Day: March 13, 2013

The Remarkable Story Of Qatar & The Dream Football League… So Far

In some respects, what actually seems to have happened was the only thing that could possibly have turned out to be funnier than what was suggested in the first place. Late last night, in line with its release in its hard copy issue, The Times put up a story, written by Oliver Kay, suggesting that a group from Qatar was planning football’s greatest ever heist. Sixteen clubs – plus eight on an tournament by tournament invitational basis – would be summoned to the Middle East every two years to take part in a competition called the Dream Football League in return for amounts of money that would cause beads of drool to form in the corner of the mouth of any football club owner, including £175m being offered to each invited club just to take parrt. This was a sensational story, broken by a well respected journalist at a world renowned newspaper. And what’s more, however fantastical the numbers seemed, it seemed darkly plausible. Five years ago, Qatar had next to no influence in world football. Now, however, Qataris own Paris St German and managed to persuade Barcelona that perhaps their shirts weren’t too sacred for a sponsor’s name after all. Most notably – and controversially – of all, though they either bought or won (depending on who you listen to) the 2022 World Cup finals. FIFA’s Jerome Valcke...

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Does Administration – Or Perhaps Even Liquidation – Now Beckon For Coventry City?

This evening at The Ricoh Arena in front of a paltry looking crowd of less than 9,500 people, a free kick two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the match between Coventry City and Colchester United rescued a point for the home team which might have previously appeared lost. It was a result which leaves the Sky Blues in ninth place in League On. The team is now six points from the play-offs, which would not be an insurmountable shortfall to have to make up on the clubs above them in the table were it not for one not insignificant detail – Coventry City seemed destined to collapse into either administration or liquidation over the next few days or so as a result of a lengthy dispute with their landlords over the terms of the lease that they have, for now, at their home stadium. The story of Coventry City’s slide towards this position has been one of brinkmanship in the face of overwhelming evidence suggesting that such a hard-headed negotiating position might not necessarily have been the wisest of ideas. The club has been in dispute with Arena Coventry Limited, the company who run the stadium on behalf of Coventry City Council and the Higgs Trust, for many months now. It claims that it is massively overpaying for use of the stadium – even though this...

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