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Day: December 9, 2011

Lost In Transit: The Story Of Hugo Enyinnaya

A Nigerian player that burst onto the Serie A scene in 1999 has finally turned his back on European football after twelve years of trying to establish himself. Here’s Paul Grech with the story of Hugo Enyinnaya. “I’m going to be rich!” was the typically honest reply of Antonio Cassano when asked what went through his mind after scoring a fantastic goal against Inter as a 17 year old, upon making his first start for Bari in 1999. As crass as such a comment might seem, it was, perhaps, only natural for Cassano to react that way, having been raised in one of Italy’s most impoverished and tough neighbourhoods. As things turned out, though, it was quite a prescient thought. Cassano may have never fulfilled his early promise or achieved as much as he might over the last eleven years, but this player has certainly done pretty well financially for himself. He was also probably not the only one whose thoughts turned to the promise of potential fortunes that night. Playing alongside Cassano and scoring an equally brilliant goal was another teenage striker in the form of Hugo Enyinnaya. Signed from the Belgian second division club Molenbeek a few months earlier for £125,000, the Nigerian might have been forgiven for thinking that his life was about to change dramatically when his shot from thirty yards out flew past Antonio...

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Port Vale: Blue Skies Or Grey Clouds Ahead?

Clucking bell. Again. Remember that “£8m” investment deal between Port Vale and American synthetic pitch manufacturers Blue Sky International (BS).  You do? Well, apparently that puts you one-up on Hank Julicher – who just happens to be BS’s Chief Executive, so really ought to remember, if the deal ever existed in the first place. This week’s Port Vale scandal threatened to be the revelation that chief executive Perry Deakin and chairman Peter Miller had voted for each other in their respective elections to the Vale board, despite not having paid for the shares which carried those voting rights. But this appears to have become a footnote in this chapter of Vale’s history in world record time. The BS investment deal (and never have those initials been more apt) wholly underpinned Vale’s new era. Julicher’s announcement that the deal is dead, and has been for “some time” has, surely, wholly undermined that era.  Julicher’s story is the latest of numerous revelations from the local Sentinel newspaper, which has impressed with its recent exposures of the new, surely-soon-to-be-ex-Vale board. And it could not be more damning. He used some very un-CEO-like language, suggesting he would have had “to be crazy or on drugs” to agree to the multi-million pound deal trumpeted by Vale in September. And “to make my position clear,” he said “Blue Sky hasn’t put any money into Port Vale Football Club...

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