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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Finding a league sponsor

It's not so easy to find someone to sponsor a league, especially in the non-league system.   The returns are more diffuse than sponsoring a club.   Local businesses are often willing to support a non-league club.  One of their directors may also serve on the club board or their employees may play for the club.

Why United are not Tesco

Market dominant firms often find themselves knocked off their perch if they become complacent, their offer becomes tired and they are challenged by new entrants.   Yesterday Tesco issued another profit warning and slashed their dividend as they struggled to maintain their market share.

There might seem to be an analogy with Manchester United.   Certainly for lazy journalists writing off United is an easy way to generate some copy.   However, there are some significant differences between the retail and football giants.

Fashion for flotation is over

At one time it seemed as if almost every club was keen to float and sell shares, even glamorous ones.  It was seen as a way of raising money, a mark of prestige and, in some cases, a way of involving fans.  In all about 50 clubs have floated since the 1990s when television income started to pick up.

El Tel kicks off football fund

Terry Venables is a larger than life character from the school of hard knocks typical of an earlier generation of managers perhaps best represented today by Harry Redknapp or new Palace manager Neil Warnock.

Can Dean's blessing lift Ricoh curse?

The Dean of Coventry Cathedral, the Very Reverend John Witcombe, played a crucial role in the talks that led to Coventry City returning to the Ricoh Arena.   This was consistent with Coventry Cathedrals's tradition of activism in reconciliation which started with work with Germany after the Second World War.

'I'll see you in court'

Football disputes are increasingly referred to the courts rather than being settled by the game's governing bodies or directly between those involved.

Crystal Palace now face the prospect of being taken to court by Cardiff City over the so-called 'spygate' affair.   Cardiff City take the view that the fine imposed by the Football Association for the leaking of their team's details was insufficient.   

'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Back to the Ricoh

The Coventry Evening Telegraph has done a great job in covering the exile of the Sky Blues from the city. They have provided extensive, in depth coverage today and it can be found here.

As a Charlton fan I know what it's like to be exiled from your own ground as the result of the machinations of owners.   I am very pleased to see the Sky Blues back where they belong.  I enjoyed the Olympic matches at the Ricoh and I will try to get to a game some time.

Top Premier League transfers

An interesting infographic has been produced on top Premier League transfers, both in and out of the top flight.

The folks behind this say, 'We're highlighting 6 of the biggest transfers into the Premier League and the 6 biggest out of the league.  The players highlighted in the graphic are the players we believe were the biggest moves, but obviously that is just an opinion that's open to discussion.'

Coventry are coming home

A statement confirming Coventry City have agreed a deal to return to the Ricoh Arena after more than a year of playing their football in Northampton is expected later this morning, reports the Coventry Evening Telegraph.

A deal for a return has been signed after terms were agreed following secret talks between lawyers acting for club owners Sisu and Ricoh Arena operators ACL. The finer details of the deal are yet to be announced, but sources suggest the club could now return to Coventry by September.