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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

UK Leagues

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25 years of the Premier League

The Premier League started on 15 August 1992.   In its first season it was really the old First Division rebadged, still with 22 teams taking part.  Only 3,039 watched Wimbledon play Everton at Selhurst Park on a cold Tuesday night in January.  

Only 13  foreign players (less than six per cent) took part in the first games.   Since then, 1,840 foreign players from 105 countries outside the British Isles have taken part.

Clubs in shirt sleeves arms race

Football clubs are in an arms race to get sponsorship logos on players shirt sleeves after the Football League sanctioned opening up the sleeve at the end of last year.  The logo has to be placed on the left sleeve.

FA Cup loses its lustre

Proposals to change the format of the FA Cup are being considered.   They represent a further downgrading of the competition which was once on a par with the league and arguably a more glamorous trophy to win.

Internet giants may bid for Premier League matches

There is a growing expectation that Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter could enter the race for the next round of Premier League television rights which will be open to tender towards the end of the year.

Bolton Wanderers looking for Sports Shield solution

Bolton Wanderers are hoping a solution can be found between Dean Holdsworth's Sports Shield company and its creditors.  Sports Shield have a 37.5 per cent stake in the club.  The hearing of a winding up order against Sports Shield has been deferred until August 21st.

The whole matter is complicated and the English Football League has become involved.  Their agreement is required to a proposed solution.  However, there is no impact on the club's day-to-day operations.

Aussie bidder for Charlton identified

The money man behind the Australian consortium interested in taking over Charlton from unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet has been identified by fanzine Voice of the Valley.   He is Andrew Muir who sold his family owned electrical chain for £585m last year.

Fans think clubs focus too much on global brand

Two-thirds of football fans think that clubs focus too much on the global brand at the expense of the local fan base, according to a survey conducted by the Football Supporters' Federation.   Only one third of supporters thinks that the club cares about them.

Chinese buyer interested in United stake

An unknown Chinese buyer has expressed an interest in buying out some of Manchester United's shareholders.  Negotiators claiming to act for a billionaire investor have contacted some of United's independent shareholders in recent weeks over a possible deal to buy a stake in the club.

Arsenal fan Jeremy Corbyn slams owner

Jeremy Corbyn told the owner of Arsenal to 'stick to football' yesterday after it was revealed that the American billionaire Stan Kroenke had launched an online hunting channel that shows lions and elephants being killed for sport.   My Outdoor TV has been described as the Netflix of the hunting, shooting and fishing world.

Big variations in Premier League wages

There is considerable variation in Premier League wages with an almost four to one ratio between the club with the highest average wages in 2015-16 and the club with the lowest.  Data from thepriceofffootball shows that five clubs had average wages of over £100,000 a week, led by Manchester United on £119,088, followed by Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.

There was a big gap between Arsenal on £100,198 and Tottenham Hotspur on £51,304.  Bournemouth was the most parsimonious club on £30,542.