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The Premiership

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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.

Chinese company interested in Southampton

Southampton are the latest club to attract interest from Chinese investors.    Talks are being held with Lander Sports Development, a company that recently posted year end losses of around $59 million. Their last involvement in sport was a deal to promote curling in China before the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Southampton would be the biggest English club to be taken over by Chinese investors.   The price tag is thought to be around £200 million.

City are biggest European earners

Manchester City were the biggest earners from Champions League prize money in Europe last season even though they did not make it to the final.   Uefa figures showed that City earned €83.9m, €3.8m more than the winners Real Madrid and €14m more than defeated finalists Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea and Arsenal who reached the round of 16 earned €69m and €53m respectively.    Chelsea benefitted from the fact that half of the market pool money is based on the previous season's domestic league position. Manchester United, who exited at the group stage, earned €38m.

Mayor orders probe into London Stadium costs

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has ordered a probe into why costs of the London Stadium have overrun by £51m.   The total cost of the former Olympic Stadium is now estimated at around £750m which is similar to the cost of Wembley Stadium which was seen as costing too much money.    The original stadium was built on time and on budget, but it is the conversion costs to turn it into a football stadium that have soared out of control.

London Stadium naming deal in trouble

The latest crowd trouble at West Ham's London Stadium is going to make securing a naming deal more difficult.   The spectacle of fighting fans is not one a sponsor needs to boost their image.

It was always going to be difficult because what is on offer is really the sponsorship of West Ham.  The stadium would have to be debranded for other events such as the World Athletics Championship next summer.   Moreover, sponsors prefer to put their name to a new stadium.

Hull sale closer

The sale of Hull City moved closer after a 'heads of agreement' document was filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange.  A Far East consortium is prepared to pay £130m for the club.

The buying consortium, GreaterChina, says that it sees 'unparalleled opportunities' to promote the club to a Chinese audience.  

They would face competition for that audience from the growing number of English owners of Chinese clubs.   It is a big market, the biggest available, but it has its limits.