Category Archives: Soccer

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Harry Kewell – Brand Self Destruction

Harry Kewell, once the golden boy of Australia, is fast becoming a despised figure in Australian sport. We have loved his work representing his country both at a club and international level in the world of football but the current protracted and ridiculous situation which is developing between Kewell and the A-league is beginning to cause a lot of unease with football fans. Continue reading

Ryan Giggs accused of ANOTHER affair!


Ryan Giggs has once again found himself hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, this time for an alleged extra-marital affair with… Wait for it… His brother’s wife!

A UK-based Sunday tabloid has claimed that the Manchester United Football Club star has finally been busted after and 8-year fling with his 28-year-old sister-in-law, Natasha.

Just months after claims of an affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, the new claims of lies, deceit and betrayal has stunned his adoring fans.

The News Of The World claimed earlier today that the multi-millionaire footballer even spent the night with estate agent Natasha on 9 April 2011. The British tabloid also alleged that Giggs was seeing Natasha behind his wife, Stacey’s back while she was pregnant.

It’s reported that the star footballer frequently met his brother’s wife at various hotels, after first meeting Natasha when she was single almost eight years ago in 2003.

As yet, Giggs hasn’t commented on the scandal and he is believed to be in hiding. We shall await with bated breath to hear more…

DJC

18-month old wins a professional football contract

Dutch football team VVV Venlo has signed an 18 month old toddler to a 10 year contract! The childs name is Baerke van der Meij and VVV  Venlo is the local football team near where he lives and it plays in the top division in the Netherlands. However that is neither here nor there, this is just downright ridiculous! Continue reading

Fernando Torres & Chelsea… A failure?


In three and a half years at Anfield, Fernando Torres achieved more individual glory than anyone has at Liverpool in such a short space of time. There were consistent goals scored, records were broken, and the hearts of the ‘Kop’ were won. In fact, Torres’ debut season netted 24 league goals, a record for a debut season from a foreign player in the premier league. In his second season, Torres scored his 50th goal for the reds in his 84th appearance. When he left Liverpool in January this year, he finished with 81 goals from just 142 matches… An amazing record! Since then however he has played 13 matches for Chelsea and is yet to score a goal,which begs the question… Was Torres worth signing for Chelsea?

There are many reasons as to why he could be struggling at Chelsea, none more so than the 4-3-3 formation Chelsea used to play with. Back then it was Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda playing as attacking wingers, with Didier Drogba up front and this proved to be an extremely successful formula. However now with Torres present, there is simply nowhere to put him without disrupting the overall balance of the team.

Of course, it’s hard to adjust straight away, however it’s now been 3 months and nothing seems to be working for Chelsea. They’re out of the Champions League and the FA Cup, and they certainly won’t win the league this season. Naturally, Chelsea were trying to better their team, but why change a winning formula? It’s in the history of the club.

Examples of this can be seen with the trading of Joe Cole, Michael Ballack, Hernan Crespo, Carlton Cole and then unsuccessfully trying to sign Stephen Gerrard. Furthermore they then wasted €75.2 million on Andriy Shevchenko who scored only 9 goals from 47 matches. In a league which pays ridiculous amounts of money for so-called ‘superstars’, it just proves that money doesn’t mean everything.

Liverpool on the other hand are the winners out of all of this as the £50million they received for Torres allowed them to sign both Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, who have so far proven to be more efficient than the current form of Torres.

So in summary, another failure for Chelsea and if things don’t improve in the few remaining games Chelsea have this season, they may be pressured into cutting their losses and releasing Torres for what would be a significantly smaller amount than the £50m they paid for him.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Should Chelsea trade Torres or should they keep him?

Feel free to share your thoughts or read JW’s latest soccer article on UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play Regulations http://penandpaperblog.org/2011/03/16/uefa-financial-fair-play/

JP

Victory not enough for supporters

After the introduction of the Melbourne Heart into the A-league and the recent “mutual termination” between Melbourne Victory FC and their former coach Ernie Merrick, it is becoming clear that Melbourne Victory’s fans are some of the most expecting and unappreciative in the A-league. Continue reading

UEFA Financial Fair Play

The governing body of European football, UEFA, have recently implemented a new set of regulations that all clubs playing in UEFA sanctioned competitions have to abide by. The Financial Fair Play regulations as they are known require clubs to balance their income against their expenditures so that the club does not accrue debts. There are exemptions to this such as youth programs as well as facility upgrades that would not be taken into account to help develop the club itself, what it will cut down on though is the huge transfer fees and player wages currently being paid across Europe.

The introduction of the new UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations is a timely one, with the increasing debt and exorbitant player wages on offer something needed to be done and quick. Manchester United and Real Madrid have two of the biggest debts in world football of $716m and $296m respectively, yet they are also two of the most successful clubs in world football. They have both taken out huge loans whether it be from the banks or their club owners to be able to pay for player transfers, agent fees and player wages to gain an advantage over their rivals. Implementing these regulations is extremely important for the future of football, although I have one major concern.

After the introduction of these regulations club owners cannot just continue to invest money into the club for player transfer fees out of their own pocket. Fair enough if an owner invests money with the aim to be repaid by the club, that should be tightened, but to punish owners who invest money into a club without the aim of being paid back is wrong. Punishing these owners who obviously care about their club does not help the situation of European football but hinders it with the trickle down effect of large transfers having hugely positive outcomes for clubs all the way down to the bottom leagues due to the trickle down effect.

For example in 2009 Manchester City spent $12m on Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry who then spent $10m on Stewart Downing of Middlesborough in the second division of English football, Middlesborough then spent $350k on Mark Yeates of Colchester United from the third division of English football. This trickle down effect is a massive income for lower league clubs who often sell their players to higher league teams and if owners are not allowed to invest money for transfers without it being considered a loan, it would cripple the lower leagues of European football.

UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations are a necessity to encourage as it says ‘fair play’ between the clubs under their ruling but there are some points that need to be reviewed so that clubs towards the bottom leagues in Europe continue to receive a large part of their income in transfer fees. To put it simply the $350k that Colchester United received from Mark Yeates’ transfer would not have happened unless Manchester City were allowed to have their owner invest money for transfers, and taking that away from a club such as Colchester United would be unfair.

JW