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English Leagues

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Chinese offer for Newcastle

Mike Ashley is considering an offer from a Chinese consortium to invest in Newcastle United.   A stake rather than a full takeover seems to be on the table, but a minority investment could lead to a complete takeover in time.

Ashley values his stake at £350m -£400m which has so far deterred potential buyers, but the Chinese appetite for a slice of Premiership action is strong.   A substantial investment would help Newcastle to recruit top players.

Evening games on Saturdays?

Premier League clubs are considering playing games on Saturday nights with a 7.45 pm kick off.  Up to 30 more fixtures will be shown live in the next broadcasting deal which runs the risk of market saturation unless new formats can be found.

However, fans are unlikely to welcome the idea as it would make it more difficult for them to attend away matches without an overnight stay.

Leyton Orient survive court hearing

A winding up petition against Leyton Orient has been dismissed at the High Court after the four creditors on the petiition were paid in full.   However, it is believed tbat there are other creditors who were not on the petition.   The total amount paid is thought to be around £250,000.

Fans packed the courtroom and others waited outside.

Premier League viewing figures fall

Premier League football has suffered the biggest drop in viewing on Sky's TV platorm for at least seven years.  Average viewing on Sky's live TV platform fell 14 per cent and total viewing hours 6 per cent over the season.

Sky is paying £10m a game, two thirds more than previously, to screen matches in a three year deal.  It is spending £4.2bn for 126 games a year.  BT is paying £960m for its right to show 42 games a season.  It recorded a more modest fall in average viewing of 2 per cent, but that is from a lower base.

Premier League tightens ownership test

The Premier League has tightened up its Owners and Directors Test.   For the first time it will take into account whether prospective owners have committed an offence which would count as such in the UK.

There is concern about the increasing number of Chinese backed takeovers and the lack of transparency surrounding their financial arrangements.

Takeover interest at Sunderland

Sunderland are engaged in takeover talks with a German consortium that has a longstanding interest in English football.   The £110 million price tag on the club asked for by owner Ellis Short does not appear to have deterred them.

Sunderland are being advised by Dr Keith Harris who has advised on the purchase of many clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.

Top six want bigger share of spoils

Overseas broadcasting fees have become increasingly important in the Premier League's revenue stream.  An estimated £3bn of the £8.3bn broadcasting pot now comes from this source.

German tax probe could force Saints sale

The pressure on Katrien Liebherr to sell Southampton could increase as a result of an investigation by the German tax authorities.   The public prosecutor's office is investigating the tax liability of her late father, Markus Liebherr.

Premier League fatigue leads to Europe failure

According to a Financial Times analysis, the amount of money in the Premier League has increased its competitiveness, to the point that the top clubs have to devote so much energy to the domestic campaign they are too drained to take on Europe's leading clubs.

Title earns Chelsea £151m

Champions Chelsea have earned nearly £151m in television fees and prize money.  Chelsea received almost £58m more than Leicester City did for winning the title last season.

Chelsea's prize money for coming top was £38.8m, while 'facility fees' for being shown live on television in 28 of their 38 league games brought in another £32.8m.   An equal share of TV deals, domestically and overseas, plus commercial income contributed about £79.2m.