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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Football Governance


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.'

What lies behind the Brazil protests

Brazil is a country whose economic growth has not been matched by the development of infrastructure or governance capacity with problems of corruption still rife.   It is also one of the most unequal countries in the world.

This blog post is an excellent in depth look at the sports economics behind the recent protest, drawing extensively on the insights of football economics guru Stefan Szymanski.

In depth critique of the Premier League

David Conn's line on the Premier League is well known: it's a bad thing and the Bundesliga is a good thing.  However, he always argue his case powerfully and this latest piece offers an in depth historical treatment in which he develops his arguments.   It should be of particular interest to Manchester City fans.

Guernsey pay the price

Guernsey are going to have to pay a high price for playing in the FA Cup and the FA Trophy. The Football Association has ruled that the club must cover the cost of flights, accommodation transport for all three match officials and 25 members of the opponent's team.

What is more, any postponed home tie must be rescheduled on the UK mainland with Guernsey covering the cost of hiring a neutral ground no more than 30 miles from Gatwick. The same provision will apply if an away tie is drawn, depriving the Green Lions of a home replay.

Scots opt for pyramid

The Scottish FA has agreed to a new pyramid system that allows for promotion and relegation to and from the Third Division. There will be play offs between the bottom club in the Scottish Premier Football League and the champions from each of the Highland League and the new Lowland League.

Among the teams in the Lowland League are phoenix club Gretna 2008, Edinburgh City, University of Stirling and the superbly named Gala Fairydean Rovers. However, the also aptly named Civil Service Strollers are not included.

Between a Rock and a hard place

Gibraltar has been granted full membership of Uefa and will take part in qualifying for the 2016 European championships. However, it will be kept apart from Spain which had opposed the Rock's membership.

Gibraltar first applied in 1999 and the rules were subsequently changed so that only sovereign states could become members. However, the Court for Arbitration in Sports subsequently ruled that the rules could not be changed retrospectively. The Gibraltar Football Association subsequently hired a public relations firm to make its case for membership.

Is football a public good?

Is football a 'public good'?  That is the rather surprising claim made by the chief executive of the Bundesliga in an interview with The Guardian's David Conn.