Category: Latest

Birmingham City & Rangers: A Bad Week To Be A Bluenose

Both sides of what could soon be a proper international border, it is tough being a “Bluenose” just now. The odds against Rangers seeking the financial sanctuary of administration, or the sale and leaseback of major assets, as solutions to their latest book-balancing difficulties get shorter each day. Meanwhile, the semi-mythical “Owners and Directors Test” in England’s Football League looks like being failed at last, although Birmingham City President and major shareholder Carson Yeung has had to spend years laundering money in Hong Kong to do so. These are the bare facts of the Rangers’ situation. They have averaged 40,000-plus crowds since entering Scottish Football’s fourth tier in August 2012. Last season, their gate income dwarfed the rest of their division combined, as it has this season in the third tier. They received £22m from an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in in December 2012. But that money and all other income…has gone. So Rangers have had to borrow £1.5m from hedge fund managers Laxey Partners and club director Sandy Easdale for “general working capital purposes,” or they would be insolvent. If income is as closely-linked to on-field success as the experts in such areas suggest, Rangers should have guaranteed annual promotion while making profits significant enough to allow them to challenge bitter rivals Celtic as soon as they reach the top-flight. The explanation for their failure to...

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The Despotism & Ignorance Of Vincent Tan

Perhaps now we at least might have some understanding of why Vincent Tan has been so insistent on the subject of changing the colours of Cardiff City’s shirts over this last couple of years or so. By wearing red, all associated with the club are better prepared to mask the redness of their faces as the club’s owner repeatedly drags its name through the mud. The latest revelations to come from The Cardiff City Stadium, however, are of an altogether more serious nature than those that had preceded them, rumours of £3.7m in bonuses being offered to the players...

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Bundesliga Round Up: Week 23 – Stuttgart lose again

It’s definitely crisis o’clock at Stuttgart. The Swabians are one of the Bundesliga’s biggest clubs and regular European competitors who last won the championship as recently as 2007. Their coach back then was a guy call Armin Veh. He is now the coach of Eintracht Frankfurt, who were responsible (in part at least) for Stuttgart eighth consecutive defeat on Sunday. Stuttgart went ahead with a nice finish from the Austrian international, Martin Harnik after half an hour and it was all going pretty well for the away side. Particularly when, on 72 minutes, the linesman overruled the referee after...

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Football, Beer & Sunshine: Normality Returns To The Dripping Pan

It’s been a long time coming, but spring might finally just about be in the air in East Sussex. After what felt like months of constant high winds and rain, the sun is out in Lewes for this afternoon’s Ryman League Premier Division match against league leaders Dulwich Hamlet, and a combination of the good weather and a beer festival has attracted a large crowd of just over eight hundred people to The Dripping Pan for league match of significance to both of the clubs taking part. By the end of the afternoon, though, the large, rambunctious travelling support...

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On Financial Fair Play & Legal Threats

It was always likely to only be a matter of time before somebody issued a legal challenge to somebody’s Financial Fair Play rules somewhere in this country. After all, the acquisition of debt has become one of the defining characteristics of football in this country from the very top of the professional game down in recent years. Indeed, in some respects it might be even considered a tradition – English football clubs have been using their financial muscle to crowd out their rivals since before the Football Association’s rules even allowed players to be paid to play. The challenge to Financial Fair Play is being made to the Football League and it’s coming primarily from the Championship, although reports have been conflicting on how many it might be, with the Guardian not giving the exact number of clubs behind it all (although they did name  Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers as being amongst the main movers behind it), whilst the Daily Mail went a step further and made the claim that ten clubs from the Championship and one from League One were involved in it all, although they only added the name of Bolton Wanderers to that given by their rival publication. The Guardian’s list of clubs came from “Championship sources,” and there is little reason to question it. The notion of Financial Fair...

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