UEFA Financial Fair Play

December 29, 2012

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“Over the last 20 years European soccer has gone through an exciting but dangerous period of global expansion. When Rupert Murdoch’s Sky TV signed the English Premier League to a $115 million television rights deal in 1992, he set the European club sport on a terror of worldwide expansion. The Spanish Empire of the 1700s is the only conquest that rivals the expansion of European soccer.[1] With the additional capital, individual clubs could grow. More potent, though, was the exposure the clubs garnered worldwide through the advent of technology. This exposure turned community institutions into global brands that have been wielded with a capitalist’s fist. The dangerous part is that this expansion has gone unregulated.” Soccer Politics

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Rafa Benitez can succeed with Chelsea if the fans give him a shot

December 29, 2012

” Something very strange happened last week, something so unusual it’s tempting to think it unique: a football manager made a joke. It was proper joke. Not an anecdote, or something contrived and worked on days in advance, but a genuine, spontaneous quip that was genuinely amusing. There is often laughter in press conferences but usually it’s polite or sycophantic depending on your point of view; often, hearing a manager trying to be funny, you’re put in mind of Dr. Johnson’s line about the dog walking on its hind legs: it’s not so much that it’s done well but that it’s done at all. But this was a proper gag. Odder yet, it was cracked by Rafa Benitez.” SI


Top 10 footballing moments of 2012

December 29, 2012

“It’s been an incredible year for football, both at the club and international level — with that in mind, here are 10 of the most memorable moments of 2012.” ESPN – Michael Cox (Video)


For the Sake Of Playing

December 29, 2012

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“On Saturday, December 29th 2012, two football clubs from Glasgow will take to the pitch at Hampden Park to play the unlikeliest of matches. Glasgow derbies attended by tens, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of spectators around the time of New Year have been a tradition in Scottish football for well over a century, and yet this fixture will not feature a certain world-famous team in green and white hoops. It will be an older, more historic fixture, all but forgotten prior to the extraordinary 2012-13 Division Three season, and shall provide a strange and fascinating insight into how Scottish football might have developed in a parallel universe, where Queen’s Park FC had not held on in the face of changing times and priorities to its cherished amateur status, and had cleaved to its place as the country’s pre-eminent and most innovative football club.” In Bed With Maradona


Tactical Analysis: Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes’ natural successor?

December 29, 2012

“English football has always prided passion, heart and determination – to the extent where it may even overshadow talent. Rather the grit than the glamour. Amongst this rubble of resolution there is always the glint of a rough diamond that catches the eye. This such diamond was picked up, dusted down and sent for polishing twenty eight years ago. A fourteen-year-old, Salford-born boy was scouted by one of football’s most prestigious clubs – Manchester United. They had welcomed the most iconic ginger-haired player to the world of football. A moment all purists would forever be grateful for. Paul Scholes is possibly the most undervalued treasure of football’s over century-long existence. Ironic to say that, as he has been considered the best central midfielder of his generation, by Pep Guardiola no less. A generation that has seen talents like Alonso and Pirlo grace the game.” Think Football


Thierry Henry: Lonely at the Top

December 29, 2012

“Normally, nostalgia is evoked by watching a movie, looking at photos or merely by way of conversation. It’s not, however, normal for someone to come back and do exactly the same thing again. That’s how it felt when Thierry Henry returned to Arsenal in the January of 2012 and, against Leeds United in the League Cup, scored in exactly the same way that he had made a trademark.” The Arsenal Column