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The Premiership


Red Bull want to buy a club

Red Bull want to buy a football club in England. The Austrian-based energy drinks firm are on the look-out for a suitable club, with Anglophile coach Ralf Rangnick, sporting director of Red Bull Salzburg, heading the search.

As well as current Austrian league leaders Salzburg, Red Bull already owns clubs in Germany, New York, Brazil and Ghana. The company’s sporting assets also include two Formula One teams: Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Strange events at Cardiff City

Unfortunately, some foreign owners treat clubs they have bought as a personal fiefdom and make decisions in the absence of any real understanding of the game or its traditions, especially those of a particular club. It is these owners who then attract all the publicity rather than the more sensible ones who seek to appoint knowledgeable people to run things and then take a step back.

Norwich wipe out debt

Norwich City FC have wiped out all of their external debt and returned a small profit after tax of £500,000, the Premier League club revealed on Thursday in accounts published for the year end May 31, 2013 (which cover a 13-month period).

This is before the effects of the Premier League's new television deal show up in the accounts. The £49m the club received for television rights last season will rise to somewhere between £62m and £64m, with an extra £1.25m for every position above 20th the club achieves.

United cut away ticket prices

Manchester United have announced a reduction in away match ticket prices for this season. After consultation with the Fans’ Forum, the Premier League champions have pledged to reduce the price of every away ticket bought by a United fan by £4, starting with their game against Fulham on 2 November.

The discount will be applied automatically by the club when fans pay for their away tickets and any money that is not used this season will be used with next year’s £200,000 budget to continue the policy.

Conurbations rule in title race

Bill Edgar who writes a column in the 'Game' section of The Times each Monday had an interesting piece last week about the way in which the leading conurbations are increasingly dominating the Premier League title race.

There are seven 'built up areas' in England with a population of over three quarters of a million. In order these are: Greater London; Greater Manchester; the West Midlands; West Yorkshire; Liverpool; south Hampshire (which would include fierce rivals Portsmouth and Southampton); and Tyneside.

The transition problem at United

12th in the table is an unusual place for Manchester United FC to be, but it does have to be remembered that it is only September and their final position is likely to be much higher. It is easy to overlook the fact that West Bromwich Albion played exceptionally well on Saturday. However, some United fans are already concerned about whether they will secure a Champions League place, let alone retain the title.

Is lack of money a good excuse for a manager?

Managers under pressure usually have a big book of excuses to hand.   Martin Jol at Fulham is being criticised by fans after the club's poor start to the season.   He has pointed out that the club is 20th in the spending league and that is bound to constrain their performance.

EU targets clubs over competition breaches

It is well known that the European Commission has been investigating a number of clubs to see whether they are in breach of the state aid rules established by the Treaty of Rome.   Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven are among the clubs under investigation.

Chelsea No.2 team in States

Chelsea have now firmly established themselves as the No.2 football team in the United States in terms of support.  However, the nature of the support in the States seems, at least superficially, somewhat different with their liking for light beer and pretzels.

Arsenal profits down, but plenty of cash in hand

Arsenal saw pre-tax profits drop 81.7 per cent in the 12 months to the end of last season, yet the club remains in a strong financial position due to rising revenues and falling debt.

Earnings before tax were down to £6.7m in the year to 31 May, down from £36.6m. The club pulled in a reduced profit from player sales – £47m, down from £65.5m – while wages climbed 7.7 per cent to £154.5m.