Now may be the time for PSG to repay the backers

WHAT will motivate Paris Saint-Germain when they get tired of winning domestic trophies at a canter? And despite their huge wage bill, growing revenue base and ability to snare any player they choose, how can PSG become more competitive where it really matters – in European competition? Given the amount of cash their owners have spent on player transfers and remuneration, should the French champions … Continue reading Now may be the time for PSG to repay the backers

The Club World Cup – creeping in the back door of 2019

WHY have FIFA persisted with their lop-sided Club World Cup, a relatively unloved competition that carries little weight and goes quite unnoticed by most of the world’s footballing audience? This year, the mid-season holiday for blazers moved to Qatar, providing a testing ground for the controversial 2022 World Cup. It’s very difficult to see this competition as anything other than a money-making venture and a … Continue reading The Club World Cup – creeping in the back door of 2019

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 inflated investment in football as a tool to enhance reputations, … Continue reading Will Leeds be the next member of the uber-rich?

Major football clubs need to create the right climate

RIGHT NOW, climate change is a very topical issue, and rightly so. If the scientists are correct, we may all face some serious issues in the relatively near future, issues that cannot be ignored or dismissed as scaremongering. Football has to ask itself what role it can play in combating climate change. We are told that there are three things that we most certainly do … Continue reading Major football clubs need to create the right climate

The right climate

RIGHT NOW, climate change is a very topical issue, and rightly so. If the scientists are correct, we may all face some serious issues in the relatively near future, issues that cannot be ignored or dismissed as scaremongering. Football has to ask itself what role it can play in combating climate change. We are told that there are three things that we most certainly do … Continue reading The right climate

32 to 48 – the madness goes on

ALREADY considered by many to be pure folly, FIFA’s decision to host a 48-team World Cup may be brought forward to 2022 in the Middle East. Originally targeted for 2026 in North America, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in Kuala Lumpur the expansion could take place four years earlier. “We have to see if it is feasible,” he said. “We are discussing it with our … Continue reading 32 to 48 – the madness goes on

Guest Slot: Should Russia be hosting?

WHEN Russia was awarded the hosting rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it wasn’t totally unfair to dismiss the reaction – particularly that of the English – as sour grapes. After all, there was a certain expectation among the England camp that it was their moment: a feeling of entitlement that it was their chance to win the tournament in the home of football … Continue reading Guest Slot: Should Russia be hosting?

Tinker, tailor, soldier, footballer – the Russia house has no smiley people

HOW the US must be kicking themselves. They cannot boycott the World Cup because they didn’t qualify, but surely Donald Trump would just love to tell the world, “we’re not going” as the diplomatic arguments become more and more intense. This World Cup is up to its neck in problems, but this could be the new normal for FIFA’s flagship competition. We’ve got Qatar 2022 … Continue reading Tinker, tailor, soldier, footballer – the Russia house has no smiley people

Qatar: Surely, the final straw?

THERE are more important things than football to be concerned about today, but with Qatar’s isolation from its neighbours and questions being asked about the country’s role in backing terrorism, the future of the 2022 World Cup comes into focus once more. Let’s be frank, the decision to award Qatar the World Cup was ludicrous. Against a backdrop of alleged bribery and corruption, FIFA made … Continue reading Qatar: Surely, the final straw?

48 crash…FIFA pursue more quantity over quality

FIFA’s LATEST attempt at making the World Cup so huge that qualifying competitions will soon be rendered unnecessary could be the death knell for the one-time blue riband sporting event. The World Cup is already a diminished product, thanks to the politics, the rise of the UEFA Champions League and the obese format of 32 countries. But now the plan is for a 48-team competition, 300% larger than the classic … Continue reading 48 crash…FIFA pursue more quantity over quality

Let’s not get too snotty about Qatar

There’s been a lot of nonsense written about the prospect of a winter World Cup in 2022. In fact, much of it has more than a hint of xenophobia. Now, I am not advocating that FIFA have not screwed up, because they have to some extent, but if they had proposed, up front, that the Middle East gets to host a World Cup but in … Continue reading Let’s not get too snotty about Qatar

It may be a hoax, but there’s a message in the Qatar Dream League

The Middle East is really trying to change the shape of football. Only two weeks ago, we heard how the FIFA World Cup may be switched to the winter months in order to make the 2022 Qatar competition viable. Actually, FIFA should have thought of this long ago – there’s a reason why these things don’t happen in this part of the world. What next? … Continue reading It may be a hoax, but there’s a message in the Qatar Dream League