View Full Version : Soccernomics

31-08-12, 01:07 AM
A few days ago Oz posted a statement taken from a book called "Soccernomics".

I have always been fascinated by both the data and economics side of football so I decided to order it and cut long story short, got it today and read the first chapter. It was quite interesting and I thought I share some of their insights in here too and perhaps get a little discussion going.

The book starts with "How to avoid silly mistakes in the transfer market" and you guessed it, it takes Liverpool FC as a case study.

First of all, they shone some light on transfer fees vs. high wages. The result was quite astonishing. They studied 40 English clubs between 1978 and 1997 and found out that the net transfer outlay (fees paid minus fees received) only explained 16% of their total variation in league position. Although that figure is likely to be higher these days, it won't be as high as the correlation between wages and league position. All EPL and Championship clubs got researched between 1991 - 2010. Wage spending explained 87% of the variation in league position.

Nevertheless, onto Liverpool. They examined their spending from 1998 - 2010, the Houllier / Benitez eras.
One of their strangest transfers was buying Robbie Keane from Tottenham for 20m and selling him back to them only 6 months later at a loss of over 6mil. From an economic standpoint, this is beyond belief.
All in all, in Benitez's 6 years at Liverpool, they had spent 122m! more than what they had received. United's net spend was 27m in those years. They won 3 league titles during that time compared to Pool's 0. Arsenal even made a 27m profit during that period.
Funnily enough, from 2005 - 2009 Liverpool outspent Chelsea on transfer fees.


The answer is rather obvious. Spend more on wages for the great players currently at your club than risk losing some of them and splash the money on spectacular and expensive replacements. Had Benitez in his 6 years at Pool balanced out his transfer spendings, he could have had over 20m pounds more to spend on wages yearly.
Considering some of the most consistent Pool players were homegrown (Gerrard, Owen, Carragher) or rather cheap (Hyypiä), you might as well have burned the money than spending on the likes of Keane and Diouf and most recently Carroll, Downing etc.

Football clubs need to make fewer transfer. The transfer market is still the easiest and quickest way to improve your squad. You do however have a high failure rate and in the long run, it isn't sustainable. The transfer market in itself is mainly inefficient. This however gives opportunities for some clubs to sell high, spend wisely and therfore outperform others. Arsenal around 2000 is one example. Olympique Lyon during the time of their record-breaking 6 consecutive league wins between 2002 - 2008 is another one. Newcastle these days probably might turn out to be the present one if they can keep up their recent performances.

Having money is no guarantee of success. The skill is spending it on the right players.

31-08-12, 01:47 AM
Great thread Pat, just a shame none of this matters to clubs who are run with oil money.

It's an interesting point about how clubs should spend more on wages. Arsenal's wage bill is almost double that of Spurs, but Spurs constanly outspent arsenal in the transfer market, yet never finish above the enemy.

31-08-12, 05:34 AM
david murray would have done well to read this :lol:

31-08-12, 02:55 PM
Whenever somebody gets sacked and the board appoints a new manager, lots of money is being spent.

A new manager wants to make the team their own and therefore buy lots of player which suit his style and sell others which don't, usually at a loss. There are countless examples of this. Back in 2000, Spurs smashed their previous record transfer fee by almost double and got Sergei Rebrov from Kiev.
Only 9 months later the manager who wanted Rebrov, George Graham, was sacked by a new Spurs Board. In came Glenn Hoddle who didn't seem to be the biggest fan of the Ukrainian striker. Rebrov got benched due to poor form, later loaned out to Fenerbahce and finally, in 2004, moved to West Ham on a free after his contract at Spurs expired. Rebrov was never going to set the EPL alight but the change of managers hurt him quite a lot.

Another more recent example is Andy Carroll, Liverpool's most expensive signing ever. He struggled at Pool but seemed to do a bit better towards the end of the season. This didn't help him though as Liverpool appointed a new manager in Brendan Rodgers. Carroll plays no role in Rodger's plans and is now being loaned out to West Ham with an option to buy for 17m pounds next season. He originally cost 35m.


A new manager is always allowed to buy and sell almost whoever he likes since it's presumed that he is reshaping the club for many years to come. The reality however is much different and managers are most likely to leave before the contract expires, be it by being sacked or by moving to a different club.
A manager doesn't care how much money the club loses. He doesn't benefit from the team having a balanced and healthy spending habit.
It is quite strange that the person who has access to the greatest expenditure in the business has no risk in decision-making. Even when he is getting sacked prematurely, he'll still get his paycheck.

There are a few exceptions however. Most notably Arsene Wenger who runs the football club like it's his own business and he is going to own it for another while.

31-08-12, 03:18 PM
Read an article before than even though there are a few different major shareholders and board members at Arsenal, Wenger has say from top to bottom. Something in his contract gives him leeway that no other manager has (cant rem exactly what). In fairness to him, he doesn't sell many that go on to be overly better than when they were at Arsenal. Majority of players (not all) he's sold are agents turning a players head to more money somewhere else. And I guess with the sums players are on, football becomes secondary to lot of them.

31-08-12, 03:27 PM
In fairness to him, he doesn't sell many that go on to be overly better than when they were at Arsenal.

Exactly. That was mentioned too. He likes to sell his stars while there is still some value left in them. He sold Viera at age 29, Henry at age 29, Overmars at age 27, Petit at age 29 etc. None of them did better after leaving Arsenal.

31-08-12, 03:37 PM
Personally they probably achieve a bit more which is why a few will say they moved in the 1st place. Clichy, Toure (he's been muck), Nasri all won a league title last season. Fabregas will win titles at Barca. Henry wasn't better but won a UCL and 2 La Ligas (not that he wasn't in a successful period at Arsenal).

But yeah, on the whole the players haven't gone on as players to any better performance.

I think Arsenal would implode without him. Song cost 2.5m, sold for 15m. Probably covered lifetime wages plus a bit of profit.

31-08-12, 04:09 PM
Arsenal are being run perfectly business-wise, but they haven't won anything in years and they won't any time soon. Since oil magnates, sheiks and banks giving huge credits to clubs have distorted football, it's become apparent you need to splash out the money to win something.
It would be fine for Arsenal if they weren't a club with a glorious history and a cabinet full of trophies. You can't just go from winning trophies on a regular basis to what Arsenal are becoming today.

31-08-12, 04:26 PM
I think that's where Newcastle running a similar policy could be hugely effective given they crave the success but haven't had it where as Arsenal had it but over spent on a new stadium. Should Newcastle become a mainstay of the top 4 after a few years, a lot of clubs may follow suit. Even the clubs owned by guys with seemingly endless resources may go that way. The likes of Portsmouth, Malaga, Piacenze and to a small extent, City under the Thai lad, are proof that a spending only policy isn't sustainable. Even Abramovich has stopped going this way and has put in huge amount of work to make the club somewhat profitable (not by selling players, more the coporate side of things). Given last years CL win, their fan base should pick up (young Chelsea fans here are probably now 3rd most after Man Utd and Liverpool) to allow them long term to veer away from being bankrolled mostly by Abramovichs money.

31-08-12, 09:49 PM
Key example of Wenger selling them at the right time, Alexandr Hleb got released by BATE today, what a career gone to shit since he left the Emirates

31-08-12, 10:31 PM
Arsenal are being run perfectly business-wise, but they haven't won anything in years and they won't any time soon. Since oil magnates, sheiks and banks giving huge credits to clubs have distorted football, it's become apparent you need to splash out the money to win something.
It would be fine for Arsenal if they weren't a club with a glorious history and a cabinet full of trophies. You can't just go from winning trophies on a regular basis to what Arsenal are becoming today.

Since 1995/96 Arsenal have always been in the top 4. Amidst all the spending that goes on around them, that is an incredible display of consistency. Of course they won't be challenging for the title but you can't really blame them considering they have spent 300-400m less than some other clubs in recent years. Imagine Wenger having that money. Crazy.

Look at them this year. They spent about 34mil pounds on Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud combined. That is crazy for EPL-Standard. They sold an injury-prone 29-year old striker with only year left on his contract for very good money. RVP will still be fine for United but let's be honest, it's unlikely that he will ever have such a great season again as last year.
They sold Song for almost 5 times the money they got him for. He is a good player and still relatively young but far from irreplacable.

Wenger got an economics degree from the university of straßbourg and it shows. If he gets an offer for a player over market value and he thinks the player is unlikely to improve heaps in the future he sells him. He won't be right every time but i bet he will be more often than not.

01-09-12, 08:30 AM
I'm not disputing any of what you said above, it's just that it means fuck all for Arsenal fans. A big trophy is nowhere to be seen for a club of such rich history. For a club like that, trophies are what counts, not 3rd and 4th places in EPL or quarterfinals in CL.

01-09-12, 09:16 AM
Strange to think who different Arsenal would be and how they would be viewed if they didn't implode 2 seasons ago. Beat Birmingham in the League Cup, they likely do the double and probably retain Nasri and Clichy (Fabregas would have gone anyhow) and possibly Van Persie

01-09-12, 11:28 AM
I'm not disputing any of what you said above, it's just that it means fuck all for Arsenal fans. A big trophy is nowhere to be seen for a club of such rich history. For a club like that, trophies are what counts, not 3rd and 4th places in EPL or quarterfinals in CL.

I know what you are saying and agree with it but they can't do anything about that. Maybe they should have never build the stadium, who knows.

Strange to think who different Arsenal would be and how they would be viewed if they didn't implode 2 seasons ago. Beat Birmingham in the League Cup, they likely do the double and probably retain Nasri and Clichy (Fabregas would have gone anyhow) and possibly Van Persie

Oh yes. I even think if United had won the league last season, they wouldnt have gone for rvp either.

01-09-12, 11:59 AM
Sure how different would history be if Chelsea didn't get their cash injection?
Chelsea signed a lot of quality players. Some where Man Utd targets (Robben, Essien), some were Arsenal targets (Diarra). Hell they even poached Cole. So Chelsea's domestic success was down to weakening their rivals by not allowing them to strengthen, and meanwhile buying whoever they could. Arsenal weathered that storm and along came City... Look at all the players that left for City. Anyway, getting back to the topic and moreso the Keane transfer. This was IMO a tactical purchase as demonstrated by Chelsea.

Liverpool were trying to compete with the biggest club in England (Utd), the richest club in England (Chelsea) and the best run club in England (Arsenal) so 4th was pretty much their's but an Aston Villa side managed by Martin O' Neill and a resurgent Spurs side under Harry Redknapp were knocking on the door. So we had a summer of speculation involving Robbie Keane and Gareth Barry. Both players form Liverpool's rivals for 4th. Both club captains.

Anyway, are tactical transfers included in soccernomics? :D

01-09-12, 01:15 PM
the cases themselves are more interesting than the economics involved, PL is so UNeconomic it's ridiculous. I've never understood why players aren't valued according to the size of their contracts (monthly wage*months left on contract) but I guess that's just another way in which football today is fucked up.

01-09-12, 01:37 PM
At the same time swedish, if a player has a small contract but makes the first XI at Hull, he is worth more to Hull than (€4000 * 12* 2) £96000. I agree there should be some basis on the worth of a player. I thought the Kevin Doyle to Wolves deal was a bit much as I was thinking, is he gonna help them the 3 or 4 places better that they would need to finish to get the prize money (that would cancel out the transfer fee), and that's before wages/signing on fee (how is a signing on fee even involved?!?) are taken into consideration. Money from SKY and the inclusion of agents have made the financial side so much more complicated and expensive. Selling clubs more often than not have to give a loyalty bonus to a player who hasn't asked to be sold as opposed one who handed in a transfer request, and clubs will add on that fee to the selling price. Player power and agent influence is ridiculous. The Harry Kewell deal (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2407449/Leeds-fury-as-Kewell-pockets-4m.html) to Liverpool was disgraceful.

01-09-12, 02:02 PM
Liverpool were trying to compete with the biggest club in England (Utd), the richest club in England (Chelsea) and the best run club in England (Arsenal) so 4th was pretty much their's but an Aston Villa side managed by Martin O' Neill and a resurgent Spurs side under Harry Redknapp were knocking on the door. So we had a summer of speculation involving Robbie Keane and Gareth Barry. Both players form Liverpool's rivals for 4th. Both club captains.

Anyway, are tactical transfers included in soccernomics? :D

I see what you mean but if that is the case you don't sell him back 6 months later for half the price. That is only weakening you.

Bayern has often been accused of that as well. Especially in the early 2000s when Leverkusen was at the top of their game reaching the CL Final and almost winning the league had it not been for a loss on the last game day against lowly Unterhaching.
Didn't take long and they lost Lucio, Ze Roberto and Ballack to Bayern.

01-09-12, 02:09 PM
What chance do teams without rich owners have these days?

The likes of Benfica and Valencia try and build something and what happens? the big clubs come in.

Coentrao, Luiz, Ramires, Garcia and Di Maria in the last couple of years have been sold.

Same case for Valencia really, the likes of Silva, Mata, Villa etc just to name a few.

I know these clubs have had some financial problems but just using them as an example of being forced to sell their best players and start from scratch. Don't expect Europes elite to be changing anytime soon.

Such a shame.

01-09-12, 06:46 PM
I see what you mean but if that is the case you don't sell him back 6 months later for half the price. That is only weakening you.

Yeah, but the fact it was clear that Rafa wasn't gonna play him as he was after Barry, it was time to cut their loses. Boardroom politics came into play there.

But yeah good example with Bayern though, I wouldn't have been aware of that. At the same time, those players improved the squad as opposed to being benchwarmers, yes?

01-09-12, 07:07 PM
Lucio, Ze Roberto, Ballack of course all improved the squad. They were brilliant players, even after their Bayern time. But yes, it's undeniable that Leverkusen got much weaker because we bought their best player. Robert Kovac is another one we bought from Leverkusen.

Had a cracking squad at the time. Kahn, Sagnol, Lizarazu, Lucio, Ballack, Scholl, Frings, Jeremies, Ze Roberto, Hargreaves, Deisler, Salihamidzic, Makaay etc.

01-09-12, 07:11 PM
Hargreaves being the best ofcourse :P

01-09-12, 07:14 PM
Hargreaves was a great player while at Bayern. In hindsight we made one of the best deals in club history when we sold him to United in 07. The injuries slowly kept getting more and more at the end of his Bayern stay but United still decided to buy him for almost 20mil.

01-09-12, 07:22 PM
Yeah you got rid at the perfect time. He was one of our only good performers in the 2006 world cup. Quality, quality player.

01-09-12, 07:48 PM
The worst time to buy a player is when he has just done well at a tournament. Everyone has seen how great he is and that is driving up his price.
In reality though he is most likely tired and might be even a bit sated with his recent success. On top of that you are judging him on a very small sample of games.
All this is hardly top secret and most clubs would know about it. Nevertheless, some teams still decide to go for those players.

In 1992, Arsenal bought Danish midfielder John Jensen. Jensen scored an amazing goal a few weeks earlier in the EC Final against Germany which Denmark won.
George Graham, Arsenal manager at the time, told the British press that Jensen was a great goal-scoring midfielder who will be a good addition to the team. Unfortunately he was everything but. His desperate attempts to score a goal became famous and even earned him a questionable cult hero status at Anfield. All in all, he managed to score one goal in 4 years.
In the end it turned out that the Jensen purchase might have been partly motivated by a dodgy scheme Graham was running. Nevertheless, most people bought his story about this great midfielder who is so dangerous in front of goal at the time since all they remembered was that great goal of his at the Euro.


Don't be overly influenced by performances which just happened. In today's age, the media will celebrate every player who just had a great month of football and he will be massively overvalued. What a guy did last is not necessarily what he would next.

01-09-12, 08:53 PM
Here is nice article for Liverpool fans:


01-09-12, 09:00 PM
What chance do teams without rich owners have these days?

The likes of Benfica and Valencia try and build something and what happens? the big clubs come in.

Coentrao, Luiz, Ramires, Garcia and Di Maria in the last couple of years have been sold.

Same case for Valencia really, the likes of Silva, Mata, Villa etc just to name a few.

I know these clubs have had some financial problems but just using them as an example of being forced to sell their best players and start from scratch. Don't expect Europes elite to be changing anytime soon.

Such a shame.

the likes of Benfica? Benfica is a massive club coys :ok:
do portugese teams still have the unfair advantage of being able to field a team full of brazlillians? im sure htey used to be able to field more non eu players than other leagues? in fact does anybody have a list of who can field what or is it all the same throughout europe now?

01-09-12, 09:02 PM
Poborsky was a great of example of that last point Pat. Thst chip at the Euro's was pretty much why he was bought

01-09-12, 09:04 PM
I always thought it was the other way round in Portugal Beez? that they were restricted to how many foreigners they could have. Probably wrong though.

Never said Benfica weren't a big club mate :ok:

01-09-12, 09:05 PM
What chance do teams without rich owners have these days?

The likes of Benfica and Valencia try and build something and what happens? the big clubs come in.

Coentrao, Luiz, Ramires, Garcia and Di Maria in the last couple of years have been sold.

Same case for Valencia really, the likes of Silva, Mata, Villa etc just to name a few.

I know these clubs have had some financial problems but just using them as an example of being forced to sell their best players and start from scratch. Don't expect Europes elite to be changing anytime soon.

Such a shame.

that won't happen as long tournaments are geared to suit the fat cats coys, in 100 years from now it could still be the same, it's boring now, what will it be like then?
and before the usual suspects jump down my throat and accuse me of celtic having some sort of divine right to this or that, this is about all clubs having the chance to grow and progress :ok:

01-09-12, 09:07 PM
I always thought it was the other way round in Portugal Beez? that they were restricted to how many foreigners they could have. Probably wrong though.

Never said Benfica weren't a big club mate :ok:

i thought they used to have loads of foreign players? maybe clay or luis can say for sure?
im sure benfica have the most members in the world? quite fancy that as my away trip in the CL, toss up between that and barca, but been to barca before so would like something new :ok:

03-09-12, 04:36 PM
No other team in the world signed as many players based on the media and public opinion as Real Madrid. The club's supporters demanded star signings and Florentino Perez delivered. His signings were marketing gifts to fans, sponsors and the media.

While they enjoyed success marketing-wise, the "Galacticos" project eventually failed football-wise. Real neglected strengthening their defense (signings like Gravesen, Woodgate, Samuel, Cicinho etc. all flopped). Players were also picked according to reputation and marketing potential and not according to form or performances. This all and more led to Real not winning a trophy between 2003 - 2006.

Real also signed a vast number of shooting stars during that time. Most of them failed however with Anelka, Owen, Julio Baptista leading that list.


Buying a big name is a way of saying "Yes, we are a big club." It also gives supporters a thrill of expectations, a feeling that their team is going somewhere which is for some as much fun as actually winning trophies.
Spectacular transfers cost a fortune and rarely bring commensurate reward. This doesn't bother teams like Real much though. They ain't a business; they are a populist democracy. Few football clubs are on a quest for return of initial investment.

03-09-12, 07:45 PM
On the subject of tactical soccernomics, Chelsea do spring to mind again, but for an earlier example than has already been mentioned. Way back in 2003/04, when Champions League qualification was something Chelsea could far from take for granted the way they would nowadays, they were competing with Charlton Athletic for third place, with Arsenal and United occupying the top two, and they went and bought Scott Parker from Charlton. Charlton themselves struggled from then on and slipped to seventh by the season end, while Chelsea ended up overtaking United and finished in second, effectively without Parker, who they shelled out £10million for just to be a bench warmer!

Poborsky was a great of example of that last point Pat. Thst chip at the Euro's was pretty much why he was bought
I was just thinking of him, Jordi Cruyff too! Having said that though, I still believe (and I've said this a few times on here) that Poborsky was just very unlucky, timing-wise. He came to Old Trafford at exactly the time David Beckham was emerging and making himself pretty-much undroppable. If not for Beckham and Poborsky's own work permit difficulties, I still believe he could've been a good player for United. The aforementioned Cruyff on the other hand, he was just embarrassingly bad!

03-09-12, 09:19 PM
Poborsky had a decent career after United. Filled out a bit and used his drive to become a solid hard working MC

04-09-12, 04:18 PM
American goalkeeper Kasey Keller once said the following about this issue:

“Giovanni van Bronckhorst is the best example. He went from Rangers to Arsenal, failed there, and then where he did he go? To Barcelona! You have to be a Dutchman to do that. An American would have been sent straight back to DC United.”

The most “fashionable” nationality of all is by far Brazilian. The phrase “Brazilian football player” is like the phrase “French Chef”. The nationality expresses an authority, an innate vocation for the job – whatever the natural ability.

A Brazilian agent told Alex Bellos, author of the book “Futebol – A Brazilian way of life”: “It’s sad to say but it’s much easier to sell a crap Brazilian than a brilliant Mexican.”


Clubs will always pay more for a player from a fashionable football country. A wise club will buy unfashionable nationalities at a discount.

04-09-12, 04:29 PM
The Argies are a bit like that too.

On Soccerway - players listed abroad

Brazil - 1690

Argentina - 950

France - 800 (top Euro)

Ghana - 300 (top African)

04-09-12, 05:29 PM
That's painfully true. When a Croatian club brings in a Brazilian, the media rave even if that player is a lazy, untalented prick. He's Brazilian so he must be amazing by default.

05-09-12, 10:20 AM
More than anyone else in their day, Brian Clough and his right hand man Peter Taylor succeeded in gaming the transfer market. As in all good couples, each partner had an assigned role. It’s said that Taylor had the eyes and the ears, Clough the stomach and the balls.

A few coups of Clough / Taylor:

- Buying Gary Birtles from non-league Long Eaton for £2,000 in 1976 and selling him to United four years later for £1.25m. A measure of what good deal that was for Forest: United paid more for Birtles than for Cantona 12 years later. Birtles was sold back to Forest 2 years later for a quarter of the initial fee.

- Buying Kenny Burns from Birmingham City for £150,000 in 1977. Taylor writes in his autobiography that Burns was then regarded as a fighting, hard-drinking gambler; a stone overweight. In 1978 Burns was voted the league’s player of the year.

- Buying Roy Keane for £47,000 in 1990 and selling him to United 3 years later for £3.75 million, then a British record fee.

If there was one club where almost every penny spent on transfers bought results, it was Forest under Clough. The correlation was off the charts. Forest won 2 European Cups with a team assembled largely for peanuts (though they also made a few big transfers like Peter Shilton).
Even in 1982 – 1992, in Clough’s declining years after Taylor had left him, Forest performed as well on the field as clubs that were spending twice as much on wages. Clough had broken the usually iron link between wages and league position.


It’s hard to identify all of Clough’s and Taylor’s transfer secrets which saw a little provincial club transform into a shooting star but a few have been named in Taylor’s autobiography “With Clough by Taylor”

1. It’s as important in football as it is in the stock market to sell at the right time. A manager should always be looking for signs of disintegration in a winning side and then sell the players responsible before their deterioration is notice by possible buyers. The moment when a player reaches the top of his particular hill is like the moment the stock market peaks. Clough and Taylor were always trying to gauge that moment, and sell. In 1981, just after Burns had won everything with Forest, he was offloaded to Birmingham City for £400,000.

2. Taylor noted that older players are overrated and were actually reaching their peak at a younger age than most people had thought. The master of that trade for many years in recent times was Arsene Wenger. All players are melting blocks of ice. The job of the club is to gauge how fast they are melting and to get rid of them before they turn into expensive puddles of water. Wenger often lets defender carry on until their mid-thirties but sells midfielders and forwards much younger (as noted before Viera, Overmars, Henry, Petit and perhaps to some extent even RVP)

3. Taylor spent a lot of time trying to identify players (like Burns) whom others had wrongly undervalued due to surface characteristics. They then bought those players with personal problems at a discount and helped them with their problems. Clough and Taylor empathized with troubled players.
This might sound obvious but the usual attitude in football is “We paid a lot of money for you, now get on with it”, as if mental illness, addiction or homesickness should not exist above a certain level of income.

05-09-12, 10:34 AM
I love this thread, I'm glad I started it :D.

Might have to buy this book myself now pat, really enjoying the excerpts, particularly the Clough/Taylor 1. Blocks of ice, fucking awesome:ok::ok::ok:!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

05-09-12, 11:17 AM
I thank you mate. It's brilliant. I have to hold myself back reading it cuz otherwise I get too far behind in the excerpts. Can only recommend it.

08-09-12, 12:21 PM
Premier League ponders salary cap or financial fair play as new cash looms

The Premier League is considering the introduction of rules to control escalating player wages before the huge influx of cash from the next television deals in 2013-16. Potential rules presented to the clubs by the chief executive, Richard Scudamore, at a meeting in London on Thursday include a salary cap or a form of Uefa's financial fair play rules.

Some clubs feel strongly that the new TV deal, with £3bn already secured from the UK rights, should not be swallowed up by a new wave of pay inflation. But any rule change requires 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs to agree and it is not clear whether sufficient clubs will be in favour of strengthening financial regulations.

Manchester United and Arsenal, both of whom made profits in 2010-11, are understood to favour rules similar to Uefa's, which require clubs to move towards breaking even financially, not making losses. On Thursday Arsène Wenger supported that view, the Arsenal manager saying: "You should just get the resources you generate, that will determine the real size of the club."

However, some clubs see that as a move by the two with the greatest income to outspend everyone else. Manchester City, whose path to becoming Premier League champions has been achieved by the club's Abu Dhabi owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, subsidising huge losses, are thought unlikely to support new regulations, even though they have consistently said they are aiming to break even. City argue that a level of investment by an owner to bankroll losses is necessary to lift a club to success on the field and commercially.

Other clubs, including Fulham, Everton, West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur, are also understood to question whether clubs need new regulations, rather than being trusted to manage their own affairs.

Despite income rising every year, pay to players has risen steadily over the past decade. In 2001-02, clubs spent £1.1bn, 62% of their income, on players' wages. In 2010-11, the most recent year for which financial figures are available, income grew to £2.5bn but players' wages amounted to £1.8bn, 70% of the clubs' turnover. Despite massive commercial growth and the Premier League's growing popularity abroad, only eight of the 20 clubs made a profit in 2010-11.

West Ham United's chairman, David Gold, is vocally in favour of introducing rules to limit wages to help clubs make a profit, as is Dave Whelan, the Wigan Athletic owner. Peter Coates, the Stoke City owner, said all clubs would be helped by having to conform to agreed rules.

"I hope this view is widely shared: we cannot have all the new money going in inflated wages and payments to agents," Coates said. "There is no need to do that; we will have the same players, they won't get better because we pay them more. It should not be beyond us to find a formula which works for us all."

Ellis Short, the owner and chairman of Sunderland, who lost £8m last year having spent 77% of the club's income in wages, is understood to favour restricting salary increases to 10% in each of the new TV deal's three years.

The clubs have agreed to work on the proposals in two separate groups of 10, then for all 20 to meet to consider the issue in detail at the end of September. The Premier League did not want to comment in detail until further work has been done; a spokesman confirmed: "There is a process under way to examine potential further financial regulation."


That would be the best thing happening to EPL ever!!!!!!!!

09-09-12, 01:09 PM
Clough and Taylor understood that many transfers fail because of a player’s problems off the field. In a surprising number of cases, these problems are the product of the transfer itself.

Moving to a job in another city is always stressful, moving to another country is even more so. An uprooted football player has to find a home and a new life for his family, and gain some grasp of the social rules of his new country. Yet European clubs that pay millions of pounds for foreign players are often unwilling to spend a few thousand more to help him settle. Instead the clubs typically tell them “Here’s a plane ticket, come over and play brilliantly from day one. The player fails to adjust to the new country, underperforms and the transfer fee is wasted. Relocation has long been one of the biggest inefficiencies in the transfer market.

One of the greatest failed relocations was Nicolas Anelka’s to Real Madrid in 1999. Real had spent £22.3 million buying him from Arsenal. The club then spent nothing on helping him adjust. On day one the shy, awkward twenty-year-old reported to work and found that there was nobody to show him around. He hadn’t even been assigned a locker in the dressing room. Several times that morning, he would take a locker that seemed to be unused, only for another player to walk in and claim it. Anelka also had problems with teammates, wasn't an easy character in the first place and never managed to adjust. He left Real after only one season. The club seems to have taken the strange view that Anelka’s salaray should determine his behaviour. That was foolish though. If you spend £22m on a young immature employee, it is bad management to make him look after himself. Wenger at Arsenal knew that, and he had Anelka on the field scoring goals.

A similar case was Didier Drogba at Chelsea. For weeks he lived in a hotel room and went house hunting after practice. The club didn’t help him.
He said: “I plunged into problems linked to my situation as an expatriate. We sometimes laughed about it with Gallas, Kezman, Makelele and Geremi. 'You too, you’re still living in a hotel?' After all these worries, I didn’t feel like integrating at Chelsea or multiplying my efforts."

Even a player with a normal personality can find emigration tricky. Sometimes it’s also not a problem of the player adapting. A lot of times it’s the family adapting.


Boudewijn Zenden once said the following:

“It’s the weirdest thing ever that you can actually buy a player for £20mil and then don’t do anything to make him feel at home. The first thing you should do is get him a mobile phone and a house. Get him a school for the kids, get something for the missus, get a teacher in for both of them straightaway, because everything goes with the language."

Most clubs in the EPL now have “player liaison officers”, football code for relocation consultants. Yet some clubs continue to ignore relocation. One player liaison officer said: “Some very well-known managers have said to me they can’t understand why you can possibly need it. They have said: ‘Well, when I moved to a foreign country as a player, I had to do it myself.’ Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. You probably had to clean your boots too but nobody does that now.”

Kenny Dalglish's Smile
12-09-12, 06:30 PM
All in all, in Benitez's 6 years at Liverpool, they had spent 122m! more than what they had received.

I also have an interest in the Soccernomics concept, but the book is full of dubious information like that. According to LFCHistory.net the Net spend is more like £70M over 6 seasons, which doesn't sound so unreasonable. There is also no accounting for other aspects such as building from a position of strength (Utd) usually comes cheaper, or that moving from say 3rd to 1st almost certainly costs a lot more that moving up from say 17th to 7th. Kuyper loves to bang on about Lyon, but at the moment they tried to make the final push - from CL decent side to being truly competitive - it all fell apart from them, and the strategy for managing transfers didn't work anymore. Also, Utd's spend is massively skewed by one transfer. As a data set you wouldn't count it as typical for that reason.

Arsenal's remaining competitive-ish while building a ground is pretty amazing. There is the nagging doubt that it is AGES since they won anything, though, and there is a conversation to be had about whether winning things is what has real value to fans, rather than finishing 3rd every year.

12-09-12, 06:55 PM
They quoted an article from The Sunday Times. Besides, transfermarkt got similar figures. So quite frankly, where those 50m went on the Liverpool page is more dubious than matching figures from separate sources.

The Lyon subject will be next. You can't compare them at all though to Liverpool. They'd prolly have won 5 CL's on the bounce had they had your kind of money.

Kenny Dalglish's Smile
14-09-12, 03:35 PM
OK, but let's put loyalties aside here so that it doesn't obscure the bigger point, which is that what Kuyper presents is very interesting, but it is only one part of a more complicated scenario. None of the most successful sides of recent times practice 'Soccernomics' in the way he presents it. Doesn't that tell us something?

21-09-12, 05:46 PM
Until about 2000, Lyon was known as the birthplace of cinema and nouvelle cuisine, but not as a football team. It was too bourgeois. If you wanted football, you drove thirty-five miles down the highway to gritty proletarian Saint-Etienne.

In 1987 Olympique Lyon was playing in France’s second division on an annual budget of 1.5m pounds. From 2002 through 2008, OL ruled French football. The club’s ascent is in large part a story of the international transfer market. Better than any other club in Europe, for a while Lyon worked out how to play the market.

Back then, even the local Lyonnais didn’t care much about “les Gones”. The club barely had a personality, whereas St-Etienne was the “miners’ club” that had suffered tragic defeats on great European nights in the 70s.

Jean-Michael Aulas, a local software entrepreneur, was appointed president in 1987 and he choose local boy Raymond Domenech to be Lyon’s manger. In Domenech’s first season OL finished top of the second division without losing a game. Right after that it qualified for Europe.

Aulas’s theme is that over time, the more money a club makes, the more matches it will win, and the more matches it wins, the more money it will make. The more matches you win, the more you attract fans as well (and thus more money again).

In a 2008 survey, Lyon emerged as the country’s most popular club just ahead of Olympique Marseille. This popularity was a phenomenon. In 2002, when Lyon first became champions of France, the overriding emotion towards the club had still been “whatever”. But as the club won the title every year from 2002 through 2008 – the longest period of domination by any club in any of Europe’s five biggest national leagues ever – many French fans began to care about them.
Aulas said: “We will invest better than Chelsea or Real Madrid. We will make different strategic choices. For instance, we won’t try to have the best team on paper in terms of brand. We will have the best teams relative to our investment.

Here are Lyon’s rules of the transfer market:

1. Use the wisdom of crowds:

When Lyon is thinking of signing a player, a group of men sits down to debate the transfer. Aulas is there and so is Bernard Lacombe, a former forward for Lyon and France, and for most of the past 20 years the club’s technical director. Lacombe is known for having the best pair of eyes in French football. He coached Lyon from 1997 – 2000 but Aulas figured out that if you have someone with his knack for spotting the right transfer, you want to keep him at the club forever rather than make his job contingent on 4 lost matches. Whoever happens to be Lyon’s head coach at the time sits in on the meeting too, and so will 4 or 5 other coaches. If you aggregate many different opinions from a diverse group of people, you are much more likely to arrive at the best opinion than if you just listen to one specialist.

However, the typical decision-making model in English football is not “wisdom of the crowds” but short-term dictatorship. At most clubs the manager gets to decide everything until he is sacked. Then the next manager clears out his predecessor’s signings at a discount.

Lyon never has expensive signings rotting on the bench. It never has revolutions at all. It understands that the manager is only a temp. OL won its seven consecutive titles with 4 different managers – Jacques Santini, Paul Le Guen, Gérard Houllier and Alain Perrin. When a manager leaves Lyon, not much changes. No matter who happens to be sitting on the bench, the team always plays much the same brand of attacking football.

A big secret of a successful club is stability. In Lyon the stability is not with the manager, but with the sports director, Lacombe.

2. The best time to buy a player is when he is in his early twenties.

Aulas says “We buy young players with potential who are considered the best in their country, between 20 and 22 years old.” How good you are at seventeen or eighteen is a poor predictor of how good you will become as an adult. When a player is that young there is still too little information to judge him.

Brilliant teenagers tend to soon disappear afterward. Here are a few winners of the Golden Ball for best player at the U17 World Cup in the last 25 years: Philip Osundo of Nigeria, Willam de OIiveira of Brazil, Nii Lamptey of Ghana, Scottish goalkeeper James Will, and Mohammed al-Kathiri of Oman.
(To add more recent ones: 2009 - Sani Emmanuel; 2001 - Florent Sinama-Pongolle. There were also a few like Fabregas and Kroos who turned out decent. It's just that overall you are more likely to get an average player than a world star. You can go back and do the same with top scorers. Nobody of international class there in the last 10 years, even Vela failed in the end.)
Once upon a time they must have all been brilliant, but none of them made it as adults. The most famous case of a teenager who flamed out is Freddy Adu, who at fourteen was the next Pele and Maradona.

Only a handful of world-class players in each generation – Pele, Maradona, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi – reach the top by the age of eighteen. Most players get there considerably later. Almost all defenders and goalkeepers do. You can be confident of their potential only when they are more mature.
Lyon always tries to avoid paying a premium for a star player’s “name”. Here it is lucky to be a club from a quiet town. Its placid supporters and local media don’t demand stars. Most other clubs are always being pushed by their fans to buy stars. Happy is the club that has no need for heroes.
Lyon was free to buy young unknowns like Michael Essien, Florent Malouda, or Mahamadou Diarra just because they were good. And unknowns accept modest salaries. In the 2007-08 season, Lyon spent only 31% of its budget on player’s pay. The average in the EPL was about double that. Like Clough’s Forest, Lyon for many years performed the magic trick of winning things without paying silly salaries.

3. Try not to buy center forwards

Center forward is the most overpriced position in the transfer market. Goalkeeper is the most underpriced (even though keepers have longer careers than outfield players).

4. Help your foreign signings relocate

All sorts of Brazilians have passed through Lyon: Sonny Anderson (their only expensive CF signing in more than a decade), Chris, the long-time club captain, future internationals Juninho and Fred; and the world champion Edmilson. Most were barely known when they joined the club. They don’t select players just for their quality but for their ability to adapt. After they signed them, it makes sure they settle. Didier Drogba noted: “At Lyon, a translator takes care of the Brazilians, helps them to find a house, get their bearings, tries to reduce as much as possible the negative effects of moving… Even at a place the caliber of Chelsea, that didn’t exist.

Lyon’s “translator” who works full-time for the club, sorts out the players’ homesickness, bank accounts, nouvelle cuisine and whatever else. Other people at the club teach the newcomers Lyon’s culture: no stars or show-offs. By concentrating on Brazilians, the club can offer them a tailor-made relocation service. Almost all the other foreign players Lyon buys speak French.

5. Sell any player if another club offers more than he is worth.

If an offer for a player is greatly superior to his market value, you must not keep him. Lyon never gets sentimental about players. They know that sooner or later its best players will attract somebody else’s attention. Because the club expects to sell them, it replaces them even before they go. That avoids a transition period or a panic purchase. Aulas explains “We will replace the player in the squad six months or a year before. So when Michael Essien goes to Chelsea, we already have a certain number of players ready to replace him.

Before Essien’s transfer, Aulas spent weeks proclaiming that Ghanaian was “untransferable”. He always says that when he is about to transfer a player, because it drives up the price. In his words, “Every international at Lyon is untransferable. Until the offer surpasses by far the amount we had expected.”

21-09-12, 05:56 PM
brilliant :)

21-09-12, 06:07 PM
Makes so much sense. Even though keeping these types of ideas to themselves might be more profitable given the last quote hardly holds as much weight anymore.

There are a few clubs in England with this mentality nowadays I'd imagine but not many - Arsenal, Swansea, Wigan.

21-09-12, 06:17 PM
Still Lyon keeps this transfer thing till now. Amazing.

Much more reasonable than what sugar daddy clubs do nowadays ;).

Pretty much what Man Utd and others did back in the days too :(. But now, big names only matter :/.

21-09-12, 06:19 PM
Makes so much sense. Even though keeping these types of ideas to themselves might be more profitable given the last quote hardly holds as much weight anymore.


of course it's never gonna go like that endlessly. people will copy you eventually, some of your transfers don't work out and there will be a few years where you ain't successful. nevertheless, i don't think they'll turn into an average club again. they already got a lot of talent playing regularily with lacazette, grenier, fofana and if you go even younger with umtiti and benzia.

either way, they have been impressive in the last decade. always reached the CL and i believe also always survived the group stage there (and even reaching the semi-final in 2010)
they started well this season with 4 wins and 1 draw despite losing lloris, cissokho, chris, källström, mensah and edilson. that's massive for a club their size.

21-09-12, 06:35 PM
In fairness, out of those, only Lloris should be a big loss to them. All the rest are very inconsistent and Cris is 35. Plus I think I'd prefer the replacements to the guys leaving any day, some of those guys are going to be at the very top in the next 5 years.

They are probably paying out quiet a bit more than before so a dip was always likely to happen but of course they will come good again. They are now a big club (whether they like it or not) so they will be able to draw the best younger talent for years to come.

Their UCL success is phenomenal indeed.

21-09-12, 08:58 PM
3. Try not to buy center forwards

Something tells me the Liverpool owners have been reading this book.

23-09-12, 01:47 PM
There’s one other kind of mastery of the transfer market to discuss: abstinence. Some clubs – notably Barcelona for most of this century – understand the inefficiencies of the transfer market and therefore avoid buying players wherever possible.

In 2009, Joan Oliver, Barcelona’s then CEO told us that Barca’s aim was “to have one of the best, perhaps the best, team in the world, without spending X million on players. The image of that is the final in Rome this year with a team of seven players from our academy. The total acquisition cost of our team has been something below 70m €." (In 2011 Barca again won the CL final after starting with seven homegrown players.)

Barca used to spend a lot of money on players in the past as well but in 2003, under President Laporta, the club began to make greater use of its peculiar profile. Barca presents itself as “the unarmed army of Catalonia.” That image means a lot to the club’s fans. It means they are as happy to see local boys like Sergio Busquets (son of a Barca goalkeeper) or Gerard Pique (grandson of a Barca director) break into the team as they are to see a foreign star brandishing his new shirts. And so Barcelona discovered that it could please its fans by avoiding transfers and bringing in kids instead. The club’s manager, Pep Guardiola, has been praised for his willingness to throw teenagers into the first team, but he could do it because the crowd supported the policy. The club academy, La Masia, is not only an economic strategy but also part of the identity. Growing its own players boosts Barcelona’s brand, and the brand makes the club money.

There’s another advantage to shunning the transfer market, Oliver believes. He calls it the “one-second rule.” The success of a move on the pitch is decided in less than a second. If a player needs a few extra fractions of a second to work out where his teammate is going, because he doesn’t know the other guy’s game well, the move will usually break down. You can therefore lose a match in less than a second. A corollary of that, Oliver thinks, is that a new signing is likely to underperform in his first season. The new man is still working out what his role in the team is, and what everyone else is trying to do. That means that if you do buy a player, it’s only worth it if you keep him around for the longer.

All this sounds easy to say when things are going well, however, Barcelona in recent years has largely stuck to these principles, even in bad times. After the failed 2007-08 season, when another club might have loaded up on stars, Barcelona did buy Dani Alves but it also sold two of its biggest names, Ronaldinho and Deco. When the club does buy, it rightly tends to focus on “top ten” players, men who are arguably among the best footballers on earth, such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Villa, Fabregas etc. Those players cost a lot, but the risk of their failing is small. Part of being one of the best footballers on earth, is that you perform almost whatever the circumstances.

“The problem with the football business,” said Oliver, “is that usually it is managed with very, very short-term goals. After a bad year, it’s very difficult not to fall in the temptation of buying a lot of people. Clubs spend irrationally and compulsively on players. And that’s very difficult to restrain. You have always the temptation of thinking that if you buy two or three players, perhaps you will reverse the situation.”

I'd probably extend that top10 part a bit. What I like about Barca is that they are not blindly buying as many world stars as possible. If we look at this season, they needed a DL cuz of Abidal's sickness and bought homegrown Jordi Alba. They saw the need in defensive midfield and them being the team with the most through balls played in Europe, they bought Alex Song who played the most through-balls in the EPL last season i.e. fitting their style.

They always buy 1 or 2 great players a season based on their need but never stockpile like City, Chelsea etc.

23-09-12, 04:00 PM
"one-second rule" main reason for Ibrahimovic's failure - even if he started ok.

23-09-12, 04:31 PM
Ibrahimović just doesn't fit the pass-and-move strategy. Also, his ego is enormous, while there don't seem to be others like that at Barcelona. It's no wonder he didn't fit imo.

23-09-12, 04:34 PM
9 in 7 so far for PSG. He'll get totally different service there from Nene, Menez and Pastore than what he'd have gotten at Barca where his aerial power was totally wasted.

23-09-12, 04:40 PM
9 in 7 so far for PSG. He'll get totally different service there from Nene, Menez and Pastore than what he'd have gotten at Barca where his aerial power was totally wasted.

Barcelona just refuse to employ strong and powerful strikers and that cost them both titles last season, especially in CL where it was painfully obvious they needed someone strong to battle Chelsea in their box. Granted, "strong and powerful" usually means "slow" and thus inadequate for tiki-taka, but they should have someone like that as a backup option, a different kind of weapon. On the off night Messi misses a penalty and the opposition defends well, you lose the CL title if you have no plan B.

23-09-12, 04:55 PM
Disagree a lot on CL last year, 4 times hitting the woodwork over 2 games they absolutely controlled cost them more than not having a target man. Someone a clinical as Villa not being there when Messi is having a 'bad day' was probably more costly.

Patching up the defence with a DMC as a DC and a DC as an LB cost the us the league. Pique and Puyol only started 17 and 23 of the 38 league games last season. The Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal defence is awesome when it's settled and all there but bar Alves most of the other 3 weren't there. Thankfully Alba will now balance up the defence in Abidal's absense

A good start over Real is going to be telling at the end of the season imo, as they don't seem to be confident of the supposed future superstar defenders in the reserves and B team and instead will use 3 DMC's (Busquets, Masch, Song) as cover to Pique and Puyol again this season.

23-09-12, 05:13 PM
They were extremely unlucky, yeah, but I still think a target man would have helped immensely, especially without Terry at Camp Nou.

They still insist on using DMC on DC positions because there are few available ball-playing defenders out there. That's got to be their reasoning, otherwise it doesn't make any sense, especially now when they again have problems with injuries at the back.

23-09-12, 05:19 PM
Oh for sure it's the reason but when DMC's need to defend as DC's it's when the problems occur. It only works when you are always attacking but becomes a bad policy when the pressure is on. Decent strikers find a poor defenders weakness pretty quickly so any decent supply at all was turning the defence to rubble ridiculously easy in some games, even ones they were totally dominant in.

24-09-12, 11:51 AM
"Big Business"

Few people have heard of the corporation Titanium Metals. It was founded in 1950 and now mostly supplies the aerospace industry. TIMET had a hard time in the financial crisis, and is one of the very smallest companies in the S&P500. In 2010 it had revenues of $857m and operating income of $121m. TIMET is not a big business. For comparison: in 2010, oil gigan Exxon had revenues that were more than 400x bigger.

But Titanium Metals is a much larger business than any football club on earth. Every year the world's richest clubs get ranked. For the 2009/10 season, Real Madrid led the league with revenues of €438m. That's a tidy sum, but still below TIMET's revenues, and barely 0.2% the size of Exxon's.
To put it very starkly, Finnish financial analyst Matias Möttölä calculates that in term of revenue, Real Madrid would only be the 132nd largest company in Finland.

Whichever way you measure it, no football club is a big business. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd are dwarfed by Titanium Metals.
As for the rest, Alex Fynn noted in the 90s that the average EPL club had about the same revenue as a British supermarket - not a chain of supermarkets, but one single large Tesco store. Football clubs have grown since and in 2008 the average EPL cub had a turnover of about $150m, compared with $100m for the average Tesco. However, since Tesco has hundreds of supermarkets, the average take of the twenty largest was probably still much larger than that of the average EPL club. And unlike most clubs, Tesco actually makes a profit.

This feels like contradiction. We all know that football is huge. Some of the most famous people on earth are football players and the WC final is generally the most watched television programme in history. Nonetheless, football clubs are puny businesses. This is partly a problem of what economists call appropriability: football clubs can't make money out of (can't appropriate) more than a tiny share of our love of the game.

It may be that season tickets are expensive and replica shirts overpriced, but buying these things once a year represents the extravagant extreme of football fanatiscm. Most football is watched not from €1000 euro seats in the stadium but on TV - sometimes at the price of a subscription, often at the price of watching a few commercials, or for the price of a couple of beers in a bar. Compare the cost of watching a game in a bar with the cost of eating out or watching a movie.

Worse still, football generates little income from reruns of matches or transfers to DVD. And watching football is only a tiny part of the fan's engagement with the game. There are newspaper reports to be read, Forums to be trawled, and a growing number of computer games to keep up with. Then there is the football banter that passes time at the dinner table, work or the bus stop. All this entertainment is made possible by football clubs, but they cannot appropriate a penny of the value we attach to it. Chelsea cannot charge us for talking, reading or thinking about Chelsea.

Demy de Zeeuw once said: "There are complaints that we [players] earn too much, but the whole world earns money from your success as a player: newspaper, television, companies."

In fact, the world earns more from football than the football industry itself does.

24-09-12, 12:05 PM
Fuck it, they're still overpaid. :D

29-09-12, 05:21 PM
Football is not only a small business. It’s also a bad one.

Before 1980, big English Clubs used to pay companies money to supply their clothing. It was obviously great advertising for the gear makers to have some of England’s best player running around in their clothes, but the clubs had not yet figured that out. And so sportswear companies used to get paid to advertise themselves.
Only in the late 80s did English football clubs discover that people were willing to buy their replicas of their team shirts. That made it plain even to them that their gear must have some value. They had already stopped paying sportswear companies for their stuff; now they started to charge them.

Gradually over time, football clubs have found new ways of making money. However, the ideas almost never came from the clubs themselves.

Whether it was branded clothing, or the gambling pools, or television, it was usually people in other industries who first saw there might be profits to be made. It was Rupert Murdoch who went to English clubs and suggested putting them up on satellite TV; the clubs would never have thought of going to him. In fact, the clubs often fought against new moneymaking schemes. Until 1982 they refused to allow league games to be shown live on TV, fearing that it might deter fans from coming to the stadium. It took another decade for clubs to grasp that games on television meant both free money and free advertisement.
It took them even longer to realize how much football was worth to people like Murdoch. In 1992, he began paying about $115m a season for the television rights to the new Premier League. Now the league gets about 14 times as much a season from TV.

Or take the renovation of English stadiums in the early 1990s. It was an obvious business idea. Supermarkets don’t receive customers in sheds built in the Victorian era and gone to seed since. They are forever renovating their stores. Yet football clubs never seem to have thought of spending money on their grounds until the Taylor Report of 1990 forced them to. They did up their stadiums and bingo: more customers came.

Yet like almost all good business ideas in football, the Taylor Report was imposed on the game from outside. Football clubs are classic late adopters of new ideas. Several years after the Internet emerged, Liverpool, a club with millions of fans around the world, still did not have a website. It’s no wonder that from 1992 through May 2008, even before the financial crisis struck, forty of England’s ninety-two professional clubs had been involved in insolvency proceedings, some of them more than once. The proportions have been even higher in Spanish football in recent years.

03-10-12, 02:09 PM
English fans are still asking themselves how Steve McClaren ever got to be appointed England manager in 2006, but in fact, it is unfair to single him out. The profusion of fantasy football leagues indicates the widely held suspicion that any fool could do as well as the people who actually get the jobs. The incompetence of football managers may have something to do with the nonsensical and illegal methods by which they are recruited.

A club typically chooses its man based on the following factors:

1. The New Manager is hired in a mad rush

In “normal” business, an average search takes four to five months. In football, a club usually finds a coach within a couple of days of sacking his predecessors. Hesitation is regarded as weak leadership.

A rare slow hire in football became perhaps the most inspiring choice of the past two decades: Arsenal’s appointment of Arsene Wenger in 1996. Wenger, working in Japan, was not free immediately. Arsenal waited for him, operating under caretaker managers for weeks, and was inevitably accused of being sluggish. Similarly, in 1990 Manchester United’s chairman, Martin Edwards, was derided as sluggish when he refused to sack his losing manager, Alex Ferguson.

2. The new manager is interviewed only very cursorily

In “normal” business, a wannabe chief executive writes a business plan, gives a presentation, and undergoes several interviews. In football, a club mostly calls an agent’s cell phone and offers the job.

3. The new manager is always a man and ex-player

The new manager is almost always white, with a conservative haircut, aged between thirty-five and sixty, and a former professional player. Clubs know that if they choose someone with that profile, then even if the appointment turns out terrible they won’t be blamed too much, because at least they will have failed in the traditional way.

The idea is that there is something mystical about managing a team, something that only former players can truly understand. Naturally, former players like this idea. Once in the 1980s, when Kenny Dalglish was in his first spell managing Liverpool, a journalist at a press conference questioned one of his tactical decisions. Dalglish deadpanned, in his almost impenetrable Scots accent, “Who did you play for, then?” The whole room laughed. Dalglish had come up with the killer retort: if you didn’t play, you couldn’t know.

A former chairman of an EPL club told us that the managers he employed would often make that argument. The chairman never knew how to respond. He hadn’t played, so if there really was some kind of mystical knowledge you gained from playing, he wouldn’t know. Usually he would back down.

“Who did you play for, then?” is best understood as a job protection scheme. Ex-players have used it to corner the market in managerial jobs.
But in truth, their argument never made sense. There is no evidence that having been a good player is an advantage for a football manager. The two jobs don’t seem to have much to do with each other. As Arrigo Sacchi, a terrible player turned great manager of Milan, phrased it, “You don’t need to have been a horse to be a jockey.”

Does Diego Maradona know more about the game than Jose Mourinho? Did Roy Keane’s knack for geeing up teammates translate once he had become a jockey?
Playing and coaching are different skill sets. Mourinho, who barely ever kicked a ball for money, is match for match among the most successful coaches in football’s history. When Milan’s then coach Carlo Ancelotti noted his almost non-existent record as a player, the Portuguese replied: “I don’t see the connection. My dentist is the best in the world, and yet he’s never had a particularly bad tooth-ache." Asked why failed players often become good coaches, Mourinho said: “More time to study.”

The problem with ex-pros may be precisely their experience. Having been steeped in the game for decades, they just know what to do: how to train, who to buy, how to talk to their players. They don’t need to investigate whether these inherited prejudices are in fact correct. Rare is the ex-pro who realizes that he needs to jettison what he learned along the way.

There are some recent signs that ex-players are losing their monopoly on managerial jobs. The Premier League of 2011-12 kicked off with three managers who never played professionally: AVB of Chelsea, Brendan Rodgers of Swansea and Roy Hodgson of W.B.A. The Premier League’s historical average is just one non-playing managers out of twenty.
Meanwhile, former great players like Roy Keane, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Paul Ince, Tony Adams, and Maradona no longer seem to be in demand as managers of serious clubs.

04-10-12, 06:11 AM
Still waiting for my book to arrive:rant:!!!!!

Have been putting off reading this thread so I can enjoy the book myself.

04-10-12, 10:14 AM
:lol: what the hell? haven't you ordered that weeks ago?

04-10-12, 10:02 PM
4. Managers don't need professional qualifications

Only in 2003 did UEFA insist that new managers in the Premier League pass the Pro License course. In England's lower divisions this remains unneccassary. Yet it is proved that managers with the Pro License won significantly more matches than managers without it. Research also showed that experienced managers outperformed novices. That qualifications and experience are useful is understood in every industry except football, where a manager is expected to work the magic he acquired as a superhero player.

5. The New Manager is often underqualified even if he has qualifications

Chris Brady, a business school professor, has taught finance and accounting in the Pro License course. He told us his entire module took half a day. No wonder some English managers mismanage money: they don't understand it. Clubs are ceasing to entrust their finances to managers, giving them instead to more qualified executives who guarantee stability by staying longer than the club managers's average two-year tenure.

6. Immediate Availability

The new manager is appointed either because he is able to start work immediately (often as a result of having just been sacked), or because he has achieved good results over his career, or, failing that, because he achieved good results in the weeks preceding the appointment. McClaren became England manager only because his team, Middlesbrough, reached the UEFA Cup Final in 2006 and avoided relegation just as the English FA was deciding who to pick. By the time Middlebrough was waxed 4-0 by Sevilla in the final, McClaren already had the job.

7. Star Power

The new manager is generally chosen not for his alleged managerial skills but because his name, appearance, and skills at public relation are expected to impress the club's fans, its players and the media. That is why no club hires a woman - fans and players would object - and why it was so brave of Milan to appoint the unknown Sacchi, and Arsenal the unknown Wenger.
Tony Adams, doubted the obscure foreigner at first sight. In his autobiography he recalls thinking, "What does this Frenchman know about football? He wears glasses and looks more like a schoolteacher. He's not going to be as good as George. Does he even speak English properly?"
A manager must above all look like a manager apparently.

15-10-12, 06:07 PM
Any news here? Still loving this thread.

15-10-12, 07:08 PM
been a bit busy with the start of uni

new chapter coming tonite though. will be an interesting read for beez

19-10-12, 12:33 PM
already ladies, sorry for the delay. update will definitely come today this time. i found that one extremely interesting so will more or less post it up word for word.

19-10-12, 12:47 PM
On September 15, 2008, the investment bank Lehman brothers collapsed, followed almost immediately by the world’s stock markets.
Any football club on earth was a midget next to Lehman. In the fiscal year ending in September 2007, the bank had income of $59 billion (148 times Man Utd) and profits of $6 billion (50 times Man Utd), and was valued by the stock market at $34bn. If United’s shares had been traded on the market at the time, they probably would have been worth less than 5% of Lehman’s. Yet Lehman no longer exists while United very much does.

Over the past decade, people worried a lot more about the survival of football clubs than that of banks. Yet it was many of the world’s largest banks that disappeared. Then, after the recession began, worries about football clubs increased again. Many people pointed out that when Chelsea met Man Utd in the final of the Champions League in 2008, both clubs had a combined debt of about $3bn.
Michel Platini warned in 2009 that half of Europe’s professional clubs had financial troubles of some kind. “If the situation goes on,” he added, “it will not be long before even some major clubs face going out of business.”

Yet the notion that football clubs are inherently unstable businesses is wrong. They virtually never go bust. Despite being incompetently run, they are some of the most stable businesses on earth. Not only do the football authorities worry far too much about clubs going out of business, but they worry about the wrong clubs.

First, some facts. In 1923 the English Football League consisted of 88 teams spread over 4 divisions. In the 2007-08 season, 85 of these clubs still existed (97%), and 75 remained in the top four divisions (85%). An actual majority, 48 clubs, were in the same division as they had been in 1923. And only nine teams still in the top four divisions were two or more divisions away from where they had been in 1923. It is a history of remarkable stability.
You would have expected the Great Depression of the 1930s, in particular, to pose the clubs something of a threat. After all, the Depression bit deepest in the North of England, where most of the country’s professional clubs were based, and all romantic rhetoric aside, you would think that when people cannot afford to buy bread they would stop going to football matches.
Crowds in the Football league did indeed fall 12% between 1929 and 1931. However, by 1932 they were growing again, even though the British economy was not. And clubs helped one another through the hard times. When Orient in east London hit trouble in 1931, Arsenal wrote its tiny neighbor a check for 3,450 pounds to tide it over.
Clubs know they cannot operate without opponents, and so unlike in most businesses, the collapse of a rival is not cause for celebration.

The depression culled only a couple of clubs. Merthyr Town, after failing to be reelected to the league in 1930, folded a few years later, the victim of economic hardship in the Welsh Valleys. Wigan Borough went bankrupt a few games into the 1931/32 season. It left the league, and its remaining fixtures were never played. Aldershot was elected to replace it, and sixty years later, in another recession, it became only the second English club in history to withdraw from the league with fixtures unplayed.

21-10-12, 01:52 AM
Still waiting. Sent a message to the seller, they are sending another 1 out. Fucking fuck fuck.....

31-10-12, 05:55 PM
Almost equally hard as the Depression for English Club was the "Thatcher recession" of the early 1980s. Again many working-class fans lost their factory jobs. The league's attendance dropped from 24.6m to 16.5m between 1980 and 1986. Football seemed to be in a terminal decline. However, football is the oddest of industries. It sells one product and has 92 outlets for it. In any other business, if not all 92 outlets were doing well, there would be some talk of closing some of them down. But in football, all 92 outlets claim an equal right to survive.

Many clubs in the early 1980s seemed to be dicing with death. Looking at one of the diciest, Bristol City, will help us understand just how football clubs almost always survive.

Bristol City is one of two professional teams that share the midsize town of Bristol in western England. City got into trouble in the same way a lot of clubs do. In 1976 it had been promoted to the old first division, then the highest tier in English Football, a status the club had last enjoyed before World War I. The fans were excited: attendance jumped from 14 000 per game in 1974-75 to 24 500 in 1976-77. The average ticket then cost less than 1 pound, but the higher ticket sales boosted the clubs income from around £250,000 per year to £665,000. City survived three seasons in the top flight. As we've already seen, that took money. The club paid handsomely in the transfer market and its wage bill doubled: all City's extra income was channeled straight to players.
Sadly the money didn't do the trick. In the 1979-80 season, the club was relegated just as Britain, in the first year of the new Thatcher government, was entering recession. First-division attendances dropped 5% that season, but Bristol City's gates fell 15% while its wage costs rose 20%.

Clearly the club needed to lose some of its expensive players. Unfortunately, the manager, Alan Dicks, who had just overseen the most successful period in Bristol City's modern history had signed many of them on extraordinarily lengthy contracts - some as long as 11 years. Soon after relegation, Dicks was sacked. But by the end of the next season, 1980-81, City’s average attendance had collapsed to 9 700 per game (half the level of the previous season) and the club was relegated to the third division. Income was tumbling, yet most of the squad was still drawing first-division wages. When City’s accounts were published in 1981, it was apparent that the club was in deep trouble, but the best the club’s new chairman could say in his report was that “so much of this depends on success on the playing field.”

It is doubtful that promotion back to the second division would have improved the club’s financial position materially in 1981-82, but that’s a purely academic question, since by the end of 1981 Bristol City was heading for the fourth division. By then only 6 500 fans were showing up each week, about a quarter the number from four years earlier. An independent financial report produced that December showed that the club owed far more (over £1m) than it could realistically repay in the foreseeable future. Early in 1982 Bristol City Football Club PLC – the limited company that owned the stadium at Ashton Gate, the player’s contract, and a share in the Football League – was on the verge of appointing a trustee to liquidate the company. That would have meant the end. In a liquidation all the players’ contracts would have been void, the share in the league would have been returned to the league, and the stadium would have been sold, probably to property developer, with any proceeds used to pay creditors. Like so many British companies at the time, Bristol City seemed headed for extinction. But football clubs command more love than widget makers. Just before Bristol City could fold, Deryn Coller and some other local businessmen who were also fans offered to take over the club. It was at this point that the “phoenixing” plan emerged.

Coller and his associates created a new company, BCFC (1982) PLC, which was to be a new Bristol City: a phoenix from the ashes of the old club. The Coller group aimed to sell shares in the new company to fans. With the money, the group would buy Ashton Gate from the trustee. The group also asked the Football League to acquire the old club’s share in the league. Then the new Bristol City could “replace” the old one in the fourth division. In short, the new company would take over almost everything of the old club – except, crucially, its debts and unaffordable players. Coller’s group intended to ask City’s most expensive players, left over from the club’s first-division days, to tear up their contracts. You can see the appeal of the plan, as long as you were not one of those players.

The Football League said the play was fine as long as Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Football Association (PFA), would agree to the deal on the players. Taylor was by no means sure that things were as bad at Bristol City as the directors said, but eventually he was convinced that the deal was the only way to save the club. No union wants to see an employeer go bust, especially not an ancient employer loved by thousands of people.
The final decision was down to the players. Naturally they were reluctant martyrs. But the pressure on them was intense, including some threats from fans. In the end, after some sweeteners were thrown in, the players agreed. Peter Aitken, Chris Garland, Jimmy Mann, Julian Marshall, Geoff Merrick, David Rodgers, Gerry Sweeney, and Trevor Tainton are not the biggest names in football’s history, but few players can claim to have given more for their clubs. On February 3, 1982, the “Ashton Gate Eight” agreed to tear up contracts worth £290,000 and accept redundancy to save their employers. Most of them, nearing the end of their careers, would never earn as much again. They retired from football, moved abroad or joined lower-division clubs. The eight really deserve statues outside Ashton Gate. They gave Bristol City a future.

The phoenix rose from the ashes: the club was transferred as an entity from the ownership of Bristol City PLC, a company heading for liquidation, to BCFC (1982) PLC. The directors of the new business still faced the formidable task of finding the money to buy Ashton Gate. They had agreed to a price with the trustee of just over £590,000. They raised £330,000 by selling shares in the new club to fans and well-wishers. The rest of the cash was raised from short-term loans.

Today Bristol City still plays at Ashton Gate, in the Championship, the second tier of the English game. The “phoenixing” of Bristol City was the first of its kind in English Football and established a template that, like the club itself, survives to this day.

31-10-12, 06:29 PM
Why is it that footballers can't be let go like they would be at a regular job i.e. without the big pay-off.

I guess if you release your left back on the grounds he's not needed you'd have to play without a left back for X amount of time to justify doing it. Seems like sports contracts in general hold far more weight than your general 9 to 5 jobs.

02-12-12, 10:47 PM
Not sure where to post this but it's an interesting read and this thread has been an interesting read:

Which stadiums have a capacity greater than their location's populations?

We track down the world's most disproportionately large grounds; plus Leeds players wearing different strips for a final

"After checking out your guide to England's proposed venues for the 2018 World Cup, I noticed that Plymouth are planning a 45,000 capacity stadium for a population of 252,800, meaning 18% of the city could attend a game if they desired. Then I noticed Sunderland has 49,000 seats for 178,000 people (28%)," writes Mark Ireland. "Is there a ground which has a higher capacity than the location it is based in, so that 100% of the population could fit into the ground if they really wanted? If not, who has the highest percentage?"

Given the torrent of emails received in response to Mark's question we had little choice but to turn this into another Knowledge special. Among the many difficulties answering such a question is the fact that populations have a way of changing over time and not all towns can provide an up-to-date census. While efforts have been made to ensure that calculations are as accurate as possible, therefore, the percentages given are indicative, rather than precise figures.

55% Michael Haughey kicks us off, starting his search in an eminently sensible manner by looking at little towns and finding out if they had a football team. "The smallest town in the UK to have a senior side is Brechin, with a population of 7,199 according to the UK census," he says. "Glebe Park, their wonderful ground with a hedge along one side of the pitch, holds a comparatively whopping 3,960. That's 55% of the town you could fit in for a game."

80% That, though, was never going to be hard to top. Georg Meovold pointed us in the direction of Norwegian side Sogndal Fotbal's Fosshaugane Campus home, which has a capacity of 5,402 and can hence accommodate more than 80% of the municipality's 6,700 souls.

86% Hoffenheim's 30,164 capacity Rhein-Neckar Arena is based in Hoffenheim, which was a village in its own right but formally became a suburb of the neighbouring Sinsheim in 1972. The population of Hoffenheim itself is just under 3,300, giving the stadium more than nine seats to each resident. The population of Sinsheim, however, is over 35,000, meaning the stadium could only hold roughly 86% of residents of the city in which it is officially based.

101% Benjamin Mendel was the first reader to smash the 100% barrier. "Sporting Clube Campomaiorense, for whom Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink briefly starred, made it all the way to the top tier of Portuguese football in 1995 and played there until 2001. They played in the town of Campo Maior, with has a population of 7,900, but their stadium, the Estádio Capitão César Correia, had a capacity of 8,000. Sadly the team have since folded, but the stadium remains."

114% Moving over to France, Patrick Bruce was one of a number of readers to note that Lens's Stade Félix Bollaert has a capacity of 41,233, while Lens itself had a population of just 36,257 according to the 2008 census. "I make that it would hold 100% of the population and 4,976 of their cousins Nicole," chortles Patrick.

118% Those of you who have read Joe McGinniss's thoroughly enjoyable book about the team's 1996-97 season in Italy's Serie B will already know that the expansion of Castel di Sangro's stadium was no straightforward affair, but one way or another the Stadio Teofilo Patini can now hold 7,220 fans. The town had a population of 6,109 at the time of the 2008 census.

126% We can do better than all the examples listed above, however, without even leaving the UK. "Ross County's Victoria Park, which has a capacity of 6,310, could easily accommodate every resident of the town of Dingwall in which it is located," points out Jay Mansfield. "Dingwall's population was 5,026 at the time of the 2001 census, giving it a percentage of more than 125%."

153% "The obvious place to look is Liechtenstein," declares Liam McGuigan. "The national Rheinpark Stadion has a capacity of 7,838, whilst its home city of Vaduz has merely 5,109 inhabitants, meaning that an excellent 153% of its population could go to see the game. Among the other stadiums in Liechtenstein is Eschen's 6,000 capacity Sportpark Eschen-Mauren. Eschen has a population of about 4,000, meaning a percentage of 150% to rival its near neighbour."

224% Heading back to France, Alexander Britton noted Guingamp's unnecessarily large Stade de Roudourou, which boasts a capacity of 18,040 - over twice the population of Guingamp itself (8,040).

256% While the obvious approach to a problem such as this might be to seek out large stadiums in relatively small towns, Philip Mayall apparently set out looking for small stadiums in really small towns. "FK Chmel Blsany of the Czech Republic, who played in the Gambrinus Liga from 1998 to 2006 but now languish in the fourth tier, have a stadium capacity of 2,300 at the Stadion FK Chmel Blšany," he explains. The village they play in, Blsany, has a population of just 900.

296% "Estadio El Cobre in the town of El Salvador, Chile is host to Cobresal football club," explains Iain Pearson. "When they reached the Copa Libertadores in 1986 they chose to upgrade the stadium to reach the required minimum for the competition and as a result they now have a capacity of 20,752. Since the heady days of the mid-80s, however, the copper mine that justified the town has closed down and the population has now declined to around 7,000."

304% Our winner, for now at least, is the unimaginatively named Drnovice stadium in, you guessed it, the Czech town Drnovice. "With a population of around 2,300 and a seating capacity of 7,000, the stadium provides over three seats for every man, woman and child in town," offers Tim Dockery. "The stadium saw top-flight football in the 1990s and 2000s with my beloved FC Gera Drnovice [who have since folded] and has hosted the national side's friendlies on occasion."

The ones that didn't quite make the cut:

As many of you pointed out, Mark's question was not as straightforward as it first appeared. Where a city or town begins and ends is often not clear-cut, and plenty of larger cities have simply absorbed what used to be smaller towns into their suburbs as they expanded over time. Several of you made the case for teams such as Aston Villa and Everton being included, arguing that the capacity of their grounds dwarf the populations of the wards in which they are based, but in the end that just didn't seem to be in the spirit of the question.

Similarly, Paul Lees made the case for Wembley Stadium, arguing that: "Within Greater London (population several millions), lies the borough of Brent with a population of 270,600. Within the borough of Brent is the town of Wembley. Unfortunately I can't find any reliable figures for the population of Wembley but I'm willing to wager it is significantly less than the 90,000 capacity of the stadium." Again, however, we took the view that Wembley is part of London and, in that context, the percentage would of course be quite puny.

Even less straightforward was the case of Bolton Wanderers, whose Reebok Stadium is based in Horwich, which is considered both a town in its own right and a civil parish of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton. Ultimately we excluded it, but with a capacity of 28,723 and Horwich's population totalling just 19,312, it would have a percentage of 149%.

A couple of you argued that Port Vale should be included, on the grounds that there is no such place (the name appeared on maps in the late 19th century), but to allow that would be to misread the question: Vale Park is based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, a place that definitely does exist.

Besides, Liam McGuigan gave a far better example here by highlighting Plymouth of Montserrat. "The city was evacuated following the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano and has an official population of zero. The still-standing Blakes Estate Stadium in the city has a capacity of around 4,000, and is still occasionally used, the last international match played there being in 2004 when Montserrat lost 7-0 to crash out of the World Cup unfortunately early." Dividing by zero, however, does not work, however, unless you happen to be a particularly adept mathematician. We aren't.

Finally, we'd just like to give a quick mention to the numerous examples of non-football stadiums with capacities greater than the towns in which they are based. Michigan Stadium, which holds 106,201 and is based in Ann Arbor, population 114,000, and Giants Stadium, which holds 80,200 and is based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, population 10,000, were among the most popular submissions.

Our favourite, however, was this from Michael Haughey. "The biggest disproportion is in the realm of Gaelic Football where since 1970, security concerns meant the Ulster finals had to be played in one of three Ulster counties within the republic. As a result the town of Clones, population 321, has seen its GAA stadium St Tiernach's Park grow to be the sixth biggest in Ireland with a capacity of 36,000. That's 112 times the town's population."

03-12-12, 09:16 AM
Finally received the book, it's a good read.

I just read a chapter here and there, will take me a while to get through.

When I'm done, I'll pop it in the post for you fod :ok:

04-12-12, 10:32 PM
Other clubs quickly cottoned onto the joy of phoenixing. Between 1982 and 1984 Hereford, Hull, Wolves, Derby, Bradford, and Charlton went through much the same experience as Bristol City. All these troubled clubs survived either by creating a new “phoenix” company (Wolves, Bradford and Charlton) or by getting creditors to agree to suspend their claims (a moratorium), under the threat that a phoenix might be the alternative. In all cases, the bankrupt company was ditched, but the immortal club inside it salvaged.
Phoenixing – the creation of a new company – turned out to be a brilliant wheeze to escape creditors. Clearly there is something suspect about the method. Phoenixing allowed disastrous directors to escape the consequences of their decisions. Their clubs survived, but at the expense of creditors (often players, banks, and the taxman), who never saw their money again.

Still, this was just what hapless football clubs needed. Many of them struggled during the Thatcher recession, and several survived only thanks to a “sub” – financial support – from the PFA. Charlton and Bristol City’s neighbour Bristol Rovers had to move grounds because they could not pay rent. However, nobody resigned from the league.
Soon after the recession, a new law made it even easier for British clubs to survive. The UK’s traditional method of liquidation – the bankrupt company’s assets were sold, the debts repaid as far as possible, and the company liquated – had become discredited. Critics said it give stricken companies little chance to recover. They praised the American approach, which treated failure as a frequently necessary precursor to eventual success. In 1979 the US had introduced the now famous Chapter 11 provisions. These protect a firm from its creditors, while it tries to work out a solution that saves the business. Britain – where insolvencies hit an all-time high during the Thatcher recession – wanted some of that.

The British Insolvency Act of 1987 introduced a new procedure called “administration.” Now when a company went into administration, an independent insolvency practitioner was called in, and charged with finding a way to keep the business running while repaying as much money as possible to the creditors. After the new law came in, stricken football clubs typically entered administration, struck deals with creditors, and then swiftly emerged from administration. That’s what Tranmere and Rotherham did in spring 1987, for instance. For most clubs, financial collapse was becoming something of a breeze.
True, Aldershot FC was liquidated in 1992, but supporters simply started a new club almost identical to the old one. The “new” Aldershot Town AFC has a badge that shows a phoenix rising from the ashes. Aldershot reentered the Football League in 2008. Other tiny British clubs that folded – Maidstone United, Newport County, Accrington Stanley – also were eventually resuscitated and now stumble on somewhere in the semiprofessional or professional game. Accrington Stanley’s rebirth was surely the most drawn-out: it resigned from the Football League in 1962, got liquidated in 1966, was newly created by fans in 1969, and returned to the Football League in 2006, its brand still very much alive, probably even enhanced by the drama.

The new British law was so kind to insolvent companies that ever more companies decided to enter insolvency. Some did it just to wipe off their debts. The method became more popular even as the economy improved. Company insolvencies in the recession of the early 1980s had run at an average of 10,000 per year. In the boom period between 1994 and 2001 they ran at 16,000 per year. Football clubs, too, loved the new law: more of them went insolvent in the 1990s boom than in the early 1980s bust. They rarely even needed to bother to create a new “phoenix” company anymore. Clubs would run up unpayable debts, go insolvent, and hey presto, months later would be fine and signing expensive players again. Better-run rivals complained that insolvency and phoenixing were giving the culprits an unfair advantage. In 2004, this argument prompted the league to introduce a ten-point penalty for clubs that went into administration. Still, it hasn’t proved a huge deterrent.

05-12-12, 11:36 AM
great thread :tup:

Background: I support Benfica, a big club with a humble start and growth driven by mass popularity

Arsenal are being run perfectly business-wise, but they haven't won anything in years and they won't any time soon. Since oil magnates, sheiks and banks giving huge credits to clubs have distorted football, it's become apparent you need to splash out the money to win something.
It would be fine for Arsenal if they weren't a club with a glorious history and a cabinet full of trophies. You can't just go from winning trophies on a regular basis to what Arsenal are becoming today. That's why I started a CM save with arsenal. I changed The Policy:

- out-da-door players: average players with no chance of 1st team football are surplus no matter what age (huge savings on wage bill) -> squillaci, most youth etc
- incoming players: proven internationals, no prejudice for players age 29-32 and + -> Year 1: Frey, Di Natale, Chiellini, Klose / December: Darren Fletcher -- Year 2: Ivanovic, Eto'o, Hummels -- Year 3: Messi, Llorente, Lahm
- squad policy: keeping the numbers low, literally 2 player per position (22-23 squad Barcelona style) and only keep youngsters to play regularly immediately (Wilshere, Ramsey, Chamberlain) OR loan and play next year w/ eventual rescue in case of big injury (Frimpong, Jenkinson, Jack Jebb)

ok, this is fantasy, but i really think Arsenal needs a shift along these lines. SERIOUSLY: A player like Hummels (huge transfer fee + wages) is cheaper than having Squillaci, Djourou, Denilson, etc in the reserves and way cheaper than having koscielny, mertsacker & vermaelen underperforming in the 1st team -> ship out most of them for quasi-peanuts, erase their combined wage bill and a shift in policy is possible
+ exciting players bring in more merchandise, sponsor & gate revenue (in a similar strategy to next quote)
Aulas’s theme is that over time, the more money a club makes, the more matches it will win, and the more matches it wins, the more money it will make. The more matches you win, the more you attract fans as well (and thus more money again).

I know the game probably doesn't account for Arsenal's loan to pay the stadium, but i still think a policy closer to Tottenham or Man U for 1st team wages vs. youth and 2nd team wages more adequate to the core business, why?

(Spectacular transfers cost a fortune and rarely bring commensurate reward.) This doesn't bother teams like Real much though. They ain't a business; they are a populist democracy. Few football clubs are on a quest for return of initial investment.
Ok, football has turned into a business. But the key question is: What business is it?

For me, planning for the future (like Arsenal) is no business, especially when that future never seems to arrive. Football's core business is (akin to any entertainment industry) to: entertain the spectators/fans... if that includes splashing ridiculous amounts on flops, thats fine by me... Keeping unfocused talent and never winning a thing while entertaining the crowd? Fine... keeping a huge squad with several Meh players is hugely nonsensical

As much as any football romantic, I've got as much repulsion for players huge salaries & super star life styles as the next guy...
As much as any football romantic, I've got as much repulsion for sugar daddy clubs and their ridiculous spending as the next guy...

But let us consider this: Football generates a lot of money (media attention, sponsors revenue, Tv deals, merchandise, etc..). FACT!

Who should this money go to then?
- The Beer producing Companies (?)
- Sony (?)
- EA (?)
- Michel Platini (?)
- Nike, Adidas etc (?)
- Mr. Rupert Murdoch (?)
- the stakeholders (?)
- the owner (?)
(OR THE MOST DISGUSTING OPTION OF ALL) - the moneylenders (?)

no no no
I SAY: the players and the managers!!...
if a club is run to a profit, said surplus should/could be invested in the local community (youth social programs, etc) as a way of giving something back to their social/economical support background OR buying that super player that will keep the supporters dreaming (as a return to their support as well)

back to fantasy CM-land. Nothing annoys me more than reaching the end of Year, running the club to a profit and there's 40 Million being divided by the shareholders, AAAARGH!! - I rather spend 30 M on messi and cheer the supporters up even higher than achieving glory :D

05-12-12, 03:51 PM
This is the last part concluding the chapter.

There’s something else to not about these near-death experiences: they almost always happen only to small clubs. There was a great kerfuffle in England in 2010 when Portsmouth FC of the mighty Premier League entered administration. The club had been much on the same journey as Bristol City 30 years earlier, just with larger sums. It had overspent on good players, won an FA Cup, and ended up in trouble.

On the one hand, Portsmouth’s story was all too familiar: football club goes bust and after many premature reports of its demise is reborn. As we write, Portsmouth is marching along merrily in the Championship, the same division as Bristol City. Already its spell in administration looks like just a bad dream.
But in another way, Portsmouth’s story was exceptional. No club in the Premier League had ever gone into administration. The other sixty-six cases of insolvency in English football from 1982 through 2010 involved teams in lower divisions. That is something that doomsayers like Platini should note. They often complain about the debts of rich clubs: the hundreds of millions of dollars owed by the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United. They ask how Chelsea would survive if Roman Abramovich falls under a bus.
In fact, though, big clubs are not the problem. Across Europe, lower-tier teams live on the edge of insolvency, while the top-tier teams, even though they too mostly lose money, seldom become insolvent. The highest risk is for recently relegated teams. If Platini is determined to worry about clubs going bust, it’s the Bristol Cities he should worry about, not the Real Madrids. If European football clubs really did collapse beneath their debts, there would now be virtually no European football clubs left. “We must be sustainable” clubs say nowadays, parroting the latest business cliché. In fact, they are fantastically sustainable. They survive even when they go bust. You can’t get more sustainable than that. Match-fixing, say, is a much bigger problem for European football than bankruptcy. The near immortality of football clubs makes you wonder exactly what problem UEFA’s rules on “financial fair play” are meant to solve.

Platini worries about clubs’ debts. But it’s precisely because clubs are practically immortal that they have such large debts. They know from experience that they can take on whatever debt they like, and survive. If things go wrong, they simply don’t repay their debts, the old directors walk away, and new ones com in promising to sweep up the mess (while also buying shiny new Brazilian center forwards.)
A club like Bayern Munich, which shuns debt, is in fact missing a trick. Bayern could easily borrow a few hundred million Euros to turn itself into the world’s best team. Even if it flushed the money down the toilet and then said “Nanananana” to the lenders, the club would survive. Right now Bayern is a marvelous self-sustaining debt-free business, whereas most English clubs aren’t. But the point of football clubs isn’t to have nice accounts – after all, the clubs with horrible accounts survive, too. The point of a football club is to win trophies.

Once again, the comparison between football clubs and “real” businesses breaks down. When clubs get into trouble, they generally “do a Leeds”, a maneuver named in honor of the spectacularly badly run Leeds United of the early 2000s. “Doing a Leeds” means cutting your wages, getting relegated and competing at a lower level. Imagine if other businesses could do this. Suppose that Ford could sack skilled workers and hire unskilled ones to produce worse cars, or that American Airlines could replace all its pilots with people who weren’t as qualified to fly planes. The government would stop it, and in any case, consumers would not put up with terrible products.
Football clubs have it easy. Recall that almost every English professional club has survived the Great Depression, the Second World War, recessions, corrupt chairmen, appalling managers, and the current economic crisis. By contrast, economic historian Les Hannah made a list of the top one hundred global companies in 1912, and researched what had become of them by 1995. Nearly half the companies, forty-nine, had ceased to exist. Five of these had gone bankrupt, six were nationalized, and thirty-eight were taken over by other firms. Even among the business that survived, many had gone into new sectors or moved to new locations.

What made these non-football businesses so unstable was, above all, competition. There is such a thing as brand loyalty, but when a better product turns up, most people will switch sooner or later. So normal businesses keep having to innovate or die. They face endless pitfalls: competitors pull ahead, consumers’ taste change, new technologies make entire industries obsolete, cheap goods arrive from abroad, the government interferes, recessions hit, companies overinvest and go bust or simply get unlucky.
By contrast, football clubs are immune from almost all these effects: a club that fails to keep up with the competition might get relegated, but it can always survive at a lower level. Some fans lose interest, but clubs have geographical roots. A bad team might find its catchment area shrinking, but not disappearing completely. The “technology” of football can never become obsolete, because the technology is the game itself. At worst football might become less popular.
Foreign rivals cannot enter the market and supply football at a lower price. The rules of football protect domestic clubs by forbidding foreign competitors from joining their league. English clubs as a whole could fall behind foreign competitors and lose their best players, but foreign clubs have financial problems and incompetent management of their own.
The government is not about to nationalize football.
Clubs often overinvest, but this almost never destroys the club, only the wealth of the investor. At worst, the club gets relegated.
A club’s revenues might decline in a recession, but it can always live with lower revenues.

In most industries a bad business goes bankrupt, but football clubs almost never do. No matter how much money they waste, someone will always bail them out. This is what is known in finance as “moral hazard”: when you know you will be saved no matter how much money you lose, you are free to lose money.
There is a strange parallel here between professional football and communism. When we ask, “Why do football clubs almost always survive?” we are echoing the great questions asked about communism by economist János Kornai. “Why exactly did communism not work?”
Kornai’s answer could be summed up in four words: “the soft-budget constraint.” Imagine that you are a tractor factory in communist Hungary. Each year the state gives you a budget. But if at the end of the year you’ve overspent the budget and haven’t made any profits, the state just gives you a bit more money to make up the difference. In communism, bad companies were propped up forever. In other words, the “budget constraint” on communist firms was soft. If they wanted to overspend their budgets, they could. The obvious consequence: unprofitable overspending became rife.
As scholars have noted, Kornai’s “soft-budget constraint” applies beautifully to football clubs. Like tractor factories in communism, clubs lose money because they can. They have no need to be competent. The professional investors who briefly bought club shares in the 1990s got out as soon as they discovered this.
Luckily, as we’ve seen, society can keep unprofitable football clubs going fairly cheaply. The total revenues of European professional clubs for the 2007-2008 season were €14.6 billion. The Tesco supermarket chain’s revenue was four times higher. The two-bit losses of football clubs hardly matter when set beside the enormous love they command. These tiny businesses are great enduring brands. Creditors dare not push them under. No bank manager or tax collector wants to say, “The century-old local club is closing. I’m turning off the lights.” Society swallows the losses and lets even a Bristol City soldier on. In a sense, these clubs are too small to fail.
Unlike most businesses, football clubs survive crises because some of their customers stick with them no matter how lousy the product. Calling this brand loyalty is not quite respectful enough of the sentiment involved. To quote Rogan Taylor, a Liverpool fan and Liverpool University professor, “Football is more than just a business. No one has their ashes scattered down the aisle at Tesco.”

13-12-12, 11:58 AM
In 1991 Ron Noades, chairman of Crystal Palace, popped up on Briths TV talking about blacks. “The problem with black players,” explained Noades, whose heavily black team had just finished third in England, “is they’ve great pace, great athletes, love to play with the ball in front of them …. When it’s behind them it’s chaos. I don’t think too many can read the game. When you’re getting into midwinter you need a few of the hard white men to carry the athletic black players through.”

Noades’s interview was one of the last flourishes of unashamed racism in British football. Through the 1980s racism had been more or less taken for granted in the game. Fans threw bananas at black players. Pundits explained the curious absences of black players at Liverpool and Everton by saying, “They haven’t got the bottle.”
“No bottle” is a particular favorite, lack of concentration another. “You don’t want too many of them in your defense, they cave in under pressure. Then there is the curious conviction that are susceptible to the cold and won’t go out when it rains.”
It’s clear that English football in those days was shot through with racism: prejudice based on skin color. But what we want to know is whether that racism translated into discrimination: unfair treatment of people.

Black striker Garth Crooks once said: “I always felt I had to be 15% better than the white person to get the same chance.”
Yet the notion of discrimination against blacks clashes with something we think we know about football: that on the field at least, the game is ruthlessly fair. In football good players of whatever color perform better than bad ones. Nick Hornby writes in Fever Pitch “One of the great things about sport is its cruel clarity; there is no such thing, for example, as a bad one-hundred-meter runner, or a hopeless center-half who got lucky; in sport, you get found out.”
In short, it would seem that in football there is no room for ideologies. You have to be right, and results on the field will tell you very quickly whether you are. So would clubs discriminate against blacks at the cost of winning matches?

It’s often hard to prove objectively that discrimination exists. How can you show that you failed to get the job because of prejudice rather than just because you weren’t good enough? Liverpool and Everton might argue that they employed white players in the 1980s simply because the whites were better.

Until 1950s most Britons had probably never seen a black person. Unlike Americans, they never developed any kind of relationship with blacks, whether positive or negative. Then, after the Second World War, hundreds of colonial immigrants began arriving. The influx was small enough – less than 5% of the total population, spread over 25 years – to pose little threat to the concepts of Englishness. Nonetheless, the signs went up in the windows of apartment houses:




It was against the 1970s background of instinctive racism that black players began arriving in English football. Most were the British-born children of immigrants. That didn’t stop them from being treated to monkey noises and bananas. (As Hornby notes in Fever Pitch: “There may well be attractive, articulate and elegant racists, but they certainly never come to football matches.”)
Given the abuse the early black players received, it would have been easy for them to give up on football. It was thinkable that they would be driven out of the game. Instead they stayed, played and triumphed. In 1978, when Viv Anderson became the first black man to play for England, it became apparent that children of Caribbean immigrants might have something of a role to play in English football. Still even after the black winger John Barnes scored his solo goal to beat Brazil in Rio in 1984, the FA’s chairman was harangued by England fans on the flight back home: “You fucking wanker, you prefer sambos to us.”
As late as 1993 you could still witness the following scene: a crowd of people in a pub in London’s business district is watching England – Holland on TV. Every time Barnes gets the ball, one man – in shirtsleeves and a tie, just out of his City office – makes monkey noises. Every time, his coworkers laugh. If anyone had complained, the response would have been “Where’s your sense of humor?”

Whenever people reminisce about the good old days, when ordinary working people could afford to go to football matches, it’s worth scanning the photographs of the cloth-capped masses standing on the terraces for the faces you don’t see: blacks, Asians, women. It’s true that today’s all-seaters in the Premier League exclude poor people. However, the terraces before the 1990s probably excluded rather more varieties of people. In the 1970s and 1980s, when football grew scary, the violence forced out even many older white men.

14-12-12, 01:07 PM
I am gonna skip the other discrimination part mainly cuz its quite dry reading and move to a chapter that is written in an amusing fashion. The ritual of Englands failing at world cups

14-12-12, 02:56 PM
Here is what we wrote in the first edition of Soccernomics, which appeared in late 2009, nine months before the World Cup began:

When the England team flies to South Africa for the World Cup, an ancient ritual will start to unfold. Perfected over England’s fourteen previous failures to win the WC away from home, it follows this pattern:

Phase 1: Pretournament-Certainty that England will win the World Cup

Alf Ramsey, the only English manager to win the trophy, predicted the victory of 1966. However, his prescience becomes less impressive when you realize that almost every England manager things he will win the trophy, including Ramsey in the two campaigns he didn’t. When his team was knocked out in 1970 he was stunned and said, “We must now look ahead to the next world cup in Munich where our chances of winning I would say are very good indeed.” England didn’t qualify for that one.

Glenn Hoddle, England’s manager in 1998, revealed only after his team had been knocked out “my innermost thought, which was that England would win the World Cup.” Another manager who went home early, Ron Greenwood, confessed, “I honestly thought we could have won the World Cup in 1982.” A month before the World Cup of 2006, Sven Goran Eriksson said, “I think we will win it.”
The deluded manager is never alone. As the England player Johnny Haynes remarked after elimination in 1958, “Everyone in England thinks we have a God-given right to win the World Cup.” This belief in the face of all evidence was a hangover from empire: England is football’s mother country and should therefore be the best today. The sociologist Stephen Wagg notes, “In reality, England is a country like many others and the English football team is a football team like many others.” This truth is only slowly sinking in.

Phase 2: During the Tournament – England meets a former wartime enemy

In five of its last seven World Cups, England was knocked out by either Germany or Argentina. The matches fit seamlessly into the British tabloid view of history, except for the outcome. As Alan Ball summed up the mood in England’s dressing room after the defeat to West Germany in 1970, “It was disbelief.”
Even Joe Gaetjens, who scored the winning goal for the US against England in 1950, turns out to have been of German-Haitain origin, not Belgian-Haitian as is always said. And in any case, the US is another former wartime enemy.

Phase 3: The English conclude that the game turned on one freakish piece of bad luck that could happen only to them

Gaetjens scored his goal by accident. “Gaetjens went for the ball, but at the last moment, decided to duck,” England captain Billy Wright wrote later. “The ball bounced on the top of his head and slipped past the bewildered Williams.”

In 1970 England’s goalkeeper Gordon Banks got an upset stomach before the quarterfinal against West Germany. He was okay on the morning of the game and was picked to play, but a little later was discovered on the toilet with everything “coming out both ends.” His understudy, Peter Bonetti, let in three soft German goals.
There was more bad luck in 1973, when England failed to qualify for the next year’s World Cup because Poland’s “clown” of a goalkeeper, Jan Tomaszewski, unaccountably had a brilliant night at Wembley. “The simple truth is that on a normal day we would have beaten Poland 6-0,” England’s midfielder Martin Peters says in Niall Edworthy’s book on England managers, The Second Most Important Job in the Country. Poland went on to reach the semifinals of the ’74 World Cup.
In 1990 and 1998 England lost in what everyone knows is the lottery of the penalty shoot-out. In 2002 everyone knew that the obscure, bucktoothed Brazilian kid Ronaldinho must have lucked out with the free kick that sailed into England’s net, because he couldn’t have been good enough to place it deliberately.
In 2006 Wayne Rooney would never have been sent off for stomping Ricardo Carvalho’s genitals if Cristiano Ronaldo hadn’t tattled on him. These things just don’t happen to other countries.

Phase 4: Moreover, everyone else cheated

The Brazilian crowd in 1950 and the Mexican crowd in 1970 deliberately wasted time while England was losing by keeping the ball in the stands. The CIA (some say) drugged Banks. Diego Maradona’s “hand of God” single-handedly defeated England in 1986. Diego Simeone playacted in 1998 to get David Beckham sent off, and Cristiano Ronaldo did the same for Rooney in 2006.

Every referee opposes England. Those of his decisions that support this thesis are analyzed darkly. Typically, the referee’s nationality is mentioned to blacken him further. Billy Wright, England’s captain in 1950 later recalled “Mr Dattilo of Italy, who seemed determined to let nothing so negligible as the laws of the game come between America and victory.” The referee who didn’t give England a penalty against West Germany in 1970 was, inevitably, an Argentine. The Tunisian referee of 1986 who, like most people watching the game, failed to spot the “hand of God” has become legendary.

Phase 5: England is knocked out without getting anywhere near lifting the cup

The only exception was 1990, when the team reached the semi-final. Otherwise, England has always been eliminated when still needing to defeat at least 3 excellent teams. Since 1970, Bulgaria, Sweden, and Poland have gotten as close to winning a World Cup as England has.
Perhaps England should be relieved that it doesn’t finish second. As Jerry Seinfeld once said, who wants to be the greatest loser? The science writer Stefan Klein points out that winning bronze at the Olympics is not so bad, because that is a great achievement by any standards, but winning silver is awful, as you will always be tortured by the thought of what might have been.

England has never been at much risk of that. The team won only five of its 18 matches at World Cups abroad from 1950 through 1970, and didn’t qualify for the next two tournaments in 1974 and 1978, so at least it has been improving since. The general belief in decline from a golden age is mistaken.

Phase 6: The day after elimination, normal life resumes

The one exception is 1970, when England’s elimination may have caused Labour’s surprise defeat in the general election four days later. But otherwise the elimination does not bring on a nationwide hangover. To the contrary, England’s eliminations are celebrated, turned into national myths, or songs, or commercials for pizza chains.

Phase 7: A scapegoat is found

The scapegoat is never an outfield player who has “battled” all match. Even if he directly caused the elimination by missing a penalty, he is a “hero.”
Beckham was scapegoated for the defeat against Argentina in 1998 only because he got a red card after 46 minutes. Writer Dave Hill explained that the press was simply pulling out its “two traditional responses to England’s sporting failure: Heralding a glorious defeat and mercilessly punishing those responsible for it, in this case Posh Spice’s unfortunate fiancé.”

Often the scapegoat is a management figure: Wright as captain in 1950, Joe Mears as chief selector in 1958, and many managers since. Sometimes it is a keeper, who by virtue of his position just stood around in goal rather than battling like a hero.
In 2006 Cristiano Ronaldo was anointed scapegoat. Only after a defeat to Brazil is no scapegoat sought, because defeats to Brazil are considered acceptable.

Phase 8: England enters the next world cup thinking it will win it

14-12-12, 03:50 PM
Trust you to post that Patty

14-12-12, 03:56 PM
That’s what we wrote in 2009. We are not usually this prescient. If we predicted England’s experience in South Africa in 2010 precisely it’s only because over the decades the route map of England’s eliminations has become perfectly clear.

In Phase 1 of our sequence, England flew to South Africa expecting to win the World Cup. That expectation wasn’t particularly ludicrous: Fabio Capello’s team had qualified with more dash than ever before, winning nine out of ten qualifying games.

Phase 2 was, “During the tournament England meets a former wartime enemy.” Following the 4:1 thumping by the Germany in Bloemfontein, England has now exited against Germany or Argentina in six of its last eight World Cups.

We called Phase 3 “The English conclude that the game turned on one freakish piece of bad luck that could only happen to them.” In 2010 this was of course Frank Lampard’s shot that bounced inside the German goal without the referee noticing. As Lampard himself had lamented after England’s previous elimination, in 2006, “It seems to be the English way to lose in bizarre circumstances but it wears you down. It gets to the point where you want to tell Lady Luck to fuck off and take her bad sister with her.”

Phase 4 is “Moreover, everyone else cheated.” FIFA should have been using goal-line technology, and the German keeper should have fessed up that Lampard had scored.

In Phase 5, “England is knocked out without getting anywhere near lifting the Cup.” Had the English somehow beaten Germany, instead of losing by three goals, they would have then needed to beat Argentina, Spain and Holland.

In Phase 6, normal life resumed the day after elimination. Riots broke out in English cities in the summer of 2011, not the summer of 2010.

In Phase 7, the manager Capello was chosen as the nation’s scapegoat. The Italian had raised English hopes by making his players look like world-beaters for two years, before finally pulling off the mask in South Africa to reveal them as the usual losers. Furthermore, as a foreigner he made a perfect scapegoat.

And we are confident that in 2014 Phase 8 will kick in: “England enters the next World Cup thinking it will win it.”

The World Cup as ritual has a meaning beyond football. The elimination is usually the most watched British television program of the year. It therefore educates the English in two contradictory narratives about their country: one, that England has a manifest destiny to triumph, and two, that it never does. The genius of the song “Three Lions”, English football’s unofficial anthem, is that it combines both narratives: “Thirty years of hurt / Never stopped me dreaming.

There is an alternative universe in which Beckham didn’t get sent off, Bank’s stomach held up, Lampard’s goal counted, and so on. In that universe England has won about seven World Cups. Many English fans think they would have preferred that. But it would have deprived the English of a ritual that marks the passing of time much like Christmas or New Year’s and celebrates a certain idea of England: A land of unlucky heroes that no longer rules the world, although it should.

14-12-12, 05:34 PM
Ingenious chapter.

23-12-12, 05:53 PM
Talking about Financial Fair Play, as you know UEFA boss Platini said he is going to properly enforce FF. Malaga and some other teams got banned out of European Competitions for next year due to breaching the rules. A team's spending can't be more than 45m euro of its income and you are not allowed to owe a certain amount of money to creditors like the tax man or players.

And so it hit Malaga since they have countless debts because their sheikh can't be fucked paying anymore. However it has a bit of a negative connotation going after the smallish clubs but leaving the big guys like Chelsea or PSG alone.

Talking about P-SG. Since 2011 they have spent a whooping 240m Euro more on transfer fees than they have taken in. As most of you know, PSG is now owned by the "Qatari Sports Investment" (QSI).

PSG is now planning to circumvent Financial Fairplay by strucking an advertising deal with the Qatari Tourism Authority (QTA) worth 600m!! Euros til 2016. This deal will be retrospective meaning they receive 150m for the year of 2012 for nothing. Funnily enough, both QSI and QTA are owned by the same person, the state of Qatar. So in essence, they are concluding an agreement with themselves and giving the rest of Europe the finger. Surely this is breaching the rules of Financial Fair Play and something needs to be done against that.

So what is Platini and the UEFA doing? So far nothing. And it gets even more interesting. Guess who is head of the entire European operations of "Qatari Sports investment"? Laurent Platini, son of UEFA boss Michel Platini. Read into it what you want.

23-12-12, 06:08 PM
It's the same dodgy stuff with Man City's owners using their companies to sponser them and shit like that

23-12-12, 06:12 PM
Dodgy, or a clever way of circumventing a stupid rule?

23-12-12, 07:01 PM
AFAIC only 1 way to build a proper football club = from the ground up.

clubs like Liverpool, Independiente, Man U (of old), Bayern, Benfica, Inter Milan & the like deserve respect.

Pet projects for millionaires with a penis size complex are outright Ridiculous! Why don't these rich masturbators go and play with their own penises?

23-12-12, 07:23 PM
a clever way of circumventing a stupid rule?


Always been that way, the bigger clubs will always find loopholes around the rules while the smaller clubs suffer.

23-12-12, 08:04 PM
Dodgy, or a clever way of circumventing a stupid rule?

I think it's a great rule. There is no other business in the world where you can go into the red as much as you like and nothing happens. Football however is like that (and the why is covered in this thread) so forcing semi-economic sense on chairmen is the right thing to do imo.

30-12-12, 06:12 PM
A famous football manager stands up from the table. He is going to pretend he is Chelsea’s captain, John Terry, about to take the crucial penalty against Manchester United in the Champions League final in Moscow in 2008.
The manager performs the part with schadenfreude; he is no friend of Chelsea. He adjusts his face into a mask of tension. He tells us what Terry is thinking: “If I score, we win the Champions League.” And then, terrifyingly, “But first I have to score.”
The manager begins pulling at the arm of his suit jacket: he is mimicking Terry pulling at his captain’s armband. Terry is telling himself (the manager explains), “I am captain, I am strong, I will score.”
Still pulling rhythmically at his suit, the manager looks up. He is eyeing an imaginary, grotesquely large Edwin van der Sar, who is guarding a goal a very long twelve yards away. Terry intends to hit the ball to van der Sar’s left. We now know that a Basque economist told Chelsea that the Dutch keeper tended to dive right against right-footed kickers. Terry runs up – and here the manager, cackling, falls on his backside.
Van der Sar did indeed dive right, as the Basque economist had foreseen, but Terry slipped on the wet grass, and his shot into the left-hand corner missed by inches.

This really is soccer,” the manager concludes. A player hits the post, the ball goes out, and Chelsea’s coach, Avram Grant, is sacked even though he is exactly the same manager as if the ball had gone in. By one estimate, Terry’s penalty cost Chelsea $170 million.
The penalty is probably the single thing in football about which economists have most to say. The penalty feels cosmically unfair; economists say otherwise. Penalties are often dismissed as a lottery; economists tell both kicker and goalkeeper exactly what to do. (Indeed, if only Nicolas Anelka had followed the economist’s advice, Chelsea would have won the final.) And best of all, penalties may be the best way in the known world of understanding game theory.

Diabolical: Are Penalties really unfair?

At first sight, the penalty looks like the most unfair device in all of sports. First of all, it may be impossible for a referee to judge most penalty appeals correctly, given the pace of modern football, the tangle of legs and ball, and the levels of deception by players. When the Canadian writer Adam Gopnik watched the World Cup of 1998 on TV for the New Yorker, he as an outsider to football immediately focused on this problem. The “more customary method of getting a penalty,” he wrote, “… is to walk into the ‘area’ with the ball, get breathed on hard, and then immediately collapse … arms and legs splayed out, while you twist in agony and beg for morphine, and your teammates smite their foreheads at the tragic waste of a young life. The referee buys this more often than you might think. Afterwards the postgame did-he-fall-or-was-he-pushed argument can go on for hours.” Or decades. The fan at home is often unsure whether it really should have been a penalty after watching several replays.

And the referee’s misjudgments matter, because the penalty probably has more impact than any other refereeing decisions in sports. Umpires in baseball and tennis often fluff calls, but there are fifty-four outs in a baseball game, and countless points in a tennis match, and so no individual decision tends to make all that much of a difference. Referees in rugby and American Football blunder, too, but because these games are higher scoring than football, individual calls rarely change outcomes here, either. In any case, officials in all these sports can now consult instant replays.
But soccer referees cannot. And since important soccer matches usually hinge on one goal, the penalty usually decides the match. As Gopnik says, the penalty, “creates an enormous disproportion between the foul and the reward.”

So do penalties change results or don’t they? We have the data to answer this question.

http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/7489/ssssx.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/ssssx.png/)

Our guru is Dr. Tunde Buruaimo. To help us with our book, he examined 1,520 Premier League games played over 4 years, from the 2002-2003 season until 2005-2006. For each game he knew the pattern of scoring and, crucially, which team was expected to win given the prematch betting odds. Our test of the two rival hypotheses about penalties is simple. We asked Tunde to divide the games into two groups:

Games in which penalties were awarded
Games in which they were not

We then asked him to compare how often the home team won when there was a penalty, and how often when there wasn’t.
Let’s look at the last column first. Taking all games in the database, 47.30% ended in home wins, 27.37% in away wins, and 25.33% in ties. These frequencies reflect the intrinsic advantage of home teams. So what if penalties change the outcome of the game. How will they do that? It might be that penalties always favor home teams (because the referee is a coward) in which case we would expect the percentage of home wins to be greater when penalties are given.
But in fact, as the first two columns show, the percentages for all results barely change whether a penalty is given or not. The percentage of home wins is about three points higher when there is a penalty (up from 46.76% to 49.65%), and the percentage of ties is commensurately lower (down to 22.38% from 26.01%). The percentage of away wins remains almost identical with or without penalties. So in game with penalties, there are slightly more home wins and slightly fewer ties.

It’s tempting to read significance into this: to think that the rise in home wins when there is a penalty is big enough to show that penalties favor the home team. However, statisticians warn against this kind of intuitive analysis. The absolute number of home wins when there were penalties in the game was 142. Had the frequency of home wins been the same as in games when there was no penalty, the number of home wins would have been 134. The difference (eight extra home wins) is too small to be considered statistically significant and the difference is likely due to chance. As it is, the data suggest that awarding a penalty does not affect home wins, away wins or ties.

16-01-13, 11:07 AM
Sorry for nt replying much sooner, just revisited this thread hoping there was something on a certain subject, but there isn't. Anyway...

I think it's a great rule. There is no other business in the world where you can go into the red as much as you like and nothing happens. Football however is like that (and the why is covered in this thread) so forcing semi-economic sense on chairmen is the right thing to do imo.
I agree there is nothing wrong with forcing some kind of rules to govern finance, but I strongly disagree that what Manchester City are doing with regards to internal sponsorship is much of a problem. The ultimate goal as far as FIFA and/or UEFA, and of course the individual governing associations are concerned is that clubs don't owe money to each other or to third parties. So the focus should be on - and thus any penalties against - clubs not paying their creditors. If Man City are fully up-to-date with rent, taxes, wages, transfer fees, payments to suppliers and so on then I don't see what business it if of anybody what the owners spend their other money on.