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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Derbies bring in the crowds

The ability of local derbies to attract big crowds is shown in the attendance figures for the National League and its north and south divisions for the 2015-16 seasons.

The biggest crowd in the National League was for the Lincolnshire derby between Grimsby and Lincoln (7.650).  This was followed by Tranmere Rovers versus Chester (7.433) and Wrexham versus Tranmere Rovers (6,707).

China to the rescue of Italian football

Italy has long been seen as the European nation that represents style, and that was also true of Italian football.  However, that image has been tarnished by decaying infrastructure in Italian cities and corruption ridden public services.  There seems to be no viable political solution.

At one time left-wing academics praised the Italian state holding enterprises that had been left over from Mussolini.   Then they discovered the 'Third Italy' of networked small firms producing luxury goods, but even that aspect of the economy was not quite what it appeared to be.

China plans breakaway Champions League

China's richest man is feeding on dissatisfaction among top clubs that a club like Manchester United can be denied the riches and prestige of the Champions League while Leicester City are given a place.  It does, of course, have something to do with performance on the pitch rather than financial rankings.

City sign first esport player

Manchester City has signed their first esports player to compete in the world of gaming.  Kieran Brown, an 18-year old gamer who has more than 12,000 followers on YouTube will represent the club at Fifa esports tournaments.  

Gamers sit in row in front of computers where they play against each other, often watched by thousands of spectators.   It has progressed from small get togethers of geeks to football stadium sized events.

Should clubs accept sponsorship from betting companies?

It's far from unusual for football clubs to accept sponsorship from betting companies.  Four Premier League clubs do.  However, the news that Betdaq are to replace the University of Greenwich on Charlton's shirts has sparked some controversy.

Three way tussle for Dagenham and Redbridge

Relegated Dagenham & Redbridge are hardly the most glamorous club in London, but there is a three way tussle to acquire the club.   

Sterling fall hits football

Premier League clubs are having to adjust to a new operating environment after sterling hit a new 31-year low on Brexit fears.   Some would argue that this is the result of exaggerated fears raised by the Remain campaign, others that the economic consequences of Brexit are making themselves felt.

The background to the red card on Spanish football subsidies

It looks as if the days of dodgy deals in Spanish football are over following the European Commission investigation we reported on yesterday.    In particular, interest has focused on a land transfer between Real Madrid and the city administration.   A land swap in 2011 saw a plot of land with a supposed value of €598,000 in 1998 revalued at €22.7m.

Commission clamps down on Spanish practices

The European Commission has blown the whistle on Spanish football practices with a decision that will force Real Madrid and FC Barcelona to repay illegal state subsidies enjoyed for a quarter of a century. Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, has told Spain to recoup millions of euros of unlawful state aid to seven clubs that came in the form of soft loans, tax breaks and sweetheart property deals.

Shirt sponsors deny cannabis link

Torquay United's new shirt sponsors have emphatically denied that their company name has any link with cannabis.   420 Skatestore is a skatestore clothing company.   In the United States 420 is a slang term associated with cannabis.  Gulls supporters have jokingly speculated on social media whether the team will appear with a cannabis leaf on their shirts.