Mindful of the gap: The Premier’s class problem

THE 2018-19 Premier League title race was exciting, make no mistake, but the cushion between Manchester City and Liverpool and the rest of the division was embarrassingly huge. Chelsea finished third, quite remarkable given the inconsistent season they endured, and the mixed reviews of their banker-turned-coach Maurizio Sarri, but in truth, the points difference between Liverpool and Chelsea was a fair reflection of the gulf … Continue reading Mindful of the gap: The Premier’s class problem

Football Media Watch: City PR battle may be a sign of change in China

MANCHESTER CITY, the club that turned almost everything they touched to gold last term, may not look back on their pre-season trip to China with too much relish. For some reason, the Chinese state-run news agency, Xinhua, felt moved to accuse the club of showing disrespect to local fans as well as discrimination to the Chinese media. Interestingly, criticism of City comes at a time … Continue reading Football Media Watch: City PR battle may be a sign of change in China

Mindful of the gap: The Premier’s class problem

THE Premier League title race was exciting, make no mistake, but the cushion between Manchester City and Liverpool and the rest of the division was embarrassingly huge. Chelsea finished third, quite remarkable given the inconsistent season they endured, and the mixed reviews of their banker-turned-coach Maurizio Sarri, but in truth, the points difference between Liverpool and Chelsea was a fair reflection of the gulf between … Continue reading Mindful of the gap: The Premier’s class problem

City overtaking neighbours on and off the pitch

MANCHESTER CITY are the most valuable club in the Premier League according to a new study by the University of Liverpool Management School’s Centre for Sports Business. City’s valuation of  £ 2.4 billion is around £ 300 million higher then neighbours Manchester United (£ 2.1 billion). The paper, led by leading football finance expert Kieran Maguire, underlines how the so-called big six clubs are way … Continue reading City overtaking neighbours on and off the pitch

The Trautmann film – gentle, poignant and authentic

FOOTBALL films tend to be a little disappointing, the subject matter very often packed with cliché and the action shots lacking realism and accuracy. However, the film that documents Bert Trautmann’s life is one of the best examples of bringing the beautiful game to the big screen. Not that The Keeper’sopening minutes provides much in the way of beauty, depicting Trautmann and his Wehrmacht colleagues … Continue reading The Trautmann film – gentle, poignant and authentic

City and the dangerous pursuit of excellence

REMEMBER Leeds United in 1970? They were chasing a treble and ended with nothing. They finished in second place in the league, runners-up in the FA Cup final and lost in the “Battle of Britain” against Celtic over two legs in the European Cup semi-final. They were worn-out, heart-broken and stressed – above all, they were potless. Leeds had a relatively small squad with 12 … Continue reading City and the dangerous pursuit of excellence

English success no surprise and overdue

FOUR clubs in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League is a welcome sight for the Premier League’s grandees, particularly as a couple of years ago, people were quick to write-off England after a string of sub-optimal seasons in Europe’s premier club competition. Is it really so remarkable given the financial power of the Premier? You could say that, hitherto, underperformance has characterised English … Continue reading English success no surprise and overdue

Commentary Box: The new hooliganism

HOPEFULLY, we are a long way from making drastic and knee-jerk decisions around the fear of pitch invasions becoming a new trend in British football. Anyone who remembers the days of fences, threats of electrification, the feeling of being penned-in like cattle and the “us and them” environment where policemen stared into the eyes of the underclass will be hoping the current spate of incursions … Continue reading Commentary Box: The new hooliganism

When programmes really meant something

SITTING ON a coach going to an away game can often be tedious for those who struggle to sit still for a few hours. Having done precisely that for the best part of 30 years, the ordeal of travelling on motorways, and visiting the purveyors of poor quality food that are service stations no longer appeals to me. However, the trip to Barwell in Leicestershire … Continue reading When programmes really meant something

Soccerex FF100 highlights investor appeal and rising contenders

MANCHESTER CITY is the world’s most powerful football club in terms of financial clout, according to the latest Soccerex Football Finance 100 report. Game of the People was involved in the creation of this paper for the second successive year, providing editorial support to Soccerex. The FF100 confirms that the irresistible reach of football continues to embrace all corners of the world, further expanding the … Continue reading Soccerex FF100 highlights investor appeal and rising contenders

The obsession with “invincible”

WHEN Manchester City lost their unbeaten run to Chelsea a few weeks ago, it didn’t take more than a few minutes for schadenfreude to creep into the narrative. “You may be good, but you ‘aint no invincibles,” was the first tweet to appear, I believe from none other than Arsenal fan Piers Morgan. Since 2004, any prospective Premier champion, or team that sets a blistering pace, … Continue reading The obsession with “invincible”

Racism – it never went away

IT is not easy to warm to some of today’s footballers, especially those that find it hard to resist conspicuous consumerism or consider that with enormous wealth comes permission to misbehave. Who was it said that players were this class people earning first class wages? That aside, in an age where many of the sins of the past are being addressed, racism, anti-semitism (take note, … Continue reading Racism – it never went away