Breakaway League: Serie A and the Crisis in Italian Football

July 22, 2009

“The Italian season opener, the Supercoppa Italiana (Italian Super Cup), between Serie A champions Internazionale and Italian Cup winners Lazio, is taking place abroad again at Beijing’s Olympic Stadium the Bird’s Nest. It’s a showy step in Italian football’s attempts to keep pace with the Premier League’s branded behemoths — and one that also includes a breakaway league reminiscent of England’s league transformation in the 1990s. Yet these flashy moves can’t hide the underlying crisis in Italian football.” (Pitch Invasion)

Why PL Will Still Reign Over Spain… (Football365)
“In terms of income and international profile, la Liga is quite literally decades behind the omnipotent, omnipresent Premier League. This has little to do with the quality of the product on offer – as marketing suits would put it – but the fact that the Spanish game is run by complete buffoons.”

Iraq united behind football stars (BBC)
“When is a one-nil defeat a victory? When Iraq play Spain. Spain beat Iraq in the qualifying round of the Confederations Cup in South Africa in June, scoring the only goal of the game. But the Iraqi fans were smiling.”

What is the state of soccer in U.S. (Wicked Local)
“When the United States national soccer team upset Spain in the Confederations Cup last month, it piqued the interest of a number of non-soccer fans here in the U.S. Granted the U.S. men didn’t win the World Cup or Olympic gold medal, but they pulled off an amazing feat, snapping Spain’s winning streak, the second longest unbeaten stretch up to that point.”

ESPN’s questionable competition (WSC)
“After Setanta’s slow motion decline into financial obscurity, the emergence of ESPN as a major provider of live televised football raises a number of questions. The key facts of the American broadcaster’s arrival are well known after it secured the rights to 46 Premier League matches next season and 23 for the next three seasons, alongside rights to SPL matches, secured jointly with Sky, through to the end of 2011-12.”

History Of Premier League On US TV (EPL Talk)
“Long before the Premier League debuted on August 15, 1992, top flight English football was available on US television. It was nothing compared to today’s offering where practically every weekend game is available to watch. But it’s been consistently available, in one form or another, to US viewers since the early 1990s.”

One Man’s Struggles with WPS Fandom (Foot Smoke)
“I love soccer. And I’m pretty sure I love women. So why don’t I love Women’s Professional Soccer? Or do I, secretly? These are questions I fear to answer because any serious soul-searching might uncover the misogynistic pig within. That, or I’ll end up stripping away a vestigial layer of macho-callous that has kept me straight and largely insensitive to the needs of women through the years. Oh well, here goes…”