Arsenal – Money Don’t Matter 2 Night

August 14, 2013

Urawa-Red-Diamonds-v-Arsenal-2092602
“Arsenal’s transfer strategy this summer has left the vast majority of their fans perplexed. While the seemingly interminable Luis Suarez saga has grabbed most of the attention, allied with the failure to secure Gonzalo Higuain when the deal appeared done and dusted, the stark reality is that Arsenal have not bought anybody yet, let alone the marquee signing that the supporters crave. Yes, they have acquired the services of French U20 international, Yaya Sanogo, but he arrived on a free transfer from Auxerre in the French second division.” Swiss Ramble


Championship Finances 2011/12 – Numbers

August 2, 2013

“Back in April I posted a summary of the 2011/12 Championship finances on Twitter, but since then I have received a few requests to post them in a blog as a useful resource for fans of those clubs, so here we go. I’m not going to provide detailed analysis at this stage, just the key figures from the accounts plus some graphs for comparisons against others. All these figures have been taken from the clubs’ published accounts, though I have made a couple of presentational adjustments in order to prepare like-for-like comparisons between clubs. In particular, not all clubs use the same revenue classification, so I have had to make estimates on the revenue split for Barnsley, Blackpool, Crystal Palace, Hull City and Peterborough United (though obviously leaving the total revenue unchanged).” The Swiss Rambler


FIFA World Cup – Everybody Wants To Rule The World

July 1, 2013

Sepp-Blatter-gestures-dur-005
“The article below covers the financial impact of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and was first published a couple of years ago in Issue One of The Blizzard, the thinking fan’s football magazine of choice. Each issue can be purchased on a pay-what-you-like basis and includes some of the finest writing in the world of football, so I would encourage you to visit their website and invest some of your hard-earned cash. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Although this is an old piece, I thought that it might be worth republishing on my blog, as it seems very timely given the recent criticism aimed at FIFA over the money it will make from the World Cup in Brazil – in stark contrast to the billions invested by the host country. As you will see, many of the concerns are nothing new and would surely find resonance with many of the South African people.” Swiss Ramble

How delicious: Sepp Blatter has kicked off Fifa’s Arab Spring in Brazil
“It may be a little early to call this, what with several days of the Confederations Cup and an entire World Cup to run, but there’s a nagging sense that Sepp Blatter is somewhat miscast as a Brazilian counter-revolutionary. At time of writing, Fifa had yet to request covert support from the CIA in the form of arms shipments and financial backing. But with protests in Brazil continuing to make the most explicit of links between the money the country’s government has spent on Fifa tournaments, and the money it hasn’t spent on less uplifting things such as healthcare and education, Herr Blatter finds his usual arsenal increasingly wanting.” Guardian


Premier League 2011/12 – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

June 24, 2013

Barclays-Premier-League

“Although I have previously posted a summary of the 2011/12 Premier League finances on Twitter, I have received numerous requests to include them in a blog post, so that people can refer back to them, so that’s what I am going to do here. No further analysis, just figures and graphs – well, they do say that a picture paints a thousand words. All these figures have been taken from the clubs’ published accounts, though I have made a couple of presentational adjustments in order to prepare like-for-like comparisons between clubs, e.g. they do not all use the same revenue classification. In this way, I have had to use estimates for QPR and Swansea City, who do not provide a full analysis of their revenue (the total figures are unchanged). Similarly, I have taken the Deloitte Money League revenue split for Manchester City, as the club accounts include some match day income in commercial.” Swiss Ramble


UEFA Prize Money – Rhapsody In Blue

May 9, 2013

Chelsea's Juan Mata celebrates scoring during his side's 4-2 Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur
“The Europa League has long been regarded by leading clubs as a poor relation to the far more lucrative Champions League, but Chelsea’s prodigious efforts after parachuting in to the junior competition might just give pause for thought, as they will end up earning more from Europe this season than any other English club. Although they earned €5 million less than Manchester United from the Champions League after exiting at the group stage, they will receive at least €6.5 million from the Europa League, even if they lose the final. If they repeat last season’s victory in the Champions League, the sum earned will rise to around €9 million.” The Swiss Ramble


Manchester United – Higher Than The Sun

May 6, 2013

“The week after they clinched the Premier League title, Manchester United announced record third quarter turnover of £91.7 million, more than 13 clubs in England’s top flight achieved in the whole of the 2011/12 season. To further place United’s incredible ability to generate revenue into context, this quarterly result was about the same as Newcastle United’s revenue last season – and Newcastle have the seventh highest revenue in England.” Swiss Ramble


Show Me The Money

April 30, 2013

Kagawa joins celebrations as Man Utd clinch league title
“In the past few years there has been tremendous progress in football fans’ knowledge of their clubs’ finances. Some might say that this is not a good thing and we should focus on matters on the pitch. That’s perfectly fair, indeed I would also personally much prefer to watch a great game, such as Borussia Dortmund’s recent demolition of Real Madrid, rather than investigate the minutiae of their balance sheets. However, it is important that fans are aware of what is going on at their club, so that they understand the board’s strategy and any constraints that impact their activities, e.g. why a club might sell its best players every summer or why a club does not splash out on the world-class striker that might take them to the next level.” Swiss Ramble


Borussia Dortmund – Back In The Game

October 30, 2012


Jurgen Klopp
“Last season was truly memorable for Borussia Dortmund’s many supporters, as their beloved Schwarzgelben retained their Bundesliga title and also secured the first double in the club’s 103-year history by winning the DFB Cup too. Not only did they avoid the dreaded second season syndrome, but they actually did so in record-breaking style by setting the highest points total (81) and the longest unbeaten run in a single season (28 matches). Germany’s leading sports magazine, Kicker, compared this achievement with Bob Beamon’s “unbelievable” long jump record in the 1968 Olympics.” Swiss Ramble


Real Madrid And Barcelona – Leaders Of The Pack

October 20, 2012

” A couple of weeks ago Barcelona and Real Madrid produced an enthralling 2-2 draw in El Clásico with two goals apiece from their superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It seemed appropriate that the latest match in a series of titanic struggles finished level, as there has been little to separate the two Spanish giants recently. Their dominance in La Liga has become unquestioned, as they have shared the last eight league titles between them, Barcelona winning five times, while Madrid have been victorious on three occasions, including last season. In Europe, Barcelona have led the way, winning the Champions League twice in the last four years. Although Madrid have not been quite so prominent recently, they have reached the semi-finals of the last two tournaments, and they have won the trophy more than any other club (nine times).” Swiss Ramble


Genoa – Strange Relationship

September 20, 2012

“It’s fair to say that last season was not particularly enjoyable for Genoa. They only just managed to avoid relegation, while their defence was the worst in Serie A, conceding a horrific 69 goals. Matters came to a head when a group of their fans staged a protest during the 4-1 home defeat to Siena, throwing flares and demanding that the players gave them their shirts, leading to a 45 minute suspension of the match.” Swiss Ramble


UEFA’s FFP Regulations – Play To Win

September 6, 2012


“So the transfer window is finally over after the customary twists and turns and, as always, has raised some intriguing questions. Perhaps most perplexing is the decision of previously big spending Manchester City to slam on the brakes (by their own recent standards) much to the disappointment of manager Roberto Mancini. On the fairly safe assumption that this is not due to Sheikh Mansour struggling for cash, the culprit is likely to be UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, a particularly delicate issue for the blue side of Manchester.” Swiss Ramble


Atletico Madrid – It’s A Mad World

August 21, 2012


Radamel Falcao
“Atlético Madrid ended last season in some style, just missing out on a Champions League place after surging up the La Liga table and then winning a terrific Europa League final 3-0 against Athletic Bilbao with two goals from their prolific Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, the man known as ‘El Tigre’. This was particularly impressive after their faltering start following the sale of many leading players last summer, including their South American strikers, Sergio Aguero to Manchester City and Diego Forlán to Inter.” Swiss Ramble


Manchester United – Tuning In To Capital Radio

July 10, 2012

“Last week Manchester United fans once again saw their team’s name plastered over the business pages, as the club announced plans to float on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) via an initial public offering (IPO) that would raise at least $100 million of capital. This is the latest piece of financial engineering from the Glazer family, who have tried the patience of the club’s support ever since they acquired United in 2005 in a highly leveraged takeover that placed over half a billion pounds of debt on the club’s balance sheet.” Swiss Ramble


Reading FC – Dear Prudence

June 29, 2012

“After the disappointment of losing to Swansea City in the 2011 Championship play-off final, not many people would have expected Reading to bounce back so well that they not only secured promotion to the Premier League last season, but they went up as champions, ahead of more fancied clubs like Southampton and West Ham. Their thoroughly likeable manager, Brian McDermott, deserves a huge amount of credit for superbly marshalling his resources, especially after losing leading scorer Shane Long to West Brom and skipper Matt Mills to big spending Leicester City in the summer.” Swiss Ramble


Milan – Warning Signs

May 31, 2012

“By most people’s standards Milan have just enjoyed a pretty good season. They were runners-up in the league, only behind an undefeated Juventus; they reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League before being eliminated by the mighty Barcelona; and lost in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia. However, it was still a disappointment, as they had established a healthy lead in the race to the scudetto, and it was a backward step compared to the previous season, when they had won Serie A for the 18th time.” Swiss Ramble


Leeds United – Marching On Together?

May 20, 2012

“So another season passes with Leeds United failing in their attempt to return to the top flight. Having narrowly missed out on the play-off places the previous season, hopes were high that this could be their year, but the Whites went backwards, ending up in the bottom half of the Championship. Poor results resulted in the January dismissal of manager Simon Grayson, who had guided the team out of League One two years ago, to be replaced by the experienced Neil Warnock.” Swiss Ramble


Liverpool – Keep The Car Running

May 8, 2012


“This has been a strange season for Liverpool. On the one hand, they have won their first trophy since 2006 by beating Cardiff City to secure the Carling Cup, which guarantees them European football next season, and have the chance of more silverware, having reached the FA Cup final. On the other hand, their form in the Premier League has been disappointing to say the least and they currently lie in eighth place, which is far below the expectations of their fans.” Swiss Ramble

Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool: Chelsea lift the trophy
“Chelsea won their fourth FA Cup in the last six years. Roberto Di Matteo went for his usual 4-2-3-1 system with no real surprises – Didier Drogba was upfront and Saloman Kalou got the nod on the left. Kenny Dalglish left out Andy Carroll and went for a 4-3-3 system with Luis Suarez upfront alone. There was also no place for Jamie Carragher at the back. This was basically two completely separate games – Liverpool before Carroll, and Liverpool with Carroll.” Zonal Marking

England appoint Roy Hodgson
“If the decision was between Harry Redknapp and Roy Hodgson, England were choosing between two very different coaches. The debate should not have been about ‘experience at big clubs’ or ‘how much the players like him’, but about the style of coach required: in Redknapp and Hodgson, the FA were choosing between two men at complete opposite ends of the football coach’s ideological spectrum, the most stark contrast of managerial philosophies you can find.” Zonal Marking


The Truth About Debt At Barcelona And Real Madrid

May 8, 2012

“Despite their failure to reach next month’s Champions League final, Barcelona and Real Madrid are by common consent the best two club sides in world football. Featuring superstars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, their talented players entertain and delight us in equal measure, as they dominate La Liga season after season. However, admiration of their exploits is tempered by the financial advantages that they enjoy compared to other less fortunate clubs.” Swiss Ramble


Champions League Revenue – The Final Countdown

April 26, 2012

“Chelsea’s remarkable triumph over Barcelona in last night’s Champions League semi-final was a surprise, but no more than their old fashioned, backs to the wall display deserved. They might not have played the prettiest football, but the result made it all worthwhile in the end, as they could book their tickets to Munich for a sumptuous final against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. You can’t put a price on nights like that.” Swiss Ramble


Queens Park Rangers – Hoop Dreams

April 18, 2012


“This has been a pretty good season for teams promoted from the Championship with Swansea City and Norwich City attracting many plaudits, so it is a little strange that Queens Park Rangers have not received much praise, especially as they actually won that division last year, playing some thrilling football en route to the title. In many ways, this is understandable, as they have been involved in a relegation battle for much of the season, but there’s more behind the lack of warmth than results on the pitch.” Swiss Ramble


Arsenal’s Mystery Dance

February 29, 2012


“So North London remains red after Arsenal put Spurs to the sword with a scintillating comeback in a memorable derby. This was a performance to give hope to the club’s long-suffering supporters, who have endured a troubled season to date, as the Gunners have misfired on all too many occasions. There is still much to play for, as the victory over their neighbours took Arsenal back into the top four, so they still have a chance of maintaining their remarkable record of qualifying for the Champions League for 14 consecutive seasons.” Swiss Ramble


Chelsea – Look Good In Blue?

February 12, 2012

“After Chelsea announced their financial results for the 2010/11 season, analysts could be forgiven for regarding them with a somewhat jaundiced eye, as the club once again put a positive spin on the figures. While they emphasised the record turnover and the improvement in the bottom line, the fact remains that this was another thumping great loss of £67 million, a long way short of the much promised break-even. So, move along, nothing to see here.” Swiss Ramble


Tottenham – Grounds For Optimism Or Concern?

December 15, 2011


“In spite of their somewhat controversial defeat at Stoke City last weekend, Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a splendid season to date. Even though it did not get off to the most auspicious of starts with successive maulings at the hands of the two Manchester clubs, Spurs then embarked on a 12-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, comprising 11 victories and just one draw. The team has been in fine form, adding an unexpected consistency to their usual attacking flair.” Swiss Ramble


Money’s Too Tight To Mention At Inter

December 9, 2011

“It’s fair to say that Inter have had better starts to the season. Although they qualified from the Champions League group stage with a game to spare, they currently languish in 16th place in Serie A. Admittedly they have a game in hand, but they are still a colossal 14 points behind league leaders Juventus with a third of the season gone. The triumphant 2009/10 season when the nerazzurri became the first Italian team to win the treble of the scudetto, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League in a single year under the guidance of José Mourinho seems a distant memory. Inter fans have become accustomed to success, as that triumph meant that their team had won five league titles in a row (including the one awarded to them for 2005/06 by the courts after the calciopoli scandal).” Swiss Ramble


Charlton Athletic – Into The Valley

November 19, 2011

“It’s debatable which team has made the best start to the season in England, but Charlton Athletic certainly have a good case, as they have gained more points than anybody else (40 after 17 games), suffering only one defeat in the process, and currently sit proudly at the top of League One. Hopes are high that they will manage to achieve promotion, though they will nervously recall their elimination in the League One play-off semi-final a couple of seasons ago, when they narrowly lost on penalties to Swindon Town, thus consigning the Addicks to a longer stay in English football’s third tier.” Swiss Ramble


The Revolution Will Be Televised

October 20, 2011


Ian Ayre
“The last few days have provided a great deal of ammunition for those lamenting the state of football, specifically the seemingly inevitable march towards a game completely dominated by financial matters. The charge was led by Liverpool’s managing director, Ian Ayre, who suggested that the leading clubs should receive a larger slice of the money from overseas TV rights, as the average fan in Kuala Lumpur ‘isn’t subscribing… to watch Bolton.’” Swiss Ramble


Everton – No Blue Skies

September 16, 2011


Phil Jagielka
“Football fans are rarely happy. After all, there are only so many trophies that can be won, so the majority of teams will end the season empty handed. That said, Everton’s fans seem to be particularly despondent these days, so much so that a coalition of supporters’ groups known as the Blue Union initiated a protest march before last week’s home game against Aston Villa.” Swiss Ramble


Manchester United – Introducing The Brand

September 9, 2011

“Manchester United’s start to the season has been exemplary. Not only are they top of the league after winning their first three games, but they have also scored an impressive 13 goals in the process. They have already put North London to the sword, brushing aside Spurs 3-0 before spanking Arsenal 8-2 in one of the most extraordinary matches that the Premier League has ever seen.” Swiss Ramble


Romanov’s Battle For Hearts And Minds

August 18, 2011


“Oscar Wilde, the famous Irish playwright, was not known for his love of sport, but his warning “to expect the unexpected” could certainly apply to the world of football, not least at Heart of Midlothian, where the colourful owner Vladimir Romanov continues to resist the path of predictability. Just two games into the Scottish Premier League (SPL), the volatile Lithuanian decided to sack the club’s manager Jim Jefferies, replacing him with the former Sporting Lisbon manager Paulo Sérgio. The popular Jefferies was in his second spell as Hearts manager after a ten-year absence, retaining much goodwill for delivering the Scottish Cup in 1998, ending 36 years without a trophy.” Swiss Ramble


Nottingham Forest – Shadows And Tall Trees

August 8, 2011

“Last season was a bit of a déjà vu experience for Nottingham Forest fans, as their team looked a good bet for promotion to the Premier League for much of the campaign, only to be defeated in the Championship play-off semi-final for the second year in a row. Their disappointment was not lessened by the fact that they lost to the eventual winners, Swansea City and Blackpool, on both occasions.” Swiss Ramble


PSV Eindhoven – Champions League Or Bust

July 29, 2011


Ola Toivonen
“Another disappointing end to the season saw PSV Eindhoven come third in the Eredivisie, finishing behind champions Ajax and FC Twente. Although this was enough to secure qualification for the Europa League, things could have been so much better, as the Boeren (farmers) had led the table going into the winter break. Driven forward by the exploits of Hungarian Balázs Dzsudzsák and Swede Ola Toivenen, PSV were actually the league’s highest scorers, though this was assisted by the astonishing 10-0 demolition of old rivals Feyenoord.” Swiss Ramble


West Bromwich Albion’s Risk Averse Strategy

July 13, 2011

“At one stage last season West Bromwich Albion seemed destined to be relegated from the top flight yet again, despite the sterling efforts of top scorer Peter Odemwingie and the tough tackling Youssouf Mulumbu, but a timely change of manager inspired a solid series of results in the last few months, culminating in the club’s best ever finishing position of 11th in the Premier League.” Swiss Ramble


Swansea City Back In The Big Time

June 14, 2011

“After nearly thirty years Wales once again has a representative in the top tier of English football, following Swansea City’s thrilling 4-2 win in the Championship play-off final against Reading. Not only was this a terrific achievement in its own right, but it also represented a massive turnaround for the Swans, who came close to going out of business less than ten years ago.” Swiss Ramble


Wigan Athletic’s Unlikely Survival

June 8, 2011


“As Wigan’s fans watched their overjoyed players celebrate the narrow escape from relegation on the last day of the season by first soaking their manager Roberto Martinez in champagne, then throwing the Spaniard into the air, their emotions were surely a mixture of delight and relief. After all, Wigan had been written-off by all and sundry for the majority of a campaign that had started disastrously with two thumping great home defeats, 4-0 to newly promoted Blackpool and 6-0 to reigning champions Chelsea.” Swiss Ramble


Liverpool’s Future Strategy

May 23, 2011


“If ever a football club’s season could be described as the proverbial ‘game of two halves’ that would be the one experienced by Liverpool fans this year. Following Roy Hodgson’s appointment as manager last July as the replacement for the popular Rafael Benitez, the Reds endured their worst league start in more than 50 years, falling into the relegation zone in October after a dismal home defeat to newly promoted Blackpool.” Swiss Ramble

Liverpool’s 2009/10 results underline the challenges Fenway face
“Under Hicks and Gillett, the Liverpool structure became more complex than in the days of the Moores family. There were two main UK holding companies; Kop Football (Holdings) Limited (‘KFH’) and its subsidiary Kop Football Limited (‘KF’) which in turn owned The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited (‘LFAG’), the football club itself. KF was the entity that borrowed the vast majority of the money from the banks. At 31st July 2010 LFAG’s debt was limited to an inter-company loan to KF of £104.6m and bank loans and overdrafts totalling £37.7m.” the andersred blog


Lille’s French Revolution

May 10, 2011


Gervinho
“Although Lille’s faltering form in recent weeks has caused a few to doubt their ability to sustain their sparkling challenge in Ligue 1, this weekend’s victory over Nancy restored a four point lead at the top of the table. With just four games remaining until the end of the season, Les Dogues are well on course to win their first French title since 1954.” Swiss Ramble


Norwich City’s Remarkable Transformation

April 29, 2011


Simeon Jackson
“When Canadian international forward Simeon Jackson struck the last-gasp winner for Norwich City against Derby County last weekend, it was incredibly the 12th goal that the Canaries had scored in the 90th minute or later this season. This is a sign of a team that never knows when it is beaten and this resilience is just one of the reasons for Norwich’s impressive surge to a highly commendable second place in the Championship. Paul Lambert’s team stand on the threshold of the Premier League, which would mean a second successive promotion and represents a remarkable turnaround in the club’s fortunes.” Swiss Ramble


Chelsea’s Financial Fair Play Challenge

February 15, 2011


Same as it ever was, same as it ever was – Talking Heads. Financial analysts could be forgiven for thinking that it was the same old story at Chelsea, as the club once again reported a thumping great annual loss of £71 million, but attempted to put the usual positive spin on the results. In an attempt to prove that he was the right man to replace former chief executive Peter Kenyon, who frequently spoke of the club’s determination to break-even, the new man at the top, Ron Gourlay, claimed, ‘The reduction in operating losses and increased sales in 2009/10 shows that we are moving in the right direction.’” The Swiss Ramble


Newcastle United’s Finances In Black And White

December 14, 2010


“Just when Newcastle United fans could be forgiven for thinking that their club had abandoned its frequent attempts to act as the setting for one of football’s longest running soap operas, their rotund owner Mike Ashley struck again, sacking the likeable Chris Hughton, who had guided the team to promotion last season on a shoestring budget, and replacing him with Alan Pardew, a man whose track record provides little support for his boundless confidence. In their first season back in the Premier League, Newcastle were handily placed in mid-table, having demolished local rivals Sunderland 5-1 and securing away victories against the likes of Arsenal and Everton, not to mention an impressive win at Chelsea in the Carling Cup.” The Swiss Ramble


Porto’s Buy Low, Sell High Strategy

December 8, 2010


“When football fans witnessed Barcelona’s dazzling 5-0 demolition of rivals Real Madrid, they would have been forgiven for assuming that this was an unprecedented performance, but they would have only had to look back three weeks for a similar exhibition in Portugal, when Porto crushed Benfica 5-0 at the Dragão Stadium. The country’s most successful team of recent times thrashing its celebrated capital city opponents? Check. Inspired by a South American phenomenon? Check. Guided by a progressive young coach? Check. After finishing a disappointing third in the Portuguese League last season, Porto replaced their coach Jesualdo Ferreira with André Villas Boas, a protégé of José Mourinho.” The Swiss Ramble


Spurs Daring To Dream

December 2, 2010

“When Tottenham Hotspur were three-nil down to Young Boys Bern after only 30 minutes of their Champions League qualifying match in August, it looked for all the world as if their European adventure would be over as soon as it had started. With Michael Dawson and Sebastian Bassong doing passable imitations of Bambi on ice, the Swiss minnows were ripping the North Londoners a new one every time they attacked. After many years of waiting for a chance to have a crack at Europe’s elite, the hopes and dreams of the Spurs fans were disintegrating before their eyes on YB’s plastic pitch.” The Swiss Ramble


IBWM Meets The Swiss Ramble

November 29, 2010


“At the moment we stand on the brink of a revolution. Football fans seeking something more than just the constant outpourings of The Sun about Fabio Capello now have a place to turn. The Internet has provided a platform for the enthusiast, the casual, the intelligent and the angry. Knowledge now has a platform once denied to all but a privileged handful and few are using it better than Kieron O’Connor, better known by many as simply ‘The Swiss Ramble’.” (In Bed With Maradona)


Cash City Rockers

September 28, 2010


The Clash
“Last week was going so well for Arsenal fans. First, their youthful team thrashed North London neighbours, Spurs, in a glorious performance at White Hart Lane, driven forward by an inspirational display from young tyro Jack Wilshere, the poster boy for Arsenal’s strategy of developing players from their academy. Then, away from the pitch, the board announced a sparkling set of financial results that confirmed their status as the best-run club in the Premier League.” (The Swiss Ramble)


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