Sunderland: The revealing footage that makes you wince

I WAS relatively late to the excellent series, Sunderland ‘Til I Die, largely because I am naturally cynical about carefully-scripted documentaries that supposedly tell the inside story of a club or institution. However, having watched the entire two-series offering, I not only feel I know Sunderland a little better, but the revealing content confirmed conventional […]

Newcastle United and Saudi Arabia – a marriage of public convenience

IT’S a sign of the times, has a hint of double standards about it, and confirms the shallow nature of football with its mislaid moral compass. There’s no shortage of superlatives to describe what Newcastle United could achieve under their new ownership, but equally, there’s no lack of scepticism about the nature of the regime […]

RB Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City… what is a “normal” club?

THE excellent German football publication 11 Freunde refused to cover the game between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig as the latter is not a “normal” club. Admittedly, in the traditional German sense, RBL is not like most of the others, but then, what really constitutes normal? Football has never warmed to a club, or player, […]

Club owners – the good, the bad, the prudent

WHY would anyone invest in football? Historically, the game has failed to provide even a modest return and often, the club owner has merely been the scapegoat for disappointed fans. Although football has changed and, at the highest level, clubs are making profits, owners are rarely appreciated and certainly not liked. The number of clubs […]

Chelsea make a loss as revenues flat-line, but what of the future?

CHELSEA received almost a quarter of a billion pounds in additional funding from owner Roman Abramovich as the club made a loss of around £ 100 million in 2018-19. Chelsea’s turnover totalled £ 447 million which was more or less on par with 2017-18 (£ 443) as a result of lower broadcasting (£200m) and matchday […]

Will Leeds be the next member of the uber-rich?

IF ALL goes to plan, Leeds United should soon be benefitting from a big cash injection from Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the people who have made Paris Saint-Germain one of Europe’s wealthiest and high-profile clubs. The news has had a mixed reception, Qatar’s human rights record has been pointed out, along with the morality of […]

Bury may be the first sad domino to fall

FOOTBALL in Bury now depends on the creation of a so-called “Phoenix Club” after the club was expelled from the English Football League. Bury is a relatively tiny club (average crowd 2018-19: 4,044), one that sprung-up when industrial Britain was creating the roots for the people’s game. Football enthusiasts have always known the basic keynote facts […]