Real Madrid still a “unique club” as pandemic squeezes the purse

AT first glance, Real Madrid’s 2019-20 financials do not appear to be too troublesome, but with a major redevelopment plan for the Bernabéu Stadium in progress and a higher level of net debt, a 6% drop in revenues to € 715 million is arguably the start of the club’s near-term challenges. With expenses at a […]

PSG and Pochettino, you know it makes short-term sense

THE WORST kept secret in European football became reality as Mauricio Pochettino took the plunge and joined Paris Saint-Germain on an 18-month contract. Why 18 months (with an option for a further year), you might ask, is there not enough confidence in the deal to give the former Tottenham manager a longer-term contract?  Let’s face […]

Sporting Lisbon can make it a three-horse race in Portugal

SPORTING CLUBE de Portugal have not won the Portugese league championship since 2002 and have spent the past 18 years watching Porto (11 wins) and Benfica (7) dominate domestic football. They’ve started a season well before , but there’s a saying in the red half of Lisbon: “Sporting come down with the Christmas lights”. As […]

Father Time in action – the Champions League last 16

SOMETHING strange is happening this season, a curious set of events very much in keeping with the peculiar world we are watching behind our surgical masks. The Champions League last 16 has a familiar look, as it always does, but among the usual suspects there is not a single league leader. Early season tables are […]

Leaking cash – Inter Milan loss highlights Italian challenge

SERIE A is certainly more interesting this season, with the two Milan clubs, Napoli and Juventus all title contenders. Although the campaign, at 10 games in, is still in its infancy, it is clear that Juventus, champions for nine consecutive years, are not going to have things their own way in 2020-21. With the national […]

The enduring romance of Mitteleuropa’s football

THE BUDGET airline revolution made Continental Europe very accessible for tourists and football fans alike. A return trip for barely more than £100 has made it possible for the curious spectator to extend his or her horizon beyond the 92 and non-league. As a result, we have seen the arrival of the football tourist, map-wielding […]

Atlético Madrid are flying – but what about the money?

WITH Spain’s big two struggling to live up to their illustrious names, Real Sociedad and Atlético Madrid have emerged as title contenders in the early months of 2020-21. While Sociedad have been boosted by the arrival of David Silva, Diego Simeone’s side are going through something of a reinvention and their new look is winning […]