UEFA Champions League: The gulf at the gate

THE UEFA Champions League draw has become an event in itself and provides a curtain-raiser to the next 10 months of action involving Europe’s elite working their way towards the final stages. For half of the entrants, the competition will end in December, but we can expect the usual suspects to qualify for the knockout stages when things really do get interesting. While the Champions … Continue reading UEFA Champions League: The gulf at the gate

Lyon are fancied, but PSG have most of the cards

IT’S all getting a little too predictable in France, with Paris Saint-Germain winning six of the last seven Ligue 1 titles and no real sign of the dominance ending. The financial advantages the club enjoys, means PSG should win everything – hence the club’s owners have an obvious sense of expectation and occasional impatience. Should there be a genuine contender, it might just be Lyon, … Continue reading Lyon are fancied, but PSG have most of the cards

PSG’s light still shining, albeit less brightly

LIGUE 1 gets underway next weekend and regardless of whether Neymar stays or goes, Paris Saint-German will be favourites for their seventh title win in eight seasons. PSG were champions once more in 2018-19 by a 16-point margin, suggesting the gulf between the Paris club and the rest of the division shows no sign of diminishing. With 105 goals and 29 wins in 38 games, … Continue reading PSG’s light still shining, albeit less brightly

Football Media Watch: Neymar’s Lament

DEPENDING on which newspaper or website you read, Neymar looks set to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the coming weeks. Or maybe not. There are rumblings from the French capital that Brazil’s troubled talisman has had enough of life in Ligue 1, that he’s longing for a move back to Barcelona. It has been a fractious few months for Neymar, whom Barney Ronay of the Guardian … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Neymar’s Lament

Why a super league could work if handled properly

NATURALLY,  nobody is happy about the clandestine discussions that may or may not have taken place over the past few months involving certain clubs to create a closed football league comprising the wealthiest names across the top five nations. A “super league” is what they are calling it, but effectively, it is a cartel of the “super rich”, a group driven by greed and entitlement. … Continue reading Why a super league could work if handled properly

Commentary Box: Models for concern

AS football’s business machine rolls on, creating wealth and competitive imbalances, supporters all over the world cannot be truly satisfied with the way the game has evolved in recent years. Unless you are a fan of the dozen or so clubs that now strand astride European, indeed world, football, your expectations have to be even more realistic than they ever were in the past. Although … Continue reading Commentary Box: Models for concern

The right choice – Emery’s arrival at Arsenal

UNAI Emery was not a failure at Paris Saint-Germain, not by any means. But his time in Passy, the 16th arrondissement of Paris, was never going to last long given the impatience of PSG’s owner to become European champions. The taxi to Gare du Nord was ordered as far back as March 8, 2017. Impatience is not a quality you would normally associate with Arsenal, … Continue reading The right choice – Emery’s arrival at Arsenal

2017-18: A new script is needed

NEXT season, the British football landscape is going to have to find a new narrative. “Wenger out” has become “Wenger gone”, and therefore a considerable chunk of pundit and supporter dialogue has disappeared. With VAR likely to remove another slice of conversation – refereeing errors – you have to wonder what “your Linekers and Ferdinands” are going to talk about in a few years. As … Continue reading 2017-18: A new script is needed

United the most valuable, Barca the strongest in the latest brand report

MANCHESTER United may have been overshadowed by neighbours City in the Premier League this season, but the Old Trafford club remains the world’s most valuable football club brand. In a new report by Brand Finance, United’s US$ 1.9bn brand value tops the Football 50, ahead of the Spanish duo Real Madrid and Barcelona, the latter in possession of the world’s strongest football club brand. Once … Continue reading United the most valuable, Barca the strongest in the latest brand report