Thursday, October 7, 2010

The 2nd battle of (Spion) Kop

Given the remarkable events surrounding Liverpool football club this week I thought it pertinent to dust off the old blog, the 140 characters of twitter are struggling to do this justice.

The fight for the ownership of Liverpool appears to be drawing to a close yet the saga is far from over. This has been a crazy week which has seen the media both new and old become the weapon of choice. The following is a list of issues (in no particular order) which I believe have been overlooked, ignored or under analysed:

1. Mike Jefferries or @mikejefferiesL4 he is the creator of the Dear Mr Hicks video which has become a huge overnight success as was its intention, over 350,000 views on youtube yet he only has 3500 followers on twitter. He has been very vocal in urging caution on the sale to New England Sports Ventures or NESV "Anyone who believes Broughton & Purslow's claims that the club's been sold to NESV is being very naive. It's all SPIN & Hicks WILL litigate!"

2. The curious case of Martin Broughton. An evil man by all accounts he was once chairman of British American Tobacco a company famous for doing business with the Burmese junta and for marketing cigarettes towards African children. His appointment as chairman at Anfield was to oversee the sale of Liverpool football club, if this is achieved he receives a £500,000 bonus payment. Given the current deadline imposed by RBS for the repayment or refinancing of the debt owed to them being yesterday though 15th of October being the end of the contracted grace period, if he wanted his big juicy bonus he had to get his arse in gear. Were RBS to call in the debt, they would then be able to appoint administrators to oversee the sale, Broughton would be out of work and out of bonus :( His attempts to block refinancing were also self interested as again no bonus.

3. What ever you think of Hicks and Gillett this sale is massively undervaluing the football club, Forbes valued the club at $822M only in April this year. The actions of Martin Broughton are seeming to be far more desperate than those of Hicks (though he is still pretty desperate) The media stories regarding the club over the last month are all attributable to Broughton. His assertions of his authority are unrealistic given that the club is yet to fall in into the hands of RBS. This isn't like the situation at Rangers where the bank had been able to assume authority and dictate the business actions of the club.

4. Proposed board member Lori McCutcheon is on twitter @LoriKMac though she doesn't do much except follow a remarkably pro Hicks Journo @dkaplanSBJ Its just like the cultural revolution.

5. John Henry by all account has done a great job at the Boston Red Sox, though he appears to buy and sell sports teams like cars so don't expect him to hang around for more than 5 years. He will probably buy Manchester United next. He is however in it for the money, he is not a supporter he wants to make cash, so expect naming rights if Liverpool get a new stadium or as is more likely Anfield is refurbished. Also expect ticket prices to rise.

6. The Florida Marlins the team where John Henry did a Hicks and Gillett, he reneged on a promise to build a new stadium and pretty much left them for dead when their form dived.

7. Kenny Dalglish is eyeing up the managers job, @pauldalglish Paul Dalglish his son has been waxing lyrical about the lovely new owners on twitter. He would of course as he knows them pretty well. John Henry is a Florida based business man, Paul Dalglish is a Florida based (former he just got sacked) football manager. Coincidence I think not.

8. Liverpool have a long history with Rupert Murdoch, and its about to get even longer. Quite rightly the Sun is not taken on merseyside after disgusting accusations it made following the Hillsbrough tragedy. Fans will want to know that NESV is 17% owned by the New York Times Company. Rupert Murdoch is at War with the New York Times according to Vanity Fair last month. So expect Sky Sports to start showing Liverpool games in black & white rather than 3D & watch out for match reports in the Times and Sun where no player gets higher than a 5/10 even though they have just beaten Chelsea 3-0. It is possible to construe Harry Redknapp's defence of Hicks and Gillett in today's Sun as being within this vein. Its very unlikely Arry' will actually write his column, it will be a regurgitated phone conversation with the journalist framing the topic for discussion. ie. today he was likely asked something like what did H&G do wrong given they forked out for Torres etc.

9. Neither John Henry or NYT are cash rich its all asset based wealth. There will be debt involved in this takeover. Just because its not held on Liverpool now doesn't mean it can't be moved there in the future. Remember both the previous takeover of Liverpool & the takeover of Manchester United didn't begin with debt, that came later when it was prudent to do so. This will become a leveraged buyout, its a question of if not when.

10. Expect Liverpool to start buying players on football manager form. John Henry or Hicks lite as I'm sure we will end up calling him, made his money by creating a mechanical way of trading futures removing the human element. As with all Americans who have studied economics he is an uber rational choice theory kind of guy. What he probably is yet to realise is that Liverpool football club is not a business, it is all emotion more than most football clubs, that's why there hasn't been a boycott of the clubs games, that is why managers are usually given several years rather than several months to make an impact. Liverpool needs to be run from the heart not the wallet.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Great Portsmouth Fire Sale

Portsmouth now have permission to sell there squad and according to their dodgy administrator thats exactly what they plan to do. So what can they hope to recieve for their family silver?

David James - though still prone to moments of brilliance, he is 39 so no more than a nominal fee for him, that is however if he is sold before the end of the season, when he will be available on a free.

Red Ricardo Rocha - will still be in contract, but his form has been iffy at best since he joined in Feb, a million or two if there very lucky.

Aaron Mokoena - signed in the summer on a three year contract, as captain of South Africa he will have a high profile at the world cup so probably worth holding on to till August as he will be worth more.

Jamie O'Hara - probably worth the most of all Portsmouth's players but he is owned by Spurs so no joy there.

Hayden Mullins - Still in contract so worth something, likely to be bought buy whoever wins the play offs as they scramble for players they have heard of, if he goes early he will go to the championship probably on a hire purchase. A million quid if their lucky.

Hermann Hreiðarsson - 35 now, but can still do a job in the premier league, I suspect he may be out of contract at the end of the season however.

Papa Bouba Diop - Though 32 probably though of as a usefull squad player for a premier league club, a year to run on his contract he may go to the middle east or russia for a million, if he stays in the uk £750,000.

Frédéric Piquionne - still owned by Lyon

Michael Brown - a brawler by trade, now 33 so maybe a million if there lucky.

Quincy Owusu-Abeyie
- owned by Spartak Moscow - though they have offered pompey £250-000 to end the loan early, very dodgy.

Antti Niemi - worthless only there in case of fire.

Steve Finnan - only on a years deal so available on a free.

John Utaka - on one million pounds a week, will be the first to go probably to middle east or russia for £2.5 million, if he stays any longer they will have to start paying him in footballers. He already owns fratton park, and last weeks pay check was covered by giving him HMS Ark Royal.
One year left on his contract.

Anthony Vanden Borre - owned by Genoa

Danny Webber - a championship striker at best, not sure if his contract goes beyond the season.

Tommy Smith - another championship striker, this time with a lot of reported intrest from the championship, will probably go out on loan before the end of the season. Three years left on his deal, so maybe a million.

Jamie Ashdown - a perpetual third choice keeper, probably a drop to league one or two for him.

Richard Hughes - now 30 probably one of Portsmouth's most saleble assets, coudl go anywhere for a couple of million.

Kevin-Prince Boateng - the recently Ghanian Boateng is probaly worth £4 million given the circumstances one of the most likely for a quick sale.

Aruna Dindane - owned by Lens, if he plays again for pompey he will cost them £4 million, so is currently been kept in Hannibal Lecter style restraints.

Tal Ben Haim - used to be a good player, then he went to Chelsea and it all went wrong, personally I blame John Terry, I think he does too. Worth a couple of million or 4 if they sell him to Russia which they probably will.

Nwankwo Kanu - the King of Portsmouth, now in his early 70s expect him to score the winner in the cup final and then head of to the middle east for a lucrative contract.

Hassan Yebda - owned by Benfica, not a bad player expect him back in the premier league next year.

Angelos Basinas - a good player, 34 years old and out of contract in the summer, expect him to turn up in Greece or Germany.

Marc Wilson - young and under contract, but sadly not vey good, probably a few hundred thousand to a championship club.

Nadir Belhadj - a good player under contract, expect him to be sold shortly becuase the can sell him for at least £3.5 million.

Joel Ward - a young player who could be sold for a couple of hundred thousand to a championship or league 1 club.

David Nugent - if Burley stay up, he will go there for two million, if they go down he may still go there but for probably nearer a million.

Matt Ritchie - a couple of hundred thousand to a league 1 club.

They can sell the lot but it won't go a long way to clearing their hundred million debts.

Celtic what do you want?

Gordon Strachan left Celtic even though he had won a lot, he was routinely criticised for boring football, they bring in Tony Mowbray, he plays for expanisive attractive football, but they don't win anything. Now it its widley thought Tony Mowbray will get the sack. Given the nature of the scottish league in so much as the disparity between the Old Firm and the rest and the terrible state of a lot ofthe pitches, your not going to get a team who can win pretty. The issues Celtic are having are systemic isuuses with the scottish football and cannot be solved by changing their manager.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2018 2022 World Cups who will get them?

- pros:
its never been held there before
it could help develop the game
there very few football specific stadiums
other major sports would be running at the same time
issues regarding thecost required

Belgium & Netherlands
- pros:
- cons:
its a joint bid
lack of stadium suitable for the final
lack of cultural centrallity
issues over crowd violence in the netherlands

- pros:
home of football
most watched league globally
best attended leagues, at every level
more than enough suitable stadiums

- cons:
objections to english footballs financial superiority
political infighting in organisation

- pros:
- cons:
no stadium suitable for the final
only recently held the worldcup

Spain & Portugal
- pros:
plenty of suitable stadium
- cons:
joint bid

- pros:
lots of money
never been a world cup in the arab world
- cons:
lack of stadium
very hot

- pros:
lots of money
lots of potential stadium
- cons:
political issues, it recently had to be kept apart from some other nations in the recent uefa draw
potentially vast travel distances
not very fan friendly, very restrictive visas for the champions league final in 2008

South Korea
- pros:
prepared to build suitable stadium
- cons:
recently held the world cup

- pros:
loads of suitable stadium, including some soccer specific stadium
1994 world cup was very successful
- cons:
given the 2014 world cup is in south america it would be unlikely to be held in north america
not too longin footballing terms since the last world cup

England's World Cup Squad Crisis deepens

I wrote a post about a month ago detailing England's issues ahead of the coming world cup, since then things have got even worse. I have included the post in full bellow,
But here is how it has got even worse, (also some things I missed the first time) Also note my prediction "So many issues so little time, expect one or two unforseen major injuries as well." has come to pass.

David Beckham is out. Big Achillies Injury.
Michael Owen (an outside bet) is out - hamstring injury.
Wes Brown has a broken foot.
Wayne Bridge, it turns out is not willing to play in the same team as John Terry and he is injured.
John Terry has been out of form.
Steven Warnock got mullered by Valencia in the Carling Cup.
Joleon Lescott has an injurywith hamstring injury.
Jermain Defoe is injured.
Wayne Rooney has a lingering knee injury.
Also the chief excutive of the FA has resigned after a row with Phil Gartside the Bolton chairman
And all the best American footballers seem to have recovered from serious injures and found form ahead of the world cup.

I'm sure more things will go wrong of England before the world cup, I will keep you posted.

England's World Cup Squad Crisis
1. Joe Hart - the best English goalkeeper on current form.
2. Rob Green or Paul Robinson - Neither great, but both seldom injured and play week in week out.
3. David James or another, if James plays till the end of the season he goes, probably the same with Ben Foster. If neither play and one of the two above have issues then prehaps someone out of leftfield like Scott Loach.
Right Backs:
1. Glen Johnson - If fit, hasn't played in a while so uncertain as to whether he makes it.
2. Wes Brown - His best form for Manchester United was at right back in the Champions League winning season, though it is a position he needs a run of games to adapt to. He can also play as a centre back where he has played a lot for Man U this season.
Backup - Gary Neville - has been more fit this season, he is at best though when attacking as he lost some pace since the serious injuries. Can also play as a centre back. After Gary Neville there arn't any notable options, which is a concern given Glen Johnson's fitness. n.b. - I lied I forgot Micah Richards who is having some what of a rebirth under Mancini.
Left Backs:
1. Ashley Cole - not perfect but very good, can get caught to high up the field which is an issue if Glen Johnson is playing as well. - His place at the world cup however will be determined by the media, He has a big tabloid target on the back of his head.
2. Wayne Bridge - if he is willing to play in the same team as John Terry and Ashley Cole and is fit, he is probably going to go.
Backup - Leighton Baines prehaps - not a great deal of choice in this area.
Centre Backs:
1. John Terry - The biggest tabloid target in Britain right now, he has six months of mud slinging by the papers if he is to make the squad, there are also concerns regarding his relationships with other players, notabley Wayne Bridge. Still a long time to go and the scandals surrounding him still have plenty of legs. A big wait and see here.
2. Rio Ferdinand - If he is fit he goes - a potentially big if however given a series of injuries this season.
3. Mathew Upson - form is a bit erratic of late, he is a favourite of Capello, and by no means a bad player, should be on the plane.
4. Joleon Lescott - Two issues here - 1. Fitness, 2. Will Mancini like him, he was a big money signing of Mark Hughes, Given that city have players like Toure, Kompany, Onuoha, Boyata, Richards it is by no means certain that he will be playing for the rest of the season.
Backup - Cahill is out for the season, King and Woodgate have serious fitness concerns. Dawson prehaps maybe even Shawcross at Stoke.
Midfield: a difficult area to call - I'm going to start with the certs and work outwards.
1. Steven Gerrard - only issue is fitness, not been in his best form this season but if fit he goes.
2. Frank Lampard - Again pretty certain to go, has to like all Chelsea players watch their back for the tabloids, but he is considerably cleaner that Terry and A Cole.
3. James Milner - Great form for Villa, can play anywhere, good tournament experience with the Under 21s, has played well for the senior team- must go.
4. Gareth Barry - Good form for City can play in a variety of positions, no issues here.
5. David Beckham - Has experience, playing regularly for Milan - issue here is age.
6. Michael Carrick - A good centre midfielder, playing well for Manchester United, more of a deep lying player which England will need two of. Also has been among the goals this year.
7. Aaron Lennon - unplayable before he got injured, if he is fit he must go. Saddly this is a big if though.
8. Who can say, Ashley Young a very good player, though inconsistant for Villa this year, Stuart Downing - doing allright for Villa though not at his best yet, Theo Walcott, Strugglled with injuries andwhen he has been fit he hasn't been in form. David Bentley has been playing allright for Tottenham the last couple of weeks, but will he get in Tottenthams team if Lennon is fit. Shaun Wright-Phillips hasn't palyed well on the occasions hes played under Mancini - Adam Johnson was brought on ahead of him for City against Hull and Mancini was instantly impressed with Johnson so maybe hes an outside bet. N'Zogbia now qualifies for England and he has been pretty good this season so you never know.
1. Wayne Rooney - 23 goals already for United this season, brilliant for England in qualifying. Churches up and down the country are packed to the rafters with England fans praying he doesn't get injured before the World Cup.
2. Jermain Defoe - must go 20 goals already for Spurs this season and has been scoring in his last few international runouts, offers very little other than goals, but as we all know goals win games.
3. Peter Crouch - only 10 goals this season so not a bad return, at international level he scores goals for fun, also when he was at Liverpool he was more prolific in Europe. Without wanting to sound jingoistic, he must go becuase foreign defences can't handle him.
4. Emile Heskey prehaps, who knows, has played well for England but has less goals in him than Crouch, - hard call this one. - Carlton Cole - not prolific but was playing well for west ham before he got injured. Darren Bent has 15 goals so far this season for Sunderland, very similar player to Defoe but Defoe is more prolific. Gabby Agbonlahor - 12 goals for the season so far, has pace movement, but unlikely to go unless he scores 20-25+ this season. Other options include Michael Owen - but only if he gets a Rooneyesque run of goals. and my outside bet would be for Matt Derbyshire - who since his return from injury has been banging them in for Olympiakos.

So many issues so little time, expect one or two unforseen major injuries as well.

Newcastle United the new Wimbledon

Are Newcastle United the current pinacle of English Football's bad boys, Chelsea's off the field issues represent a soap opera, and they are more a gang of rent boys than a gang of thugs. Newcastle on the other hand have issues.
Heres the current charge sheet:
Captain Steven Taylor hospitalised for two nights with a broken jaw after training ground fight with Andy Carroll.
Owner Mike Ashley has been accused of using slave and child labour in his sports wear factories.
He also named the stadium Sports Direct @ St. James' Park.
Fabricio Coloccini was stolen as a child by AC Milan from Argentina.
Fitz Hall was in the movie Fifth Element, (not a bad movie)
Joey Barton - to list his issues would fill the Royal Albert Hall ten times over.
Danny Simpson was sold by Manchester United to Newcastle due to concerns his private life was impacting on his development as a footballer.
Alan Smith - one of the premier leagues most prolific foulers and has been sent off 7 times. His worst crime however is that in 67 games for newcastle he is yet to score a league goal.
Andy Carroll is currently on bail in relation to an alledged act of violence.
Nile Ranger has issues and once spent time in a young offenders institution.

Monday, March 22, 2010

World's worst named football teams

Here's a collection of the worlds worst and silliest named footballing sides, enjoy:

Angers - France Ligue 2
Unirea Urziceni - Romania Liga I
Wienerberger - Austria Regionalliga East
U. De Conception - Chile Primera Division
Avarta - Denmark Second Division East
Hamburger - Germany Bundesliga
Fukuoka- Japan J League Division 2

Friday, February 26, 2010

Portsmouth are in Administration

So what does this mean?
Peter Storie will continue to take a salary till their sold. They still can't sell players till June. Gaydamak, not sure which one, still owns the surrounding land. Creditors are still lineing up demanding money with menace. As long as the club have assetts they are still liable to their debts. Who would want to buy Portsmouth? Portsmouth will see out the season, but next year I wouldn't be suprised if they were playing in the conference (at best) playing their games out of the combined services ground in Portsmouth. Other than a billionaire investor coming in, Portsmouth will struggle to sell enough assets to cover their costs at any level of the football league. They have the 47th largest stadium in England and in terms of facilities it wouldn't even be the best in league 2. Portsmouth FC is in need of a rebirth, the fans should be hoping for a short labour.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Some Jokes I stole, mostly JT related

Ashely Cole was cuaght speeding doing 100mph in a 50 zone, He told the police he was rushing home as he had heard that John Terry was outside his house.

At the end of February, Chelsea are playing away from home in between two European legs.

Something John Terry will be more than familiar with.

It’s been announced on Sky Sports News that Capello has phoned Wayne Bridge to let him know that John Terry has lost his captain’s armband.

He has asked Bridge to check under the bed

John Terry has done nothing wrong.

All coaching manuals state that if the full back leaves a hole, it’s the centre back’s job to fill it.

A Liverpool fan, an Arsenal fan and a Man United fan were all in a strange unnamed country, sharing a smuggled crate of booze. All of a sudden police rushed in and arrested them. The mere possession of alcohol was a severe offence, so for the terrible crime of actually being caught consuming the stuff, they were each sentenced to death!
However, after many months, and with the help of very good lawyers, they were able to successfully appeal their sentence down to life imprisonment.
By a stroke of luck, it was a national holiday on the day that their trial finished, and the unusually benevolent ruler of this strange place decided they could be released after receiving just twenty lashes each.
As they were preparing for their punishment, the ruler declared:
“It’s my first wife’s birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping.”
The Arsenal fan was first in line, so he thought about this for a while and then said:
“Please tie a pillow to my back.”
This was done, but the pillow only lasted ten lashes before the whip went through. The Arsenal fan had to be carried away bleeding and crying with pain.
The Man United fan was next up, and after watching the scene, said:
“Choice! Please fix two pillows on my back.”
But even two pillows could only take fifteen lashes before the whip went through again.
The Liverpool fan was the last one up, but before he could say anything, the ruler turned to him and said:
“You are from a most beautiful part of the world, your city has some of the best and most loyal football fans. For this, you may have two wishes!”
“Cheers mate, your most royal and merciful highness”, the Liverpool fan replied.
“In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not twenty, but one hundred lashes.”
“Not only are you an honourable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very brave,” cooed the ruler, with an admiring look on his face.
“If one hundred lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And your second wish? What is it to be?”
“Please tie the Man United fan to my back.”

What is John Terry's favourite Red Hot Chilli Peppers song?... Under The Bridge

What has V Perroncel got in common with Champions League final goalpost? They’ve both been banged by John Terry.

It's a good thing JT doesn't bring all his girlfriends to watch him play every match. Abramovich would have to increase the capacity of Stamford Bridge by 20,000.

So JT has been caught stealing another man's girl. I bet his old mum will be so proud he's learned something from her. Somebody bought me a box of Terry's All Gold. I was shocked to find new chocs called French Fancy and Cheat Cluster.

The England team have voted for Terry to keep his place in the World Cup squad. With the ban on WAGs travelling to South Africa, no one wants him left behind.

Why can't you get a cup of tea at the Bridge? All the mugs are on the field and all the cups are at Old Trafford.

Missing: 1 x Bottle
Last Seen: 21st May, Moscow
If found please return to: John Terry, Stamford Bridge, London

Heard about the John Terry tyre? Excellent durability but not so good in the wet.

John Terry always listens to the same song before a game - Born Slippy.

What is top of the man utd pop charts? Footloose.

Did you hear about the new 'Chelsea Bra'? Lots of support but no cups.

Frank Lampard and Joe Cole were allegedly spotted out in Red Square last night, having clearly had one or two drinks. They were reportedly singing: "We're forever blowing Doubles."

John Terry is going to start making is own brand of vodka - and like him it's bottled in Russia.

After Ryan Giggs lifted the Champions League cup for a second time he had a peek inside and there was a Chocolate Orange in it. He said - "It's not Terry's, it's mine!"

John Terry is set to appear before the Iraq inquiry after alleged secret meetings with Bush

John Terry has “vowed to give everything to the team”. Yeah, syphilis… chlamydia… warts… herpes…

I knew JT liked scoring at The Bridge, but this is just ridiculous.

“Hi, I’m John Terry and sneaking out Windows was my idea.”

John Terry to star in new TV program “Other Footballers Wives”

After Wayne Bridge refused to play for England while John Terry remains captain, fans want Terry to try it on with Emile Heskey’s wife.

Q: What do Wayne Bridge and the Titanic have in common?
A: They both should’ve stayed at Southampton.

JT said he didn’t mean to have sex with Vanessa Perroncel – he just slipped while he was showing her how to take a penalty.

Songs: To the tune of Simple Gifts (Lord of the Dance)

Chelsea, wherever you may be,
Don’t leave your wife with John Terry,
He’ll take her to a clinic in a back alley,
And then he’ll fuck off to the UAE

Chelsea, wherever you may be,
Don’t leave your wife with John Terry,
He’ll whinge and he’ll cry, and he’ll piss off to Dubai
While the captaincy decision is nigh

Chelsea, Wherever you may be,
Don’t leave your wife with John Terry.
Cuz he likes a shag, he likes a bit of fluff,
And he’ll get your missus up the duff

Terry … his whole family
can’t stay away from the scrutiny
whether selling dust or nicking groceries
now it’s fratricide with adultery

Chelsea wherever you may be,
Don’t trust your wives with John Terry,
His dad sells crack, his mum is a thief
He cries when he misses a penalty!

Another song to The Addams Family:
They say his mum’s a stealer,
They say his dad’s a dealer,
He’s screwing his mate’s Sheila,
The Terry Family”.

FA Cup revamp

The sweet FA is considering revamping the FA Cup by doing away with replays and encouraging FIFA to trail new technology in the games, why you may ask, it is becuase they are idiots. Replays while an annoyance to the bigger clubs provide a vital source of income to the lower league clubs, where gate reciepts contribute to a bigger portion of their income, people forget that the reason for competitions like the football league trophy and the large division sizes 24 clubs is preciselly for this reason the more games the more cash. There is also something uniquely british about epics sporting encounters last for days in gruelling competiton, like test matches. The FA's focus should be on maintaining the integrity of the FA Cup and not turning it into a made for TV mickey mouse show. If they want to increase its relavence to the top clubs and wider public, they need to stick it on the BBC, ITVs football coverage is a disaster, and they need to massivly increase the prize money, to champions league equivallence.