Valencia v Chelsea: Mild magnificence in the Mestalla

IT WAS one of those nights that explained why the UEFA Champions League can be so marvellously captivating. Valencia hosted Chelsea amid the soaring shabby chic splendour of the Mestalla stadium, 43,000 spectators perched on the precipice, bathed in the glow of floodlights sitting behind them, illuminating the orange, red and green cauldron below. No […]

Chelsea’s lack-lustre CL return – now the task looks harder

PERHAPS Chelsea’s season will be tougher than their 5-2 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers might have suggested. In a fortnight’s time, should Frank Lampard’s young team lose in the Eurostar city of Lille, they may get a chance to defend their Europa League crown. It’s surely premature to write Chelsea’s Champions League obit, but against Valencia […]

The catalyst for modern football? The financial crisis of 2008

IF ever a sport reflected a certain disconnect with its audience, it is surely football. Wages continue to climb, the big clubs remain cash cows and the competitive imbalances that have plagued the game for the past decade show little sign of levelling out. In contrast, most of professional football’s client base enjoy very modest […]