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League 2

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Big payday for Cambridge United

Cambridge United could look forward to a big boost to their revenues even if they had lost last night's FA Cup game against Manchester United.   Fans who wanted a ticket in the just under 8,000 capacity stadium were obliged to buy a half year season ticket if they were not already season ticket holders.

Hartlepool United taken over

Relegation threatened Hartlepool United have been taken over by a newly formed company, TMH 2014. The consortium is understood to be based in South Yorkshire.

Aberdeen-based Increased Oil Recovery have been in charge since 1997 and the regime has not been a popular one with fans.

Football League show to switch channels

The Football League Show is to switch from the BBC to Channel 5 from next season.  The deal runs for three seasons.  Channel 5 did not offer any more money than other bids on the table, but promised to screen the show at the prime time of 9 pm on Saturdays.

At present the show follows Match of the Day on the BBC.   The late night timing is inconvenient for many fans, although there is a repeat on Sundays.    This will continue.

Motherwell fans close to takeover

Motherwell fans are confident that they are close to taking control of the club.   They have not raised quite as much money as they hoped, but retired businessman Lee Hutchinson has stepped in to help them.

The club has made losses of £780,000 over the past two seasons and is expected to record another loss this season, so there is a big financial challenge ahead.

£115m bill for agents

Premier League clubs spent £115m on agents in the last two transfer windows.   Four top clubs spent more than the combined wage bill of all League 2 clubs for a whole season.

Bury involved in high interest loan

Journalist David Conn is a past master at ferreting out worrying financial developments and in football and has written an interesting in depth article about developments at Bury FC.

Bury have always struggled in the shadow of the two big Manchester clubs and their last set of accounts showed a £724,688 loss on income of £2.7m.    Property developer Stewart Day had to step in to settle their latest financial crisis.

Football League dilutes financial fair play regulations

The Football League has substantially diluted its financial fair play regulations.  According to some estimates, clubs will now be able to make losses of £15m-£17m a year, compared with a previously agreed figure of £5m, plus £3m in the form of equity.

Portsmouth clear all debts

Portsmouth FC have now cleared all their debts following their exit from administration in April 2013.   The legacy debts amounted to £7m. The club is majority owned by the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust with thirteen presidents holding the balance of the shares.

The presidents have contributed £500,000 for ground improvements.   A supermarket is to be built on adjacent land which means that the whole site will have a neater appearance.   A new training ground is scheduled to open later in the year.

Rovers challenge relegation

Bristol Rovers claim that Wycombe Wanderers have breached Football Association rules on third party ownership, thereby gaining an unfair competitive advantage and are consulting sports lawyers.

It is difficult to see this particular complaint going very far, but one can expect more legal challenges to promotion and relegation as sports lawyers hone their skills.

Football League attendances up

Attendances in the Sky Bet Football League rose by 136,000 or one per cent in the season just ended. However, this global figure conceals differences between the leagues.   Attendances in the Championship were down by five per cent and up by 18.4 per cent in League One.   League Two attendances increased by just under one per cent.