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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


Half-and-half shirts

Half-and-half shirts (or scarves) made up of the kit of two opposing teams are a curious football phenomenon.   Some of them are evidently run up at home, but commentators see them as representative of broader unhealthy trends in the game.

The relegation that hurts

Clubs are about a hundred times more likely to go bust if they fall out of the Football League.   Just three Football League clubs have folded since the Second World War: Accrington Stanley (where the gas being turned off was the final blow), Aldershot and the now resurgent Maidstone United.

The Southampton model

In his latest meticulous in depth analysis the author of the Swiss Ramble blog examines the 'Southampton model'.   He sees its essence as thoughtful planning, good scouting and player development.

The club has seen solid financial growth, although debts are increasing.   It is clear that the club has a very good owner.  She has been prepared to stand back and allow money to be reinvested in the club rather than paying off her debts.

Money could decide Mourinho's fate

Money could play a crucial role in determining the fate of embattled Chelsea manager José Mourinho who appears to have been deserted by his magic touch.  Chelsea are much more reliant than Manchester United on taking part in the Champions League.

Blackpool fan takeover rejected

Blackpool owner Owen Oyston has ended talks with the club's Supporters' Trust over a possible takeover. The Trust had launched a £16m bid in July.

In a letter on the club's website, Oyston said: 'I believe that if you were left to run the club you would go to the wall because you do not have any money or the experience necessary to support the club in its moment of need.'

'It would be irresponsible of me to simply hand this over to you as it is clear to any independent observer that you could not operate it successfully.'

Could Leeds be sold to fans?

The Leeds Fans Utd supporters group says that it has reached 'an agreement in principle' to purchase Massimo Cellino's majority stake in the club.   Unfortunately, there may be quite a gap between the principle and its execution in practice.

Are expectations too high at Villa?

Former Villa manager Paul Lambert certainly thinks they are and calls for a dose of realism at the relegation threatened club.

The 'bubble' match

I hadn't heard of 'bubble matches' before I read this article from the Football Supporters' Federation.  It's a means the police use of controlling matches where they think there might be trouble.   For last night's match between Cardiff City and Bristol City, away fans had to go to a service station within a half hour window to collect their tickets.   This meant they were obliged to travel by car.

Football is returning to its upper class origins

The Financial Times is a leading global business newspaper, but it also publishes some quite left leaning articles.  Indeed, before Labour turned to the left, it recommended voting Labour in its editorials.

How footballers choose their homes

The House & Home supplement of the weekend Financial Times included an analysis of how footballers (and elite sportsmen more generally) choose their homes.   Not surprisingly, some of them have got their fingers burnt, but their buying habits can also have a major impact on local property markets.