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The Premiership


Germans claim win in shirt sponsorship league

According to a new report from International Marketing Reports, overall primary shirt sponsorship deals have a greater value in the English Premiership, but averaged by club, the Germans just edge it.

For the 2010/11 season, total shirt sponsorship for the Premier League amounted to €128m whereas Bundesliga clubs achieved €121m.   However, given that the Premiership has two more clubs, the average deal value was €6.4m compared with €6.72m in Germany.

Fergie could face huge tax bill

Sir Alex Ferguson and Sven Goran Eriksson are among a number of sporting personalities and City figures who could face huge individual tax bills after a scheme to reduce their liabilities backfired.  The 289 investors in Eclipse 35 could end up paying several times more than the £117m of tax they sought to avoid.

Rooney told to delete tweet

Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere have been forced delete postings to Twitter after the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that they had  failed to declare their sponsorship by Nike.   Both the tweets are hardly current as they were posted in January, emphasising the difficulty of regulating fast-moving social media.

The complaint is the first to be upheld by the ASA since it assumed new powers to regulate social media last year.  However, a tweet by Rio Ferdinand who promoted Snickers was found not to be in breach of the code.

Doubts about United valuation

Morgan Stanley will not participate in a Manchester United IPO in the US because the Glazers are seeking a valuation that the bank does not think is realistic.   The Glazers have £2bn in mind, but a group of wealthy fans who tried to buy the club for £1bn in 2010 argued that it was worth far less.

BT's football gamble

The share prices of BT and BSkyB dropped sharply as investors digested just how much they had to pay after a bidding war for Premiership television rights.    Citigroup commented, 'Even before the latest round of [price increases], we estimated that [the] rights as a standalone are barely break-even.'

New stadium less likely at Liverpool

A new stadium for Liverpool at Stanley Park looks less likely after John W. Henry knocked on the head the idea that it would transform the club's finances.   A new stadium would increase match day revenues from £40m to £60m-£70m but that was before you factored in the costs of servicing the debt. 

United may float in New York

Manchester United are considering shifting their initial public offering from Singapore to New York. Apparently underwriters have warned the Glazers that it would not be wise to proceed with an Asian listing given market volatility.

A US listing would give the Glazers more operational involvement, but a shift from Singapore would deprive them of the opportunity to fully exploit the brand in the rapidly growing Asian football market.

Big new Premiership television deal

Every so often predictions are made that the Premier League 'bubble' has burst, especially since the onset of the recession.   The financial success of the Premiership is very much driven by its television deals and the latest one for the seasons from 2013-14 to 2015-16 exceeds all expectations.   It even astounded Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

Battersea move is off for Chelsea FC

Chelsea FC have failed in their attempt to build a new 60,000-seater stadium at London's Battersea Power Station.   The administrators chose a joint bid by two Malaysian companies to develop a 'multi-use real estate regeneration project'.   The Malaysian offer is thought to have been at least £70m more than the nearest bidder.

Sports Direct likely to bid for Umbro

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is likely to bid for Umbro, the UK-based football brand that sponsors the England team kit.   The discount sportswear chain owned a 30 per cent stake in Umbro before Nike took it private.

Nike bought Umbro in 2007 for £285m in an effort to increase its football revenues, but results were disappointing.   Revenues were $276m in 2006 but $224m last year.   Analysts believe that Nike will struggle to get back what it paid.