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?
STAN KROENKE may not be every Arsenal fan’s idea of the perfect owner, but letters of complaint and stamping feet will probably not have much impact on the US businessman. Arsenal have almost become a typical US sports franchise, well run, nicely-housed, profitable, conservative and driven by the bottom line. Arsenal, in all reality, will never be a club that gets into financial trouble, but … Continue reading A boycott is needed for Arsenal fans to make their point
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 The right climate
POLITICS AND FOOTBALL are no strangers. Organising bodies such as FIFA, UEFA and the Olympic committees marinate themselves in political intrigue. There has often been a whiff of corruption about FIFA, dating back decades. The most recent debates about Russia, Qatar and the World Cup rekindled deep-rooted concerns about the legitimacy of bidding and selection processes. Beer and sandwiches for the number 10 Football has … Continue reading Left wing, right wing… no wingers: politics and football
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
SOMETIMES, it feels as though football is on the road to self-destruction, that the ideas, formats and decisions being formulated are not necessarily made in the interests of the game as a whole, its future or sustainability. Notwithstanding the madcap decisions made around hosting World Cups, or the bloated and low quality concept of a 48-team competition, club football seems hell-bent on marginalising large segments … Continue reading The land of make believe
SPORTSWASHING, apparently, was one of the trendy words of 2018. 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 … Continue reading Football’s missing moral compass
THE INEVITABLE happened, the end of the Mourinho era at Old Trafford. Football is a funny game, it tip-toes to the abyss with alarming regularity, making bad and expensive decisions that play to the wisdom of trends time after time. Nobody, but nobody, should be surprised about the outcome, the media have been talking about nothing else for 12 months, looking for signs that the … Continue reading A CV-destroying job?
IT has been bubbling away for a few months, so the recent announcement that UEFA is to launch a third club competition was no surprise, but the reaction to this project has been extremely muted all the same. Just why UEFA would introduce something that will do little for the quality of European midweek football, other than continue to dilute its value is a mystery, … Continue reading Missing the point – Europa 2
ALREADY considered by many to be pure folly, FIFA’s decision to host a 48-team World Cup may be brought forward to 2022 in the Middle East. Originally targeted for 2026 in North America, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in Kuala Lumpur the expansion could take place four years earlier. “We have to see if it is feasible,” he said. “We are discussing it with our … Continue reading 32 to 48 – the madness goes on
THE 2018-19 season is only a few weeks old and the scene is all-too familiar: Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona all on top in their respective domestic leagues, while Bayern Munich are currently in second place. The UEFA Champions League is underway and the groups create a sense of déjà vu. Business as usual, as they say. On October 2, Bayern Munich meet … Continue reading A question of balance
THE recent decision by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to put the club’s stadium redevelopment on hold has raised many questions, not least speculation about the Russian oligarch’s long-term commitment to the United Kingdom, London and the club itself. Could the man who effectively kick-started the wave of inflated investment in football be about to call it a day? Naturally, with the issues over his visa, … Continue reading If Abramovich goes…