Invisible Men? Racism in Honduran Soccer

August 6, 2013

“… In the United States we hear a lot about racism in soccer, but it is always in the context of events in Europe. Most people who follow the sport know about the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand affair, for which Terry was stripped of the England captaincy. And many are familiar with the more recent cases involving fans making monkey sounds at Kevin Prince Boateng and Mario Balotelli. Even when a Latin American player is involved–such as in the Luis Suárez-Patrice Evra incident–the question of whether or not something qualifies as racism is interpreted through a European (not to mention a U.S.) lens.” Soccer Politics


Transfer window comes second best to controversy in eastern Europe

August 6, 2013

“The interminable transfer sagas of Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney, Luis Suárez and Robert Lewandowski are dominating the headlines around western Europe but there is also plenty going on in the east of the continent.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Can Neymar and Messi co-exist? and four other things to look out for this season

August 6, 2013

“Every one of Europe’s top five leagues has the potential to have a thrilling title race this season. Sam Thompson, of TTTFootball, takes a closer look at who will be challenging at the top in England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France…” Think Football

Is the Premier League providing corporate cover for ‘corrupt’ foreign owners and regimes?

August 6, 2013

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester City v Liverpool - City of Manchester Stadium
“‘In this meeting of a desperate UK economy with Abu Dhabi’s fortunes’ wrote David Conn in the Guardian this week, ‘there is a limit to the UK government’s disapproval over allegations of torture and flaws in the UAE legal system.’ But then domestic attitudes have always been a little on the liberal side when it comes to owners of Manchester City. Six years ago nobody in a position of much authority had anything very accusing to say about Thaksin Shinawatra after his £81million take-over of the club, save for the Thai authorities who spent a couple of years frantically posting out arrest warrants like junk mail over a catalogue of offences against the state.” Think Football

Jury remains out on Michel Platini’s financial fair play project
“For all of Michel Platini’s tough talk, conspicuous consumption has once again been the order of the day this summer from the gilded boulevards of Monaco to the fast-changing post-industrial landscape of east Manchester. Arsène Wenger has labelled the situation ‘a joke’. As Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur haggle over just how much the Spanish giants will pay for Gareth Bale and in how many instalments, the likely world record fee will add further to the volume of disgruntled muttering surrounding the implementation of the Uefa president’s financial fair play project.” Guardian

Book Review: Real Madrid & Barcelona: The Making of a Rivalry

August 6, 2013

“Rivalry is that most beloved topic of the footballing internet with keyboard warriors across the globe queuing up to proclaim their particular enmity as the fiercest. I’ll admit to a degree of ennui when followers of giants clubs indulge in such debates given the increasing propensity of Arsenal v Tottenham or Liverpool v Manchester United to resemble the contest between multinational firms to increase market share. No, I don’t especially care whether Apple or Google win out, so why should I be bothered to check in on events at St. James’ Park or the Stadium of Light?” thetwounfortunates

The Importance of home grown players

August 6, 2013

“Over the past few years, spending on transfers and wages by football clubs has increased dramatically. 7 of the 10 most expensive transfers have taken place in or after 2009, 3 of them occurring in this (incomplete) transfer window. Higher fees, and the greater brand value of every star footballer has also led to an inflation in the wage rate for footballers. While this is all good news for the players, it gives the boardroom staff a right old head-ache. The higher costs lead to lower profits (if any), leaving a number of clubs closer to insolvency. In order to stem the rot, UEFA introduced Financial Fair Play, a scheme that prods clubs to live within their means. So, with a sort of cap enforced on their transfer spending, clubs are forced to look inwards for their supply of players, as a result of which, greater emphasis is suddenly being placed on youth academies, and academy products.” Outside of the Boot