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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership

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Premiership's Most Costly Bench Warmers

The Premiership's most costly bench-warmers have been revealed in a new list published by football website IMScouting.com. Heading the league is West Ham's injury-prone Kieron Dyer, who having played no more than two Premiership games since August 2007 has cost the Hammers an estimated £1.1m per game. He is closely followed by Manchester United's Gary Neville, who is only now returning to long-term action following a succession of long-term injuries.

Premiership Faces Political Challenge

The Premiership faces perhaps its biggest ever political challenge from what is in effect a combined front of the new culture secretary, Andy Burnham and FA chairman Lord Triesman. Everton supporter Burnham has been tipped as a possible future Labour leader and responding to the concerns expressed by some football fans should do him no political harm.

The Financial 'Meltdown' and Football

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has talked this weekend of a 'meltdown' in the world's financial system which could lead to a further 20 per cent being wiped off stock exchange values. We don't claim to be economic forecasters on this page, but one of the difficulties with statements of this kind is the so-called 'Oedipus effect': making the prediction increases the chances of it occurring. Some of the commentary in recent days has come from people whose agenda is the failure of the Premiership.

Why Buy A Premier League Club?

Nine out of the 20 clubs in the Premiership are wholly or partially owned by non-British entrepreneurs and the number may well increase soon. Arsene Wenger has asked, what is the motivation for a billionaire to buy a Premiership club? It's interesting to look at a perspective from the Gulf states where many of the owners are increasingly likely to come from. Jumana Al Tamini from gulfnews.com argues, 'While the buyers' motives might vary, they all share the same goals: more social exposure; huge profits and high financial returns.

English Premier League Clubs Shirt Sponsors - 2006-07

English Premier League Clubs Shirt Sponsors season 2006-07 with details on their estimated sponsorship value. That season, Manchester United had the largest shirt sponsorship deal by far, worth some £12.3m (with AIG finance). Chelsea managed over £10m (Samsung) and Arsenal and Liverpool both had deals worth £5.4m (with Emirates and Carlsberg respectively.)

At the lower end of the scale deals were at the half-a-million range, with Wigan Athletic lowest at an estimayed £3.1 million.

Arsenal Board Members Make Stan Kroenke Director

Arsenal's board members have reinforced their position against a possible takeover bid from leading shareholder Allsher Usmanov by making US sports franchise owner Stan Kroenke a fellow director. Arsenal wants Mr Kroenke, who owns a 12.4 per cent stake, to sign up to the lockdown agreement drawn up last year by board members that stops any of them trading shares without each other's consent.

Bidders Line Up for Premiership TV Auction

Negotiations on the next Premiership television package are due to start in the first three months of 2009 and already potential bidders are lining up. The last three year deal covering the seasons to 2009-10 raised £1.7bn, 66 per cent more than in 2003. Packages are now sold separately to prevent any one company having a monopoly position and the last deal saw a 2:1 split of live matches between BSkyB and Setanta Sports.

Record Profits At Arsenal

Arsenal are expected to announce record turnover figures later this month, making the club the world's third richest behind Real Madrid and Manchester United. Turnover from the whole business has increased to about £225m. The figures for the year to May 31, 2008 will reveal record pre-tax profits of nearly £40m, while operating profit is expected to be above £50m. Arsenal is not a benefactor club and the results demonstrate the success of the Emirates stadium and the board's policy of living within its means.

The Liverpool Stadium Shambles

George Gillett made a rare visit to Liverpool yesterday to see his club beat Manchester United, but while fans celebrated their victory, large numbers of them protested against the American owners. As one of them said on Sky Sports News, he wished the American owners would just take their profit and go. It was the way in which United eclipsed Liverpool on the pitch and their continuous expansion of Old Trafford that led Liverpool into an urgent search for a new stadium to replace Anfield.

Asian Billionaire Sounds Out Spurs

Premiership club Tottenham Hotspur may be rescued by an Asian billionaire. The news about the 'super rich' investor comes from Singapore. Super-agent Pini Zahavi and the wealthy Asian have been discussing a possible deal. Zahavi brokered the deal in which Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003. The discussions are at a prelimary stage, but the billonaire investor views Spurs as a perfect buy because of the profile of the club and the fact that they are in London. This last point is regarded as crucial. Joe Lewis' Enic Investment Group has been the majority owner of Spurs since 2001.