2008/09 Soccer Thread in Shock £50m Chelsea Switch! (And Other Ludicrousness)

Obviously they are not in it for profits if they are willing to drop 30m+ for Robinho without even taking his wages into account. The point is where does the squad finish when the owners get bored with injecting transfer funds or wage bills that are impossible to balance. Its a fun ride while it lasts like any Chelsea fan can attest to but to say the future is bright in clear is pretty much a lie because as fast as these guys can come in is as fast as they can leave. That wont be the end of the world either as the loans they give the clubs are 0% never expected to be payed back type so the club would just sink back to its previous money levels and squad quality.

A great short run model but long run just a big ?. Which is the exact opposite of how Arsenal are being operated. The club willingly went into a long term structured debt to build the stadium that pretty much makes them a financial contender for 30+ years. If they want to buy a player they can. To quote the most senior(?) board member Hill-Wood on how he wouldn't even take 100m for Cesc.: "If someone gave us £100m we’d have to pay 40 per cent tax on the damn thing and what the hell are we going to do with the extra £60m?"

Your description of Wengers record in the transfer market while in England is woefully awful. Never knew Arsenal just played with 2 great players in the last 10+ years. Obviously it was TH only who got Arsenal to a CL final and an entire undefeated season. Your Ferguson example is equally bad. He had to wait 2 years for a young player to become the best player in the world and score 42 goals. I'm starting to wonder if your football expectations are by the minute and instead by whole seasons and even careers. I can make equally biased remarks about Cities new owners that they attempted to tap up everyone on the last day.

Walcott vs SWP. Well SWP might never get a cap on the right for England again because of Walcott. Manager must be an idiot of course then.

as for you perceiving that Wenger is complaining and only now its only to appease his own fanbase. Every group of fans have their fair weather supporters and its Wengers way of saying (and doing) that he wont spend for the sake of spending. I will always trust him over the pundits or fans especially of what he think the squad can do. You only need to go back to when 'experts' started talking about how Hleb would be missed when it was fairly obvious to anyone who watched Arsenal consistently last year that he wouldn't be missed and was very replaceable. I questioned him on letting Flamini (loved him last year) and Song is already hinting with only 2 starts in the middle that we might not miss Flamini. As for the central defense that's an entirely different debacle considering Gallas scores more goals then times hes jumped on a defending set piece.

As for Liverpool I'm not defending anything they do from finances or management on the pitch as they might very be the first debacle that is the debt takeover model to fall. At least Ferguson spends to win doubles whereas it seems Benitez spends to be mediocre.

As an aside, The Fiver readers are dead-on about the rumors of Mike Ashley selling Newcastle to a group of Nigerians.

"I, too, have recently received a call from a Nigerian business claiming that they have £350m sitting in a bank account waiting for me. Do you think that Mr Ashley gave them his bank details too?" - Tony Barrie (and 10,057 others).

"Do NVA management really think that Mike Ashley will be stupid enough to fall for the old Nigerians with £350m - need to get the cash out of the country quick scam ... oh hang on" - Neil McQuillan.

"The brilliant irony is that it's the Nigerian scam in reverse - if the Nigerians send Ashley £400m he'll give them a football club. You really couldn't make it up, could you?" - Steve Mitchell.

Well, last report was they were about £50m short of Ashley's valuation (as he has instructed his bankers to sell it for £400m...not quite sure how he's increased its value from the £180m he spent last year, but there you go..).

Having a consortium scratching around down the back of the sofa for the last few quid to buy the club doesn't bode well for future investment for them, which wouldn't be a problem if the squad was good enough. Might be a slight problem there.

Oh, and apparently they'll be bringing the mighty KK back as well...

(settles down with popcorn and beers, waiting for the inevitable car crash)

First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly CONFIDENTIAL and TOP SECRET. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I amassuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. We have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction, as we have been reliably informed of your discreteness and ability in transactions of this nature. Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. I am MIKE ASHLEY ,a director with the Newcastle United Football Club. I came to know of you in my private search for a reliable and reputable person to handle this confidential transaction, which involves the transfer of a huge sum of money to a foreign account requiring maximum confidence.
...

We should totally try that.

UC - that sounds like pass the parcel with a bomb at the end....I'm not sure whether the bomb would be a potential money laundering charge or the fear that when the music stops, the new chairman of Newcastle Utd is me...

Still, I might be more popular than Freddie Sheppard, who was video'd secretly talking about hookers, drugs and calling NU fans idiots for buying the shirts and that women from Newcastle were dogs...strange how that is forgotten by the bulk of the fans.

Well, I took it directly from my spam folder, and thought that those changed names fit perfectly well ;]

Euro 2016 will have 24 teams then. Because UEFA suits are idiots. I can't wait for the 2020 World Cup, when they'll just eliminate qualification altogether and make the goddamn thing take the entire year.

Also, UC, does Poland/Ukraine have any shot at pulling off Euro 2012?

Prederick wrote:

Also, UC, does Poland/Ukraine have any shot at pulling off Euro 2012?

Well, we've been getting a lot of bad press last year, especially from Italians (cause they were candidates too and obviously weren't too happy with losing to some Eastern Europe out-of-middle-ages country), but most of this was made up.
Ukraine however seems to have some problems with stadiums (other than their national stadium in Kiev they don't have anything), but in Poland work on venues seems m'kay: only one stadium is (half-)ready right now, but that's on-plan. We had to prepare four stadiums but we might have six instead (my Krakow/Cracow is one of 'reserve' cities), so if Ukraine stumbles somewhere along the way we could organise most of fixtures in Poland.
Biggest problem right now seems to be infrastructure.

Quite right fellas - this smacks of the same sort of 'vote for me' populism that expanded the WC to 32 teams on Blatter's watch. It will reduce the number of potential hosts, while diluting the attractiveness of the group games by ensuring that at least some will be meaningless.

It also often means that the poor taxpayer of the country involved gets lumbered with a greater number of expensive and often-underutilised stadia....heck, Portugal got left with 3 or 4 really nice but unusable stadia after Euro 2004.

As for Italy, might be worth reminding them that the last international tournament they held (WC 90) led almost directly to a massive kickback and mafia scandal ('Tangentopoli'), a wave of arrests and the murder of two of the country's most senior law enforcement agents....now who's 'out-of-the-middle ages' ?

In related news, Platini's dad (!) has apparently told him to apologise to Arsene Wenger, as apparently Platini Snr was involved in Wenger's early career. In all honesty, Wenger wouldn't have been my first thought for an attack on managers who see footy as a 'business', but there you go.

davet010 wrote:

As for Italy, might be worth reminding them that the last international tournament they held (WC 90) led almost directly to a massive kickback and mafia scandal ('Tangentopoli'), a wave of arrests and the murder of two of the country's most senior law enforcement agents....now who's 'out-of-the-middle ages' ?

Actually they are in no better situation right now, and given that Polish economy is in pretty steady growth I think we're still better candidates.

Prederick wrote:

Euro 2016 will have 24 teams then. Because UEFA suits are idiots. I can't wait for the 2020 World Cup, when they'll just eliminate qualification altogether and make the goddamn thing take the entire year.

Also, UC, does Poland/Ukraine have any shot at pulling off Euro 2012?

What a f*cking joke. One weak Platini is bitching about England the next its about the big clubs the next its about Wenger and totally off base and now the genius completely dilutes the Euro. Cant wait for 2020 when Malta+Luxemburg+Monaco are hosts and get automatic bids.

Great, now Mad Michel Platini has had another bright idea to annoy the domestic football associations and wreck their seasons even more....rebrand the UEFA Cup as the UEFA Europa League (so far, so meaningless). Oh, but the best bit is the format...

48 teams in 12 groups of 4, playing home and away.

Top 2 in each go through, to be joined by the 8 3rd place Chumps League teams in a 32 team knockout.

FFS - how many games is that ? Not seen any mention of prelim rounds before the group stage, but that is ridiculous. There's talk (by the crooks at UEFA, natch) that clubs will get more money as the TV rights will be awarded centrally (err, didn't FIFA try that once, only to have the company go bust with various allegations of an interface between brown envelopes and senior FIFA officials pockets ?). I'd love to pitch that one to the media companies....ooo, buy into the Chumps League Division 2 at inflated prices, and watch 3 months of meaningless group games before the knock out gets going and people actually start to take interest.

Christ, I'm beginning to think that the G14 or whatever they are called now are the model of common sense when compared to this farrago.

davet010 wrote:

watch 3 months of meaningless group games before the knock out gets going and

And CL sides beat crap out of them anyway.

It's utterly insipid, and the answer is obvious and easy, but it'll never happen. Which would be to make the Champions League an actual League for Champions. If you don't win silverware, you don't get in. Simple. Everyone else goes into the UEFA Cup or the UEFA Football Happy Game Time Go Compete Cup or whatever.

Of course, the G14 would completely balk at such a thing and start threatening their Euro Super League again.

Notes From Saturday:

I said Hull would stay up when the season started, I still think Hull will stay up. 2-1 to the Tigers over the Arsenal.

Chelsea are favorites, no questions there.

We wondered if Newcastle would go down last year, we're doing it again this year. Still, I think they will be just good enough to finish 15th and still be crap otherwise.

Bolton are going down.

G14 doesn't exist any more, and its successor is likely to have about 100 members.

UEFA has no interest in turning back the clock to the old European Cup - it sorts out the CL sponsors and TV rights, so guess where a good chunk of the money goes? That's why it's trying to make the UEFA Cup into this ridiculous cut price competition.

Personally, I don't think there will ever be a Euro League. Why ? Because after 2 years, it would become as stale as anything, as you can bet your bottom dollar the clubs involved would want to run it as a franchise system, with no promotion and relegation. You only have to look at the attendances for CL group games now in most places to see that the attraction of playing Rosenberg every season with 3 points on the line to sort out whether you come 14th or 15th is not exactly going to be getting people into the stadia every week.

Watched the Arsenal game, they were dire..and I can't understand why as the first team was almost entirely rested in midweek. Gallas had another shocker, Hull's winner was him snoozing at a corner and not picking up his man.

Newcastle ? Unless they get themselves sorted out, there will be a fire sale in January and their paper thin squad will struggle. And surely they could have done better than Joe Kinnear, tho they dodged a bullet not paying Terry Venables (once disqualified as acting as a company director for 5 years, and described by a High Court judge as 'fundamentally dishonest') £100k a game to manage. Christ, I'd do it for half that, and I probably wouldn't do any worse.

davet010 wrote:

Watched the Arsenal game, they were dire..and I can't understand why as the first team was almost entirely rested in midweek. Gallas had another shocker, Hull's winner was him snoozing at a corner and not picking up his man.

Thankfully I was away from home, shocking defeat.

O Arsenal why do you insist on jerking me back and forth. They dismantle Sheff with the kids 6-0 cant capitalize vs Hull and lose then slam Porto 4-0.

Definitely lacking the consistency for a title run but for a cup run who knows. Seems like on any day they could finish their chances and beat anyone or fall asleep and lose to Fullham/Hull. Awesome swing of consistency for the fans to ride this year. Its going to be a painful roller coaster.

Eboue making stepovers = highlight of the month. (First time he haven't noticed they took ball from him, minutes after that he shot directly at keeper from literally two yards; second time he tried his powahs, I think he slipped)
//it's nice to see that first place we both go to after games is GWJ ;]

Arsenal is going to be SO FUN to watch this year. They're either going to lose games 2-1 and outshoot the opposition 121-2 or win 6-0.

Basically, they're the English version of Barcelona.

Yikes, what a week. Sunderland stuns Arsenal (poor performance, really), Hull stuns Tottenham (which elevates them to third place in league, hooray!), Bolton stuns... Rob Green (see those goals if you haven't), Crouch stuns himself a little bit with that bicycle kick against Stoke (btw: Rory Delap "scored" again) and Liverpool stuns City... Which reminds me to post that delicious quote from two weeks ago:

davet010 wrote:

and Albert Riera was turned down by City when offered for £3m after a loan spell, let alone £8.5m.

I forgot to do UEFA Cup update: Wisla got a draw with Tottenham in a match they should've won at Krakow. We're out with 2-3 in two matches, but it was a good effort overall. Fortunately we still have one team in competition, but they had to beat Austria Wien, so no surprises there.

Prederick wrote:

Basically, they're the English version of Barcelona.

Normally I'd disagree, but this week I just wish they were ;] (anyone saw Barca - Atletico yesterday?)

CANNOT STOP LAUGHING

INSTANT POLL:

Which club has been a bigger punchline this year? Tottenham or Newcastle? Please note, Tottenham have less points at this time of year than... wait for it.... Derby did last year.

Meanwhile, three points in Manchester means Liverpool is tied for the EPL lead. Are they really for real this year?

As far as Barca-Atletico, advantage Messi. Like I remember hearing Sid Lowe say on the Guardian Football Weekly Podcast, when everything goes right for Barca, five goals is the least they'll score.

Prederick wrote:

CANNOT STOP LAUGHING

INSTANT POLL:

Which club has been a bigger punchline this year? Tottenham or Newcastle? Please note, Tottenham have less points at this time of year than... wait for it.... Derby did last year.

Whoa, Derby had FIVE by then!

Prederick wrote:

Meanwhile, three points in Manchester means Liverpool is tied for the EPL lead. Are they really for real this year?

I think that we all got sold on false premise that they will suck anyway, just cause they did last year, they're rooted to that fourth place etc. etc. Some people forgot that every team start new season from scratch. Maybe they've learned their lessons?
(And hey, even Torres didn't helped you this week. 122-107 my way in Fantasy League. That makes it 743-595 ;] Modric? Nasri? Elano? Errr.)

UCRC wrote:

(And hey, even Torres didn't helped you this week. 122-107 my way in Fantasy League. That makes it 743-595 ;] Modric? Nasri? Elano? Errr.)

IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA.

Prederick wrote:
UCRC wrote:

(And hey, even Torres didn't helped (God, I'm a linguistic moron) you this week. 122-107 my way in Fantasy League. That makes it 743-595 ;] Modric? Nasri? Elano? Errr.)

IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA.

And here you are, laughing at Juande.

Do they like the international breaks over in Europe? They must because I loathe them. I don't even know who Portugal is playing or when and I honestly cant get excited or care about qualifying for a tournament that is still just under 2 years away. These breaks really kill the flow of the regular leagues and drive me nuts. Not to mention most of the sites are just plastered with all the English NT news that I could not care one bit about.

Blame Platini and Blatter for expanding tournaments so that every sh*tty team in Europe goes in the qualifiers and we end up with groups of 7.

Ever Sepp 'Brown Paper Envelope' Blatter has criticised his french glove puppet for expanding the Euro 2016 tournament to 24 teams...which means that it takes almost 2 years to whittle down the 53 member nations of UEFA down to the 24 qualifiers.

davet010 wrote:

Ever Sepp 'Brown Paper Envelope' Blatter has criticised his french glove puppet for expanding the Euro 2016 tournament to 24 teams...which means that it takes almost 2 years to whittle down the 53 member nations of UEFA down to the 24 qualifiers.

On the upside, that's even more time for future England managers to figure out whether or not the Lampard-Gerrard midfield axis works.

Hopefully that won't be an issue in 2016........hopefully.

Hooray, Poland - Czech Republic 2-1. Two years ago, on October 11th, 2006, we've beaten Portugal 2-1. It's first time since then we've been playing in similar fashion and win is deserved, with Czechs grabbing late consolation goal in game we've might have won even higher.
btw: Keep your eyes on Kuba Błaszczykowski, Borussia's right-winger. There are rumours floating that Liverpool is willing to pay 6mil quid for him, and with his great assist and goal tonight it sounds like real possibility.

UCRC wrote:

Hooray, Poland - Czech Republic 2-1. Two years ago, on October 11th, 2006, we've beaten Portugal 2-1. It's first time since then we've been playing in similar fashion and win is deserved, with Czechs grabbing late consolation goal in game we've might have won even higher.
btw: Keep your eyes on Kuba Błaszczykowski, Borussia's right-winger. There are rumours floating that Liverpool is willing to pay 6mil quid for him, and with his great assist and goal tonight it sounds like real possibility.

Pah - I bought him for my Glasgow Rangers team in FM 2006. I'm sure he also functioned as a full back in that version.