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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership


Open season on Wenger

It's open season on Arsene Wenger at the moment as Arsenal complete another season without a trophy.  The press have been having a go at him for some time and there was a cacophony of complaint from Arsenal fans on 606 last night.

United remain world's most valuable club

Manchester United have topped the Forbes list of the world's richest clubs for the last seven years and the latest survey shows them once again in top position.   The club is estimated to be worth £1.12bn.

Barca top pay league

FC Barcelona are the highest paying sports club in the world according to a survey conducted by the website   Their first team players earned an average of £95,081 a week with rivals Real Madrid in second place.   The New York Yankees came third.

Liverpool secure record kit deal

Liverpool FC manager Kenny Dalglish has urged that money be made available for summer spending after the club secured the biggest kit deal in English football history.   The £25m-a-year contract with Boston-based Warrior Sports more than doubles Liverpool's present agreement with Adidas and demonstrates the value of the New England contacts of the new owners.

Why do Americans buy English clubs?

Why do so many Americans want to buy English football clubs?   Some of them end up being reviled and the financial returns, even allowing for the possibility of capital appreciation, are very risky and uncertain.

Birmingham finances could hit Uefa cup place

Birmingham City's finances continue to concern the football authorities and could lead to the club being barred from the Uefa cup.  The club won its place in the competition by winning the Carling Cup.

Clubs need a licence to take part and the Premier League is going to talk to Birmingham.  A final decision is expected around the middle of next month.

Silent Stan's game plan

The Lombard column in today's Financial Times asks what Stan Kroenke sees in the UK football business.  The column continues, 'The industry is dominated by its customers (the fans) whose forceful demand for a rare product (trophy winning team) push shareholders into paying astronomical sums to their staff (the players).  The net result is that the customers are rarely happy, shareholders rarely make any money and the staff run off with the takings.  Good luck, Mr Kroenke.'

Usmanov counter bid likely to fail

Alisher Usmanov has made a counter bid for Arsenal, but it is evident that it is going to fail.   The current board, the two selling shareholders and Arsene Wenger all prefer Stan Kroenke as prospective owner.

Kroenke swoops for Arsenal

The long battle for control of Arsenal looks like it is reaching its final phase.   American sports enterpreneur Stan Kroenke is poised to buy out the stakes of both Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith and so take control of the club.   Danny Fiszman has been ill for some time and it is understood that he decided that the time had come to sell his stake, prompting the bid.

Protecting the Premier League brand

Premier League bosses are concerned about the reputation of their brand against a background of austerity and the focus there will be over the next 18 months on young athletes pursuing their Olympic dreams.

In this context Wayne Rooney's outburst has worried the Premier League, even though most fans don't seem to be that bothered.   However, a Premier League insider told the Financial Times, 'There is a reputational risk.  If your'e charged with marketing and selling the League, do you want any unknown quantity out there?'