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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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Using football as soft power

Britain is increasingly using football as part of its 'soft power' arsenal to boost post-Brexit trade.   'Soft power' relies on an ability to appeal and attract.   Britain has a high score in global indices of soft power

Connecting with younger supporters

Connecting with younger supporters is a challenge for football clubs.  They tend to watch games in bite sized chunks rather than as a whole on their devices.   They are likely to follow multiple clubs.  Research on 24,000 fans worldwide found that they followed an average of 4.6 clubs. They also increasingly follow individual players as well as teams.

Foxes boost Leicester economy

A report by Ernst & Young suggests that Leicester City's surprise capture of the Premier League title boosted the Leicestershire economy by more than £140m over the past football season.  Of the £140m Gross Value Added. £110m was generated directly by the club, its community activities and match day tourism.

Television rights market starts to cool

The football television rights market may have reached its peak, at least domestically, although overseas deals could continue to contribute increasing revenues, making up a growing share of the total.

An underlying driver is that fans are starting to watch football in a different way.   The market is starting to fragment with less commitment to watching the whole game.   Younger fans in particular are watching on their mobiles in shorter bursts.

United see rise in debt

Manchester United's debt has risen by 18 per cent to £338m, in part because of the Brexit vote and the consequent worsening of the dollar-pound exchange rate.

Results for the three months to 30 September saw revenue drop by 2.8 per cent while operating profits were down by 35 per cent to £6.2m.   This was largely because of the club's absence from the Champions League.

Big new China TV deal

Foreign broadcasting deals have become an increasingly important part of the Premier League's revenue stream.   Their biggest deal yet is a new one for China that will earn £564m over three years from 2019-20.

United now the best paid team in the world

Manchester United are now the best paid football team in the world, having overtaken Barcelona.   Average basic first team pay at United is £110,962 a week.   This is forty times as much as the club was paying in the first season of Premier League football in 1992-3.

Challenges for televised football

In the first ten weeks of this season viewing figures for live Premier League games on Sky fell by 12 per cent year on year.    Sky blames the decline in viewing on fewer big name clashes at the start of the season.   However, it says that it registered a 3.5 million peak audience during Liverpool's clash with Manchester United on October 17th, its highest rated Premier League game for three years.

Red Bull in market for English club

Red Bull are reported to be in the market for an English football club to add to those they own in Germany and Austria.  It would be a logical next move for them given the prestige associated with the Premier League.

The director of sports at RB Leipzig recently attended games at Brentford, Charlton and Chelsea. However, none of these clubs is for sale.  Charlton have had difficulties with their current Belgian owner, but it seems that the Charlton visit focused on a possible player acquisition.

Solid success at Stoke

In his last forensic blog post the author of the Swiss Ramble site turns his attention to Stoke City.  Stoke are one of the less glamorous and fashionable clubs in the Premier League but, after an uncertain start to the season, they look like confirming thier reputation as a solid member of the league.