The Super League – who is really hiding behind the leaked document?

IT’S BACK again, the threat of a European Super League involving 15 fixed clubs and five lucky qualifiers. We can easily name the likely 15: there’s six from the Premier League; three from La Liga; three from Serie A; two from the Bundesliga and one from Ligue 1. It’s almost certainly the usual suspects, the […]

Copa Libertadores Final: Brazilian derby in an empty Maracanã

TWO old rivals from São Paulo face each other in the 2020 Copa Libertadores final in Rio de Janeiro, yet another big football match played in a supporter-free stadium. Brazil has had 8.8 million cases of covid-19 and over 200,000 deaths. Palmeiras and Santos meet in the Clássico da Saudade (the derby of nostalgia) with a difference, […]

Eusébio the great

SEVENTY-NINE years ago, in Mozambique, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira was born. It’s fashionable to liberally throw the word “legend” around, but very few footballers actually achieve that status in their lifetime, let alone when they pass from view and their legacy is grainy video footage or yellowing newspaper coverage. Eusébio was so good he inspired many […]

Light up the sky – the peculiar appeal of floodlights

THERE was an old pub-quiz poser that asked how many sets of football floodlights you passed when you drove up the M1 (or was it A1?) motorway. I cannot remember the answer now, but that question highlighted the sign-posting aspect of the good old floodlight – steel pylons with an assortment of lamps perched upon […]

Banish transfer fees – and see what happens

IN THIS time of global upheaval, football soldiers on, playing to empty stadiums in deserted towns. The tumbleweed continues to roll in the streets surrounding football grounds, but the grandstands echo to the sound of the dugout. The longer this prevails, the financial structure of the game will surely be seriously compromised. The 2019-20 season […]

The Grey Neutral: Does continuity always bring success?

ASTON Villa may have been beaten by Manchester City this past week but their most fielded 11 players have accounted for 86.9% of their playing minutes this season, the highest figure in European football. Villa have certainly had a stable line-up in 2020-21 and they’ve enjoyed some success, notably their 7-2 victory over Premier League […]

Return of the kings: Europe’s revivalist clubs

GLASGOW Rangers, Sporting Lisbon, AC Milan and Atlético Madrid are all top of their respective leagues in 2021, challenging the clubs that have swept aside their rivals for the best part of a decade. These are all big football institutions with rich histories, but they have found themselves in the shadows of clubs that have […]

Football Media Watch: A job for the right boy – Phil Neville’s new role

THE problem with successful people is they believe they are good at anything and everything. Thanks to the world’s over fascination with celebrity status and wealth, such individuals are indulged by the broader population, partly because deep down, everyone wants to be the golden boy or girl and also, because they also despise the rich […]