David Conn

Author's details

Name: David Conn
Date registered: September 27, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/chelsea

Latest posts

  1. Champions League still a financial and sporting lure for Premier League clubs | David Conn — May 19, 2017
  2. Football must learn from sorry rush to play Borussia Dortmund game — April 13, 2017
  3. Premier League agent-spend hits £174m after TV boom — April 7, 2017
  4. Premier League clubs face legal threat unless disabled access is improved — February 1, 2017
  5. Hull City remain a club pockmarked by rancour under Allams’ ownership | David Conn — February 1, 2017

Author's posts listings

May 19

Champions League still a financial and sporting lure for Premier League clubs | David Conn

The idea that participation in Europe’s top club competition is less important to England’s top flight because of TV money dissolves on analysis

There is an emerging school of thought that qualification for the European Champions League is no longer quite the financial and commercial boost that it used to be, given the galactic increase in Premier League TV money showering fortunes on all 20 clubs from 2016-19.

It is true the increase in the English top flight’s broadcasting deals, from £5.1bn in 2013-16 to £8.4bn in the present three-year cycle, is a dramatic windfall – inflated at home by BT’s serious designs on BSkyB’s 25-year subscriber stranglehold and internationally by increased coverage of the Premier League on channels all over the world. However, the idea Champions League participation is now less important dissolves on analysis because it misses several crucial elements – as well as the actual figures, which show it remains a lucrative earner for the top clubs.

Related: Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City: what missing Champions League would mean

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/may/19/champions-league-still-financial-sporting-lure-premier-league-clubs

Apr 13

Football must learn from sorry rush to play Borussia Dortmund game

Thomas Tuchel was wrong to blame Uefa alone for the Monaco match going ahead a day after the bomb attacks but decision-makers must start to put people ahead of schedules, TV, sponsors, money and the like

Perhaps the most sensible conclusion to draw from the sorry row about who decided to reschedule a Champions League quarter-final for the day after a triple bomb attack on one of the teams, is to step back, and say that football should deal more maturely with trauma. It is a lesson that has been far too long in the learning.

The Borussia Dortmund manager, Thomas Tuchel, looked ashen after the 3-2 defeat against a predictably professional Monaco, complaining that Uefa had high-handedly insisted the match must be played. His players, Tuchel said, needed at least “a few more days” to try to come to terms with the assault on their lives, before having to perform again. Uefa insists it did not impose the decision to kick-off the match less than 24 hours after it was called off on Tuesday following the terrorist pipe bomb blasts aimed at the Dortmund team bus. Uefa said the decision was taken after thorough discussions and agreement with both clubs, and that nobody in the Dortmund hierarchy requested at any stage that the match should not go ahead.

Related: Uefa hasty in rescheduling Dortmund v Monaco less than a day later, says Jürgen Klopp

Related: Dortmund bombs highlight challenge of combating modern terrorism acts

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/apr/13/borussia-dortmund-thomas-tuchel-monaco-uefa-bomb-attacks

Apr 07

Premier League agent-spend hits £174m after TV boom

• Manchester City top the list with total of £26.3m
• Chelsea are second highest after forking out £25m

Premier League clubs paid a record £174m to agents during the year which included the summer 2016 and January 2017 transfer windows, the first since the start of the league’s current £8.3bn three-year TV deals. Figures released by the Football Association on Friday revealed that of the £174m total Manchester City paid the most to agents: £26.3m.

Related: Mino Raiola: a fearless negotiator who got his revenge with Paul Pogba deal

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/07/football-premier-league-agents-television

Feb 01

Premier League clubs face legal threat unless disabled access is improved

• EHRC chair David Isaacs says the time for excuses from the clubs is over
• Thirteen of 20 top-flight teams do not have required wheelchair spaces

Premier League clubs’ failure to provide minimum levels of access for disabled supporters has been described as “disappointing” by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which has again threatened legal action if they do not comply.

The warning followed a Premier League report which revealed that 13 of its 20 clubs’ grounds do not incorporate the minimum number of wheelchair spaces set out in the accessible stadia guide (ASG), and that nine of the clubs will not make the necessary improvements in time for the league’s own self-imposed deadline of this August.

Related: Premier League clubs could face legal action over disabled facilities

Related: Disabled fans short-changed at Premier League grounds despite riches pouring in

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/01/premier-league-clubs-threatened-legal-action-failure-disabled-supporters

Feb 01

Hull City remain a club pockmarked by rancour under Allams’ ownership | David Conn

To have generated unrest and disillusionment among many fans seems all the more unnecessary given the Allams’ tenure has been the most successful in the club’s history

The semi-detached owners of Hull City spent their long, cold January insisting to widely disaffected supporters that they are not just clearing the decks, hauling in all the money they can net, and battening down for the anticipated relegation of a club they are trying to sell. The £20m trawled from selling Jake Livermore and the season’s brightest attacking force, Robert Snodgrass, did not greatly help their case but the vice-chairman, Ehab Allam, did spend his transfer window final day in a flurry of deadline trading.

Sources close to the club say the aim of the Allams, Ehab and his father Assem, who is suffering ill-health, is to make a £40m cash surplus this season, given their small squad and £100m or more gushing in from the Premier League’s lavish 2016-19 TV deals.

Related: Looking for a Silva lining: the big problems facing Hull’s new manager

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/feb/01/hull-city-pockmarked-rancour-allams-premier-league

Jan 25

The curious case of Farhad Moshiri, Alisher Usmanov and new money at Everton | David Conn

Alisher Usmanov, who has a stake in Arsenal, is said not to be involved at Everton but the heavy investment by USM, of which the Uzbek-Russian billionaire owns 48%, in Finch Farm has raised questions

When Everton’s major shareholders concluded years of searching for a mega-rich owner by selling just under 50% of the club to Farhad Moshiri for £87.5m last February, it was widely assumed that Moshiri’s senior business partner, the Uzbek-Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, must be looming large behind him.

Usmanov, though, has a 30% stake in Arsenal, the club he harbours an appetite to buy, but where he has been held at bay and arm’s length by the US investor Stan Kroenke, who owns 67% and is buttressed by the alliances of the board. Premier League rules prohibiting “dual ownership,” aimed at maintaining proper competition, forbid a person who owns more than 10% of one club to buy shares in another.

Related: Everton seal naming rights deal with Alisher Usmanov’s USM Holdings

USM, the investment company for his vast holdings, is pumping money into Everton by sponsoring Finch Farm

Related: Philip Green, Vibrac and Riverdance: the mystery of Everton’s ‘shadow investor’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/jan/25/everton-farhad-moshiri-alisher-usmanov-new-money-ownership

Jan 16

Premier League clubs could face legal action over disabled facilities

• Parliamentary report says clubs’ failure ‘completely unacceptable’
• Those who do not comply with law may receive a fine or points deduction

Premier League clubs’ facilities for disabled supporters have been severely criticised in a parliamentary report which states MPs would support legal action to force compliance by clubs with minimum provision set out by law. The report by the culture, media and sport committee cites expert evidence that eight of the Premier League’s 20 clubs will fail to achieve the minimum legal number of wheelchair spaces for supporters, as set out in the Accessible Stadia Guide, by a deadline of August this year.

The report said it was “completely unacceptable” that a number of Premier League clubs, principally those in older grounds, have failed to carry out basic adaptations over the past 20 years.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/16/premier-league-legal-action-parliamentary-report