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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership

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China's growing impact on football

This is the third story we have posted in three days about China and football.   What China wants, China tends to get.   Turning coral reefs in the South China Sea into military bases, and in particular infringing the sovereignty of the Phillipines, was recently condemned by the International Court in The Hague, but it is unlikely to change China's behaviour.

City sign first esport player

Manchester City has signed their first esports player to compete in the world of gaming.  Kieran Brown, an 18-year old gamer who has more than 12,000 followers on YouTube will represent the club at Fifa esports tournaments.  

Gamers sit in row in front of computers where they play against each other, often watched by thousands of spectators.   It has progressed from small get togethers of geeks to football stadium sized events.

Sterling fall hits football

Premier League clubs are having to adjust to a new operating environment after sterling hit a new 31-year low on Brexit fears.   Some would argue that this is the result of exaggerated fears raised by the Remain campaign, others that the economic consequences of Brexit are making themselves felt.

Winter break back on agenda

Every time the England team has one of its periodic failures, the idea of a winter break in the season is revived so that Premier League footballers can recuperate from their gruelling duties and take in some sunshine in Dubai or the Maldives.

American owners at Swansea

The takeover of Swansea City by an American investment group was completed yesterday.  The consortium is fronted by Jason Levein and Steve Kaplan, who have extensive experience in American sports.

United remain top brand

Manchester United remain the top brand in world football with an estimated value of over $1 billion for the second successive year.   Leicester City saw the biggest increase of 132 per cent, going from 42nd to 16th place with a value of £166m.

Arsenal saw a 22 per cent increase in brand value, going from seventh to sixth place with a value calculated at £593m.  They overtook Chelsea who saw a two per cent fall in their brand value to £530m.

Cost of kit and sponsorship deals rises rapidly

The cost of football kit and sponsorship deals has been rising rapidly.   Manchester United set the tone when it switched from Nike to Adidas kits in 2015, in a deal worth around £75m a year.  Barcelona did even better.   By extending its Nike kit deal last month, the club more than doubled its annual revenue from kit to €150m a year.

Villa top Midlands finance table

They may have been relegated, but Aston Villa top a new football finance table of Midland Premiership and Championship clubs.  The table was compiled by Deloitte and is based on revenues earned.  If nothing else, it shows the potential of Villa to bounce back.

Second year of profits for Premier League

For the first time since 1999, Premier League clubs have recorded a second consecutive year of aggregate pre-tax profits, generating approximately £120m in 2014/15, according to Deloitte, the business advisory firm. This is the second highest-ever aggregate pre-tax profit for Premier League clubs, and follows last year’s record-breaking profit of £190m for the 2013/14 season.

Hull City's future in doubt

With Hull City having gained access to the riches of the Premier League, speculation has intensified about a takeover.   The club has been for sale since 2014 when the owner failed to get the club's name changed, but it is now a more attractive prospect.   Some reports say that talks have been in progress since early this month.

Steve Bruce has said that he will need assurances from the owners  if he is to stay as manager.