“He’s taken us as far as he can.”

Is it wrong not to want your club to be in the Premier League? Is it old-fashioned to just enjoy the game and be happy your club still exists?

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Harvey Headbanger – the EFL chief presses on even though his plans lie in ruins

The numbers are in: Shaun Harvey and his Checkatrade Trophy have failed. Both must be scrapped.

With just the final left to play, we can begin to measure the success or otherwise of this season’s changes to the Checkatrade Trophy. By bringing in young players from top academies, did it – as promised – revitalise a struggling competition? Did it inject new excitement for fans, new money for clubs and new hope for the future of the England national team?

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Stockport Syndrome – Football League rejigs, regulatory capture and why Shaun Harvey is failing

League football in England has some serious problems. These include, in no particular order: the generally poor financial state of the clubs; the chasm between the Football League’s revenues and those of the Premier League; numerous rogue owners; increasingly uneconomic academies; a lack of investment in grassroots facilities and coaching; unaffordably high ticket prices; and glacial progress on fan ownership and safe standing. Continue reading

Save the children – how a simple change to Financial Fair Play could improve youth development

The Financial Fair Play (FFP) initiative was supposed to help make the game financially sustainable. But, in an effort to encourage clubs to invest in youth, Uefa and the Premier League have inadvertently turned academies in profit centres, creating incentives for them to scoop up ever more players, even ones with little prospect of making the first team. It’s time we stopped rewarding this damaging behaviour… Continue reading

Why does the Premier League attract all the worst people from the NFL?

Among the many unseemly aspects of the news that the self-proclaimed ‘Big 5’ had been caught discussing a breakaway European Super League, was the fact that they were discussing it with Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins. It led me to wonder why it is that it’s primarily the NFL’s worst owners who are most interested in the Premier League. (I’ve also written about why I think the league might actually be a good idea.) Continue reading

What Liverpool have done is wrong, but they had no choice – thoughts on Liverpool’s pricing announcement and the need for regulation.

My first thought yesterday on reading about Liverpool’s new ticket prices was, as yours might have been: isn’t it sad to see Liverpool, one of the world’s great clubs, saddled with owners who seem happy to raise prices despite taking the club no nearer to success.

Once the anger subsidies, though, you recognise that pure greed is rarely a motivation behind someone’s actions, especially successful businessmen. Continue reading