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Hong Kong buyer for Birmingham City

A Hong Kong-based businessman, Paul Suen, is poised to buy a majority stake in Birmingham City.  He intends to buy at least 60 per cent of the club through his company, Trillion Trophy Asia.  This appears to be an investment vehicle set up for the occasion.

Mr Suen is an active investor in small listed companies in Hong Kong.

The sale, expected to be completed before the end of September, values the Blues at £37m.  It would end the seven year tenure of Carson Yeung, the Hong Kong businessman and convicted money launderer.

Footballers take top two places in sports rich list

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi take the top two places in the latest Forbes sport rich list, but they are the only two footballers in the top twenty.   The list is dominated by US sportsmen.   Ronaldo earned $56m in salary and a further $32m in endorsements over the past year.

Ronaldo has a sportswear sponsorship deal with Nike, which has launched a clothing brand called CR7, after his initials and shirt number, and he has signed partnerships with watchmaker Tag Heuer and nutriton supplements group Herbalife.

Chinese group takes majority stake in Inter Milan

Chinese appliance retailer Suning Commerce Group has agreed to pay €270m for a 70 per cent stake in Inter Milan.   The retailer is already active in domestic Chinese football.

Ex-owner , Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir, remains as president with a reduced stake of 31 per cent.   The club is thus entirely in foreign hands for the first time.

American owners at Swansea

The takeover of Swansea City by an American investment group was completed yesterday.  The consortium is fronted by Jason Levein and Steve Kaplan, who have extensive experience in American sports.

Barcelona are number one for sponsorship deals

Barcelona remain the world's number one club for sponsorship deals.   The club signed a new 10-year kit deal with Nike last month which is expected to bring in €150m-€155m each year, compared with the current €60m.   When it starts in 2018, it will be football's most lucrative kit deal ever, far outstripping Manchester United's £75m a year deal with Adidas.

United remain top brand

Manchester United remain the top brand in world football with an estimated value of over $1 billion for the second successive year.   Leicester City saw the biggest increase of 132 per cent, going from 42nd to 16th place with a value of £166m.

Arsenal saw a 22 per cent increase in brand value, going from seventh to sixth place with a value calculated at £593m.  They overtook Chelsea who saw a two per cent fall in their brand value to £530m.

Cost of kit and sponsorship deals rises rapidly

The cost of football kit and sponsorship deals has been rising rapidly.   Manchester United set the tone when it switched from Nike to Adidas kits in 2015, in a deal worth around £75m a year.  Barcelona did even better.   By extending its Nike kit deal last month, the club more than doubled its annual revenue from kit to €150m a year.

Villa top Midlands finance table

They may have been relegated, but Aston Villa top a new football finance table of Midland Premiership and Championship clubs.  The table was compiled by Deloitte and is based on revenues earned.  If nothing else, it shows the potential of Villa to bounce back.

Revenues grow in Leagues 1 and 2

The latest Deloitte Sports Business report shows that a 14% fall in League 1 revenues was primarily due to the absence of Wolverhampton Wanderers, whose revenue comprised 22% of the division's total in the previous season.  The 17 clubs present in Leaguie 1 in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 grew combined revenues by 6%.  League 2 clubs' revenues were 5% higher than in 2013/14.

Championship clubs have strained finances

The finances of Championship clubs continue to be strained, even perilous, according to the latest report from Deloitte Sports Business.

Championship clubs generated combined revenues
of £548m in 2014/15, 12% up on the previous year
and a new record.  The division’s revenue continues
to be heavily influenced by parachute payments and
solidarity distributions from the Premier League.