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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

Football Finance


United now the best paid team in the world

Manchester United are now the best paid football team in the world, having overtaken Barcelona.   Average basic first team pay at United is £110,962 a week.   This is forty times as much as the club was paying in the first season of Premier League football in 1992-3.

Red Bull in market for English club

Red Bull are reported to be in the market for an English football club to add to those they own in Germany and Austria.  It would be a logical next move for them given the prestige associated with the Premier League.

The director of sports at RB Leipzig recently attended games at Brentford, Charlton and Chelsea. However, none of these clubs is for sale.  Charlton have had difficulties with their current Belgian owner, but it seems that the Charlton visit focused on a possible player acquisition.

Mystery of Council money for Cobblers

Northampton Council handed over £10.25m to Northampton Town despite concerns about the club's finances.   The money was meant to be for improvements to the stadium and a hotel to be built in the grounds.   What happened to it is now the subject of a police investigation.    The club is now under new ownership.

Solid success at Stoke

In his last forensic blog post the author of the Swiss Ramble site turns his attention to Stoke City.  Stoke are one of the less glamorous and fashionable clubs in the Premier League but, after an uncertain start to the season, they look like confirming thier reputation as a solid member of the league.

Chinese company interested in Southampton

Southampton are the latest club to attract interest from Chinese investors.    Talks are being held with Lander Sports Development, a company that recently posted year end losses of around $59 million. Their last involvement in sport was a deal to promote curling in China before the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Southampton would be the biggest English club to be taken over by Chinese investors.   The price tag is thought to be around £200 million.

City are biggest European earners

Manchester City were the biggest earners from Champions League prize money in Europe last season even though they did not make it to the final.   Uefa figures showed that City earned €83.9m, €3.8m more than the winners Real Madrid and €14m more than defeated finalists Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea and Arsenal who reached the round of 16 earned €69m and €53m respectively.    Chelsea benefitted from the fact that half of the market pool money is based on the previous season's domestic league position. Manchester United, who exited at the group stage, earned €38m.

Forest takeover nears completion

The takeover of Nottingham Forest by a consortium led by American businessman John Jay Moores is nearing completion.   He has a background in Major League Baseball with the San Diego Padres and was involved in an unsuccessful bid to acquire Everton and also Swansea City.

Kuwati owner Fawaz Al Hasawi has withdrawn his proposal to keep a stake in the club which will be sold for around £50m.

Getting round the rules

One can devise rules to restrict external investment in football clubs, but it is also possible to find ways of getting round them.   That is what the German Bundesliga has found.

RB Leipzig are currently second in the top German league.   They are sponsored by Red Bull, the energy drinks manufacturer, and play at the Red Bull Arena.   They are affiliated to New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg, the Austrian champions, both of whom play at grounds called the Red Bull Arena.

Canaries in the black

Norwich City's year in the Premier League saw them move from the red into the black with a loss of £5.3m turned into a profit after tax of £9.4m.   Income in 2015-16 jumped to just over £100m from £53.6m the previous years.

How economic change affects football

When the original Football League was founded in 1888 its twelve members were drawn from the north-west and the midlands.  These areas formed the manufacturing heart of the country when industry was economically dominant.   A southern team did not win the title until Arsenal in 1931.