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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



Brighton's new stadium on track

Brighton fans received broad-based backing from supporters of other clubs in their fight to keep going.  Unpopular owners saw them evicted from their Goldstone Ground.   For a while they had to play home games at Gillingham, but the spirit was kept alive.   However, the Withdean athletics stadium which they currently rent is one of the worst venues for away fans in the Football League.  They are placed in a temporary stand, separated from the action by an athletics track.   It won't just be Brighton fans who are pleased when the new Falmer Stadium is

Farewell to Saltergate

Some years ago I went to a match at Chesterfield's Saltergate stadium which had a capacity of just 8,504.  It was an evocative atmosphere and the small group of away fans at one end of a stand were seated on what looked like wooden benches.  Now the Spireites have played their last game there.   Their wealthy new owner who is in the Sunday Times rich list has brought to completion a long-term plan to move to a new 10,000 capacity stadium.

Relocation is all the rage for Spanish clubs

Relocation as a means of modernisation is a strategy currently favoured by a number of Spanish clubs, but it's not all been plain sailing.  Espanyol started the trend by moving from the unpopular Montjuic ground to much more up market surroundings at their sparkling new Cornella-El Prat home.

Two approaches to promotion to the Premiership

There are broadly two approaches that promoted clubs can adopt to the Premiership.   One is to spend and hope that they can establish themselves as a Premier League club.  Unfortunately, that approach looks like it is not going to work for Hull City.  Another approach is to spend prudently, the calculation being that even if the club is relegated it will be in a stronger financial position, particularly given the expected increase in the size and duration of parachute payments.   Wolves have spent prudently and have stayed up; Burnley have spent prudently and b

Grays leave ground after 100 years

Relegated Blue Square Premiership club Grays Athletic are to leave their home at the Rec after 100 years.  In all too familiar story, the ground has been sold by the landlords for housing.  The club cannot afford the cost of a Conference-standard stadium share.   Thurrock was the best prospect, but Grays cannot afford the £55,000 a year asked for.   Rather than take their place in the Blue Square South, they look set to drop down to the Ryman League with Tilbury as a possible location.   The plan is to re-build as a community club.

FC United plan new stadium at Newton Heath

FC United, the club now in the Unibond Premier League that was formed when the Glazers took over Manchester United, are planning to develop a 5,000-capacity stadium at their spiritual home at Newton Heath within the next three years.   They have averaged around 2,000 supporters at Bury's Gigg Lane ground this season.

West Ham bid for Olympics stadium

West Ham have launched a joint bid with Newham Council to leave Upton Park and move to the Olympics Stadium in Stratford after the 2012 games.   They have said that the plan would allow athletics use of the stadium, but the running track is an obstacle to allowing football fans close to the game which is what they like and gives a much better atmosphere.   There are also questions about who would pay for reducing the stadium capacity from 80,000 to 50,000.    West Ham are

United look for their Amber Knight

It's the Red Knights at Manchester United, but Blue Square Premiership outfit Cambridge United are looking for an Amber Knight.   Fans have pledged about £1.2m to buy the Abbey Stadium back for the club.  But the supporters face a race against time to attract someone willing to stump up a £350,000 non-refundable deposit and prove they can raise the rest of the £3.5m needed to match what Grovesnor Developments have agreed to pay current owners Bideawhile.

Ambitious development plans for Manchester City

Manchester City have unveiled ambitious plans for the development of their Eastlands stadium.  They form part of a regeneration project for the area around the stadium which is in a depressed area of East Manchester.  Ultimately City could relocate their training complex to the ground which would be an exception to the general rule of stadiums and training facilities being located some miles apart.

When a new stadium is a liability

One of the problems of football finance is that the stadium is a capital asset which is used for its main purpose at most about twenty-five times a year.  Football clubs have made efforts to hire out their function rooms for conferences and meetings, but this is a competitive market and one that has been hit by the recession.   I have seen novel solutions abroad, for example at Utrecht in the Netherlands where there are shops and small businesses in the space available under the rising stands.  But there isn't much you can do with the pitch itself between matches if you