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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership

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'Transformative moment' for Premier League

Premier League clubs have made their first collective profit for 15 years.  Dan Jones, a partner at Deloitte's authoritative Sports Business Group, hailed the news as a 'transformative moment'.  It showed that the Premier League could keep a grip on costs while still attracting top players.   He commented, 'You can still afford to compete on talent and still have money left at the bottom line.'

Greg Dyke declares war on Premier League

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has declared war on the Premier League with his proposal for drastic changes to the home grown player rule.   The Premier League relies on searching the world for the best mature talent and enticing players with high wages, even if sometimes expensive mistakes are made.

While saying that he would prefer to proceed by consensus, Dyke has made it clear that he will be prepared to force the changes through.  He has said that he could get Uefa  to change the rules or the Football Association could change the rules.

Rangers board shore up defences against Ashley

The new directors at Rangers have made loans of £1.5m to the club to keep it afloat while they seek longer-term finance.   This means that they will not have to take the second tranche of a loan of £10m from Mike Ashley which would enable him to appoint directors to the board.

Sunderland benefit from television deal

The latest accounts from Sunderland AFC for the 2013-14 financial year show the benefits a smaller club derives from the Premier League television deal.   Broadcasting revenue, up from £44.9m to £71.8m was over five times gate revenue at £13.7m up from £12m.

Could the Premier League lose a Champions League spot?

Winning a place in the Champions League is the real prize in the Premier League these days.  With Chelsea seemingly champions-elect, all the focus is on which teams will be able to qualify.  

The Europa League is not a consolation prize, but more of a punishment.   It involves a gruelling season of long trips to little known teams in obscure countries.   It has probably held Everton back this season. Southampton fans I know are dreading a trip to Kazakhstan.

New Palace owners will not splash the cash

The takeover of Crystal Palace by a consortium led by Josh Harris, an American private equity investor, is expected to be approved by the Premier League within the next few days.

The formal change of ownership may not be announced for some weeks, but the parties have been in talks for six months and have built up a good working relationship. The purchase price is thought to be in the region of £100m.

The consortium includes several prominent Wall Street figures, many of whom are involved with the New Jersey Devils, an ice hockey team, and the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA.

Top US investors target Palace

After their win over Queens Park Rangers yesterday, Crystal Palace's position in the Premier League is effectively secure.   The club is being targeted in a takeover bid by top Wall Street investors and a deal could be concluded as early as this week,

The group of investors includes private equity executives from Apollo Global Management and Blackstone.  The US consortium is led by Josh Harris, a billionaire who helped found Apollo and David Blitzer, a senior executive at Blackstone.

What the Premiership is all about

The exit of Chelsea from the Champions League, and the poor prospects of Arsenal and Manchester City, provides another peg on which critics of the Premier League can hang one of their eloquent denunciations.  West Ham's income is poised to pass that of Inter Milan, but still Premier League teams under perform on the European stage.

David Conn and writers like him have a case to make, but sometimes I think they miss the point of the Premier League.   It is as much about creating a televised entertainment spectacle for global consumption as it is about football.

Are transfer markets inefficient?

Gabrielle Marcotti is one of the more thought provoking journalists writing about football.  In his latest article in The Times, he tells the story of a foreign club who tried to sell a player in England.   They were asking for €15m, but were prepared to go as low as €8m.  

Then a top Premier League club came in saying the player was their third choice to fill a position.  The selling club upped the price to €20m and the potential buyers agreed without hesitation.

All you want to know about Liverpool's finances

The highly impressive Swiss Ramble blog takes an in depth look at Liverpool's recent accounts with some great graphics and tables.   The author confims that the club should not face any financial fair play problems.

Liverpool turned a profit for the first time in seven years, but rank just tenth in terms of pre-tax profits by Premier League clubs.   In other words, half the Premier League clubs returned a profit in 2013/14 (and there are still some accounts to come).