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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Record profits for Premier League clubs

Premier League clubs generated a combined pre-tax profit of £190m in 2013/14, according to Deloitte, the business advisory firm. The first pre-tax profit in 15 years, the figure is almost four times greater than the previous record of £49m set in 1997/98. This is in sharp contrast to the £2.6 billion of pre-tax losses accumulated over the previous decade.

£2m a point

The rewards of just being in the Premier League are emphasised by the latest figures for the sums distributed to clubs.   Chelsea receive £99m for coming top, £2.5m more than Manchester City last year.

New shirt sponsor for Sunderland

Dafabet are to be the new shirt sponsors for Sunderland.   The main markets for the eGaming company are in Asia and the UK.

Until the end of last season, they were the main shirt sponsors for Aston Villa.   They are also shirt sponsors for Blackburn Rovers.

Sponsors could hold key to Fifa crisis

Commercial sponsors could hold the key to the outcome of the crisis at Fifa.   MacDonalds and adidas, two of the headline sponsors for the 2018 World Cup, expressed grave concern at the fresh wave of allegations of systematic corruption within Fifa.

However, the strongest line has taken by Visa.   Any company involved in financial services has a particular interest in not being tainted by allegations of corruption.

In a statement, Visa said: 

United cut debt interest

Taking advantage of the lower interest rates prevalent in today's markets, Manchester United have managed to refinance their remaining 2010 debt.    They were paying an interest rate of 8.375 per cent, but will now pay 3.79 per cent.

This will bring about a reduction of $10m a year in interest payments which are anticipated to reduce to four per cent of their total revenue in the 2015 fiscal year.

Lerner ready to quit

Randy Lerner is ready to stand down as chairman of Aston Villa this summer if he does not manage to sell the club.   He has already made moves to put a new board in place if a takeover is not completed.

In a rare in depth interview in The Times, Lerner accepts that he should have stood aside years ago because of family and work commitments in the United States.   His original plan had been to move to England which would have made the role of executive chairman more feasible.

QPR's finances

The impressive Swiss Ramble blog has taken an in depth and detailed look at the finances of Queens Park Rangers.

As one might expect, it doesn't make for happy reading.   The club has lost £156m in the last six years, £218m if one adds in exceptional debt write offs.   There is a £185m mountain of debt and very little of that has been spent on infrastructure.

The art of forecasting

Each summer Four Four Two makes a forecast of where all 92 teams are likely to end up at the end of the season.  It's all dreamt up by journalists at their computers and not to be taken too seriously.  In the year that Charlton got promoted from League One, the forecast was that they would end up near the relegation positions.

A new source of funding

Retail bonds have become increasingly popular with investors as the returns from bank and building society savings accounts have become derisory.   They generally offer a return of around six per cent, but there is a higher risk, as there is no compensation if the business you are lending to goes bust.

The model is now being adopted by football clubs in the form of bonds that cannot be resold and are offered in small amounts to consumers.   The ability to repay is not always clear, but if you are a fan, and the amount involved is small, why not take the risk?

The £120m game

They used to call it the £100m game, now they are billing it the £120m game.   Of course, these headline figures never take account of the increased payments on players and other expenses that arise from attempting to compete successfully in the Premiership.