, but is less than Ibrahimovic earns in ten weeks, illustrating the gap between the Premier League and League One.  The whole squad cost £80k and no player was signed for a fee in 2016.

A dispute with caterers Centerplate is to go to court in November 2017.   Out of court settlements have been rejected.