AC Milan remain on the sick list

WHEN football people usually talk about “turnaround” it usually refers to on-pitch performance and perhaps a fight against relegation. In the case of AC Milan, the club that was once the most powerful in Europe is in danger of falling even further away from financial competitiveness. AC Milan, despite their vast support and their place in football’s pantheon, continue to be a heavyweight also-ran, struggling … Continue reading AC Milan remain on the sick list

Yes, Barcelona are going for the one

BARCELONA are closing in on their target of € 1 billion in revenues by 2020, a figure that will create a new record for the football industry and place them ahead of their peer group. With their Camp Nou stadium redevelopment and a commitment to technology and youth development, Barca’s ambition is very clear. The only dark cloud on the horizon is the eventual loss … Continue reading Yes, Barcelona are going for the one

Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

WE live in extremely troubled times, a confusing era where it often feels as though the lunatics have been handed the keys to the asylum. Powerful leaders that appear to behave like Bond villains, placard-waving crowds baying for blood, the re-emergence of anti-semitism, that most symbolic of prejudices, and bull-necked extremists spouting faux-nationalism and militaristic sentiments. Although we’re more than a decade on from the … Continue reading Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

Borussia Dortmund still chasing Bayern – on and off the pitch

BORUSSIA Dortmund (BVB) may have posted solid revenues for 2018-19, but their net total (excluding transfers) of € 377 million is dwarfed by rivals Bayern Munich’s revenues for the same period of € 750 million. While BVB will be ranked among the top dozen clubs in terms of their revenues, the gap between the Bavarians and the rest of the Bundesliga is underlined once more. … Continue reading Borussia Dortmund still chasing Bayern – on and off the pitch

Liverpool slipped up, but trademarks are important

WHATEVER next, trademarking the air? Liverpool’s bid to trademark the name of their city has, appropriately, been rejected, and supporter groups such as “Spirit of Shankly” have expressed their relief. It must be something of an embarrassing situation, for this is a club that has long aligned itself to the city’s culture, the very meaning of being “scouse” and regional identity. To trademark the name … Continue reading Liverpool slipped up, but trademarks are important

Like it or not, football has to be more aligned to finance

SINCE THE launch of both the FA Premier League and UEFA Champions League, the football industry has undergone significant change, characterised by unprecedented revenue growth, bloated competitions, globalisation and expanded franchises. Football has become a business that attracts new owners and new sponsors as the world’s most popular sport becomes a compelling proposition for investors and finance providers. The top level clubs have never been … Continue reading Like it or not, football has to be more aligned to finance

Football has always been about money, but the stakes are now much higher

THERE were around six main football stories in the sports section of the newspaper I was reading as I grabbed an espresso at my favourite coffee bar in my home town. All six had a big emphasis on the financial side of the game: transfers (Gareth Bale), clubs in trouble (Bury), sponsorship and, more modestly, cash support for anti-racism groups. Admittedly, it was the last … Continue reading Football has always been about money, but the stakes are now much higher

Making football clubs global

WALK around the market in central Marrakech and, as well as traditional items such as leatherware, hand-beaten metal objects and various exotica, you will find stalls devoted to football shirts, with Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, among others, fighting for customer attention. If you venture into the back streets, you will undoubtedly come across a young boy on a scooter, weaving through … Continue reading Making football clubs global

Major football clubs need to create the right climate

RIGHT NOW, climate change is a very topical issue, and rightly so. If the scientists are correct, we may all face some serious issues in the relatively near future, issues that cannot be ignored or dismissed as scaremongering. Football has to ask itself what role it can play in combating climate change. We are told that there are three things that we most certainly do … Continue reading Major football clubs need to create the right climate

Left wing, right wing, no wingers

POLITICS AND FOOTBALL are no strangers. Organising bodies such as FIFA, UEFA and the Olympic committees marinate themselves in political intrigue and there has often been a whiff of corruption about FIFA, dating back decades. The most recent debates about Qatar and the World Cup rekindled deep-rooted concerns about the legitimacy of bidding and selection processes – discussions that will go on beyond the 2022 … Continue reading Left wing, right wing, no wingers

Blockchain and football, the next frontier

DURING the 2018 World Cup, TV advertisements started appearing talking about a financial services company using “Blockchain”. Most people scratched their head in bemusement, for the concept of Blockchain has yet to reach the broader general public. This was a classic case of advertisers of a little-known product taking advantage of TV’s huge captive audience watching the world’s biggest broadcasting event in order to spread … Continue reading Blockchain and football, the next frontier

An eye-opener – life on the fringe of the football industry

AFTER a long career in finance, working for major, highly-regulated institutions, coming across many of the companies in the football industry has been something of a reality check. For three years, I have combined my successful financial writing career with my freelance football activities, which date back to the late 1980s. For most of my working life, I was involved in an environment that was … Continue reading An eye-opener – life on the fringe of the football industry

Does football really have a moral code?

SPORTSWASHING, apparently, has become a trendy word. It has been applied to the practice adopted by dubious regimes, individuals or corporates in buying credibility through investing in or sponsoring big-time sport. In doing so, they attempt to change public perception or distract people from some of their less acceptable activities. Furthermore, by pouring money into football, they also look to leverage the financial power and … Continue reading Does football really have a moral code?