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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Attendances

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Rangers make operating loss

Newco Rangers made an operating loss of £7.1m in the seven months to 31 December 2012.  This turned into an overall profit  before tax of £9.5m due to a one off accounting credit of £20.4m described as 'non-recurring release of negative goodwill' and there is certainly plenty of that around in Scotland as far as Rangers are concerned.

Villa cut losses

Aston Villa have cut their annual losses to £17.7m in the year to 31 May 2012 compared with £54m the previous year.  The wage bill was cut by £13,8m and £26m was made from the sale of players.  Owner Randy Lerner waived £20m of interest he was due on £107m of loans.

Football journalist David Conn has tweeted that this looks like a process of downsizing.   Income was down £11.6m or 12.6 per cent to £80m.  Attendances were down by an average of 3,500 to 33,783.   It looks like a case of a club whose ambitions no longer match its history or its potential.

Return of the New York Cosmos

The New York Cosmos were the star team of 1970s soccer in the United States, doing a great deal to spur interest in the game among the young.   In 1975 Pelé signed a contract with them said to be worth $4.75m, making him the highest-paid athlete in the world at the time.  

The squad was full of international greats such as Franz Beckenbauer who had led Germany to World Cup victory in 1974.   As many as 77,000 fans came to the Giants Stadium where the Cosmos played for a time.  Attendances fell when Pelé left in 1977 and eight years later the team was disbanded.

Big losses at Oxford United

Oxford United lost £750,00 last year and are expected to lose a further £660,000 in 2013.   One factor has been falling attendances that have fallen by around 2,000 to a season's average of 5,977, costing the club £200,000.   Even against the background of a difficult economic climate, this is a big fall, particularly in relation to comparable clubs.

Big operating loss at Charlton

Charlton Athletic made an operating loss of just under £7.5m in its League 1 promotion season, compared with £6.13m the preceding season according to accounts lodged at Companies House.   Profit of just over £1m on the disposal of players reduced the operating loss to £6.45m.   However, the preceding year, £2.8m in profit was realised from player sales, reducing the operating loss to £3.3m.

Successful but bankrupt: the story of La Liga

Spanish football is undoubtedly successful.   Six of the seven La Liga clubs in European competition advanced to the knockout phase, including all four Champions League representatives.   It is not only about Barcelona and Real.   La Liga clubs have won five of the nine past Europa League titles.

Fulham are debt free

Mohammed al Fayed has shown that he is the ultimate benefactor owner by effectively wiping out the club's debts of £212m owed to him.   He has converted the debts into equity.

Boosting attendances

Boosting attendances against a difficult economic backdrop is not easy, although it could be argued that they have held up well considering the circumstances.   Clubs have tried all sorts of initiatives with Morecambe letting in fans free for one midweek match.   It certainly trebled attendances, but does not seem to have boosted them much in subsequent games.

Is the Bundesliga such a good deal?

It's a very familiar argument these days to say that the Bundesliga is more fan friendly than the Premier League.   When it comes to allowing fans to stand one can see the argument.   But what about ticket prices?

Football economics guru Stefan Szymanski has taken an in depth look at the two leagues in terms of both attendances and prices.   Some of his findings are counter intuitive.   The Bundesliga has actually increased prices in real terms by 45 per cent since 2004.

MK Dons could win empty stadium stakes

This season Milton Keynes Dons have been watched by an average of 8,721 people in a stadium that holds 22,000, which means stadium:mk has the fourteenth most empty seats per league game in the country.  A planned redevelopment of the ground next year will raise the capacity by 10,000 so, unless crowds go up, MK Dons will play to the most empty seats of the 92 league clubs.