Football

No football thread? Anyway, if you enjoy footie try to catch a glimpse of De Bruyne, Manchester City player. There is some footage of him on iPlayer, Match of the Day. He is in sublime form, playing with a kind of controlled rage. Whether he has something to prove, dunno. Passing, shooting, creating space, utter utter greatness, unplayable, as the saying goes, and if you appreciate athleticism, great beauty. And I'm a Man Utd fan!
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  • Ploughing a lonely furrow here, but just admiring Ancelotti, who has coached Kaka, Ronaldo, Lewandowski, etc., triple Champions League winner, but now coaches Mason Holgate at Everton, top man.
  • I know this is old news, but I was looking up the score for Man City's match, noticed they hadn't played yet, and realised how mad the 'festive' schedule is.

    So it's traditional to have a match on Boxing Day and another one on New Year's Day, and then another one between the two. So if you want to keep the rule of keeping matches three days apart, logically you should have this in-between match on the 29th, which this year is Sunday anyway. Instead, 14 teams get shafted by having games on the 26th and 28th, and then, just to stick the boot in, the FA moves Wolves' and City's match from the 26th to the 27th thus undermining the tradition of Boxing Day football anyway, so that whereas everyone else gets either 3 days + 3 days or 2 days + 4 days' break before New Year, those two get 2 days + 3 days.

    Meanwhile Liverpool and Sheffield United get the (relative) good fortune of having their New Year's match moved to the 2nd, so that their breaks are 3 days + 4 days.

    I mean, I support Liverpool, but I can see why Guardiola is pissed off.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    The whole of December is insane, especially for the higher teams with Champions League or Europa League, the Club World Cup thingy for Liverpool, and then one of the cup competitions had a midweek round at the same time (which Liverpool lost with basically a youth team because their top players were all at that other cup). And there was a midweek round in early December too.

    You almost need 2 complete teams worth of players to successfully steer through it all.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Popping up again to say I decided to watch the whole of Wolves v Manchester City this morning... and it was freaking amazing.

    One of those matches full of incidents and drama.
  • orfeo wrote: »
    Popping up again to say I decided to watch the whole of Wolves v Manchester City this morning... and it was freaking amazing.

    One of those matches full of incidents and drama.

    I was in a pub last night, and although the pub wasn't showing the match, everyone in the pub soon knew the result from the cheers of those who were following it on their phone ...
  • This week's prize goes to Adama Traore, star of the above mentioned Wolves team. He has been around for years, including two years at Middlesbrough, and looked a bright prospect. However, recently, he has become explosive in his shooting, dribbling and passing. He has also developed incredible musculature, so defenders tend to bounce off him. If he carries on like this, he will surely become part of the Spanish team. A star is born.
  • Watching Arsenal vs Leeds on telly was terrific. For 45 minutes, Leeds were dazzling, running rings round the sluggish Arse defence. But, as often happens, they couldn't finish. Of course, Arsenal recovered, and began to exert themselves, and scored a scrappy goal.

    If Leeds get promoted, fans are in for a treat, as long as they keep their legendary manager, Bielsa.
  • Apparently a guy in La Liga was sent off for a high tackle, but the red card was overturned by VAR. So he came back out of his dressing room and immediately went for the guy who had got him sent off, at which point the referee sent him off for real ...
  • City possibly banned from Champion League for 2 years. This is about excessive spending by some clubs, called "state-clubs" by some. In other words, the huge wealth of an oil rich state can be channelled into a club. I guess the inevitable reply will be, how much is too much?
  • An interesting consequence being that next season Sheffield United could be playing in the Champions League ...
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    City possibly banned from Champion League for 2 years. This is about excessive spending by some clubs, called "state-clubs" by some. In other words, the huge wealth of an oil rich state can be channelled into a club. I guess the inevitable reply will be, how much is too much?

    Whoa.

    What is this 'financial fair-play' stuff? Here in Australia in some sports leagues, we have rules that are designed to ensure clubs have a roughly equal amount of money to spend on players, but it's super obvious such rules don't exist in European football competitions. Clubs vary enormously in financial power.

    So I'm trying to understand it right now, and bits and pieces are suggesting that it's not some general spending cap as we have, but a rule that prevents clubs from overspending compared to their own finances?
  • orfeo wrote:
    So I'm trying to understand it right now, and bits and pieces are suggesting that it's not some general spending cap as we have, but a rule that prevents clubs from overspending compared to their own finances?

    Pretty much. It's basically an anti-Abramovich law, except that Abramovich himself was wily enough to put Chelsea on a sustainable footing before the rules could take effect.

    The point is that an owner is not allowed to play fantasy football with his club (usually his), by buying all his favourite players and then underwriting the club's losses from his own pocket when the club's income is insufficient to cover their wages.

    It doesn't do anything to break the cycles of success > money > more success or failure > poverty > more failure. It might help stop people from fixing problems by just throwing money at them.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Right. So essentially, someone decided that investment was bad because sometimes there are bad investments.
  • I think you're supposed to invest partly from income, and not the owner just bunging in the odd £billion. City are supposed to have spent 1.5 billion in 10 years. However, all the big clubs are probably spending over a billion in the same period. Fans complain about the league title being bought, well, football is business now. Of course, there is excitement as 5th spot may qualify for Champions League , if City are out.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Well it doesn't sound like much of a system for preventing titles being bought. If people want that, then arguably salary caps are a better approach because it (supposedly) stops a team having all the best players. If you pay a star big money, you have less to offer to get the rest of your squad.

    Not that a salary cap system is perfect, and not that some teams haven't tried to get around it and ended up being stripped of points or titles as a result...
  • Just thinking about PSG spending 150 million on Mbappe and Neymar, each, although if they move this could rise to 250 million. Well, PSG are financed by Qatar. They still haven't won the CL, neither have M/c City.
  • orfeo wrote: »
    Right. So essentially, someone decided that investment was bad because sometimes there are bad investments.

    Well, investment implies the expectation of a return, which isn't really the case if you are going to keep putting money in regardless of whether the club makes a profit or not.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Presumably the return is supposed to come from on-field results. Which does tend to bring the money in. The financial boost from getting to the Premier League or the European competitions is pretty huge.
  • orfeo wrote: »
    Presumably the return is supposed to come from on-field results. Which does tend to bring the money in. The financial boost from getting to the Premier League or the European competitions is pretty huge.

    In Sheikh Mansour's case, the return seems to be personal vanity at best, and sportswashing Abu Dhabi at worst.

  • City are supposed to have disguised direct payments from Abu Dhabi as sponsorship money. I wonder how many clubs do that? City also seemed to have an aggressive and sneering attitude. When one one of the 7 man investigating team died, an Etihad lawyer tweeted, 1 down, 6 to go.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    orfeo wrote: »
    ... The financial boost from getting to the Premier League or the European competitions is pretty huge.
    There's a sort of corollary to that. About 20 years ago, Ipswich Town were promoted to the Premier League. Everyone said they'd be lucky to last one season, but they beat almost everybody except Manchester United, who were in their golden age (and commensurately wealthy), and ended the season in fifth place. This earned them a place in the UEFA Cup, but because they didn't have the resources of the big clubs, they couldn't keep up the pace of being in two major tournaments.

    They ended up being relegated fairly shortly afterwards, and having to sell all their best players, and have never been in the Premier League since. :(


  • It happens to smaller clubs who spend a lot of money, then a run of bad form puts them in trouble. If they are relegated, they have to sell players, and go down and down. Then they hope for a friendly billionaire. It all seems mad, but it staggers along.
  • Interesting game between Hoffenheim and Bayern, after some fans raised a banner saying "son of a whore", (Hurensohn), about the Hoffenheim owner, Hopp. What was interesting was the players' response, they stopped playing for 20 minutes, then came back, and just passed the ball to each other. This ensures that the game is not cancelled. It's quite a clever tactic. Video online somewhere.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    orfeo wrote: »
    Well it doesn't sound like much of a system for preventing titles being bought.

    I thought that buying titles stopped after Lloyd George's little troubles.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Back in the day, my club could compete for all competitions but the maximum wage was £20 a week. Then Johnny Haynes at Fulham caused trouble by asking for £100 a week !!!!

    I should point out that £20 a week was more than the average wage.
  • Do any other shippies play themselves? I keep getting asked back, I'm very fast still, although I'm very old at 30 years older than the youngest player in a masters rec league.
  • No way, one tackle, and I'd be in bed for a week.
  • More on financial fair play, as two clubs are in dire straits, Bury, who have closed, and Bolton, who almost went bust. Both allegedly got in trouble over high wage bills, financed by wealthy owners, but eventually the money ran out. The club I watched as a kid, Oldham, seem to be struggling as well. Ironic that these clubs went through the depression, 2 wars, the collapse of the cotton industry, but foundered in the age of great wealth in football.
  • Strange happenings in football in relation to coronavirus. Some clubs have annoyed critics by furloughing non-playing staff, although this may help small clubs. Calls for players to take a wage cut seem to miss the point that this won't help the NHS, but the rich clubs. A sense of footballers as scapegoats?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... Calls for players to take a wage cut seem to miss the point that this won't help the NHS ...

    It would if the players/clubs were to donate the money to their local hospital.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    ... Calls for players to take a wage cut seem to miss the point that this won't help the NHS ...

    It would if the players/clubs were to donate the money to their local hospital.

    A big if, in the case of the clubs.
  • Surely even some or most of the big club will be taking a financial hit with no gate money or broadcast fees?
  • Strange happenings in football in relation to coronavirus. Some clubs have annoyed critics by furloughing non-playing staff, although this may help small clubs. Calls for players to take a wage cut seem to miss the point that this won't help the NHS, but the rich clubs. A sense of footballers as scapegoats?

    I think most offense is being taken at the idea of normal club employees being furloughed, whereas the wealthy players are still paid (despite doing no work, because there's no football being played.)

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Quite right too - that really is offensive! :rage:
  • The problem is that paying the players less doesn't mean the money goes to the ground workers or anyone else we'd like to see paid. It means that money goes back into the deep pockets of whichever oligarch owns the club. There are a few players who have made some magnificent efforts - see link to stories:
    • Marcus Rashford working with Fare Share to make sure children who normally get free meals are fed;
    • Joe Cole who is running a foundation equipping the NHS;
    • Neymar has donated huge sums to Brazilian charities and UNICEF;
    • Jose Mourinho is helping out on the streets in Enfield

    It's not a good optic footballers refusing a pay cut, but do we really want Roman Abramovich any richer?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Quite so, CK, but a big hurrah to the other gentlemen you mentioned.
  • Welsh rugby have agreed a 30% across the board pay cut for all players earning more than £25,000 a year - less than most Premier League players earn per week.
  • The problem is that paying the players less doesn't mean the money goes to the ground workers or anyone else we'd like to see paid. It means that money goes back into the deep pockets of whichever oligarch owns the club. There are a few players who have made some magnificent efforts - see link to stories:
    • Marcus Rashford working with Fare Share to make sure children who normally get free meals are fed;
    • Joe Cole who is running a foundation equipping the NHS;
    • Neymar has donated huge sums to Brazilian charities and UNICEF;
    • Jose Mourinho is helping out on the streets in Enfield

    It's not a good optic footballers refusing a pay cut, but do we really want Roman Abramovich any richer?

    Another point is, why footballers? Does it mean that all well-paid people will be asked to contribute?
  • The problem is that paying the players less doesn't mean the money goes to the ground workers or anyone else we'd like to see paid. It means that money goes back into the deep pockets of whichever oligarch owns the club. There are a few players who have made some magnificent efforts - see link to stories:
    • Marcus Rashford working with Fare Share to make sure children who normally get free meals are fed;
    • Joe Cole who is running a foundation equipping the NHS;
    • Neymar has donated huge sums to Brazilian charities and UNICEF;
    • Jose Mourinho is helping out on the streets in Enfield

    It's not a good optic footballers refusing a pay cut, but do we really want Roman Abramovich any richer?

    Another point is, why footballers? Does it mean that all well-paid people will be asked to contribute?

    Why footballers? Could it be something to do with the fact that the lowest paid player in the Premier League earns more in a week than some nurses in a year?

    The median pay for a registered nurse is £23,000 per year; a nursing assistant gets £14,500.

    Its all well and good to "clap for the NHS" and refer to nursing "heroes" but the way we pay these people doesn't show respect, never mind admiration.
  • This probably shouldn't be here, but an orchestrated campaign by media moguls and backed by Matt Hancock to make football players hand some of their pay back into the pockets of the oligarch owners isn't a great optic either. Where is the campaign to get the media moguls to contribute some of their vast pay cheques to the National Health Service?

    There are campaigns run by footballers - this, for example - link to Sky News

    To reiterate, yes, footballers are overpaid, but cutting their pay doesn't mean the money goes anywhere we want it to go but straight back into the pockets of the like of Roman Abramovich. Which is why the football players union are reluctant to be bullied into taking a 30% pay cut.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    Hostly beret on

    While it's worthy of discussion, footballers' (and others') pay isn't really a topic for the Circus. It would fit well in Purgatory if somebody would like to start a thread there.

    la vie en rouge, Circus host

    Hostly beret off
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I am just waiting for my beloved Liverpool to be declared League champions.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    And the wait is over. #Liverpool FC
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited June 2020
    Caissa wrote: »
    And the wait is over. #Liverpool FC

    Ironically, in terms of rounds of the season, they got there VERY early. Just in late June!

    They are fully worthy of congratulations.

    EDIT: Also, while I'm full of admiration for many, many players in the squad... is not Van Dijk one of the smartest signings of all time?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Well done, Liverpool! :)
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    Liverpool's next goal is to top 100 points.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    The MLS Cup tournament final is Tuesday evening with Orlando City playing Portland. I must say my interest waned with the early exit of the Canadian teams.
  • Very sad. A great artist has gone, thank you, Diego, you brought great happiness.
  • Very sad. A great artist has gone, thank you, Diego, you brought great happiness.

    Not round here he didn't.

  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    I daresay that Pope Francis, who comes from Argentina, will make a statement at some time to the effect that Maradona had skills that were a gift from God that he was able to use to lift the spirits of many - especially in Argentina.

    Although AIUI he did do enough training and practice to refine the gifts God gave him, he was also a frail - and some would say sinful - human being and so suffered as such.
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