Football talking points

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Football talking points

Post by Davie on Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:14 am

First topic message reminder :

Rather than hijack the "which team do you support" thread where some of these are being talked about...

Some of the events of the weekend that are getting people talking

1) Mario Balotelli: plenty to say about him in general but specifically the alleged stamp on Scott Parker and his subsequent charge by the FA

2) Lescott's elbow on Kaboul(?) - FA say no charge to answer

3) Conspiracy theories in general about Man City!

4) Wenger's decision to take Chamberlain off and put Arshavin on - and Van Persie's reaction

5) Peter Crouch and the "eye-gouge"

6) Harry Redknapp and the tax-dodging allegations and court case

Discuss!
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Redrage on Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:16 am

All good questions JAS, unlikely that they will ever be answered. I really don't understand how companies can get away with years of flaunting the rules, it is highly frustrating as individuals we don't get even get a month off!
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doc on Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:13 pm

HMRC have a special 'football unit', and have had this in place since the 1st time Luton fell foul of the law, and went into administration. This unit came to the fore when they got sight of the leeds Utd situation. The HMRC Head Of Policy is a statement to the commons select committee on media/sport, said; 'Football is flouting the law, legislation and EU directives. It is being allowed to do this under the auspices and diktat of a gentlemans club (FA) This gentlemans club are allowed to implement their own rules and that cannot be right and proper, especially when the public purse is being used to prop it up. Football is a business just like any other business and therefore should follow the same rules of every other business. HMRC will put 100% effort into every football related infingement, at a cost, but we are determined to bring this to the attention of the public at large'.

You saw only last week how HMRC wasted £8.3m on a 5-year investigation into the dealings of Milan Mandric and Harry, about the Monaco account. Everyone knows what went on there as nobody just gives half a million quid to a mate to invest. This was a 5-year operation involving at least 3 football clubs, and isn't funny how one of those clubs is now going into administration for the 2nd time, since mandric sold it.

Football as a bisiness is a joke, simply because clubs do not make money because players wages are too high. A very average player in the championship (Not premier league) will earn half a million quid per year. It makes no sense at all, and most clubs lose money year after year. We are the only country in the world who allow foriegn ownership. Why do we allow it, when FIFA and EUAFA say it shouldn't be allowed as it opens the door for money laundering and spot gambling rackets abroad. The guys who bought Pompy from Mandric were eastern european nobodies who very quickly ran up huge debts and took the club into administration, but job done as millions of pounds came into the system and went straight out. The next bunch of foriegners did exactly the same. Notts County had the same issue and so have many, many more clubs, and that could also involve another eastern european at Hearts. Why would anyone want to buy a football club as a business when 80%+ of turnover goes out in wages. Yes there will be some owners who do it for vanity etc, but no right minded businessman would do it unless he was a fan of the club, saw tax breaks in his investment. Yes some huge clubs make a slight profit on trading due to worldwide media, marketing, endoresements etc, but without tv money football is dead, and only the top prem teams make plenty of tv cash.

Which other business rewards failure? errr football does. Teams relegated from the premier league are handed parachute payments of £40m. So they earn millions based upon their participation in the premiership, and payments based upon league position. They then go down with a huge sum of money making them strong favourites to come straight back up the following season, so they do it all again. West Brom are a classic case, as they are known as a yoyo club. There business model is based upon this and is very prifitable. But when clubs in the championship are earning say £3m from whats left over from the big Sky table, they are having to compete with usually small clubs who get the same £3m, but have the huge parachute payment making them able to buy players and pay hige wages so that promotion beckons again. Unfair, stupid and killing the game.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Davie on Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:18 pm

Sky are reporting this morning that Craig Whyte has this morning left the country and is in the South of France. The Glaswegians will love that!
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Mercurio on Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:41 pm

JAS wrote:If it weren't for the golf I'd cancel my Sky subscription...

I'm with you, bruvver (although by adding F1 they've added another hook).
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Re: Football talking points

Post by gaelgowfer on Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:05 pm

I would love to know how Craig Whyte thinks the club is going to come back "fitter and stronger"? He's surely taking a lot for granted if he thinks Rangers can walk away from such a huge debt?

Wondering why HMRC ever allowed the club to rack up such a debt in the first place? Things should surely have come to a head long before now? It was apparent to anyone with even a passing interest, the club had no hope of ever re-paying it.

Of course, there is an another dimension here. Should Rangers cease to exist then I fear the sectarianism which was at least contained within 'the football stadium' environment will now spill over into the streets out of sheer frustration. I fear there may be troubled times ahead for Glasgow.

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Re: Football talking points

Post by super_realist on Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:07 pm

Solution is to build a big wall round Glasgow to keep them all in.

Agree though, can't see the team aver being "big" again. Hilarious times.

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Re: Football talking points

Post by Mercurio on Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:23 pm

gaelgowfer wrote:Wondering why HMRC ever allowed the club to rack up such a debt in the first place? Things should surely have come to a head long before now? It was apparent to anyone with even a passing interest, the club had no hope of ever re-paying it.

HMRC would not have knowingly let them build-up such a debt. It will likely have been a year or two after implementation that the EBT planning was put in place that HMRC would have been aware of how much was at stake. These are complicated structures which take time to fully understand. It's not simply a case of someone not paying tax, à la PAYE.

I'm not 100% sure on this but I heard something to suggest that it was not the contingent tax liability on its own that forced HMRC to act yesterday (even though they were ultimately cut off at the pass), but that there was £9m in 'normal' PAYE payments outstanding that was also a factor.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by gaelgowfer on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:05 pm

Complicated indeed. Too complicated for me! Shocked

Thanks for trying anyway Mercurio (and Doc). Laughing

What I've never been able to understand is how a big fish in a very small pond ever thought it could compete (and sustain any success) at european level. The big spending sprees seemed to start in the days of the Dick Advocaat managership and, basically, they never recovered.

Surely, in order to compete with the big boys, you have to have some decent competition at home to keep sharp and it can't be denied that scottish football basically revolves around two teams ... Celtic and Rangers. Indeed, haven't they tried to muscle into the english league system in the past?

Anyway, I hope this event draws some kind of line under football's tax evasion shenanigans if for no other reason than to see british football clubs once more being staffed by british football players.

I know ... fat chance!

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Re: Football talking points

Post by Mercurio on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:09 pm

If there's one good thing that would come out of Scottish Independence it's that any clamour to have the Auld Firm in the English leagues should die.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doc on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:09 pm

HMRC have been on the coat tails of Rangers for a couple of years. The previous regime were forever doing deals with HMRC, to stay just one step ahead of action being taken. They were trying to agree a repayment plan, but whilst that was going on, Whyte and his boys were doing deals in the background, and part of the sale was supposedly an agreement that the tax liability was to go to the previous group, or be written off. HMRC have protested this from day 1 of Whytes new regime which has stimied any football investment, as HMRC had all accounts frozen.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Redrage on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:49 pm

gaelgowfer wrote:I would love to know how Craig Whyte thinks the club is going to come back "fitter and stronger"? He's surely taking a lot for granted if he thinks Rangers can walk away from such a huge debt?

Gael, Whyte has made his personal wealth from reviving ailing businesses by practices like this... he is an opportunist. He knows he can write off most of the debt and once he has, Rangers will be profitable again in a short period of time. They have a large stadium and a huge support, free from the current debt he can invest in the playing side which will in turn keep the fans happy and give him a platform to further profit from. He bought the club for £1!!! Has barely invested another brass button of his own, a debt free business can then be sold on for a lot more than a £1. It won't matter to him whether it is the current Rangers guise or a liquidised and rebranded one.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by BlueCoverman on Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:15 pm

Bloody hell Red...I would have offered £2 if I had known that!
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Redrage on Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:23 pm

BlueCoverman wrote:Bloody hell Red...I would have offered £2 if I had known that!

Given the inadequate due diligence that has taken place in the sale in the first place, you'd have probably been approved!

There were also sorts of conditions with the sale that have not been met and there looks like no recourse on that, it is a hell of a mess.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doc on Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:36 am

Maybe sometime soon football will open its eyes to the real world. Scottish football did exactly what English football did. They built their business models basep upon the assumption that TV rights were a bottomless pot. ITV Digital saw football up north implode and has never recovered since. We knew that Celtic were in financial straits, and then Rangers followed and tried to get out from under the taxman and hey presto.

Can't see it being too long before we see Sky offering less money for the next round of contract talks. Who's going to outbid them? the BBC no way, ESPN, no way. party could be over within a few years and we may see some normailty creep back into wages and tranfers again.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by gaelgowfer on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:17 am

Redrage wrote:
gaelgowfer wrote:I would love to know how Craig Whyte thinks the club is going to come back "fitter and stronger"? He's surely taking a lot for granted if he thinks Rangers can walk away from such a huge debt?

Gael, Whyte has made his personal wealth from reviving ailing businesses by practices like this... he is an opportunist. He knows he can write off most of the debt and once he has, Rangers will be profitable again in a short period of time. They have a large stadium and a huge support, free from the current debt he can invest in the playing side which will in turn keep the fans happy and give him a platform to further profit from. He bought the club for £1!!! Has barely invested another brass button of his own, a debt free business can then be sold on for a lot more than a £1. It won't matter to him whether it is the current Rangers guise or a liquidised and rebranded one.

Redrage ... whilst I've only become recently aware of Whyte's business modus operandi, Murray clearly was when he sold Rangers to him with conditions attached to that £1 sale. Question is, what will Murray do now? A protracted legal pursuit? Not sure if he has the energy for that.

An imbroglio indeed!


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Re: Football talking points

Post by Redrage on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:50 am

gaelgowfer wrote:

Redrage ... whilst I've only become recently aware of Whyte's business modus operandi, Murray clearly was when he sold Rangers to him with conditions attached to that £1 sale. Question is, what will Murray do now? A protracted legal pursuit? Not sure if he has the energy for that.

An imbroglio indeed!


Murray has washed his hands of it, he stated yesterday or the day before than he had no power to reverse the sale. I just hope the SFA or SPL can enforce Whyte to sell by declaring him unfit to own a football club... there is a chance they can do this as he was barred from being a company director for 7 years and failed to disclose this when he submitted an application to the SPL/SFA and has been called an unfit witness in court just last week in his divorce case. The real sticking point is finding another investor soon enough to take us out of administration before the deadline that bars us from competing in Europe next year. Time is the enemy now.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by JAS on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:45 am

gaelgowfer wrote:
What I've never been able to understand is how a big fish in a very small pond ever thought it could compete (and sustain any success) at european level. The big spending sprees seemed to start in the days of the Dick Advocaat managership and, basically, they never recovered.

Gael, they came within goal difference of the 1993 Champions League Final. They also reached the 2008 Uefa Cup Final so in between times it would not be unreasonable to think that given a fair wind they could have competed...indeed Celtic also reached a Uefa Cup final in the intervening period. Of course a fair wind didn't happen, what actually happened was a "4 club wind and driving rain against" as Sky decided to pump extravagant millions into other leagues with higher viewing figures leaving ALL ambitious European clubs not in the big 5 leagues (Spain, Italy, Germany, France and England) in the horns of a horrific dilemma. Like a big risk/reward situation...Rangers basically went driver off the tee and have ended up o.o.b.

There has been the odd exception, most notably the special one's Porto in 2004 who I would hazard a guess will be the last ever Champions league winner from outside the big 5 leagues - unless the current Sky model collapses in spectacular style.

As an aside it's ironic really that Rangers missed out in 1993 to Marseille in very dubious circumstances (Marseille had to win their last group game by 3 clear goals...and they did - to a Russian side that had barely conceded in the other 5 group games) It later transpired that in the same season the French FA uncovered financial payment irregularities relating to Marseilles and referees and stripped them of their French title and relegated them... Uefa however with much the same evidence presented to them did nothing.
Then in 2008 the very man that precipitated the current crisis with (albeit Murray sanctioned) extravagant spending denied them Uefa Cup glory.
As they say...It's a funny old game.


gaelgowfer wrote:
Surely, in order to compete with the big boys, you have to have some decent competition at home to keep sharp and it can't be denied that scottish football basically revolves around two teams ... Celtic and Rangers. Indeed, haven't they tried to muscle into the english league system in the past?

Domestic competition should help in theory but to be honest, the last time they did have genuine domestic competition (during the Ferguson Aberdeen era) both the Old Firm were pretty poor in Europe. To compete with the big boys nowadays you simply have to be given a level financial playing field. In the days when players wages were financed largely from gate receipts the Old Firm could compete and frankly should have done better. Nowadays, TV money (determined by geography) predominately decides who can compete and who cant. When the bottom premiership club gets more than 10 times the domestic TV revenue of the Old firm then the financial model to my mind is grotesquely skewed. Rangers have been caught desperately trying to bridge the gap on the increasingly more desperate never never. In the current football climate it does make one wonder where a re-emergent Rangers will dare to set it's ambitions.


gaelgowfer wrote:
Anyway, I hope this event draws some kind of line under football's tax evasion shenanigans if for no other reason than to see british football clubs once more being staffed by british football players.

I know ... fat chance!

Correct, Fat chance, I think this'll be the tip of the Tax Evasion iceberg
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Redrage on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:37 am

Funny you should mention Porto, Jas. They have amassed £348m in transfer fees since they won the CL. It just shows that with good scouting and the right employment and immigration law, you don't need Sky (but it sure helps!).

They really are in quite a unique position though, they are the gateway to European football for a number of South America's brightest talents, they have have the right language and culture to make the transition quite easy (for the Brazillians at least and not such jump for the rest), even with Sky money Glasgow would struggle to compete with that!
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Re: Football talking points

Post by gaelgowfer on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:57 pm

Apparently, Craig Whyte had been banned from company directorship when he took over Rangers. Question is, will the footballing authorities/laws of the land turn a blind eye and do nowt?

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Re: Football talking points

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:23 pm

Different subject as quite frankly Scottish football bores me rigid, I even resent having to listen to the results on a Saturday.
Should Wenger walk. Has he been a great manager....yes. Is the performance of Arsenal over the past few years shocking for a club of their size.....yes.
Arsenal have a wonderful stadium, a huge following and as Londons biggest club they should have been able to kick on and become a global brand. Instead they are going backwards, if Van Persie doesnt re sign...and if I was him it wouldnt cross my mind to do so, he's 28 and of the worlds best trikers. he wants to win things........they arent much better than mid table.
Sometimes relationships just run their course, I think is whats happened here. Arsenal need a new start and so I believe does Wenger, he is just too stubborn to admit it. This should be one of those occasions where a parting doenst have to be acrimonious, he should be an Arsenal legend and nobody have any bad feelings.
Of course it wont happen but I really think that it should.






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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doc on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:43 pm

gaelgowfer wrote:Apparently, Craig Whyte had been banned from company directorship when he took over Rangers. Question is, will the footballing authorities/laws of the land turn a blind eye and do nowt?

This is one of the other major issues within football, the so called 'fit and proper rule'. Portsmouth at the moment are in administration for the 2nd time in 2-years. The FL are now saying the last people who bought the club lied to them about loads of things. Well, so much for due dilligence. There are countless owners/directors of football clubs who have history and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a business of any description. Whyte is another classic case, and even last week his testimony in a court case was dismissed as according to the judge he was an unreliable witness.

There was recently a bloke who wanted to buy Mansfield Town, and he was trying to change the name of the club to Brookside Utd' or something like that. The name of a tv soap,as he thought he would get more fans ..... The Chesterfield owners for years ran the club like a personal fiefedom. The owned the ground and charged the club a huge ammount each month which took all the money out of the club. They had executive boxes which were plush and had 100 free tickets to every game. They sold the club and carried on with the old arrangement, and then decided to sell the ground ...... The crazy yank who ruined Wrexham, Chester City are all just a bunch of property developers who come in and sel the ground for a supermarket, and then wind the club up .... Until recently the owner of Darlington for many years was a convicted cat burglur. Peter Ridsdale at Leeds Utd broke the club, but went to Barnsley and nearly broke them. He then went to Cardiff and had debts of £80m because of his dealings and then begged the fans to buy season tickets early so he could buy players for next season. The money he got from the fans went to pay off interest on debt, and then he did a deal to sell the club and only just managed to get out before HMRC had him again. Torquay Utd was his next port of call and almost killed them and then on to Plymouth where he was going to buy the club for £1 and sell the ground, disaster for them and now he's at Preston, will the FL never learn. The people Gold and Sullivan sold Birmingham to were wanted felons in the Far East, one wanted for murder and the rest for racketeering and extortion. They got out fast and sold to a another joker who has milked the club of the parachute payments. The guys at Derby County a couple of seasons ago stripped the club of season ticket cash and parachute payments almost breaking the club. All 3 directors werefound guilty of fraud and got some cell time. ken Bates and his well known 'smoke and mirrors' company, ripped off a Chelsea director called Matthew Harding while he was dead. Harding made a bequest to the club which Bates used to finance Chelsea village, he then went on to seel the club to Abramovitch, but through some dodgy dealing and bad due dilligence the Russian bought everything but the ground, because Bates moved the ground under another offshore company called Chelsea Sporting. To get the ground another £60m was paid. To allow football to carry on being a cash cow and self perpetuating for a few, every rule in the book is broken. We all complain about FIFA and the autocratic, dodgy way its managed, but people need to peer underneath the shit tip that is UK football

Don't forget that the first big owner of man City was Shinawatra, who raped his country and laundered his wealth through the club. Had to sell again because his country wanted him back to go to jail ....
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Re: Football talking points

Post by gaelgowfer on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:04 pm

<gulp> Shocked

"Not a lot" one can say after that Doc. Laughing

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Re: Football talking points

Post by BlueCoverman on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:09 pm

You certainly know your stuff on this subject Doc.

I shall be handing over my cash for my season tickets with a little less enthusiasm in future.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:17 pm

Its pretty horrendous, then again I also think people get far too wrapped up in the politics of football.
Football fans are very precious about what happens to their clubs, but they dont own the clubs in the vast majority of instances. If someone buys a club and wants to rename it then thats up to them, the fans dont have to carry on going if they dont want to. Same story with stadiums, in the past people would never dream that so many precious fields of dreams could be given new corporate names....but they have and its just a matter of course now, unless you happen to be a thick bleating Geordie of course.
And the fact is that most large corprations in the UK do not want to pay tax and spend millions on avoiding paying even more millions. I blame the Torys personally.....for everything.


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Re: Football talking points

Post by Davie on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:18 pm

@Diggers - certainly not a good time to be an Arsenal fan. Last night was pretty embarrassing though it must be said AC Milan were VERY good.

Having said that, you don't expect Arsenal to capitulate as badly as they did.

I've long said that I didn't want Wenger to go (partly because I couldn't see a suitable successor) but it's getting to the point where I think, as you say, the relationship is coming to an end
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Re: Football talking points

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:24 pm

Ive got a lot of time for Wenger and Arsenal Davie and have probably seen more games at Highbury and the Emirates than a lot of gooners as I get free tickets every now and then, but I just think its time for a change.
That said you will probably thrash us in the Cup this week and Ill look like a right idiot.

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Re: Football talking points

Post by MustPuttBetter on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:36 pm

Digs, good question re Arsenal. It was all over TalkSport and 606 last night that Wenger should be moving on, or be moved on! (he won't quit).
Personally, i'm not sure. As you say, Wenger has done incredible things for Arsenal. Should he have done better over the last 6 or 7 years? Yes definitely. Could Arsenal benefit from some freshening up? Yes definitely. Will they be able to replace Wenger with someone better? No, i doubt it. Take Wenger out of the equation and is there a chance they could fall to bits and really be a mid table side? Yes definitely!

I think last night's result is a bit of an irrelevance. Arsenal weren't good true but you can't ditch Wenger on the back of one poor away performance in the San Siro against a Milan side who were miles better than i thought they would be.
Arsenal played a very high line, obviously thinking that Milan were a slow side, and they got that wrong. Milan were in behind them 10 times in the first 30 mins!
But that's just one game. Gees, Spurs lost 5-1 to City at the start of the season and they're doing okay.

I personally think Arsenal would do better overhauling the board than changing the manager. Wenger to his credit continues to bring quality players through at Arsenal. Fabragas, van Persie, Wilshire, Clichy, Kolo Toure, Nasri, Ramsey, Lassana Diarra and so on.
All quality players and the ones who have been sold have gone on to bigger and better things. Arsenal's problem is not bringing in/through good players, it's keeping them and that's more the board not paying the money than Wenger i think

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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doc on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:55 pm

Diggers, Davie, gael:

I listened with interest last night to a former director of Celtic, who was on the one hand loving the problems at Rangers, but on the other he was worried. He knew that the SPL without Rangers would make a mockery (More than it is now) of the SPL with Celtic guaranteed to win. he mentioned that since ITV Digital the big players are no longer in Scotland and even the best club players are only championship standard down here. He was asked about a foriegn owner buying Rangers and said it could happen, but why would they when they could buy a much smaller club in England and earn more ..... he said the Rangers problems stemmed back to Murray in the 90's as he 'stole' the club for a pittance, but got the Rangers fans behind him because he said that for very pound that Celtic spent he would spend two pound. And so he did and was in real-terms doing Peter Ridsdale 'living the dream', for far too many years, and chickens have now come home to roost. He did say one thing that I agree with, which goes against Diggers earlier post. He said when someone comes in to buy a club, they must firstly think about the team and secondly the business. The team has to come first as your customers are from the local community and they understand the history and traditions of the club, and the way the club is enmeshed within the local society. If a new owner puts his business head on he will want to build the club externally first, which neglects the team and if the team go backwards, the fans will stop coming which impacts revenues etc, etc, etc. Thats exactly whats happening at Leeds now as bates spends £7m redeveloping a part of the ground that nobody will use, and on a property he doesn't own. No players coming in, only the best players sold to fund his property development portfolio .... result, mass walk out and protests by fans, gate reciepts falling.

Arsenal have had a brilliant business model and Wenger has been brilliant. The gooners decided against getting into a pissing war with the manchester clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea and built the Emirates to increase revenue streams, whilst bringing on young talent from home and abroad. Wenger had to reign back the temptation of spending big, so went for some players who were less well known, but with potential. The plan worked as the Emirates revenues improved and the business stabalised and stayed in the black, with a very bright future ahead. One problem however reached a climax last year, which was player contracts. A classic case of leaving things too late, as a few top players were all coming up to renewal at the same time. The Spaniard who captained the club should have been sold to Barcelona the season before for a huge price, but Wenger dug in his heels and kept him, knowing that he would only get one more season out of him before he could walk on a free transfer. The extra year would also devalue the player significantly because he would be in the final year. The kid was out injured for most of the season, so with hindsight it made sense to sell and reap the huge finacial benefit. It didn't happen and they lost out, plus the other players who were in the final year, had had their heads turned by the likes of City and hey presto a bunch of your best players leave at the same time. Wenger then forced into a supermarket sweep trying to replace them, and that would never work. So Arsenal are 12-months behind where they expected to be. Was it Wenger to blame or tyhe board for the contract issues. I don't think this would have happened if David Dein were still there, so the board must be culpable, with a bit of Wenger, but I'm not close to Arsenal so not sure.

One of the things that Ridsdale would have got right at Leeds and nearly happened was a new stadium. Leeds finished 5th and therefore diodn't get into the champions league, so the wheels fell off and we all know what happened. If however we had have finished 4th, Elland Road (With all its history) was to be sold for development, making the club financially safe for years to come. A new stadium would be built just down the road for free by Coca Cola, yes it would be known as the Coca Cola stadium but so what, a free home for the club ....
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Re: Football talking points

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:57 pm

What does better mean in a manager though? When Wenger came in people had doubts about him, which he proved wrong. If a good manager comes in and gets some support...and some money.....then I dont see any reason why they cant do well.
I think Arsenal need to accept that if they want to be a top club, which I think they do, then they are going to have to flash the cash in transfers and wages. They have the lure of being in London and as I said a great history and tradition so the players shoudl want to come.
Could it go wrong, for sure, but Arsenal have been treading water for years now, for far too long IMO. The fact is that if you look at the Spurs squads and the Arsenal squads then Spurs are much stronger in pretty much all areas. Its not about one result, its about stagnation of the club.
But you are right, he wont quit.



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Re: Football talking points

Post by Mercurio on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:13 pm

There are too many professional football clubs in both England and Wales.

Professional clubs should be based on regions, other than where big cities can accommodate more than one club.

Bristol should have one club.

Sheffield should have one club

Middlesbrough, Darlington and Hartlepool should be one club.

Football is a terrible model for anything.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by MustPuttBetter on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:15 pm

Arsenal have stagnated, completely agree

But if we are agreed that their issue is needing more investment to catch up with the Manchester sides, Chelsea and Spurs - would they not be better off leaving Wenger in place and giving him that money (to spend on players, not Harry Redknapp style)?

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Re: Football talking points

Post by MustPuttBetter on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:17 pm

Merc, i've heard people say that before but local rivalries are what make football what it is a lot of the time. Gives fans their identity etc.
Take that away and i don't think it would be as popular a sport

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Re: Football talking points

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:21 pm

I also dont think the number of clubs is an issue personally. There should be enough money in football to go around, its just poorly allocated and spent.
I dont see why the lower leagues need to be full time professionals, semi pro certainly for League 2 and maybe League 1. And they need to cut the salaries for the Premiership and Championship.
I also think the stadium requirements for football clubs to be in the football league are OTT. You mention Darlington, they have a ludicrous stadium for a club of their size and tradition. Maybe they thought build it and they will come...well they didnt and its been a disaster.
None of this will happen of course.


Last edited by diggers on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Football talking points

Post by BlueCoverman on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:21 pm

Fancy an amalgamation between Rovers and City then Mary?... Innocent
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Re: Football talking points

Post by MustPuttBetter on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:26 pm

Your point re stadium requirements is spot on. I hate it when you see these big grounds with 5,000 people in them.

I watch Woking play a lot. They're in the Conference South these days and the better half of their playing staff are still full time. That's ludicrous.
What happens is, instead of the best of the part time players, they attract the 18 year olds the likes of Palace and Reading don't want coming in on loan. The loans are only ever 6 months and these guys don't want to be at Woking. Does not add up to much of a side. They are changing that and are doing ok this year but if promoted they will struggle in the Conference proper next year

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Re: Football talking points

Post by BlueCoverman on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:46 pm

Agree MPB, a new stadium does not always move the club forward that much.

I watch Col U, our old ground at Layer Road was admittedly a bit of a shite hole, but the atmosphere we used to create in it was fantastic. Our first year in the Championship we had a run of 11 consecutive wins against much bigger clubs, whose well paid 'stars' couldn't cope with vociferous supporters right in their faces and dressing rooms the size of box rooms.

Our new Weston Homes Community Stadium (rolls off the tongue doesn't it!) is a big, modern, good looking design just off the A12. Rarely is it half full, very little atmosphere created at all.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Mercurio on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:40 am

MustPuttBetter wrote:Merc, i've heard people say that before but local rivalries are what make football what it is a lot of the time. Gives fans their identity etc.
Take that away and i don't think it would be as popular a sport

The older I get, the sillier I see 'rivalries', in particular, the more explosive rivalries.

It's a negative trait to be bothered about a rival. There are so many fans who are more anti-rivals than pro their own team. It's sad.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by MustPuttBetter on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:07 am

Merc whilst that's very Miyamoto Musashi of you, many poeple enjoy rivalries and as long as it's not taken too far i don't see what's sad about that

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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doc on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:09 am

Merc, the psyche of the UK individual is won of someone who needs to belong to something, or join something. It could be that you grow up on an estate and you have an affiliation with that estate over and above everything else - gang culture. Exactly the same thing with football clubs, the forces as theres inter service rivalries and indeed inter regiment tribes and when you see the so=called grown-ups in Westminster at PMQ's you just have to laugh
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Re: Football talking points

Post by diggers on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:12 am

Personally I love a Barca v Real or a Man Utd v Liverpool or Spurs v Arsenal. Even for a neutral they are great games as the players are fired up to win it for the fans.
I garee some of the hatred can go way overboard, messageboards dont help to be honest as they exagerate it. But not everything on the boards is rubbish, plenty of fans get on and enjoy a rivalry at the same time.
Rivalry and competition and passion is a big part of what makes sport interesting for me, if I dont care about who Im watching I get bored pretty quickly.

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Re: Football talking points

Post by diggers on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:15 am

Doc wrote:Merc, the psyche of the UK individual is won of someone who needs to belong to something, or join something. It could be that you grow up on an estate and you have an affiliation with that estate over and above everything else - gang culture. Exactly the same thing with football clubs, the forces as theres inter service rivalries and indeed inter regiment tribes and when you see the so=called grown-ups in Westminster at PMQ's you just have to laugh

Why do you think this is a UK thing Doc, as far as I can see its a global thing. You dont get it through sports in the States but gangs are much bigger, in South America the rivalry between clubs and fans makes ours look toytown by comparison. Holland, Germany, France, Spain...all exactly the same.

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Re: Football talking points

Post by BlueCoverman on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:20 am

There are exceptions, but in the main I think there is pretty much a kind of mutual respect between football supporters, especially in the leagues that are outside of the Premiership. Not sure that the same can be said for the grown-ups in Westminster!
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Re: Football talking points

Post by diggers on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:26 am

At the end of the day a bloke has a duty to support a football team, if only so he has something to talk to another bloke he doesnt really know. Football is the get out of jail card. I never really trust a bloke who says he doesnt like football, or even worse sport at all.

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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doc on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:38 am

Diggers you're probably right on both counts, and although my own club fell off a cliff recently, the one thing that all the fans agree on, was that it was great visiting clubs like Hereford, Port Vale etc, when we were in League 1. It was a breath of fresh air and was just like football rivalry used to be. Even in the championship we are seeing some odd places and have a great rapor with the home fans and to be fair the home club fill the ground on the day as they want to see their team beat us. Because we take so many fans on the road, we always get applauded by the home fans because of the behaviour and how we outsing them. Its good craic, but would still prefer to be in the premiership - suppose thats just a glory thing though.

Maybe the way for football to survive in this country is by having the premiership split into 2 divisions, because in real terms it is now. Super rich then everyone else, with around 5 teams who are only struggling to stay up. The championship split into 2 divisions and all the rest split into area divisions and part time. This would save countless costs on massive journeys to away fixtures ....
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Mercurio on Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:13 am

MustPuttBetter wrote:Merc whilst that's very Miyamoto Musashi of you, many poeple enjoy rivalries and as long as it's not taken too far i don't see what's sad about that

I wasn't saying well-mannered rivalries are sad.

I was saying fans who are more 'anti-rivals' than 'pro-their own team' are sad.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doon the Water on Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:15 am

I have said for years that clubs should amalgamate. Bristol, Dundee, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Inverness, Inner city London, Manchester and Glasgow just for starters.

The Scottish structure is plum crazy.
Former first minister Henry McLeish came upwith some first class proposals in his receint review. Nearly all of the football fans agree with him but there is a distinct ' tanks on lawns' problem when push comes to shove.

Not unusual for Scotland
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doon the Water on Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:15 am

Just realised that I had missed out the NE of England.

Probably have to amalgamate Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesborough to make a decent team there.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Doon the Water on Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:43 am

Interesting that Rangers owe four SPL club's money.

Biggest fee is £1.5m to Hearts for full back Lee Wallace.
This could be quite an interesting scenario with the SPL as Rangers have taken a very good player from another club without making payment.
Hearts debt that HMRC were chasing hard represented a third of the money owed by Rangers.

It is possible that Hearts could have been put into administartion by Rangers not paying for a player they 'bought' 6 months ago.
Big can of worms.
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Mercurio on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:14 am

I've just turned the Premier League darts on and saw someone waving a card saying:

I ilu HMRC


I knew it must be at a Scottish venue straightway. It is - Aberdeen Laughing
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Re: Football talking points

Post by Redrage on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:27 am

Doon the Water wrote:Interesting that Rangers owe four SPL club's money.

Biggest fee is £1.5m to Hearts for full back Lee Wallace.
This could be quite an interesting scenario with the SPL as Rangers have taken a very good player from another club without making payment.
Hearts debt that HMRC were chasing hard represented a third of the money owed by Rangers.

It is possible that Hearts could have been put into administartion by Rangers not paying for a player they 'bought' 6 months ago.
Big can of worms.

It is only £800000 that Hearts are due (still could be crucial given the way Romanov is). The crazy thing about that is we didn't need a left back and got completely held to ransom for a player with a year left on his contract. We really should have waited for his contract to run out

The most annoying thing I heard today was that the administrators said there was no chance of liquidation based on the evidence they had and administration should have been avoided.
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Re: Football talking points

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