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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership

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Saints alive

Southampton have sold more players off in one fell swoop than any non-relegated club.   This piece takes an in depth look at the situation.

The intentions of owner Katharina Liebherr, who inherited the club from her father, are unclear.  However, if she wanted to sell, the club would be an attractive prospect with its prosperous catchment area and modern stadium.   Quite what sort of owner might emerge is another matter.

Glazers sell more shares

The Glazers are to sell 5 per cent of their holding in Manchester United which should raise them $150m. A road show to sell the Class A shares will start next week.   They sold a tranche of 10 per cent in 2012.

Make your mind up time for pub landlords

With the start of the new Premier League season, three weeks away pub companies and landlords must decide whether to renew their Sky and BT subscriptions.

However, there is a growing focus on the eating out market and it seems that many landlords and pub groups regard screening live sport not just as increasingly expensive but a hindrance to attracting their target audiences of 40-somethings, females and families.  

Shirt sponsor deals increase in value

Shirt sponsorship deals in the Premier League have increased to a record £191m in 2014-15.  For example, Hull City recently concluded a deal with 12BETuk which is worth a seven figure sum and is the largest in the club's history.

However, only six clubs have deals worth more than £10m and the other fourteen clubs have raised a combined sum that is less than that of Manchester United.   Placed in the context of overall Premier Legaue revenues, the global sum is a relatively small one, although still a valuable source of revenue.

Van Gaal questions United's commercial size

New Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has suggested that 'Maybe it is too big a club - not only in a sporting sense, but also commercially.  We have to do a lot of things that, normally, I don't allow.'

Labour to 'get tough' with Premier League

In a policy statement on sport the Labour Party has promised that it will 'get tough' with the Premier League and impose a 'proper levy' on the competition to boost grassroots football.

This is good populist stuff in the run up to a general election and will no doubt go down well with many fans, especially those that support non-league clubs.   Others might see it as evidence of the 'tall poppy' syndrome.

Liverpool and United top TV table

Manchester United and Liverpool are the two clubs that attract the largest number of viewers at home reports Sporting Intelligence in a blog post that contains a lot of fascinating information.   In the couch potato stakes, Manchester United matches attract an average of 1.4 million viewers and those of Liverpool 1.31m.   No other team gets above 1.2 million.

United seal adidas deal

With the completion of their 10-year £750m kit deal with adidas, Manchester United stand to earn about £143m annually from their three main commercial deals.   The other two are with Chevolet, who are paying £357m over seven years to sponsor the club's shirts and Aon, whose sponsorship of the club's shirts and Carrington training base is worth £136m over eight years.

Nike quit at United

Adidas is expected to sign a 10-year deal to supply Manchester United's kit that could be worth up to £750m after rival Nike declined to match the German company's offer.   It is likely to be the biggest deal in football and worth more than double that Real Madrid has with the company.

Prolonged talks between Nike and United to extend the 13-year kit deal ended with a statement from the US company saying the terms on offer 'did not represent good value for Nike's shareholders' and that its relationship would end after next season.

No deal yet at Villa

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has issued a statement saying that talks on the sale of the club have been productive and ongoing.   However, no deal on a sale has been reached eight weeks after the club was officially put on a market.