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In a new might-be-daily-but-we-are-not-too-sure-yet column, Chris Darwen looks at the business side of football and casts his usual eye over events.

Tottenham have to redo all their invites

The Mail on Sunday, admittedly not the finest of sources, have suggested that Tottenham’s brand-spanking-new stadium might not actually be ready until February 2019 after all. We’ve already all had a good giggle at the fact they’ve had to cancel all the pre-planned events that were going to count as a grand unveiling and the official line is that things have been put back until the end of October. Well, maybe not – a source, and we all love a source, said;

“The critical issues include [safety] systems. Some systems are incomplete or missing and nobody knows how long it is going to be. Completion could run into next year, depending on what other issues crop up. The best guess is that this delay will be between three to six months. In addition, the cost of the build has already reached £1billion and it is difficult to predict what the final bill will be. The costs keep piling up.”

Someone from the club, when challenged, responded with;

“Urgent follow-up meetings with Mace and the trade contractors are currently taking place. We are reviewing the situation and planned timetable to rectify and re-test, after which we shall be in a better position to outline a revised timetable.”

Yup, it’s going to be next year!

In better news for the North London club, they’ve signed a new partnership sponsorship deal with German car makers Audi. It’s a four-year deal that could, if we are really lucky, see a return to the classic 1970s photos of XYZ player standing next to his sponsored car with some cringy caption. Make it happen Poch, make it happen.

Arsenal tear it up, just not on the pitch

Arsenal had a disappointing result at the weekend on the pitch and have elected to take it out on international media rights agency MP & Silva.

Arsenal have said the agency are “in a state of paralysis” given the fact that MP & Silva have failed to make a lot of recent payments to rights holders across the world. So, they’ve acted decisively after realising what they were doing wasn’t working. If only they’d realised that was a possibility a decade ago on the pitch, but watch out Unai – Arsenal seem to actually expect results now.

Premier League pirates being hunted

The Premier League and the French Football League (LFP), the organising body for Ligue 1, the top tier of soccer in France, have ramped up the campaign against BeoutQ by taking a complaint against the Saudi-based pirate channel to the European Commission (EC).

The Saudi channel are basically showing all Premier League matches without permission, according to the Premier League lawyers, and that just isn’t cricket – or in this case, overpriced Premier League football.

The Premier League issued a statement saying;

“The Premier League has written to the European Commission as part of the Sports Rights Owners Coalition. This is just one of the measures we are taking to address this very serious issue. We operate a significant anti-piracy programme in a range of countries to protect the copyright of the league and our clubs.

Like all content creators and rights owners, our business model is predicated on the ability to market and sell protected rights and we will take all available action to support the investment made in the league by our legitimate broadcast partners.”

And what they are basically saying folks is that “how can we rip off our customers if they can get exactly the same stuff for free elsewhere?”

Eleven Sports to challenge that damn annoying blackout

Hey you, do you remember trying to watch Real Madrid vs Barcelona that time and missing the first 15 minutes because of some archaic law that meant live football cannot be shown legally in the UK before a certain time? Yeah, that.

New kid on the block Eleven Sports is taking that on head on having been unable to show the first 15 minutes of Ronaldo’s Serie A debut in the UK – and it cost them a lot of cash to get Serie A, you know?

Eleven Sports have said,

‘No other countries outside the UK and Montenegro apply this rule. We disagree with it and we will continue to challenge it with the best interests of our customers at heart.’

I know what you are thinking, who knew it was the same in Montenegro, right?