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United players would get £38m from final win

Manchester United's players will be £38m better off if they beat Ajax in the Europa League final next week. Under the club's unusual pay policy, automatic qualification for next season's Champions League would mean that United players would get a 25 per cent pay rise.   They would also receive a £1m bonus under the club's performance incentive scheme.

Darlo fans block return of former owner

Darlington fans have blocked the return to the club of controversial former owner Raj Singh.  He was in charge when the club went into administration in 2012.

Darlington have made operating losses of £80,000 this season and Singh announced that he was prepared to invest £40,000 in the club.    Supporters took to social media to protest and, as a result, Singh decided to withdraw,

As a consequence of his withdrawal, and the reasons for it, a second potential investor also decided not to continue discussions.

Attendances up in Football League

More than 18 million people attended Football League games this season, the highest number for almost 60 years.   Sky Bet Championship attendances surpassed the 11 million mark, with average crowds over 20,000.  

Tranmere's financial challenges

Tranmere Rovers hope to win promotion to the Football League in today's play off final at Wembley, but the club has required some investment since Mark Palios bought the club in August 2014.

Average attendances of 5,000 bring in £1 million a year in gate receipts but the playing budget is £2 million, running Prenton Park costs £1 million and their academy £400,000.   Victory today would be worth £1.5m.

The club has developed a link up with China that will mean Tranmere recruiting coaches to work with the Little London School in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia.

Liverpool launch cut price shirt in China

Liverpool has launched a cut price shirt in China to compete with the widely available counterfeits that sell for just a few dollars.

European clubs are keen to boost their revenue in this fast growing market.  However, the widespread availability of fake shirts and pirated live streams of matches makes it hard for clubs to turn the high level of interest in European football into a reliable income stream.

London Stadium naming rights deal in doubt

The proposed naming rights deal between Vodafone and the London Stadium has yet to be signed, leading to fears that HMRC's raid on the stadium last month has led the telecoms giant to reconsider.  A draft contract of a £20m six year deal has been with the Vodafone board since the start of the month, but has not been signed off.

United do well out of Europa League

The Europa League is seen as very much a 'B' list competition in both financial and prestige terms, but Manchester United have done better out of it financially this season than they did from the Champions League last season.

Profit into loss at Gillingham

A profit of £180k at Gillingham in 2015 turned into a loss of £800,000 in the year ended May 2016.   Turnover was flat at £5.68m.

The wage bill was up 10 per cent in 2016, but is less than Ibrahimovic earns in ten weeks, illustrating the gap between the Premier League and League One.  The whole squad cost £80k and no player was signed for a fee in 2016.

A dispute with caterers Centerplate is to go to court in November 2017.   Out of court settlements have been rejected.

Argyle fans concerned about director reappointment

Plymouth Argyle fans have expressed concern about the reappointment of Tony Wrathall as a director of the club.   He bought a five per cent stake from owner James Brent.

Wrathall is a lifelong fan, but is seen as part of the old guard of the club and one of those who shared responsibility for it going into administration.

Innovative marketing

Huddersfield Town have come up with an innovative marketing idea, offering fans a pre-paid funeral package.  It includes a coffin in the club's colours and bearing its crest, or with a home shirt and name on the back. A blue and white floral bouquet is provided with a condolence card from the club.   The club song is played at the funeral.