Out of the envelope situation…

Some time ago the the Blackburn chairman at the time, before they were acquired by that random poultry company and indeed suffered relegation, reported that 82% of the clubs turnover goes to wages alone, which pays testament to the size of the problem presented to the Premier League. Debts mounting for smaller clubs now there are reports of more and more clubs being issued with warnings or winding up orders. A survey was done analysing the levels of debt involved in all uefa licensed clubs, the results at that time the 19 clubs in the premiership (at the time of the survey Portsmouth were in the premiership, and because of their administration they were declined a licence) were collectively in more debt than all the licensed clubs in Europe, keeping in mind that’s around the region of about 300.

Unfortunately a lot of the attraction to the premiership is based on the simple fact of money, Gareth Barry admitted he made his move to Manchester City for the very point of a massive wage rise. Nicknames like cashley cole have been coined (pardon the pun)
The typically narrow-minded hierarchy explained that there is only 1 way of eliminating this problem, which is to set a percentage limit in relation to turnover, say 50% of money made by any one club is allowed to go to wages. This would obviously create a unfair advantage due to the varying sizes of the 20 clubs in the league. So what would be out of the envelope solution I hear you ask?
Keep on reading…
The MLS is well known for its lack of quality in terms of skill and pace, but the wage structure is very strict, each club has a set salary with only 2 players allowed a negotiated weekly income (what is now called the David Beckham rule) which in turn pretty much eliminates the threat of any monetary confusion. It is a little more in depth than that but we will chat about that another day.

So the question is where would the premiership be if there was this kind of arrangement involved?
Would it take the simple task of swallowing the pride of being the richest and most exciting league in the world for the stability and integrity of the clubs that compete in it?

Fans of loyalty

Today I’m again out of date but I remember something a while back that I would like to write about just for the humorous and frankly mind bending factor involved.
The bizzare incident happened during the 2008-9 when a supposedly loyal sunderland fan sued his beloved club after being smacked on a head and subsequently knocked out cold by a wayward shot, a certain nutter called Djibril Cisse from what I can remember (yeah that’s how out of date I’m being) was the executer of said shot, after attending a training session on a cold winters day.
On a personal note in my opinion this is ridiculous, this is on the same terms as a woman suing the cigarette factory for her husband dying of cancer, but on with the point.
This brings a question, what has happened to football?
I mean don’t get me wrong here, the much maligned joey barton made one of his many outspoken points commenting on how players are becoming increasingly disconnected from reality, and that frankly most of them are (insert profanity here) so yeah the players, or *playing staff* as they are referred to now, have contributed.
Gone are the days, and I’m risking sounding like an old man, when it was just about football, no one cared about anything else, no one cared that you were that inebriated that you couldn’t say your teams name, you just hoped your team would win, and if they didn’t you just would get more drunk.
If you look up youtube there are endless compilations of accidents happening on and off the pitch, most of which are quite funny.

An old saying is that what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch, a saying which coaches and players have forgot.
Is it going to get to the stage where players will be asked to be careful on every cruyff turn, every side step, every shot and every word to avoid any litigious/controversial activity.
Every place you go there is a unwritten rule that you enter at your own risk, such events are infecting the beautiful game is it true that the average British fan is using this as an excuse instead of a safety mechanism?

Racism

Recent events indicate a somewhat confusing front, don’t expect any comedy.
Long has it been something that the world would be better off without, much like the battle with cancer, humankind doing everything in their power to eradicate it from the world and yet the deadly disease continues to runamok.
As you probably well know racism has made an appearance recently, as mentioned in my previous article, events involving Suarez and JT being the main areas of focus.
To tackle the issue of racism, which in past years was exponentially more rife, the organisation Kick It Out was created, which “works throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and work for positive change” and 2014 will mark 20 years of campaigning and the organisations existence. Its has proven to be a productive thing both raising awareness and intervening only when necessary.
One part of the mentioned protest is that there are not enough black people in managerial roles in football, have people not thought that it’s a simple case of black people are simply not involved in managerial positions by choice?
One curious aspect recent events was a number of players refusal to wear the t-shirt supporting the cause. The action hasn’t really been thought through if you consider it for a moment. The whole tradition of eradicate any form of negative in life is to show a united front, a collection of people supporting a cause, when it is undermined the tradition is to reinforce it and remove/punish all those who undermine it when it comes to humans.
Cancer is much the same, its a negative thing in life, we do and continue to do everything in our power to remove it from the world.
To refuse to wear the supportive t shirt encourages suggestion of lack of support, creating a contradictory effect where when a statement should be made to reinforce a sense of “this sort of thing is not welcome in our sport” the numbers that support this cause diminish.
So what you need to ask is what else could have been done to make a statement to racists out there?
In my opinion racism will be one of those things, you will never eradicate it fully, much like cancer.

The Handshake

Unless you have spent the last few weeks on some remote island where there is no connection to the outside world, if so lucky you, you would more than likely learned of the frankly pain in the neck ferdinand terry lack of handshake affair.
What we will do today though is examine as to what the point of the handshake is, why it’s there and whether it should remain there.
The official description is as follows “In sports or other competitive activities, it is also done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality. If it is done to form an agreement the agreement only official until the hands are parted”
The handshake routine was introduced at the start of 2008 as part of the FA’s “respect” campaign, to promote the idea to respect your opponent whether it be a minnow or a giant. This ritual was derided by many fans at the time as the traditional time to congratulate or commiserate with your opponent has always been after the game as a show of respect for his performance.
One of the first to use the ritual to his advantage was Luis Suarez, who had been found guilty of racial abuse during the Man Utd/Liverpool game when he admitted calling Patrice Evra a “Negro” and was banned for eight games. In the return game at Old Trafford in February Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand prompting further outrage and Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA made a strange comment at the time saying it was a shame that it couldn’t have all been sorted out with a handshake, which reinforced many people’s view that FIFA refuses to take the issue of racism seriously.
The John Terry/Anton Ferdinand situation is different to the Suarez incident in that an off duty police officer, who watched the match on TV and can lip read claims that Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand and called him an F****** black C***.
So in comparing the descriptions and the point of the actual handshake along with the events that transpired involving said sportsmen, would you consider Ferdinand right to use this opportunity to make a point, or should Ferdinand be much more a grown up and avoid moving issues to on the pitch and keeping the pitch involved in football instead of personal gripes?

Torres the great

A number of people have came up with the idea that the great Fernando Torres is now no longer great, I would entirely disagree. Funnily enough I’m going to tell you why as well.
To begin with we all know the reputation he developed at him time at Liverpool, scoring on a regular basis with an almost surreal variety of goals, signs of the rare “complete forward” Rafa, manager at the time, had build a team guilty of being somewhat one dimensional, the key product being the lethal combination of Gerrard and Torres, but when either was injured Liverpool rapidly ran out of ideas.
Switching to present day Chelsea have made the mistake of channeling the 90% of the responsibility to Torres whilst setting out the team in a way that does not suit the player. The added problem is the involvement of the charming Ambramovich which has clearly proven to be a counterproductive element to the current scenario Chelsea and Torres find themselves in.
Now to a potential solution?
Take the idea of the great Italian Gilardino, his time playing for AC Milan wasn’t the most productive, mainly as he was given the goal scoring responsibility, he was put under a great deal of pressure to deal with that responsibility, the weight of the world on his shoulders so to speak. As a result it had the similar counter productive effect on the player. He was subsequently sold to Fiorentina, where he appeared more relaxed and focused, mainly because there was no focal point in the team at the time.
Personally I am a great fan of Fernando, and I am hating how he appears to be the shadow of the great player he used to be. The great ability demonstrated at Liverpool lost in a sea of politics, billions of pounds and a fan base suffering from a case of self entitlement. Its clear appointing Rafa is the chairmans clear mission to attempt to justify the price paid for the Spaniard. Wether this will work out is a different story.
So a potential solution would be a short term loan deal, allow him time out of the limelight, to focus on what he does best.

The Spanish

An article from a while back I found, quite like it.

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So evolution has taken it’s toll, the scalp has been claimed, the fear factor lost.

The Confederations Cup proved to be an impressive warm up to next years spectacle in Rio, the much feared tika taka was proven not to be so frightening if you turn up armed with nearly 80,000 fans singing their lungs out for the Brazilian cause, searing heat, a few extraordinarily talented players and an endless supply of energy. The record breaking Spanish side appears to be coming to an end, to start with a short examination as to how all those records were smashed up.

To begin with we have the extraordinary Xavier Hernández i Creus, or Xavi as we know him. His passing ability has earned him the nickname The Puppet Master, for any neutral fan his inconveivably accurate passing is a mouth watering experience, Andrés Iniesta Luján expressing his ballon d’or category talents alongside, and the obvious Xavi Alonso dictating the pace in which these happenings are happening.

As we all know football exists in cyles, so who is to appear to start a new one.

Step in Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, or Isco. Much seen as the man to fill the iniesta shaped hole in the Spanish team he is armed with a vision and passing ability reminiscent of the great Zinedane Zidane, sold to Real Madrid for a cool 30 million euro’s, the eye watering price tag arguably suited to his proven talent. Next on the supply line is Thiago Alcântara do Nascimento, freshly of Bayern Munich status Thiago commanded the worlds attention following his connoisseur’s hat-trick’ at the U21 Euro’s. Beautifully precise passing coupled with a calm and composed approach he is seen to be a photocopy of the seasoned Xavi. Lastly we have Asier Illarramendi Andonegi, the defensive midfielder offers an almost expert like technical ability, providing protection for the defence coupled with the connecting link to the midfield.

So with just these 3 technicians stepping into the limelight the golden era of Spanish football has the potential to continue for a long time to come. Complaining? Not me.

Professionally Amatuer

Yes yes, I know I talk too much but you will suffer more, i have another something to talk about.

Today is another question, amateur football is something that has been long in existence, such a thing gives you very little in return. You don’t get paid to play, which is the usual aim but  as the great brian clough once said “football is a beautiful game, it deserves to be played beautifully”

Now don’t get me wrong here what is often the case in amateur football that players have it in their head that they will do this on a Saturday morning game of football, or indeed on a hungover Sunday game, more often than not the football played is entirely different from what was imagined. Such a level of sport has produced so many success stories, many clubs have developed and established a specific playing philosophy, strict no drinking and early bed policies are in place for the night before matchday, they boast  detailed and structured committees all responsible to do specific jobs, organised in such a professional manner people claim some of them are ran better than junior clubs.

There are other some seriously good examples of dedication and hard work. Utilising the popular social network twitter, Tantallon Victoria used it as a promotional platform @tallyvic, earning themselves nearly 1800 followers they eventually managed secure attention from Full Metal Jacket star Mathew Modine, subsequently naming their home ground the Matthew Modine arena, for a brief period of time anyway. Based in the southside of Glasgow they progressing to the level where the club strips are now manufactured by their sponsors PSL team sports, along with hoodie’s, polo’s and even coffee mugs for any residential caffeine junkie’s, which secretly I’m hoping to secure through this highly entertaining plug!

In my opinion it lacks the professional support it deserves, the SFA itself is no infamous for its kack handed way of dealing with, well anything really. Whatever the level involved.

Take the amateur football forum, based @Scottish_AFF its creation started out as a simple hobby, something that was given attention by the “peacekeeper” in his spare time, with some effort, hard work  and a endless supply of energy drinks it has grown and developed into the central hub of communication for “ammy” football, where recruitment happens, results are registered and complaints are logged. Such hard work has earned himself a place on the committee of the west of Scotland league.

So the question is, why?

Football is something we love, many people may second my claim here, love does makes you do crazy things.

An Expensive Player and an Alcoholic

Something written a long time ago, way back when Bale was sold to Real Madrid. Thought it might be fun to read considering the highly irritating nature of the coutinho saga.

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Often the question is asked why is there so much cash thrown at players, once upon a time a transfer fee going into double figures was considered an outrage more than anything else, Shearer being a landmark moment even he denied that in no way was he worth even close to the 15 million spent bringing him to his boyhood club. That’s not the conversation we are going to have today though.

Todays analysis will be about how supposedly the evolution of the “expensive player” stemmed from the bosman ruling.

Jean-Marc Bosman was a player for Royal Football Club de Liège (RFC Liège) up until the year 1990, where the midfielder decided to look for a new place to ply his trade, dunkirk based french club USL Dunkerque who were keen to bring him on board, so the two parties started talking and an arrangement was suggested.

They came across a stumbling block, as it turns out RFC liege had a price tag on bosman that Dunkerque were not willing to pay (as were the ways then) So as a result they moved on and looked elsewhere, and bosman was left with an unhappy employer who subsequently reduced his wages and was demoted to the reserve team. This presented a clear problem for bosman and he has to act quickly, notifying the EU court of justice and subsequently a collection of litigious and boring people examined the situation, deciding that “restrictions will be banned on foreign EU players within national leagues and allowed players in the EU to move to another club at the end of a contract without a transfer fee being paid”

This event coincided with a newly established cash flow coming into football, and the rule was fully established in 1995 and it is said that this revolutionised the world of football, changed the attitudes of clubs and player, empowering agents and “playing staff” to negotiate much more financially healthy deals benefitting them and the agents directly, leaving clubs unable to profit from the development of players and academies. Now such an amount of money changing hands is regarded more as a fashion statement, a political point to ensure you are favourite for the next presidential election.

Where is Bosman now?

The work he done to resolve this dispute resulted in him becoming reasonably wealthy, but mentioned cash was invested poorly and the resulting impact triggered a descent into depression and alcoholism, he now according to sources lurks in jail, as he was on the business end of a year’s sentence for reacting furiously to his girlfriend’s refusal to supply him with a alcoholic drink.

The man who created a revolution, benefited the least from it.

Was Holloway Treated Badly?

So Ian Holloway has left Crystal Palace by mutual consent which basically means they have asked him to leave and Holloway always tries to do the best for the club and what club want so he agrees to leave. If he has been asked to leave because of results fair enough because they haven’t played well at all and as much you can say it’s Crystal Palace what was they expecting they don’t go up in to that league thinking were just going to go down they try to stay up.

Tactics

Holloway hasn’t got the tactical mind to manage in the premier league championship yes premiership no why? Because he is too open with his football he lets his team attack attack attack when that ain’t going to work teams are just going to pick them off like they have done all season. You can’t play that type of football if your a bottom team with not the best technical players at your disposal. If he had better players he would be able to keep them up with that tactic but they don’t have them. They only have two players who can play in the premiership and that is Jason Puncheon and Miles Jeidnak. Puncheon because of his pace he can take players on and he scores goals from time to time a good bottom half premier league player. Jeidnak he is class his understanding in that holding midfield role is amazing he will be in premier league what ever happens this season he is outstanding for them. He reads the game so well he knows where the ball is going to be played and he breaks up the attacks for them.

Signings

His signings have been pretty poor signings yes there a small club but he could have had Cattermole and Bardsley who are established premiership players. He spent most of his money on Dwight Gayle who is clearly not good enough at all for premiership, Championship yes premiership no. Holloway has signed to many players as well its a brand new team to be honest you can’t do that QPR did it and look what happened to them. Then you have some of QPR’s players who are good enough to play in premiership example Joey Barton without his temper you Zamora there as well but nope Holloway signed untried and untested players and its cost him to be honest.

Conclusion

Holloway isn’t good enough for the premiership. Yes he is funny when he is on his rants or some of the quotes he says and is probably one of the most honest guys in football but lets face it with free flowing attacking football and defenders who are below average in premiership they can’t play that style of football. Holloway will find another job in championship he will be first to get the job 2 promotions to premiership teams will snap him up.

Arrogance is not Attractive

Recent international events made me think, the thumping of San Marino sparked an interesting with regards to the 8-0 score line, to experience such a devastating defeat cant be good for the soul. To date there takings in the world cup qualifying rounds tells a grim tale, played 6 lost 6, not securing a single goal whilst conceding a blood chilling 29. Having never actually won a competitive match in their existence, FIFA consider them worthy of keeping the 203rd spot in the world rankings warm. So such a collection of facts and figures suggest their standard of football isn’t the greatest, without factoring in the microstates modest population of over thirty thousand. The disgraceful writing skills of the chief sports writer for the BBC suggesting “the merits of such an embarrassingly one-sided World Cup meeting will be debated again.” So what is the point of San Marino. These people asking this question suggest that they simply waste everyone else’s time in the football calendar and cancelling such events would most likely allow additional “nando’s” time. To begin with playing for your country is something alot of players are fiercely proud of, having that opportunity taken away from you isn’t going to go down well. Second of all would it not be considered more a matter of responsibility, do you really want to play for a national team which is almost guaranteed total destruction? Take a look at the England team, success goes to the extent of making it to an international tournament, then that giant shiny self destruct button is pressed once more. Scotland is next in the spotlight, it’s common knowledge that never in our existence have we made it past the group stages of an international tournament. We must have a look at ourselves before we question the merits of other national football teams. Success and progress appears to be relative more than anything else.