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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme


Derby are debt free

Apart from the £15 million pound mortgage on the iPro stadium, Derby County are now a debt free club. £28.5m of loans have been converted to equity by the club's owners.

However, the club continued to make losses of over £7m a year, showing how difficult it is to even approach break even in the Championship and contend for promotion.   Like other clubs, the Rams are reliant on the continued support of the owners.

Leeds decision deferred

Massimo Cellino''s appeal against his disqualification as a prospective owner of Leeds United was heard in London yesterday, but the independent QC in charge of the appeal has reserved judgment while he considers the arguments put forward.   This at least implies that he thought Cellino had a case worthy of further consideration.

The club owned by a state

Some of the most reflective and in depth football writing today is to be found in the Financial Times.  This is particularly the case when Simon Kuper writes one of his in depth pieces as he did in Saturday's Weekend Magazine that accompanies the Pink 'Un.   He took an in depth look at Paris Saint-Germain.

End game in Owls takeover

A possible takeover of Sheffield Wednesday by a Chinese consortium which has been on the horizon since last summer is likley to be resolved one way or another within the next fortnight.

Former Birmingham director and Hong Kong Sammy Yu, a former player and coach of the Hong Kong team, is on friendly terms with Owls owner Milan Mandaric.   Interest appeared to fade when the club appeared to be in some danger of relegation, but they are now almost certain to stay in the Championship.

Is United's lack of success denting Premiership brand?

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore is concerned that Manchester United's lack of success is denting the Premier League brand and affecting interest and the audience in some parts of the world.

Most neutrals in England welcome the more open title race this season as adding interest, but United do have the greatest global recognition of any club and their many followers could quickly become disillusioned.   Some may, of course, switch to following other clubs.

Can football take hold in India?

Can football make headway in the most fanatical cricket nation in the world, India?  The Indian Super League is modelled on the Indian Premier League cricket competition which, despite some recent problems, has been a commercial success.

Business figures ranging from steel billionaire Saijan Jindal to Bollywood film mogul Shahrukh Kahn are expected to enter franchise bids for the new eight club, two month tournament which kicks off in September.   Owners will be expected to bid at least Rs1.2bn ($20m) for ten year franchises.

Arsenal watch may be cheap at the price

When I turned the page of the Financial Times and was confronted by a full page advert showing four Arsenal players engaged in a goal celebration, my first thought that was that Arsene Wenger had chosen an unorthodox route to publicise his conviction that Arsenal were still in the title race.

Roma to have €1bn 'Colosseum'

AS Roma, the first foreign-owned Italian club, are planning a new glass and steel stadium inspired by Rome's Colosseum, the world's largest ampitheatre.   The club does not currently own its ground, playing in the former national Olympic stadium which it shares with local rivals Lazio.

Portsmouth can cope with relegation

Portsmouth are confident that they will not be relegated from League 2 to the Conference, but should the worst happen they think they could cope financially.

Their attendances are currently higher than those they were recording when they were in the Championship and, if they were relegated, they would have the highest crowds ever seen in the Football Conference, beating those currently achieved by Luton Town.

Leeds United in crisis talks

Leeds United have held crisis talks with both GFH Capital and Massimo Cellino as doubts persist about whether the club can meet this month's wage bill,    Manager Brian McDermott has said that the uncertainty is starting to affect player morale.