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The Premiership

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Arsenal Up For Grabs Again

The ownership of Arsenal could be up for grabs again after a boardroom row effectively ended the board's lockdown agreement under which directors agreed in 2007 to sell shares to each other. The board ousted long-standing director Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith leaving her free to sell her stake to the club's biggest shareholder, Russian steel magnate Alisher Usmanov. Bracewell-Smith has been marginalised in recent years and didn't get her candidate for chief executive appointed.

Real Madrid Tops Money League

Deloitte's annual Football Money League, which analyses revenues in the 2007-8 season, shows Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona retaining their top three positions. Manchester United saw revenue increase by 21 per cent and only the depreciation of sterling against the euro prevented it from coming top. Overall attendances for the top 20 clubs are slightly up in the first four months of the season compared with the same period last year. Seven of the clubs in the top 20 are English, four are from Italy and the same number are from Germany with two each from Spain and France.

Liverpool Lose Their Sheikh

It looks as if the ruler of Dubai is no longer interested in buying Liverpool who are having difficulty in raising funds for their new stadium. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has told the club's owners that he has dropped his interest after an unsuccessful two-year pursuit. Intermediary Amanda Staveley, who has been negotiating on Sheikh Mohammed's behalf since the turn of the year, has told Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. that he is no longer interested because of the financial climate and their refusal to lower an 'unrealistic' £600m valuation.

Premiership Agrees To Debt Probe

Barclays Premier League officials have signed up to a voluntary investigation into debt levels among their clubs as part of their efforts to head off threats of regulation by Europe. Top clubs have been threatened with explusion from the Champions League as Uefa rails against the overwhelming success of Premiership clubs. Premier League officials are taking a leading role in a new Association of Professional Football Leagues (APFL) formed to represent the senior leagues in all 27 member states of the European Union.

Britain Defeats French Threat To Premiership

Britain has fought off an attempt by France to use its rotating presidency of the European Union to impose a French-style regulatory system on British clubs. The real target was the English Premiership and the prime mover was not French president Nicolas Sarkozy or even sports minister Bernard Laporte but Uefa president Michel Platini who has made no secret of his hostility towards English football. The French plan was to establish a supranational body modelled on the French regulator, the Direction Nationale du Controle de Gestion (DCNG).

Liverpool Could Be Forced To Sell Players

Keith Harris, the chairman of investment bank Seymour Pierce, and a key intermediary in football takeovers, believes that the American owners of Liverpool could be forced to sell leading players if they are unable to pay off the club's £350m debt. Although George Gillett Jr and Tom Hicks have an option to extend the 25 January deadline for repaying the loan by six months, it is far from certain that an extension will be granted.

Abramovich Really Is A Chelsea Fan

Roman Abramovich really is a Chelsea fan - and we have a 134-page ruling from Mr Justice Christopher Clarke to prove it. The ruling, dealing with a Siberian oil dispute, reveals a great deal of information about Abramovich's lifestyle. It emerged that as much as 92 per cent of the time he spent in England in any given year was specifically connected with Chelsea matches, rather than any personal or professional ties. Mr Justice Clarke rules that the club, on which he has lavished around £500m, was a 'hobby and a leisure interest'. 'It is not a business investment,' the judge determined.

Spurs Go For New Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed their intention to build a new 60,000-capacity stadium near their current White Hart Lane ground. The Northumberland Development Project will be a large-scale development including leisure facilities, public space and housing as well as the new stadium. The scheme includes the current site and adjoining land with the stadium largely sited to the north of the existing one.

Figures Don't Add Up At Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC fans will be celebrating today's victory at Chelsea. The club has had its best start to its Premiership campaign for many years. The red half of Merseyside can realistically talk about securing the Premiership title. Off the pitch, things are less rosy. Of course, what with a holding company in Delaware (the state with a reputation for business friendly rules) and a Cayman Islands tax haven link, the corporate arrangements of the current owners would not win a prize for transparency.

Chelsea Aim To Reduce Reliance On Benefactor

Chelsea's chief executive believes that the club will be less dependent on Roman Abramovich next year. The plan is to gradually let go of the lifeline provided by their Russian owner, although how these good intentions work out remains to be seen. However, no money will be made available in the January transfer window for big new signings unless there is a real emergency on the pitch. Plans to move away from the cramped ground at Stamford Bridge have also been put on hold, even though a larger stadium would generate more gate money on the Old Trafford model.