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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Governance

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Roundness rules hit traditional football stitchers

Fifa rules on the roundness of balls have hit the traditional football producing industry in Pakistan. Ten years ago the city of Sialkot produced 85 per cent of the world's footballs employing 100,000 people as stitchers. Production has collapsed from over 40 million balls in 2007 to 22 million this year, while the workforce has shrunk to barely 10,000.

Why did big investors take stakes in Rangers?

Football clubs are not generally seen as good investments. They don't usually pay dividends and the chances of making gains through capital appreciation are not good with a few rare exceptions. The Glazers might bring it off with Manchester United, given that the money for the purchase was largely borrowed.

The main motivation for investment, usually involving foreign buyers, is for a trophy investment which brings with it prestige, an enhanced profile or political insurance.

Supporters criticise Newcastle press ban

Newcastle United Supporters Trust have reacted strongly to the banning of leading local newspapers by the club after their coverage of a protest march. It is clear that they are unhappy with the way in which Mike Ashley is running the club.

Should feeder clubs be allowed?

The Football Supporters' Federation have opposed this idea which has been raised again recently. They state, 'We know the answer to that one. Back in January 2012 we polled our members on this very subject after Andre Villas-Boas made a similar suggestion while Chelsea manager.'

'86% said they opposed the idea of top-flight clubs buying feeder sides. If top-flight clubs tried to force this idea through, and it stinks of self-interest, the backlash would be huge.'

Still Franchise FC?

Is it time to move on and stop calling Milton Keynes Dons Franchise FC?   My colleague John Beech from Coventry University suggests it might be in this in depth BBC report.

Uefa punish six clubs

Uefa have temporarily withheld prize money from six clubs who took part in last season's competitions while they further investigate their financial affairs.   This can be seen as a warning shot across the bows and it has not been taken against a major club in one of the 'big five' leagues.

Financial fair play faces an obstacle course

In a recent issue, The Economist confidently asserted, 'the days of clubs living beyond their means are coming to [an] end.  From this season, premier league clubs will be found by two sets of "financial fair play" rules'.   The Economist never makes any judgment that it is not a confident assertion, but the reality is more complex than this throwaway line would suggest.

Platini: 'I'll see you in court'

For some time I have been suggesting that a club penalised by Uefa's financial fair play rules would challenge them in court.   But now it appears that Michel Platini himself is eager to sue a club to enforce his organisation's rules.

Are football clubs improving their governance?

Public scrutiny heaped on football clubs is forcing their finance directors to pay more attention on corporate governance than if they worked outside the sport, the recent report by BDO has shown.

According to the ‘A New Dawn for Fair Play?' report, nearly two thirds of the 66 finance directors surveyed said they are more focused on their corporate governance than if they were to work in the same sized business outside of football.

Rangers governance criticised

The governance arrangements at Rangers have been criticised in the Financial Times.  The Pink 'Un notes that since floating on Aim in December at 70p a share, apart from losing a quarter of its value, it has lost its chief executive and as of last week its chairman and Phil Cartmell, one of the non-executive directors on the board of six.

FT columnist Kate Burgess notes, 'A perusal of Companies House entries suggests that just one of Rangers' non-executives has significant experience as a main board director of a UK listed company.'