The Europa evolution and the danger of quantity over quality

WITH THE Europa League about to undergo drastic change, culminating in the creation of the  Europa Conference League, UEFA’s lesser competitions may continue to lead an uncomfortable existence. The Champions League, for all its excitement and glamour, has already eradicated the European Cup-Winners Cup and devalued the Europa League. It is difficult not to feel there […]

Bartomeu’s bad exit and the debris left behind

JOSEP Maria Bartomeu left some scorched earth behind at Barcelona, a strategic move by the former president that does him little credit. Indeed, as the celebrations among Barca fans circled the globe, Bartomeu’s departing salvo, confirming Barca had agreed to join a European Super League, was a little like a sulking child taking his ball […]

Big Picture thinking: From the land of closed leagues and franchises?

WHOEVER advised Liverpool and Manchester United to propose a reset of the Premier League/EFL couldn’t possible have known too much about the culture of football in Britain, indeed Europe. Why on earth did these clubs, supposedly two of the most emotionally-driven football institutions in the world, think they would get away with launching a power […]

Lampard and Guardiola are not immune to criticism or even the sack

HOW do you sack managers like Pep Guardiola, or replace parts of the furniture like Frank Lampard? There’s an assumption that clubs will not fire people who are football luminaries or club “legends”. But it would be wrong to believe Lampard and Guardiola are untouchable, at best they will be left in a room and […]

Lionel Messi won’t be going anywhere just yet

INCREASINGLY, it looks as though Lionel Messi won’t be moving to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain or any other interested club for the time being. Messi is just too expensive to be signed by anyone. If La Liga’s support of Barcelona around the release terms of Messi’s contract remains, then a cool € 700 million will […]

Newcastle failed takeover poses questions around suitability

NEWCASTLE UNITED’s takeover by a consortium including the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, Middle East expert Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers may have collapsed, but the club remains up for sale and there is a chance the transaction could be rekindled. If that is the case, the controversy over Saudi Arabia, with its suspect […]

Systemic clubs – who would we save to preserve football?

SINCE the world locked down, there has been an upswing of interest in dystopian novels, films and radical theories from desert-dwelling hermits predicting the downfall of the human race from their caravans as they polish their weapons and count their tinned tomatoes. But what of the football industry? How is this going to look when […]