Day: January 14, 2013

The Blue Corner Vs The Red Corner In The Battle Over Financial Fair Play

UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations are coming, and those of us of the opinion that these regulations would come into force without some sort of noisy, braying argument will have been unsurprised to have seen the first significant broadsides against it fired from the Premier League’s mouthpiece of choice, the Daily Mail, this morning. In a breathless piece written by Martin Samuel, there is a florid description of a meeting of the twenty clubs last month at which a letter, produced on the headed paper of Arsenal Football Club, but also signed by Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, was produced a desire on the part of these clubs to follow the FFP rules to the letter. That these four clubs should have been behind such a proposal should be no great surprise. These four clubs have amongst the greatest financial clout of any under the existing status quo, and each might well find that positions at or near the top of the Premier League table would be cemented by having rules in place which prevented individuals from coming in and throwing money at other clubs in order to be able to challenge near the top of the table. It’s a familiar back and forth story, and with most other stories in football whether you are in favour of FFP or against it can usually be defined by which...

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That Was The Weekend That Was II: “Super Sunday” In “Not That Super” Shock

Perhaps the most instructive moment of last weekend’s Premier League football came at the end of the half-time break during the match between Arsenal and Manchester City yesterday afternoon. Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness had spent the previous five or ten minutes dissecting every significant decision made by referee Mike Dean during the first half and had arrived at the conclusion that he and his assistants had called just about all of them correctly. The camera panned back to the show’s anchor, who said “There’s been a bit of controversy,” as the programme headed into its final advertisement break before the start of the second half. Well no, there hadn’t, up to that point. Laurent Koscielny’s tackle on Edin Dzeko after nine minutes was a clear foul and the red card that followed it was unsurprising. By half-time, Manchester City were two goals up and cruising to a comfortable win, and just as unsurprising was the chorus of boos that greeted the final whistle. They’d paid a lot of money for that, you know. Being beaten by a better team is not an option at those prices. So the officials did have a reasonably good afternoon at The Emirates Stadium yesterday afternoon, most notably linesman John Brooks, who instructed Manchester City players shaking his hand at the full-time whistle that, ‘They’ve paid 62 quid over there, go and see...

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