There are sounds and signs around that things are improving – but, beware the false dawn.
Since I started wandering around the by-ways of football in this blog I’ve been moaning about rotational fouling (Wigan are the latest to adopt it), and it is cheery to note that the Great Lord Wenger is now “set” (as they always say in the strange linguistic jungle inhabited by journalists) to “tackle” (ditto) the FA on “tactical fouls”.
Actually I can’t claim any credit (not that I ever would where the Lord Wenger is concerned) but the tactical foul is different from the rotational foul. Tactical fouling just breaks up play and stops free flowing football – we saw it all the way through the Wigan game, and it was undoubtedly why Cesc was looking so miserable by the end of the match.
Adding the rotational element allows players not to be punished since a different player commits each foul.
This report to the FA by our great and glorious leaders comes just as the FA revealed that it has handed over to FIFA 15 cases which involve dodgy transfer deals between English and overseas clubs since January last year.
The problem with such a report is that one has no faith in the FA (and their “Quest” group who “audit transfers”) even to be able to spell Tottenham Hotspur let alone get the facts right. As for FIFA, an organisation riddled throughout its history with corruption and dubious dealings, – how can such an organisation investigate anything? (Mind you it will probably find the FA guilty and ban them for three matches, which would at least be amusing).
The FA are about to tell us what they will do about the fact that fans from all three sides of the West Iceland pitch invaded during the match, and they are still trying to decide if the big fellow who wanders around a bit for Manchester Arab should be hung drawn and quartered for goading Arsenal fans.
And they still won’t explain why they refuse to act on the same man’s attack on Cesc in the Arab / Arsenal game.
Meanwhile, not wanting to be left out, UEFA have now warned the Premier League that it must “face up to its financial responsibilities” whatever that means.
It seems the accumulated losses of the league are too high after it came out that a third of the teams had losses of at least 20% of their income.
That means we are not as bad as Romania, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Poland. On this measure (profit or loss as a percentage of income) France and Germany do well.
The average income per club in the EPL seems to be £122m, while in Germany, Italy and Spain the average is around £75m. Put another way our clubs are bigger and make a bigger cock up of it all. I think we knew that.
UEFA now says clubs must break even on football business by 2012 or be thrown out of something (presumably the Champions League and Europa Cup). The EPL have agreed that any club that gets into a financial mess (which presumably means 80% of them) will be taken over by the EPL and refused the right to buy any players or raise salaries.
Of course this won’t affect the clubs who are owned by individuals who will simply put more money in, temporarily, around the check-up date of March 31, and then take it out again. It is a bit like not getting boozed out of your mind on the night before you see the GP for a check up. Doing so just makes it harder to pretend that you only drink half a glass of wine a night with your meal.
Of course if they did make this really take effect then it would be more interesting…
Here’s a list of just how much Liverpool lost year on year in the transfer market (all figures are pounds sterling)
- 2000: 24.75m
- 2001: 0.46m
- 2002: 13.5m
- 2003: 8.5m
- 2004: 15.75m
- 2005: 20.65m
- 2006: 19.5m
- 2007: 46.75m
- 2008: 19.55m
Now during the course of this spend-spend-spend policy the club were bought by the Americans, and the £350m borrowed from the banks for the purpose of building a new stadium, was immediately used to fund the purchase.
But as we can see that event made no difference to the spending. Indeed the culture of the club in its attempt to win the league for the first time in 20 years is based on this endless waste of money.
We know the banks are demanding £65m a year back. So how will Liverpool survive in the EPL if the owners don’t pump more money in?
In 2009 for the first time this century the club actually earned money in transfers – £7m to be precise. It is a start – but not quite enough to keep the EPL happy.
- So will the FA charge the big guy who runs about a bit with assault on Cesc?
- Will FIFA prove to be a fit and proper agency to investigate dodgy transfers?
- Will the FA take action to stop tactical fouls?
- Will UEFA throw Liverpool Insolvency out of the Champs League?
- Will the EPL sort out club finances?
Sorry, this is football we’re talking about here.
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(c) Tony Attwood 2009
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