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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership

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Oscar sale could suggest weakness rather than strength

The sale of Oscar to Shanghai SIPG represents good business for Chelsea given what seems to be an inflated price, but it has led to fears that it could result in a more general exodus of Premier League players.   It might also seem to suggest a growing role for China in world football.

It's a results business

That's what we're always told and Crystal Palace had the poorest points to game ratio of any club in the four top divisions in 2016.   Alan Pardew has looked like a dead man walking for some time, saved only by his good relationship with chairman Steve Parrish.

However, Palace's American owners decided that they could not afford to be relegated and it looks like survival specialist Sam Allardyce will be brought in to grind out results.   It was mainly defensive weaknesses, especially from set pieces, that have let Palace down with Pardew favouring 'expansive' football.

There's no money left admits Sunderland boss

Sunderland's chief executive has admitted that there will be little money to spend in the January transfer window because of losses and financial fair play rules.   However, the club are not running up the relegation white flag as they propose to hold on to their key players (who might then have to go in a summer fire sale).

Could Abramovich sell up?

There is increasing speculation in the Russian business community that Roman Abramovich may sell Chelsea.   Many of his fellow oligarchs are loosening their ties to London.

What happened to the new style Premiership?

This time last year all the talk was of a new style Premier League which would no longer be dominated by the top five clubs.   The rise of Leicester City was produced as positive proof of a new era, overlooking the fact that Leicester City's succees was not just a product of their own audacity but also problems besetting all the conventional title challengers.

Sunderland's financial dilemmas

Sunderland need to extrictate themselves from a series of difficult financial dilemmas if they are to escape relegation.    if they were relegated, their financial position could become unsustainable.

Using football as soft power

Britain is increasingly using football as part of its 'soft power' arsenal to boost post-Brexit trade.   'Soft power' relies on an ability to appeal and attract.   Britain has a high score in global indices of soft power

Connecting with younger supporters

Connecting with younger supporters is a challenge for football clubs.  They tend to watch games in bite sized chunks rather than as a whole on their devices.   They are likely to follow multiple clubs.  Research on 24,000 fans worldwide found that they followed an average of 4.6 clubs. They also increasingly follow individual players as well as teams.

Foxes boost Leicester economy

A report by Ernst & Young suggests that Leicester City's surprise capture of the Premier League title boosted the Leicestershire economy by more than £140m over the past football season.  Of the £140m Gross Value Added. £110m was generated directly by the club, its community activities and match day tourism.

Television rights market starts to cool

The football television rights market may have reached its peak, at least domestically, although overseas deals could continue to contribute increasing revenues, making up a growing share of the total.

An underlying driver is that fans are starting to watch football in a different way.   The market is starting to fragment with less commitment to watching the whole game.   Younger fans in particular are watching on their mobiles in shorter bursts.