Bookmakers Sponsorship in the Bundesliga: A Missed Opportunity?

August 9, 2014

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“It is not often that the Bundesliga and German sports in general, get a decision wrong, but back in March of 2006, that may well have been the case – the repercussions of which may still be unfolding. After deliberating on the issue of whether to allow private companies to offer sports betting and gambling operations within Germany, the German High Court decided against breaking up the state monopoly on sports gambling, then controlled by Oddset. The High Court’s decision was not a universally approved one. Each year, Oddset brings in around 500 million euros in tax revenue, which was then paid to the German government. This money is then distributed around the country to local sports associations – a vital lifeline in promoting sports at local, regional, as well as national levels.” Bundesliga Fanatic

John Fisher: Does the Bundesliga’s Financial Fair Play System Add Up?; The Price of Being a Bundesliga Fan; The Bundesliga and German Society – A Virtuous Circle


Analysis: Why Marseille have reason to be hopeful under Bielsa’s tactics

August 9, 2014

“Olympique de Marseille had a very underwhelming season last time out. They finished the league in sixth position and without European football to offer in the next edition. It was almost strange that their sub-par campaign was well, so sub-par. They started the season extremely well, with six wins on the trot. They finished the season decently; their last six results read WWWWLD. It was the bad run in the middle, which constituted alternative losses and wins on too many occasions that eventually cost a good Marseille team, a European berth.” Outside of the Boot


Scottish football: Who will win what in season 2014-15?

August 9, 2014

“The new Scottish football season is just hours away and there have been some major changes since this time last year. No Neil Lennon in the Celtic dugout after leading the Parkhead men to three successive titles. A top-flight without Hearts and Hibernian after both suffered relegation last term. The promotion of Dundee at the end of last season does, however, mean they will face city rivals Dundee United in highly-anticipated derby matches in the Premiership. And the top flight’s loss is the Championship’s gain in terms of the Edinburgh derby, with the two capital clubs joining Rangers in what should be a hotly-contested battle for promotion. So, how will the new campaign pan out? Here, BBC Scotland reporters and pundits offer their opinions on who will take the four league titles and the two major cups.” BBC


Arsenal’s defensive midfield still vulnerable

August 9, 2014

“What happens in the Community Shield each year is rarely indicative of how the upcoming season will pan out. Last year, Wilfried Zaha started at Wembley and Anderson appeared from the bench as David Moyes comfortably led his new Manchester United side to silverware; the year before, Fernando Torres and Ryan Bertrand were Chelsea’s goal scorers as they lost to a Manchester City side that went on to win no other trophies that season; in 2011 United came from two goals down to beat their rivals thanks to a Nani brace, but it was City that would go on to dramatically usurp United on the final day of the Premier League season.” ESPN


Season Preview 14/15: MANCHESTER CITY

August 9, 2014

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“Manchester City come into the new season on the back of a second Premier League victory in three years. The title was won in dramatic fashion and spirits are high at the club and there is a determination not to give up the crown in as feeble a fashion as in the 2012/13 season. City developed a fluid, inventive, and aggressive style of football last season which was both easy on the eye and incredibly destructive. The sheer number of goals scored on the way to the title, particularly in the few months around Christmas, speaks for itself.” backpagefootball, Season Preview 14/15: MANCHESTER UNITED


The Premier League is back and so is its race problem

August 9, 2014

“Football in England has a race problem. And it’s not the one you’re probably thinking of. The recent high profile cases involving racial abuse on the pitch by Luis Suarez and John Terry were disturbing, and not handled impressively by the English FA and Premier League authorities, but such incidents are notable largely by their rarity. In the stands, there has been no replication of the vile behavior of some supporters in Italy and Spain that have led to stadium closures and (paltry) fines for racist chanting. English football’s race problem is in the dugout.” Fusion


Talent Radar: Top 10 Best Young Argentinian U21 Prospects

August 9, 2014

“The economic reality for most clubs means that almost as soon as a star is born they are whisked off abroad, resulting in a domestic scene in which youngsters are regularly given an early taste of first team football. Such is the turnaround from unknown to wonderkid that many players who would have appeared on the list below last year have already been snapped up by European clubs. Prospects such as Angel Correa, Rodrigo de Paul, Geronimo Rulli, Luciano Vietto, Bruno Zuculini, Jonathan Silva and Hector Villalba are all already on the move this summer and as such don’t feature, while those starlets already in Europe like Lucas Ocampos, Juan Iturbe, Mauro Icardi, Fede Cartabia and Leandro Paredes also miss out.” Outside of the Boot


From QPR to Barcelona: When Terry Venables became El Tel

August 9, 2014

“As Barcelona’s board convened at the Nou Camp earlier this summer, flicking through CVs and debating who should replace Gerardo Martino as manager, it is highly unlikely that anybody suggested “that guy from QPR” as a possible contender. Indeed, as admirable as Harry Redknapp’s achievement of guiding the Hoops back to the Premier League was last season, it is hard to imagine any English coach swapping Shepherd’s Bush for the beaches of Sant Sebastia again.” BBC