Category: Latest

The 200% World Cup: Dotmund’s Red Card Frenzy – A Preamble

Well, there are now only a couple of weeks to go before the start of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, so it’s time to put our game faces on and present our traditional – this is the third World Cup we’ve covered, so I think I can use that word – pre-tournament build-up with the introduction to a series that will be running over the next week or so on the history of red cards at the World Cup finals. Here’s our very own Dotmund with an introduction to his “red card cards,” the first of which will be published on here tomorrow morning. If I’m honest, I think I only watch the World Cup for the dismissals. International football’s biggest tournament has a way of elevating everything it touches. There have been countless better goals than Diego Maradona’s second against England, but the combination of place, time and significance means that it looks set to remain as THE goal. Likewise, there’s no indiscipline quite like World Cup indiscipline. People rightly argue that it is a shame that George Best or Ryan Giggs never got the opportunity to grace the World Cup stage, but I feel just as much of a sense of loss for Pat Van den Hauwe or Vinny Jones. Paul Scholes played at two World Cups, but I always got the impression that he...

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The Fly In The Ointment

Recently, while killing an afternoon wandering around my local library, I came across a DVD called FUTEBOL, which contains a fairly comprehensive history and social commentary of “The Beautiful Game” in the world’s 5th largest country. Sadly, while the librarian was searching for the aforementioned title, there were 2 of the 4 discs which couldn’t be found.  The librarian apologetically shrugged his shoulders, and I gave him a c’est la vie roll of the eyes, even though I was secretly thinking “for f**k’s sake”. Mildly peeved, I thanked the libarian (insincerely) for his efforts, and prepared to turn on my heels and go about my business. Just as I was about to leave, the librarian chummily asked “so, who’s your money on for the World Cup?”  Whether he meant it as such, I took this as a clear invitation to start an unnecessarily long conversation about who I thought would/wouldn’t win, and why. I told him my tip for the trophy was (and still is) Argentina. He nodded in at least partial agreement, then gave a rueful shake of his head and said “great team, but Messi’s no Maradona is he?”. Now, if he’d said this in certain quarters, he would have most likely have been knocked back by a tidal wave of hysteria from people who believe Messi is some kind of sainted figure, who is exempt from...

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Scudamore: The Premier League States Its (Lack Of) Intent

I wrote in my previous article that the Premier League (EPL) statement on its “investigation” into what is beginning to be called “Scudgate” (sigh) posed more questions than answers. The following is what I meant (with the statement in bold): Summary of a meeting of Premier League Clubs held on 19 May 2014. In the matter of media allegations regarding the Chief Executive. This article will take a while. I haven’t even got to the statement itself and already there’s questions. It was reported throughout last week that the EPL’s “Audit and Remuneration (A&R) Committee”, the body which has authorised Scudamore’s salary and bonuses down the years, was to discuss the issue. The BBC website reported on May 16th that they “will meet on Monday to consider disciplinary action against Scudamore.” The Committee’s independence, both professional and personal, from Scudamore was subjected to considerable scrutiny over the weekend. But yesterday (Monday) it was still being reported that the A&R Committee had “emerged” on May 14th as the disciplinary body. Yet the 17 EPL member clubs (relegated and already promoted clubs not included) “emerged” at pretty much the last minute as the actual decision-making body, despite the A&R Committee being reported as part of the EPL’s “due process” for holding Scudamore to account. If you didn’t have complete faith in the good governance of the EPL, you might think they...

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Scudamore : The Story That Won’t Be Brushed Under The Carpet

Dave Boyle enjoyed bits of last week. But, perhaps learning from his experiences in 2011, the rudest word he has come up with in reaction to the “Scudamore affair” is schadenfreudegasm. If Premier League (EPL) Chief Executive Richard Scudamore ever thought the Sunday Mirror newspaper story about his sexist e-mails would end with his apology and the curious inability of the game’s governing body to act against him (the FA, remember), he was wrong. If he thinks the EPL put an end to the affair with their “investigation into the newspaper allegations” and the subsequent statement from acting Chair Peter McCormick, then he’s wrong again. And that’s three “errors of judgment” in a week, which is going some, even for modern “English” football. Scudamore probably thought there were enough vested interests in football – or at least in the money his broadcasting deal negotiating skills have brought to EPL clubs – to protect him. But enough people in and around football resent that money enough to want, and work for, his resignation (what, for instance, have Cardiff City done to deserve £62m?). More importantly, enough people in general simply believe it wrong that Scudamore should remain in his job after admitting to using such discriminatory language. Thus the story stayed sufficiently high-profile to allow it this week’s Sunday Mirror to publish a follow-up. This follow-up was so at odds...

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