Bayern Munich – Elevation

December 8, 2016

“Bayern Munich won the double of the Bundesliga and the German Cup in 2015/16, obviously a fine feat, but not that surprising for Germany’s most successful club. In total, the Bavarians have won the league no fewer than 26 times and the cup on 18 occasions, though Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that it was still a ‘historic achievement’ to top the Bundesliga four years in a row.” The Swiss Ramble


Stoke City – But I’m Different Now

November 2, 2016

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“Stoke City finished in a highly creditable ninth place in the Premier League in the 2015/16 season, the third year in a row that the club from the Potteries had ended up ninth under manager Mark Hughes. Although this highlighted the fact that Stoke have become an established member of the Premier League, their traditional underdog spirit was underlined in their annual report by chairman Peter Coates describing this feat as merely ensuring that ‘the club will play a ninth consecutive year in the top league during the 2016/17 season.’” Swiss Ramble


Millwall – Hard Times

July 30, 2016

“Millwall narrowly missed out on bouncing back to the Championship at the first time of asking, losing 3-1 against Barnsley in the League One play-off final. Although this was not the outcome that Lions’ supporters would have desired, there were plenty of encouraging signs for The Den faithful. As chairman John Berylson observed, ‘This was going to be a rebuilding year and that has proved to be the case.’” Swiss Ramble


Burnley – Seasons In The Sun

April 8, 2016

“Life looks pretty good for Burnley at the moment, as they are top of the Championship table with a very good chance of an immediate return to the top flight. Even though they were relegated from the Premier League after a single season, chairman Mike Garlick rightly observed, ‘as a club we gained a great deal of respect and admiration throughout the football world.’” The Swiss Ramble


Aston Villa – This House Is A Circus

March 28, 2016

Micah Richards
“There seems to be no end to the misery that Aston Villa put their supporters through. The famous Midlands club, one of a select few to have won the European Cup, is stuck at the bottom of the Premier League table and look destined for a seemingly inevitable relegation, which would be the first time they had dropped from the top flight since 1987. Manager Rémi Garde described securing safety as ‘an impossible mission that we have to make possible’, though it would not be a major shock if the Frenchman were to be given his marching orders any time soon, given their impotent form. In truth, it always seemed a strange decision to entrust Villa’s fate to a man with no management experience in the Premier League.” The Swiss Ramble


Liverpool – Over The Wall

March 20, 2016

James Milner
“It’s been a bit of a mixed bag for Liverpool supporters in recent times. Last season the Reds finished sixth in the Premier League, while they also reached the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions, before being eliminated by Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. This season looks like it might be another case of Liverpool being the nearly men, having been narrowly beaten by Manchester City in the Capital One Cup on penalties, while they currently lie just outside the European places in the Premier League. They still have hopes of success in the Europa League, having just put bitter rivals Manchester United to the sword at Anfield, but there’s still a long way to go in that competition.” The Swiss Ramble


Arsenal – Brass In Pocket

March 2, 2016

“As Arsenal enter the business end of the season, there is still much to play for, even though they are now likely to be eliminated from the Champions League by the mighty Barcelona. The domestic double is still up for grabs with nobody running away with the league, while the Gunners’ recent record in the FA Cup is second to none. However, many supporters are nervous about the team’s ability to finish the job, as the customary spate of injuries has led to a distinct dip in form.” The Swiss Ramble


Crystal Palace – Mind Over Money

February 11, 2016

“Despite a fair degree of managerial upheaval, the 2014/15 season turned out just fine for Crystal Palace, as they finished in 10th place in the Premier League, an improvement from 11th the previous year. Tony Pulis unexpectedly resigned just two days before the first game and was replaced by Neil Warnock who returned to the club for a second spell as manager. This didn’t work out very well, so in early January the Eagles brought in former Palace player Alan Pardew, who guided the club to the upper half of the table.” The Swiss Ramble


Money League – Oh! You Pretty Things

February 2, 2016

“A couple of weeks ago Deloitte published the 19th edition of their annual Football Money League, which ranks leading clubs by revenue, this time for the 2014/15 season. On the face of it, little has changed compared to the previous year, as Real Madrid once again top the table for the 11th year in a row with annual revenue of €577 million (£439 million), and there are no new entrants in the top 10. However, there has been some movement with Barcelona (€561 million) overtaking both Manchester United (€520 million) and Bayern Munich (€474 million) to reclaim second place, as they became only the third club to break the €500 million revenue barrier.” The Swiss Ramble


Chelsea – Accidents Will Happen

January 21, 2016

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“After such a successful 2014/15 when they won the Premier League and Capital One Cup, very few people would have expected Chelsea to fall off the rails so spectacularly this season. However, a combination of key players losing form and manager José Mourinho struggling to find a solution, not to mention the distasteful Eva Carneiro episode, led to a string of defeats and ultimately the departure of the ‘Special One’.” The Swiss Ramble


Swansea City – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

December 31, 2015

Gylfi Sigurdsson
“Even though Swansea City’s form has not been great, it still came as something of a surprise when manager Garry Monk was sacked this month, not least because the customary smooth succession to a capable replacement seems to have foundered. There have reportedly been talks with former Argentina and Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa, but coach Alan Curtis remains in charge for the time being.” The Swiss Ramble


Brighton and Hove Albion – Welcome to the Beautiful South

December 10, 2015

“Brighton and Hove Albion’s famous song goes on to refer to winning the cup, but these days the Seagulls are firmly focused on going up to the Premier League. The club has transformed itself from relegation candidates in a ‘disappointing’ 2014/15 to viable promotion contenders this season. Indeed, the Albion currently sit proudly on top of the table and after 19 games are the only remaining unbeaten side among the 92 Football League clubs. As chairman Tony Bloom commented, this represents ‘a tremendous improvement and progress in the past 12 months.’” The Swiss Ramble


Football Weekly: Hungary qualify for Euro 2016 as England’s friendly with France goes ahead

November 18, 2015

“The podders reflect on the Euro 2016 playoffs and the rest of the international friendlies. Plus, Raúl retires, Paul Lambert heads to Blackburn Rovers and Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink remains in high demand. On today’s Football Weekly, AC Jimbo is joined by Jacob Steinberg, Michael Cox and John Ashdown to look back on the Euro 2016 qualifiers, with a bit of help from Jonathan Wilson, who was in Bosnia to see (or not) Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Dzecko and co in the fog, and then in Budapest to witness Hungary qualifying for their first major tournament in 30 years, and is now en route to Slovenia. Because that’s the sort of thing he does.” Guardian – Michael Cox, Jonathan Wilson, etc. (Video)


West Ham – New Gold Dream

November 16, 2015

“West Ham’s 2014/15 season was like the proverbial game of two halves under Sam Allardyce, as a promising start took the club into the top four at Christmas, before a wretched slump produced just three victories in the next 21 games. The Hammers still finished in a comfortable 12th place, which should presumably have satisfied joint chairman David Sullivan, as he described “retaining our Premier League status” as one of his highlights of the season. The club also qualified for Europe for the first time since 2007, albeit only by finishing top of the Fair Play table.” The Swiss Ramble


Southampton – With Or Without You

November 8, 2015

“Under new manager Ronald Koeman Southampton enjoyed another season of decent progress in 2014/15 with the club achieving its highest ever Premier League position, finishing 7th with a record 60 points, and qualifying for Europe for the first time in 12 years. This was a testament to the success of the Southampton model, whereby a combination of thoughtful planning, good scouting and player development has allowed the club to move forward, despite selling around £130 million of talent over the past two seasons.” The Swiss Ramble


Manchester City – The Modern World

October 21, 2015

“Most football clubs would be very satisfied if they ended up with a second place Premier League finish and qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League, but not Manchester City. In fact, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said, ‘it is hard to look back on the 2014/15 season without a degree of disappointment’, as there was no title to show for their efforts.” The Swiss Ramble


Manchester United – What Difference Does It Make?

September 30, 2015

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“Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to be a tough act to follow at Manchester United and so it proved as David Moyes’ brief reign ended with him being sacked after a poor season and the club failing to qualify for European competition for the first time since 1990. He was in turn replaced by Louis van Gaal, whose side also struggled at times, but the Dutchman has a great track record, not to mention a larger-than-life personality, and did ultimately lead United back into Europe by finishing fourth in the Premier League in 2014/15. So what difference has the absence of the Champions League made to United’s financial results?” The Swiss Ramble


Arsenal – Searching For The Hows And Whys

September 24, 2015

“What to make of Arsenal? On the one hand, they are once again adding to their trophy cabinet, winning the FA Cup for the past two seasons, and continue to qualify for the Champions League, a feat that most clubs can only dream about. On the other hand, the feeling remains that Arsenal are not making the most of their (abundant) financial resources. 2015 was meant to be different, but the lack of signings this summer has once again sent many fans into a tailspin, as the same old failings continue to be exposed. This is particularly disappointing, as manager Arsene Wenger himself believes that Arsenal should now genuinely be able to compete for the Premier League title, as the club no longer has to sell its best players.” The Swiss Ramble


Manchester City – I Threw A Brick Through A Window

September 10, 2015

David Silva
“So Manchester City are once again spending big, with this summer’s transfer window seeing the arrivals of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph and Patrick Roberts. This should have come as no surprise given comments from chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak earlier this year, ‘We want to go to the next level and a squad that has the capability and quality to win the Premier League and compete in and win the Champions League and go all the way in tow cup competitions in England.’” The Swiss Ramble


Sheffield Wednesday – Working With Fire And Steel

September 3, 2015

“Sheffield Wednesday are one of those clubs with a fine history that these days find themselves playing in the Championship. Wednesday spent most of the 80s and 90s in the top flight of English football, but have not been in the Premier League since 2000 and won the last of their First Division titles back in 1930. Indeed, in recent times they actually spent two seasons in League One, England’s third tier, before promotion back to the Championship in 2012. Since then, they have not really threatened the promotion or play-off places, but there is now cause for a degree of optimism in the steel city following the arrival of new Thai owner Dejphon Chansiri.” The Swiss Ramble


Blackburn Rovers – Burning Down The House

August 26, 2015

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of Blackburn Rovers winning the Premier League, a magnificent feat that only five clubs have achieved. Things are very different these days, compared to that golden period when Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton were tearing defences apart, as Rovers now languish in the Championship following a disastrous takeover. In November 2010 Rovers were acquired by Indian poultry giants Venky’s, who paid £23 million to end the club’s long association with the Jack Walker Trust. The new owners also took on around £20 million of debt, subsequently converting £10 million into share capital.” The Swiss Ramble


Ipswich Town – Forever The Same?

August 19, 2015

“One of the most surprising sides in last season’s Championship was Ipswich Town, who managed to reach the play-offs on a shoestring budget. Although they were eliminated in the semi-finals by local rivals Norwich City, this was a great achievement that highlighted the progress made under Mick McCarthy. When the experienced manager replaced Paul Jewell in November 2012, Ipswich were bottom of the Championship, but McCarthy successfully guided the club out of the relegation zone to finish in a comfortable 14th place. His first full season ended in a respectable 9th place in 2013/14, before he broke Ipswich’s many years of mid-table finishes by leading them to the play-offs.” The Swiss Ramble


Hull City – What’s My Name?

July 22, 2015

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“Hull City started the 2014/15 season with much optimism after the previous year’s exploits, when they had comfortably retained their Premier League status and reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history, only losing 3-2 to Arsenal after extra time in a thrilling match. It was therefore particularly disappointing the way things turned out, as their Europa League adventure ended almost before it had started and, most painfully, they were relegated on the last day of the season.” The Swiss Ramble


West Bromwich Albion – Like Clockwork

July 17, 2015

“As West Bromwich Albion prepare for their sixth consecutive season in the Premier League, it’s fair to say that they have managed to have rid themselves of the unwanted tag of being a “yo-yo” club that constantly bounces between the Championship and the top flight. However, the fight to retain their Premier League status has not been without problems in the last two years. They narrowly avoided relegation in 2013/14 when they finished in 17th place, while Albion looked in some danger last season before the Tony Pulis effect kicked in with the results under the experienced manager enough to guide the team to mid-table security. Chairman Jeremy Peace said that this was ‘testament to the relentless intensity that (Pulis) brings to the challenge’ and the team’s improvement fully justified his decision to bring in the Welshman in January.” The Swiss Ramble


Lyon – All The Young Punks

July 11, 2015

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“At the beginning of the 2014/15 season very few analysts expected Lyon to be among the front-runners in Ligue 1, given that they had just changed their manager, replacing Rémi Garde with Hubert Fournier, and spent virtually no money. However, their exciting young side led the table for a lengthy period before finishing in a highly creditable second place behind the expensively assembled Paris Saint-Germain, thus qualifying for the Champions League. Expectations were on the low side, as Les Gones had endured much disappointment in the previous two seasons, failing to reach their previous heights by only finishing 3rd and 5th in the league.” The Swiss Ramble


Cardiff City – Bullet The Blue Sky

June 24, 2015

“Having tried so hard to reach the Premier League, it must have been a bitter pill to swallow for Cardiff City, as the Bluebirds only managed to stay in the top flight for one brief season before dropping back to the Championship. They had been knocking on the door for so long, being eliminated in the play-offs for three consecutive seasons, before finally securing automatic promotion after comfortably winning the division in 2013. The club had been guided to success in that memorable season by Malky Mackay, but a disappointing start to Cardiff’s first ever Premier League campaign, allied with a breakdown in trust over transfers between the manager and owner, Vincent Tan, resulted in the Scot’s departure in December.” The Swiss Ramble


Celtic – Everything’s Gone Green

June 18, 2015

Scott Brown
“So Celtic duly won their fourth consecutive Scottish League title in May in their first season under young Norwegian manager Ronny Deila, who had replaced the very successful Neil Lennon the previous summer. Despite this fine achievement, there was also disappointment, as the famous Glasgow club failed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, even though they had two bites at the cherry, having been reprieved after Legia Warsaw fielded an ineligible player, only to crash out against Slovenian champions Maribor. This was in stark contrast to previous great nights in Europe. As recently as November 2012, Celtic beat Barcelona 2-1 in front of a packed Celtic Park, as they made their way to the last 16 of the Champions League. Many believed that this would be the platform for greater things, but the club has not progressed since then, as they did not make the best use of the European cash windfall. Instead, they sold three key players at the end of that season (Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson) and failed to adequately replace them.” The Swiss Ramble


Watford – Upwards And Onwards

June 11, 2015

“Amidst all the excitement about Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth securing promotion to the Premier League, Watford’s similar feat has been a little overlooked, which is a shame, as the story is just as interesting. The turnaround since the Pozzo family purchased the Hertfordshire club, both on and off the pitch, has been remarkable. Watford narrowly missed out on a Premier League place in the Italians’ first season in 2012/13, when Gianfranco Zola’s team was defeated 1-0 by Crystal Palace in the Championship play-off final with an extra-time penalty. Zola had replaced the popular Sean Dyche and enjoyed immediate success, but struggled the following season, when the club appointed Beppe Sannino. After Watford finished a disappointing 13th, the writing was on the wall for Sannino, who resigned early in the 2014/15 season.” The Swiss Ramble


Fulham – Penthouse And Pavement

June 2, 2015

” For many years Fulham enjoyed a great deal of success. Funded by substantial investment from their then owner Mohamed Al Fayed, the club rose from the third tier of English football to reach the top flight and then became an established Premier League club. They finished as high as 7th one season, followed by a memorable run to the Europa League final, where they were narrowly defeated by Atletico Madrid after extra time. As Al Fayed noted, the breathtaking 4-1 victory over the mighty Juventus en route to that final was ‘probably the greatest game ever seen at Craven Cottage.’” The Swiss Ramble


Queens Park Rangers – Do You Believe In The Westworld?

May 27, 2015

“In August 2011 it looked like a new dawn was breaking at Queens Park Rangers, who had just been promoted to England’s top flight for the first time in 15 years. Moreover the Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes had bought a majority 66% shareholding in the West London club from the previous shareholders, who included the Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and team principal Flavio Briatore. Compared to his flamboyant predecessors, the affable founder of Air Asia seemed far more level-headed and was certainly much more communicative with the fans. Furthermore the remaining 33% of the club was owned by the family of Lakshmi Mittal, one of the wealthiest men in Britain, whose son-in-law, Amit Bhatia, is on the board.” The Swiss Ramble


Middlesbrough – Take Me To The River

May 20, 2015

“Having stormed past Brentford in the Championship play-off semi-finals, Middlesbrough are tantalisingly close to a return to the Premier League. If they manage to overcome Norwich City in the final, they will be back in the top flight after six long years, which would be a fine reward for owner Steve Gibson, who has been supporting the club (in both senses of the word) for so long. Boro spent eleven consecutive seasons in the top division before relegation in 2009, winning the League Cup and reaching the UEFA Cup Final during this period, but promotion has to date proved elusive.” The Swiss Ramble


Crystal Palace – I’ll Fly For You

May 16, 2015

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“Just five years ago Crystal Palace were in administration and the South London club’s prospects looked bleak before they were rescued by a consortium of wealthy businessmen, known as CPFC 2010 and fronted by Steve Parish. They purchased the club and, importantly, also managed to convince the bank to sell them the freehold of the ground. Since those troubling times, which included a deduction of 10 points, the club has prospered, gaining promotion from the Championship only three years after its rebirth and enjoying two seasons in England’s top flight. The journey has not been completely smooth, as Palace have had to replace their manager three times in the Premier League, though even these changes proved very timely.” The Swiss Ramble


Southampton – The Saints Are Coming

May 6, 2015

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“As a rule football clubs that go through a lot of change do not perform very well, but in recent times Southampton have proved to be an exception with significant upheaval at all levels seemingly not impacting their progress. Not only have the Saints had three managers in the last two years, but they have also experienced significant player turnover. Nigel Adkins, the manager who led them to two successive promotions, was unceremoniously sacked after a poor start in the Premier League, paving the way for Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival, before the Argentinian in turn departed for Tottenham last summer, leading to the appointment of the former Dutch international Ronald Koeman in June.” The Swiss Ramble


Newcastle United – In A Rut

April 20, 2015

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“As Newcastle United’s passionate supporters endure yet another frustrating season, it all seems a far cry from the days when they were known as “The Entertainers”. Mid-table mediocrity appears to be the pinnacle of the club’s ambition, while a cup run is to be frowned on, as it might weaken the chances of remaining in the top flight, where they can continue to benefit from the lucrative Premier League TV deal. Most of the fans’ displeasure is aimed at owner Mike Ashley, a highly successful businessman who has turned around the club financially, but who clearly favours profit over performance. He has made a series of strange choices, such as hiring his mates Dennis Wise and Joe Kinnear, that have slowly drained the supporters’ spirits, leading to widespread protests and even an organised match boycott.’ The Swiss Ramble


Tottenham Hotspur – The Bottom Line

April 16, 2015

“Being a Tottenham supporter must be a pretty good test of whether you are a glass half-full or glass half-empty type of person. On the one hand, the club is consistently at the higher end of the Premier League, memorably qualifying for the Champions League in 2010 and only missing out on a technicality two years later (due to Chelsea’s European victory); but on the other hand, it’s often a case of ‘close, but no cigar’.” The Swiss Ramble


Sunderland – Distant Sun

April 3, 2015

“These are tough times for Sunderland. Last season was also difficult, but finished on a high with an appearance in the Capital One cup final and the ‘great escape’ as a run of late victories avoided relegation. However, the club is currently just outside the relegation zone, leading to the sacking of Gus Poyet. As chairman Ellis Short explained, ‘Sadly, we have not made the progress that any of us had hoped for this season and we find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed.’ It remains to be seen whether former Dutch national team manager Dick Advocaat is the right man for the job, but it is clear that the club is completely focused on retaining its Premier League status, especially with the blockbuster new television deal on the horizon.” The Swiss Ramble


Aston Villa – Lost In The Supermarket

March 24, 2015

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“For a club of Aston Villa’s rich history, the past few years have been profoundly depressing, as they have spent most of that time at the wrong end of the Premier League table, desperately trying to avoid relegation. Their managerial merry-go-round has failed to improve matters, merely bringing their own version of doom (Alex McLeish) and gloom (Paul Lambert). This has been matched by a dismal performance off the pitch with the club bleeding money through some hefty losses, financed by the American owner Randy Lerner pumping vast sums of money into Aston Villa – with no tangible success. Little wonder that this toxic combination has caused Lerner to put the club up for sale.” The Swiss Ramble


Swansea City – A Design For Life

March 19, 2015

“The past few years have been pretty successful for Swansea City. After becoming the first Welsh club to gain promotion to the Premier League in 2011, they have since firmly established themselves in England’s top tier, finishing 11th, 9th and 12th in the three seasons since then. During this period, they have also won the Capital One Cup, which qualified them for the Europa League, where they reached the knockout stage before being eliminated by Napoli. In the process, they have continued to follow a prudent financial strategy As the club explained after promotion: ‘Our long term goals will cater for Swansea City remaining as a top flight club, but not in any way that puts the company’s financial stability at risk. This remains paramount in our management philosophy.’” The Swiss Ramble


Liverpool – A Show Of Strength

March 11, 2015

“It was so close. Although Liverpool supporters would naturally have been disappointed that Brendan Rodgers’ team narrowly missed out on securing title winning glory in the 2013/14 season, objectively speaking their surge to second place in the Premier League represented great progress. Not only did they improve significantly from the previous season’s seventh, but they also qualified for the Champions League, a competition that has played an important part in the Reds’ famous history.” The Swiss Ramble


Liverpool – A Show Of Strength

March 9, 2015

“It was so close. Although Liverpool supporters would naturally have been disappointed that Brendan Rodgers’ team narrowly missed out on securing title winning glory in the 2013/14 season, objectively speaking their surge to second place in the Premier League represented great progress. Not only did they improve significantly from the previous season’s seventh, but they also qualified for the Champions League, a competition that has played an important part in the Reds’ famous history.” The Swiss Ramble


Norwich City – East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon

March 6, 2015

Cameron Jerome
“The 2013/14 season was a mixed bag for Norwich City, as another good year from a financial perspective was completely overshadowed by the results on the pitch. As the annual report stated, it was ‘a disappointing season for the club, culminating in relegation to the Championship following three successive years in the Premier League.’ Although Norwich had arguably outperformed the previous season by finishing in a comfortable 11th position in the Premier League, it must have been strange to supporters to see the club record a £9 million profit before tax (up more than 700%) and further reduce debt instead of spending more in an attempt to avoid relegation.” The Swiss Ramble


Arsenal – Half The World Away

March 1, 2015

“Arsenal’s half-year results for the six months ended 30 November 2014. Profit before tax of £11.1 million, compared to a loss in 2013 of £2.2 million, an improvement of £13.3 million. Profit after tax only improved by £7.3 million from £2.8 million to £10.1 million, as 2013 benefited from a tax credit of £5 million. Profit before tax of £11.1m was almost entirely from the football business £10.8 million, as there was ‘minimal activity’ from property development £0.3 million.” The Swiss Ramble


The Premier League TV Deal – Master And Servant

February 25, 2015

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“Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore is a man accustomed to dealing with large numbers, but even he struggled to believe just how much his negotiating team had secured in the latest auction for the rights to broadcast his ‘product’ in the UK. The amount was an astonishing £5.136 billion for the three-year cycle starting in the 2016/17 season, which represented a 70% increase on the current £3 billion deal. This was a lot more than most analysts had expected, especially given that the current domestic TV deal had itself increased by 70% compared to the previous agreement. The magnitude of the increase was a testament to Scudamore’s ability to generate vast sums of money for the 20 Premier League clubs, but we could have done without his false modesty: ‘Am I surprised? Of course, the little old Premier League, doing quite well here.’” Swiss Ramble


West Ham – Stadium Arcadium

January 9, 2015

“Although West Ham had some trials and tribulations during the 2013/14 season, they finished up in a comfortable 13th position in the Premier League and also reached the semi-final of the Capital One Cup. In the process, the Hammers reported the highest revenue and profit in the club’s history, leading vice-chairman Karren Brady to comment, ‘2013/14 was a satisfactory year for the club both on and off the pitch.’ To add to the good news, the club also signed an agreement to sell their Boleyn Ground in preparation for the move to the Olympic Stadium for the 2016/17 season.” The Swiss Ramble


Manchester City – Roll With It

January 4, 2015

“Manchester City’s 2013/14 season was described, with some justification, as “another memorable year” by its chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, as City won their second Premier League title in three years. They also added the Capital One Cup, which meant that the club has now won every major domestic competition at least once in the last four seasons. The strategy off the pitch is also delivering, as City’s revenue surged through the £300 million barrier, rising 28% from £271 million to £347 million, while it further reduced losses for the third consecutive year. All three revenue streams contributed to this strong performance with broadcast revenue up 51%, match day revenue up by 20% and commercial revenue up by 16%.” The Swiss Ramble


Manchester United – The Magnificent Seventh

January 1, 2015

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“For Manchester United supporters the 2013/14 season is one best forgotten, as the transition from the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson to David Moyes proved to be every bit as difficult as many of them had feared. The team dropped to a relatively low 7th place in the Premier League, which was not only the first time United had finished outside the top two positions since 2005, but also meant that they failed to qualify for Europe – almost unthinkable for a club of this stature.” The Swiss Ramble


Everton – Blue Sky Mining

January 1, 2015

“In his first season as Everton’s manager, Roberto Martinez delivered an excellent performance with his side finishing fifth in 2013/14 and therefore qualifying for the Europa League. The club fared no less well off the pitch, as Everton registered a record profit of £28 million on a record turnover of £121 million, which enabled them to significantly reduce their net debt from £45 million to £28 million.” The Swiss Ramble


Arsenal – Money Don’t Matter 2 Night

August 14, 2013

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“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

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“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


Directors of Football: The Case for the Defence

January 17, 2013

“Drectors of football have a pretty bad rep in English football – as illustrated by our article last week on their role at lower league clubs. There have also been plenty of inglorious appointments further up the tree, including Damien Comolli at Liverpool and Dennis Wise at Newcastle United. But there have been success stories. Nicky Hammond at Reading has been courted by Arsenal. West Bromwich Albion’s Dan Ashworth was poached by the FA. The latter’s replacement was appointed earlier this month; Richard Garlick has big boots to fill at The Hawthorns. But what factors have made the roles performed by Hammond and Ashworth a success?” thetwounfortunates


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