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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Finance

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Reading takeover near

The acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Reading by Chinese duo Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li appears to be closer.   They were involved in an unsuccessful bid for Hull City.  This week Lady Sasima Srivikorn, part of the Thai consortium that owns the club, said that running the club had become 'too costly'.

This was met with scorn by some Reading fans, given that majority shareholding Narin Niruttinanon has a bank balance of over £400m.

Chinese investors interested in Brentford

Chinese investors are interested in Brentford.   The club recently reported losses of £7.5m and there are question marks about how long owner and fan Matthew Benham can carry on pumping in £15m a year.

The International Investor Group already has a 80 per cent stake in Ligue 1 Nice.  A key figure in the group is Chien Lee, chief executive officer of NewCity Capital, a private investment company that focuses on the hospitality industry.

Four clubs in danger of folding

Four English Football League clubs are in danger of going out of business, says a study by financial experts.

Australian bid for Charlton

An Australian consortium is bidding to take control of Charlton Athletic from unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet.

The plan is to make Charlton 'Australia's football club'.   Promising Australian talent would be showcased at The Valley.

The UK chairman of the consortium is the chairman of construction firm Balfour Beatty.

Arsenal could go in the red

It is now looking increasingly unlikely that Arsenal will qualify for the Champions League.   This could lead to a drop in income of £30m and mean that Arsenal make a financial loss for the first time since they moved to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal would stand to earn about £17m from the Europa League instead of £45m from the Champions League.  They have made profits of less than £20m in four of the last five years and the loss of Champions League money could tip the balance.

Tough finances in the Championship

With all the clubs in the Championship in 2015/16 having now published their accounts (except Bolton Wanderers), the author of the authoritative Swiss Ramble blog has now come up with some fascinating statistics.  

Of course, it is well known that Championship clubs like to splash the cash in an effort to reach the Premier League.   However, these figures show how difficult it is to avoid a loss in the Championship and how much parachute payments distort the financial picture.   One wonders if their level stops clubs reining in wages as much as they should.

Chelmsford City takeover collapses

The takeover of Chelmsford City by construction company Jade Global Group has collapsed.  The club is now looking for new investment.   Having increased their playing budget after the takeover was announced last summer, the club is now facing short-term financial pressures.

The Clarets looked assured of a place in the National League South play offs.

Uefa makes big profits as Fifa loses money

Uefa made €847m on its expanded European championships in 2016, an increase of €500m on 2012. Total revenue for the championships was €1.92bn.   Income for the 2016 financial year was €4.58bn.

Broadcasting accounts for 50 per cent of Uefa's revenues and sponsorship for 20 per cent.   Reserves amount to €632m.

Big spenders on agents

Manchester City and Chelsea spent the most money on agents in the last two transfer windows as Premier League clubs parted with £174m.   Manchester City spent £26.3m, Chelsea £25.1m, Manchester United £19m, Liverpool £13.8m and Arsenal £10.2m.

The three promoted clubs spent the least (£1.9m to £2.6m), while West Bromwich Albion were the next most parsimonious at £4.2m.

Champions League penalties for players

Arsenal players will lose out on bonuses worth about £5m if they fail to qualify for the Champions League. The club pays out £200,000 per player if it reaches the group stage, although that is not evenly split.  The competition was worth about £46m in payments from Uefa last season, while the club also made money from matchday income.