Yes, Barcelona are going for the one

BARCELONA are closing in on their target of € 1 billion in revenues by 2020, a figure that will create a new record for the football industry and place them ahead of their peer group. With their Camp Nou stadium redevelopment and a commitment to technology and youth development, Barca’s ambition is very clear. The only dark cloud on the horizon is the eventual loss … Continue reading Yes, Barcelona are going for the one

Barcelona may be approaching the end of a cycle

BARCELONA have made their worst start to a season in 25 years, but in truth it is very much a relative problem based on high expectation, a superb domestic record in recent years and the cost of being part of the wealthy European elite. Furthermore, they have been without their talisman, Lionel Messi, and doesn’t it show? Barca coach Ernesto Valverde is under pressure and … Continue reading Barcelona may be approaching the end of a cycle

Blockchain and football, the next frontier

DURING the 2018 World Cup, TV advertisements started appearing talking about a financial services company using “Blockchain”. Most people scratched their head in bemusement, for the concept of Blockchain has yet to reach the broader general public. This was a classic case of advertisers of a little-known product taking advantage of TV’s huge captive audience watching the world’s biggest broadcasting event in order to spread … Continue reading Blockchain and football, the next frontier

WWC has cast the Copa América into the shadows

IF YOU want evidence that the Women’s football has come of age, then look no further than the way it has overshadowed a string of other major sporting events that are currently in progress: the Copa América, the African Cup of Nations and the Cricket World Cup. The media are besotted with the FIFA Women’s World Cup, suddenly all sorts of “celebrities” are claiming lifelong … Continue reading WWC has cast the Copa América into the shadows

La Liga’s big challenge

SPAIN’s La Liga may have lost Cristiano Ronaldo to Serie A, but it is well placed to deal with the inevitable transition that will take place once the other member of the celebrated duopoly, Lionel Messi, also moves on. KPMG Football Benchmark’s latest paper looks at how the league has been internationalising itself to broaden the appeal of Spanish football. Ronaldo and Messi have dominated … Continue reading La Liga’s big challenge

Blockchain and football, the next frontier

DURING the 2018 World Cup, TV advertisements started appearing talking about a financial services company using “Blockchain”. Most people scratched their head in bemusement, for the concept of Blockchain has yet to reach the broader general public. This was a classic case of advertisers of a little-known product taking advantage of TV’s huge captive audience watching the world’s biggest broadcasting event in order to spread … Continue reading Blockchain and football, the next frontier

Russia 2018 underlines where global power is shifting

WITH Brazil and Uruguay falling at the quarter-final stage, the 2018 World Cup became an all-European affair, not a total surprise, but the old excuse of geographical disadvantage, used for decades to explain early disappearance in the competition by Europeans or Latin Americans, is becoming somewhat outdated Only Brazil and Germany have won the World Cup in another continent, Brazil in 1958 (Sweden), 1994 (USA) … Continue reading Russia 2018 underlines where global power is shifting

Is World Cup success so important for critical acclaim?

THE football world is reaching the end of a cycle, one that has been dominated by two individuals, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both players, worshipped in their own countries and admired worldwide, went tumbling out of probably their last World Cup. This has saved us the tiresome narrative of Russia 2018 being the last-chance saloon for both players, who will now never add the … Continue reading Is World Cup success so important for critical acclaim?

Week one – and where are all the flowers?

IT HAS not been a totally disappointing World Cup, but it hasn’t quite ignited into the festival of football we are always promised and rarely get. The fancied teams have yet to find their form, although it is feasible they are merely pacing themselves after long domestic programmes. The surprise of the first week was surely Mexico’s win against reigning champions Germany, although it didn’t … Continue reading Week one – and where are all the flowers?

Football Media Watch: Prime time drama

THE Champions League quarter-finals continued to offer high drama and intrigue, with everyone’s favourite villain, Cristiano Ronaldo, providing the finishing touch to Real Madrid’s 4-3 aggregate win over gallant Juventus. Add to that the shock collapse of Barca and Liverpool’s win at Manchester City, the competition lived up to its reputation with a set of compelling last eight encounters. Only Bayern’s dull 0-0 draw with … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Prime time drama

Signals and signs: Learnings from the Guardian 100

WE’VE become used to seeing familiar names at the forefront of world football. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated polls and awards since 2007 and the recent Guardian ranking of the top 100 players – arguably the best list of its kind – places Messi top and Ronaldo second. Recently, Ronaldo was named the winner of the Ballon d’Or for the fifth time. These … Continue reading Signals and signs: Learnings from the Guardian 100

Argentina: Last tango in Russia under threat

ALL THE furore over Argentina’s precarious World Cup qualifying campaign may be just wishful thinking or journalists hoping for a big story. The fact is, aside from Brazil, who have booked their place for 2018, the entire CONMEBOL qualifying series is wide open. There’s no denying that Argentina have made a mess of their programme, but with four games to go, the likelihood is that … Continue reading Argentina: Last tango in Russia under threat