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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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Profits up at Arsenal

Despite a record £110.5m spend on players, Arsenal reported profits of £12.6m in the six months to 30 November 2016 compared with a £6.2m loss in the corresponding period last year.  Once again Arsene Wenger shows that he is following a successful commercial formula.

Turnover was up substantially from £158m to £191.1m year on year.  45 per cent of revenue came from broadcasting, boosted by a bigger share of the Uefa pool.   This was even more valuable given the fall of the pound as it is paid in euros.

From hero to zero

Having won an unlikely Premiership title for Leicester City, Cladio Ranieri was peremptorily sacked as manager yesterday, a fortnight after winning the dreaded vote of confidence.

His dismissal reaffirmed two clichés of contemporary football.   First, it's a results business.  Leicester are in real danger of being relegated to the Championship.  

AS Monaco's dilemma

AS Monaco face a difficult financial balancing act.   In 2014-15, the club made €117m, less than a third of Paris Saint-Germain's total for the same campaign.  With little match-day and commercial revenue, they are very reliant on Champions League qualification.    They can make €2m from a Champions League game.  This means remaining competitive on the pitch while seeking to maximise profits in the transfer market, a difficult balancing act.

One off sponsorship deal upsets Sutton fans

A one off sponsorship deal between FA Cup giant killers Sutton United and Sun Bet for their match against Arsenal has upset some Sutton United fans.  The name of their regular sponsor, Greengo Waste, could still be seen in small lettering on the back of the shirts, but the front had a prominent sticker for Sun Bet.

Is Villa or Newcastle the bigger club?

I am always a little supsicious of attempts to say which of two clubs is the bigger one, as there are no accepted criteria.  At least this report from Sky on Aston Villa and Newcastle United looks at a range of criteria, whilst avoiding offending fans of both clubs by coming to no clear verdict.

Top Chinese club phase out foreign players

China's top football team has pledged to phase out foreign players after the government called on clubs to stop 'burning money' on 'irrational' international transfers, amid a wider crackdown on capital outflows.

Guanzhou Evergrande, winner of the Chinese Super League (CSL) for the last six seasons, led the way in the importation of foreign talent.   They spent several hundred million dollars, winning the Asian club championship in 2013 and 2015.

Chaos at Orient

Leyton Orient are in a state of chaos under owner Francesco Becchetti and face relegation to the non-league pyramid for the first time in their history.   Becchetti is now neglecting the club, using protests as an excuse, and refusing to authorise any squad additions.

It will be difficult to find a buyer for the League 2 club, the second oldest professional club in London, as the owner has loaded it with £9m to £10m of debt.

Spurs and Chelsea have different stadium naming strategies

Tottenham Hotspur are planning to drop the name White Hart Lane while Chelsea hope to retain the name Stamford Bridge in some form as the London rivals seek to secure naming rights for their new stadiums.

Bolton owners at odds

Bolton co-owners Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth have an increasingly strained relationship and the whole matter could end up in court.

Chairman Anderson spoke out on the club website about the sale of Zach Clough to Nottingham Forest for £2.5m, claiming that he was left with no alternative after Dean Holdsworth refused to provide any funds to financially support the club.

'A merchandising company that happens to play football'

As Manchester United report a good set of quarterly results, it is worth recalling the description of them in the Lex column of the Financial Times last month: 'a merchandising company that happens to play football.'