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Spondulas

A new report states that the average cost of admission (adult) has rocketed in the top four divisions of English football by a startling 11.7% in the past 12 months – more than five times the rate of inflation.  Good job some signs of the recession being curtailed. 

At least County has tried some promotions in BSP to address sales promotion, recruitment of the next brethren and support for disadvantaged. The BBC Sport Price of Football study illustrated a rise in the mean (literally!) £19.01 to £21.24. I would be surprised that a similar added value could be witnessed in supporters’ benefits.  Bet you didn’t know the most expensive away fixture for ‘pie eaters’ is Kidderminster.  Some interesting stats are apparent for benchmarking.

The PKF Football Industry Group’s Leagues Apart Survey has been published recently also.  This showed: “Two out of every three English and Scottish clubs (sample 62 FDs)  face significant cash-flow difficulties with a majority preparing to sell players or seek support from a benefactor before the end of this season.”

More money coming in – particularly daunting futures.  All in all suggests a somewhat ‘leaky bucket’! Given the background it’s not strange to learn, as we did today, that Arsenal will not be competitive untill another two years have lapsed.  First things first – financial viability and sustainability are an imperative. Let’s await the emergence of Fair Play.

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Smoke without fire

The phrase has meaning “no smoke without fire”.  AKA David Jones’ story in his autobiography.

I use the phrase here after learning that UEFA has charged the Serbia and England Football Associations following the argy bargy at the end of the Under-21’s football match between the countries.

Whilst, not there, from the comfort of my armchair, I would plead provocation in the sense of clear racism from the Serbian supporters, mischievous behaviour by the same (akin to that we used to see regularly in British football before our act was cleaned up somewhat) and a dubious reaction to affairs on the pitch post-final whistle, from the home team’s players and management.

In that sense, the cause or both smoke and fire appeared to be from Serbia.  But England has ‘previous’ and in a final fracas UEFA appears to have taken the easy – not necessary correct action – and penalised both.

Greek tragedy

As Turks look across the Aegean to Greece, you would not blame them for thinking “so this is what Europe brings”.  Forget it!  Fresh from their own financial irregularities the economic status of football in their neighbour’s Country is poor too.

Most of the top teams have hardship, the knock on effect from an economy out of control.  Austerity measures prevail meaning big signings are a thing of the past.  Apparently, Super League clubs have reduced spending on players’ contracts this season by circa 50%.  The biggest, AEK Athens and PAOK Thessaloniki have needed more draconian measures to enable survival.

The financial situation was actually so bad that the League nearly didn’t start back in August. Ironically, some good may come of the necessity to change as ‘home grown talent’ appears the only way forward. The Greek hierarchy has commented: “the days of overspending on high-profile foreign players like Rivaldo, Djibril Cisse, Gilberto Silva and Eidur Gudjohnsen are over”.