Monthly Archives: January 2014

In less than nine months, the Scottish people will vote in a referendum which could see the country break away from the rest of the United Kingdom.

A recent poll conducted by ICM for the Scotland on Sunday newspaper suggests support for independence is on the rise. Should the pro-union Better Together campaign be worried?

Probably not.

No matter what politicians claim regarding the closeness of the race, an FT analysis of the existing polling data shows that the “Yes” and “No” vote have remained relatively constant over the last year, with just over 30 per cent of Scots favouring independence, and 50 per cent wishing to remain within the union. Around 15 per cent are undecided.

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By Henry Mance

BSkyB and BT have both committed billions of pounds to sports rights over the past two years – as they seek to protect their positions as the UK’s biggest pay-TV provider and biggest broadband operator respectively.

So has either taken a lead?

The long view starts in July 2006, when Sky entered the broadband market.
It was slowly closing the gap on BT, adding about 400,000 more customers that its rival.

However, since the launch of BT Sport last summer, BT has added more broadband users than Sky – the first time in a half-year period since 2007. Read more

On Thursday Eric Schmidt gave a fascinating talk on technological innovation, in which he warned that broad range of jobs that once seemed beyond the reach of automation are in danger of being wiped out by technological advances.

I raised two questions to neither of which in my view did I receive a good answer. Read more

The government’s decision to axe the collection of land price statistics threatens ministers’ ability to understand the effects of their radical housing policies, senior economists and policy analysts have warned.

Land prices are a significant component of new-build costs and the rapid housing market recovery in Britain – fired by the government-backed Help to Buy scheme – has already sparked a scramble for land, particularly in the southeast.

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By Roger Blitz, Leisure Industries Correspondent

Should we praise European football clubs for creating an international labour market or criticise them for failing to nurture homegrown talent?

Take your pick. According to the Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory, the proportion of players playing at clubs where they trained is at an all-time low of 21.2 per cent. Five years, ago, it was at 23.1 per cent.

Among the top five countries – England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France – the proportion is even lower, at 16.5 per cent. All charts are from the CIES’ latest report.

 

No surprise, therefore, that the percentage of expatriate players is at a record high of 36.8 per cent, as the transfer market continues to flourish. Many of them are Brazilians, with 471, though in 2009 there were 538 plying their trade in Europe.

The most likely place to find a club-trained player is Sweden, Slovakia and Finland. The least likely is Italy, Turkey and Russia. English clubs are producing only 13.6 per cent of club-trained players, Germany’s proportion is not much better and they are both well behind Spain and France. Read more

Kate Allen

Aberdeen’s economy is booming. The gateway to Britain’s offshore oil and gas reserves, it has long helped to buoy up Scotland’s economy. And now with a wider economic recovery kicking in, it’s acting like Viagra on the area’s house prices.

Property values in Aberdeen and the surrounding area grew faster than anywhere else in the UK in 2013, according to new data produced by estate agents Savills exclusively for the FT.

Aberdeen has even outpaced last year’s hotspot, Elmbridge in Surrey. Read more