Category: Latest

The FIFA Trial: Week Four – Kevin Jonas & Other Recording Stars 

The prosecution in the Fifa trial at New York’s Brooklyn Federal Court began week four expecting to rest by Wednesday. They ended week four expecting to rest by…erm…Wednesday. In-between, another week of testimony about grubby money-grabbing. Oh…and Kevin Jonas. Yes. THE Kevin Jonas. Once one of the “sexiest men alive”? From popular beat combo, the “Jonas Brothers”? No, me neither. Nevertheless, his descent from “pop-rock” super-starletdom to Fifa’s murky world promised to be a lurid tale. Jonas blamed Traffic. And the Brazilian sports marketing company (SMC) of that name edged towards the centre of attention last week, thanks to...

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Televised Football In The Regions: Wales & The West

It was always likely that the spread of regional television into Wales would bring challenges that the industry’s regulators would find difficult to manage. Television transmitters, after all, will only respect national borders to the extent that those who determine their positions and strength of their transmissions allow them to and, as with any other area of commercial broadcasting, there will always be competing interests between financial imperatives, political will, and the interests of viewers. In addition to this, the geography and landscape of Wales itself made reaching every community difficult. Hills and mountains are not natural bedfellows of...

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Celtic: Spoiling A Party In The Champions League

“You’ll never walk alone,” verse AND chorus, resonated around Celtic Park as much as it ever could have at Anfield, the spine-tingling barely dying down even when the crowd sang the chorus too fast, as crowds always do. The PA system had been operating on the theory “if it’s too loud, you’re too old.” Yet STILL the Champions League music cowered beneath the din which greeted it, accompanied it and re-intensified when it ended…or when the TV camera operator reached the end of the team line-ups…the best/only way for many to gauge the ending. (Charles Green said he’d own...

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Mark Clattenburg: Referee & Idiot

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment at which it started to come to this. Perhaps it was the formation of the Premier League, when the new league, drunk on dreams of the celebrity status that would end up coming to pass in most respects, stripped referees of the schoolmasterly all-black kits they’d worn for more than half a century and replacing them with green shirts, as though they needed a coloured uniform of their own. Perhaps it came as an unintended consequence of referees becoming professional in 2001 or with the growth in the influence of PGMOL, the...

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The FIFA Trial: Week Three 

Another day, another (multi-million) dollar (bribe story) at the “Fifa Trial” in New York’s Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, inevitably and dismally labelled “Fifa-Gate,” for the hard of thinking. The higher the bribes and laundered money, the more incredible it is (in the literal and pejorative sense) that disgraced ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter knew nothing about any of it. Did he and Fifa’s Executive Committee (ExCo) not receive financial analyses of the various rights attached to South American federation Conmebol, (Conme for, appropriate, short) World Cup qualifiers? Or, as with the detailed technical report into the bids to host the 2022...

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