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UEFA report: European football profitable but gap between super-clubs and rest remains

UEFA's latest benchmarking report shows every European top-flight club being profitable, but it doesn't mean the game is in a good place yet.

Each year, for the past decade, UEFA have released their "Benchmarking Report," a sort of "State of the Game" across the top flights of every European league. As ever, it's filled with interesting nuggets and takes time to sift through.

Here's a Q&A to help make sense of it.

Q: So what's the top-line, major takeaway?

A: Well, for the first time in the report's history -- and probably the first time ever -- European top-flight clubs were profitable last year, to the tune of some $700 million....

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Juventus stay top, ahead of Barcelona, Liverpool

Cristiano Ronaldo's second-half header secured Juventus' first Italian Super Cup since 2015 against 10-man AC Milan, in Saudi Arabia.

The top three stay the same but, below them, Man City are climbing and there are a pair of new entries.

Dropping out: Tottenham, Atletico Madrid

Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV.

Spy drama surrounding Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds United just a storm in a British teacup

Steve Nicol and Alejandro Moreno react to Marcelo Bielsa admitting to spying on Derby County and that he's done it since he was with Argentina.
Leeds United got the better of Derby County after manager Marcelo Bielsa admitted to spying on the Rams at their training ground ahead of the match.
Marcelo Bielsa and Frank Lampard speak pre-match about a spy controversy hovering over the Championship clash between Leeds United and Derby County.
The guys respond to your tweets about Romelu Lukaku, Arsenal's funds, Lionel Messi's leadership, players who influenced their careers and spying.

In the late 1990s, when Uruguayan midfielder Gus Poyet left Spanish football to join Chelsea, he was given some advice.

"I had a teammate at Zaragoza who had spent four or five years in England, and he told me all the things that I shouldn't do," he said.

"'Don't dive in the area, trying to get a penalty, don't score a goal with your hand, don't try to cheat the ref, don't try to pressure him to give a yellow card to an opponent.'

"At that moment I wondered where I was going. I thought I was on...

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Juventus leapfrog Barcelona and Liverpool to go top

Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists he respects Aaron Ramsey's decision to join Italian giants Juventus.

It's the first edition of Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings of 2019, and after Barcelona's Copa del Rey loss, there's a new team at No. 1.

Dropping out: Napoli

Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV.

Marlos Moreno's Manchester City plight an example of joining a European giant too young

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop sifts through all the latest transfer rumours surrounding N'Golo Kante, Callum Wilson and many more in Transfer Rater.

When it comes to promising South American talent, the major European clubs appear to have arrived at a conclusion. The best way to do business is to buy them young, and bring them across the Atlantic as soon as possible.

The plus side of this arrangement is clear. Top-level European football offers a different challenge: The games are played at a greater level of intensity, with less space available on the field. The sooner the player can adapt, the better.

But all of this comes with risks, both...

Rashford and Pogba key beneficiaries of Solskjaer's Man United revolution

During his playing days, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became famous for being a "super-sub," someone who could come off the bench and change a game to devastating effect. In truth, he was three elite footballers in one. Not only was he as decisive a substitute as the sport has seen, he was also good enough to play long stretches of his career as both a starting striker and a playmaker from the right flank.

It is no surprise, then, that Manchester United's startling improvement since his arrival as caretaker...