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The Premiership

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Spurs hesitate over Wembley move

Tottenham Hotspur have asked the FA for more time to confirm their intention to play at Wembley next season.  Brent Council gave them permission to host 27 matches at the stadium this week.  The present deadline is 31 March.

The club's hesitation arises from possibility to delays to the building work on their new stadium.  Delays on major building projects seem almost inevitable.  The club doesn't want to enter into a contract with the FA prematurely.   The FA has indicated that it is willing to be flexible.

Saints deal near

Southampton have received an improved offer from Lander Sports Development to buy a 100 per cent stake in the club for £190m.  The Chinese development company has proposed a phased takeover in which it would initially buy into the club before taking over full control.

Katharina Liebherr, the club's owner, rejected an offer of £180m in January.   Negotiations are now believed to be at an advanced stage.    The sale is being handled by the Zurich office of the international bank, UBS.

It's a results business

It's a results business in football, not least in the Premier League, confirmed by Middlesbrough sacking Aitor Karanka today with the club in the relegation zone (although it was presented as by mutual agreement).

Middlesbrough are the fifth Premier League club to change manager in 100 days and the 25th to change out of the 92 clubs in 101 days.   Only eight Premier League clubs have had a manager in post for more than one year.

Mayor approves Chelsea's 'blue jewel'

The Mayor of London has approved Chelsea's plans to buid a £500m stadium on the site of Stamford Bridge.  Sadiq Khan said that the planned 60,000 stadium would be 'the jewel in London's sporting crown'.  Capacity at the ground will be boosted by 18,500.

The club still needs permission from Chelsea Pitch Owners, a fan group that owns the freehold of the stadium's pitch and stands, to temporarily leave Stamford Bridge.

Sunderland's plight

It is difficult to see how Sunderland are going to escape relegation.   Even in the old days of Division 1 and Division 2, Sunderland were a yo-yo club, but the financial consequences these days are more serious, not least for the staff who face redundancy.

Big loss at Liverpool

Liverpool recorded a loss of £19.8m in the year to May 2016.  Investment in players was the main reason for the loss, along with the cost of compensating Brendan Rodgers and his staff.   Costs for the Main Stand extension also contributed to the loss.

The club's revenue increased by £3.9m to a record £301.8m.   Match day revenue was up £3.4m to £62m. Commercial revenue was down £700,000 to £115.7m.   This was partly because of a lack of non-matchday access to the Main Stand.

Shrewd Southampton

Given that their net spending is consistently in the Premier League bottom five at less than £8m per season, Southampton's record of three successive top eight finishes makes them the top flight's biggest over achievers since their promotion from the Championship five years ago.   In 2009 they were in League One and administration.

Profits up at Arsenal

Despite a record £110.5m spend on players, Arsenal reported profits of £12.6m in the six months to 30 November 2016 compared with a £6.2m loss in the corresponding period last year.  Once again Arsene Wenger shows that he is following a successful commercial formula.

Turnover was up substantially from £158m to £191.1m year on year.  45 per cent of revenue came from broadcasting, boosted by a bigger share of the Uefa pool.   This was even more valuable given the fall of the pound as it is paid in euros.

From hero to zero

Having won an unlikely Premiership title for Leicester City, Cladio Ranieri was peremptorily sacked as manager yesterday, a fortnight after winning the dreaded vote of confidence.

His dismissal reaffirmed two clichés of contemporary football.   First, it's a results business.  Leicester are in real danger of being relegated to the Championship.  

Spurs and Chelsea have different stadium naming strategies

Tottenham Hotspur are planning to drop the name White Hart Lane while Chelsea hope to retain the name Stamford Bridge in some form as the London rivals seek to secure naming rights for their new stadiums.