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Chelsea in profit, but on the field they’re making losses

LIFE is never dull at Chelsea since they became a super club. As the Blues unveiled their latest financial figures, other statistics were being pored over, those that indicate Frank Lampard, club legend and all-round good fellow, could be losing his way at the moment. There has been paper talk that some players are confused […]

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 […]

Out of mill towns and factories, our heroes came forth

THE RECENT death of Nobby Stiles underlined that notable players from football’s golden age are passing away at a rapid rate. It rekindled a romantic moment in the history of the game, when a diminutive, toothless and short-sighted character won the World Cup. Such occasions are increasingly rare today. Little Nobby’s involvement in English football’s […]

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 […]

Docherty’s Manchester United and a hint of total football

THE 1974-75 season wasn’t a classic for English football. The country had been suffering a long hangover after the national team’s exit from the World Cup. We were excluded from the 1974 finals in West Germany, pinning our hopes on Scotland and Jack Taylor the referee. While the global audience marvelled at the exploits of […]

Farewell, Doc – the great managerial character actor

IN an age of anodyne post-match interviews and black-suited corporate football managers, there would probably be no place for the likes of Tommy Docherty. His bluntness, humour and market-trading improvisation would be totally at odds with the modern game. The “Doc”, as he was fondly known, has died, aged 92, and with him goes one […]

Sheffield United: Missing crowds and the element of surprise

AT the risk of sounding like Messrs Cleese, Idle, Palin, Jones, Gilliam and Chapman, Sheffield United no longer have one of their key weapons: “Surprise”. This is just one of the problems facing the Blades in 2020-21 as they lurch from disappointment to disappointment.  The club must be sick of the sound of nerds and […]