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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

League 2

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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.

New effort to sell Notts County

Notts County chairman and majority shareholder Ray Trew has made a new effort to sell the club.   He has approached local businessman Alan Hardy who has made two bids for the club in the past.  He thinks that the world's old professional team has the potential to reach the Championship

Trew has had talks with potential buyers from China and the United States and also with a UK hedge fund, but these do not seem to have gone anywhere.

Trew originally put a price tag of £8m to £10m on the club.

Checkatrade trophy still unpopular with fans

The latest series of matches in the Checkatrade or Football League trophy shows that the new format involving Premier League under 23 teams remains unpopular with fans.

The biggest attendance was at the derby between rivals Swindon Town and Oxford United at 2,698, but in fact it was the lowest attendance ever for a A420 derby.   Just 457 saw Barnet face Norwich City.   Portsmouth against Reading under 23s attracted the lowest attendance since 1945 and the 609 at Grimsby to see them play Leicester City under 23s was their lowest ever for a cup competition game.

Growing antagonism between owners and fans

Growing anatgonism between owners and fans is examined in this blog contribution with reference to the cases of Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.

In the case of Charlton it is ironic that fans have been referred to as 'customers' by the chief executive, yet there seems to be no concept of good customer relations beyond a series of gimmicks.

Luton's new stadium plans

Luton's ground at Kenilworth Road recalls a forgotten football past.  To access the away end you go down a passage between terraced houses and climb a set of stairs with back gardens on either side. The 'executive boxes' are down one side of the ground, set back just a few yards from the touchline and only a few yards higher than the pitch.

Morecambe becomes first Brazilian owned club

With teams in the Premier League and the Championship snapped up, the attention of foreign investors is turning to Leagues One and Two where they hope there may be bargains to be had.   Morecambe was put up for sale in March and has become the first club to be acquired by a Brazilian investor.

New troubles at Plymouth Argyle?

It is five years since Plymouth Argyle were rescued from oblivion and the excellent 'two unfortunates' blog take a look at the current, rather complex and worrying situation.  

Is Carlisle bid for real?

One of the difficulties with reports about takeover bids is sorting out those which are substantive and those which are flights of the imagination.   There have been cases in the past of bidders for football clubs not having the funds they claimed to possess or promised to invest.   In one or two cases they actually proceeded to acquistion with disastrous results for the club concerned.

Investors focus on lower leagues

Global investors are increasingly focusing on Leagues 1 and 2 as they seek investment opportunities in football, according to the latest annual survey of football finance directors by accountants BDO.

No less than 73 per cent of League Two clubs have received an approach from potential investors in the last year.   Investors are interested in the potential for growth in clubs with stable business models.

Accrington's high hopes

With the smallest playing budget in League Two at about £450,000, Accrington Stanley missed out on automatic promotion last season on goal difference.  They then lost in the play off semi-finals to AFC Wimbledon.

Since then a number of star players have left, two to Rangers for just £125,000.   The club reckons that domestic transfers in England would have yielded around £2 million.  It just shows how the odds are stacked against small clubs.