Filed under: football, Premier League, soccer | Tags: football, premier league, soccer
The Premier League is heading for disaster, todays Guardian carries a story about the debts run up by the leagues clubs, it will come as no surprise that the top 4 in the league are also the top 4 in debt.
Chelsea and Manchester United are both £700 million in debt, Arsenal are £416m in debt and Liverpool are £280m in debt. Fulham are a surprising 5th at almost £200m, all these teams are either bankrolled by a millionaire owner or they’ve mortgaged the stadium and other assets and they’re owned by the banks (does that mean we actually own them?)
With this amount of debt, the only way the owners can ever hope to make their money back is to sell them to someone richer, but that can’t go on forever. Hoe many people in the world could afford to buy any of those top 4 clubs, and if they’ve had the business nouce to make that much money, would they think buying a football club in that position was good business?
For the big 4 clubs, the pressure to win is enorous, winning keeps their cash flow positive, the extra cash that the Champions League brings is a must, you only have to look at Leeds and the position they found themselves in not too long ago. What would happen if Arsenal, Chelsea, manchester United or Liverpool failed to finish in the top 4? Well I don’t think it would mean a collapse on the Leeds scale, but 2 seasons in a row? 3?
Whenever teams are under such vast pressure to win, there comes the temptation to cheat.
If you think I’m being over dramatic, you can look to Italy in 2006 when Lazio, Juventus, Milan and Fiorentina were all found guilty of match fixing and either relegated or banned from European competition. It’s not too hard a leap to make to see that kind of thing happening in the Premier League, or even the Championship with the riches up for grabs. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see such allegations in this country in the next 4 or 5 years, and when they do, the Premiership is doomed.
Filed under: Blackburn Rovers, football, Premier League | Tags: Blackburn Rovers, football, Manchester City, Mark Hughes, soccer
Mark Hughes has signed a 3 year deal to follow Sven as Manchester City’s new manager, and all the best of luck to him, one of the best managers we’ve had in a long time.
Who’s going to follow him? The managers that spring to mind are:
1) Big Sam
2) Steve McClaren
3) Alan Shearer
I really hope it’s not McClarren, he was a great #2 at Manchester United, a good #2 to Sven in the England camp, but dire when he was at Middlesborough, and who can forget his tenure as England manager? Not many of us with some kind of therapy unfortunatly.
I wouldn’t be too sorry to see Sam Aladice as the next manager at Ewood, he doesn’t have a reputation for attractive football, but he was almost as succesful at Bolton as Hughes has been at Ewood.
Alan Shearer on the other hand, the fuss that went on when he was linked with Newcastle shows he’s keen to get into management, but either didn’t want to spoil his reputation with Newcastle fans, or didn’t want to be #2.
At Ewood he’ll have neither of those problems, a stable board to back and help him develop both himself and his squad.
Just as long as it’s not McClarren.
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So this years Champions League final is between Chelsea & Manchester United and I couldn’t think of a worse advert for British football than this. It’s a repeat of last years rubbish display of football that was the FA Cup final, one of the dullest games I’ve ever watched.
Chelsea always play not to concede a goal and score on the break, and if the tactics deployed by Manchester United against Chelsea the other week are anything to go by, so will they. Hopefully they will have learned a lesson and not repeat that.
I’m not a fan of any of the teams involved in the semis, but I think a Liverpool – Manchester final would have been a much better advert for football in this country. At least the 2 sides would set out to play attacking football. You just have to look at the top scorers table and Liverpool have 4 players, a total of 22 goals between them.
Filed under: Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, football, leeds, Manchester United, sheffield, soccer | Tags: Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, football, Manchester United, premier league, soccer
I’ve been listening to the radio a lot this week, especially to 5 Live where they’ve had various pundits on discussing Ashley Cole’s disgraceful show of petulance and disrespect for referees.
They’ve tried to convince us that the respect that rugby referees get from players wouldn’t work in football because rugby players get involved in punch ups, and that’s an even bigger lack of respect for referees.
I’m sorry but that’s just such a ridiculous argument, when was the last time you saw a rugby player argue over a referees decision? and when they do they get sin-binned for 10 minutes, or the ball gets moved 10 yards closer to their own try line (when was the last time you saw a free kick moved forward 10 yards for dissent?)
These ex-players also insist that dissent isn’t as widespread as people like to make out, but I went to watch Blackburn Vs Wigan yesterday and almost every free kick brought a reaction from them player concerned, not on the level of Ashley Cole’s petulance, but to say that it’s not widespread is rubbish.
Come on someone, have the guts to speak out about this, your making fools of yourselves and no-one believes you.
When I went to sign Jack Walker’s book of condolance at Ewood, the comment a few lines above mine was “Thanks for the memories without you they would only have been dreams”, and I really do think I’m lucky to have been a Rovers fan during the Walker years, even before Jack died, we knew those days were over. Until very recently Blackburn have been a club run by butchers, market stall owners and other local, small time business men. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the clubs fortunes took an upturn when our current chairman, John Williams, took over from Robert Coar.
I’ve been trying to work out if I think the current takeover rumors are a good thing or not. I’ve started to think about why any investor would want to buy Rovers, after all, there IS only one Jack Walker, people don’t buy clubs just for the love of it, you buy clubs to make money, so how do you make money out of a football club?
Rovers are a club who always struggle for fans, even when we were Champions and playing in the Champions League or UEFA Cup we never really filled our stadium week in week out, only against the big teams. Which would be a problem for any potential buyer, as increased gates & revenue are one road to making money out of a club. You can’t even bank on expanding your fan base overseas without having massive success on the pitch. I wonder how many of the Malaysian & Japanese fans I used to talk to on the Rovers mailing list in ’94/’95 are still Rovers fans now?
A few chairmen have tried to cash in on a clubs non-playing assets, ie the ground and training facilities, and while it might have the desired effect from their point of view by getting their money back on buying the club, it decimates the club and leaves it ruined. Thankfully takeovers of this sort are few and far between, and I really hope the trustees wouldn’t entertain a takeover of this type.
That only really leaves increasing the perceived value of the club by bringing success, and to do that you have to spend some money.
Ok, so recently Blackburn Rovers have started spamming me with marketing emails. I probably gave them my email address because they require you to register to read their stories.
The emails all have unsubscribe links on them … but they seem to go anywhere but the unsubscribe page. The other week the email redirected me to the front page of their site, and this week the link takes me to an online version of their email. Lovely.