AS football’s business machine rolls on, creating wealth and competitive imbalances, supporters all over the world cannot be truly satisfied with the way the game has evolved in recent years. Unless you are a fan of the dozen or so clubs that now strand astride European, indeed world, football, your expectations have to be even more realistic than they ever were in the past. Although … Continue reading Commentary Box: Models for concern
IS IT purely philanthropy or is there something tangible about investing in a non-league football club? It is hard to justify investment in any sports club, let alone a non-league outfit, but all over the country, local football is short of money and struggling to live within its means. “Just do the math” as they would say on an investment banking trading floor. Money in, … Continue reading Commentary Box: More Coronation Street than Wall Street – Investing in non-league
IT’S not fashionable to defend José Mourinho, especially after his poor impression of Ted Rogers on the TV Show, 3-2-1, but is it really so big a crisis at Old Trafford? Mourinho has the best win rate of any Manchester United manager – 61.48%, a figure that beats even the records of Sir Matt and Sir Alex. But there’s two things that are really agitating … Continue reading Finding galactico gaffers – why United may be better off with the status quo
IT goes without saying that for football fans who like a trip abroad, the ideal excursion is a combination of culture, football, food, drink (!) and meeting people from different corners of the world. If, like me, you tick all of those boxes when you go on a jaunt, then you inevitably form some form of judgement about the world’s great footballing cities. I’m starting a … Continue reading Commentary Box: Leading cities are not always top football cities
THE TRANSFER window, thankfully, has passed and some of the bigger clubs have been ominously quiet. Tottenham and Manchester United, and to a certain degree, Chelsea, have not had a brilliant time. Chelsea’s activity in the market at the 11thhour, was out of necessity. Thibaut Courtois was obviously going to leave and he had long targeted Real Madrid as the place he wanted to go. … Continue reading Commentary Box: Windows 18 is full of bugs
IT is easy to admire many things about Germany, from the trains running on time, to German pragmatism and consensus, employee protection, high quality products, Kraftwerk and refusal to discard industries that appear to have little in common with modern trends. Back in the 1990s, some people in Britain laughed that Germany was still “bashing metal” to make money, while the UK was looking to … Continue reading Commentary Box: Germany’s “crisis”
THERE seems to be a World Cup or European Championship for virtually everything these days. The CONIFA World Football Cup drew to a close recently and captured the imagination of a certain type of football fan. It brought international football to non-league clubs in and around London. We have European competitions for every stage of the game at international level and the appreciation of football … Continue reading Commentary Box: Time for non-league to go European?
LIVERPOOL is a passionate football city, that’s what we are told. Liverpool Football Club’s fans are, arguably, the most ardent of any supporters in Britain. It is a devotion that has been built over many years, from the Shankly era, through the cultural highs of the 1960s and, in spite of the disasters of the 1980s and the city’s economic decline. But the club has … Continue reading Commentary Box: A Passion Play
THE ongoing saga of Dulwich Hamlet is a sad story, for many reasons, and one that should cause non-league club chairmen and officials a few sleepless nights. Not for the first time, a non-league club is being bullied by people who know how to manipulate and also, most importantly, how to use money and the law to get their own way. The club’s landlords are … Continue reading Commentary Box: The uphill battle to save non-league
ONCE AGAIN, the knife grinder has been to the Emirates and the Sabatiers are out for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. And Le Professeur has clearly had enough of the media and the constant probing of journalists – his latest press conference saw him get rather rattled by the questions being asked about his contract and whether he was likely to fulfil it. No wonder the … Continue reading Commentary Box: Time to leave this man alone
SO it went something like this. I excitably booked a ticket to see Paris St. Germain with Zlatan in his pomp. I couldn’t wait as I considered that the controversial, arrogant and quite brilliant Swede was one of the best players in the world. I paid for my flights, got my hotel and I was ready to go. Then, about a week before I was … Continue reading Commentary Box: Do I blame this TV age?
THE transfer window has been its usual game of cat and mouse, but there’s also been a degree of interconnectivity, with the move of one player depending on another rubber-stamped transaction that relies on a third deal: Chelsea – Arsenal – Dortmund – Giroud, Aubameyang – Batshuayi. Arsenal’s acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raises questions about the future of the club’s last high profile signing, Alexandre … Continue reading Swapping deck chairs at quarter to midnight
WHAT an own goal Leeds United scored with their new club badge. It’s a less than serious affair, about as convincing and credible as someone using the Comic Sans font for a magazine, but it also appears to have been designed by a group of creatives who have little idea about the game of football. No doubt Leeds have been charged a significant sum of … Continue reading Logos not badges – how club identity is getting muddled