Outside the Box: Police will take a hard line as Munich tests 'park life' for final
The successful concept of Fan Parks used at the last two World Cups and European Championships has now come to the Champions' League and will be employed for the final in Munich in a fortnight's time, allowing any Chelsea fans without tickets to watch the game on a big screen.
The coverage will be part of a four-day festival taking place at the Olympiapark, the former home of Chelsea's opponents Bayern Munich, with tickets for the match at a modest €5 (£4) - considerably cheaper than the real thing, where prices range from £59 to £310. Uefa are hoping to attract up to 65,000 on the night but will be hoping for best behaviour from rival supporters who might just have spent the day testing Bavarian beers.
A message from Uefa's president, Michel Platini, encourages supporters to "mix with and enjoy the company of the opposing fans" while the official word from Munich police HQ is: "The police will deal firmly with any threatening or violent fans." You have been warned.
Cash blow for League clubs
Football League clubs hoping for a windfall if – as now seems likely – either Birmingham, Blackpool or West Ham forfeit £32m of parachute payments by winning promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, will be disappointed.
Under the agreement in place until 2010 all that money would have been redistributed to the other League clubs, offering each a handy six-figure sum. The new agreement does not allow for such largesse, on the basis that it was considered better for clubs to know exactly what their income would be rather than waiting for promotion and play-off outcomes.
No pain, no gain in Spain
Last month we reported on the financial problems of Spanish football, with clubs in the top two divisions estimated to be £3.4billion in debt and owing more than £1billion in tax and social security. Now agreements on repayment have been put into place and the country's sports minister says with admirable optimism: "Probably by 2020 this problem will have been effectively resolved."
From the 2014-15 season clubs will be forced to put aside 35 per cent of their revenue from media rights as a guarantee against their tax obligations, and infringements could even mean aban from domestic football. In Switzerland, 11 teams have been refused a licence for next season because of the state of their finances, including three of last year's top four in the Super League, FC Zurich, Young Boys Berne and Sion.
Making Wolves look good
Not a great year for football in Wolverhampton. Following the decision to sack Mick McCarthy and put Terry Connor in charge, Wolves went to the bottom of the Premier League table and stayed there.
Their record, however, has been superb in comparison to Wolverhampton United of the West Midlands League Division One, who went into this weekend having lost 27 of their 29 league games, letting in 118 goals.
Up the road, meanwhile, and at the same level of the FA pyramid, Longton Harriers of the Staffs County Senior League managed to take one point from their 29 matches, while conceding 168 times.
Some road trip for Town fans
Some 300 Huddersfield Town supporters must have felt a little saddle-sore at yesterday's final game of the season at home to Yeovil, having arrived by cycle from Yeovil's Huish Park ground, which they left on Wednesday morning.
The 260-mile journey was the third such event, previous seasons having finished with rides from Southend and then down to Brighton's Withdean Stadium. The club chairman, Dean Hoyle, and former Town hero Andy Booth are again taking part despite the latter's knee problems from his playing days, and as in the past all the money raised - an estimated £250,000 this year – goes to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the club's academy: www.justgiving.com/keepitupcampaign
Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year
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