There can’t be many parts of the planet where people are not excited by the return of the English Premier League. They are watching from Times Square to Timbuktu. Global interest has made the league a licence to print money for two decades.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier at the HQ of football’s world governing body, along came Simon Brodkin. That’s the British prankster who suddenly showered Sepp Blatter with fake dollar bills in his attempt to “secure the 2026 World Cup for North Korea”.
One year ago they suffered the most painful, humiliating defeat in the history of football. Somehow things have got worse. To the extent that remarkably we have to ask ourselves: is there a way back for Brazil? Can the nation synonymous with football ever regain its special status?
In the world of smoke and mirrors, behind the spin and the secrecy, the lies and vested interests, the tangled webs of international diplomacy, or lack if it, the posturing, the blinkered views and denials, one thing is sure about the astonishing FIFA crisis and its large global ripples.
By a distance Canada 2015 is the most excited I’ve been about a women’s World Cup. In my job, it’s about the story, and there will be stories no doubt.
“You are only as strong as your weakest link.” It’s been difficult to apply this to La Liga where two clubs have been so financially dominant.
That English football sold its soul to television many years ago is hardly a contentious subject any more. And partly because the small screen has enabled to us to consume and enjoy more of the game from across the globe than we could ever have imagined possible. But with football and TV ever more reliant on each other, is there really a need for football to have humiliated itself for television in the way it did for the FA Cup semi-finals?
I don’t envy the position UEFA are in with hooliganism on and off the pitch in their territories. It’s easy to criticise. What would you do? But I know what I’d like UEFA to consider when they read the referee’s report and decide in action. Something radical.
How many goalkeepers are in the top 100 football transfers of all time?
Has their importance in football become strangely underrated? Has the lack of glamour in the position compared to the twinkletoes of outfield players blinded us, and indeed the transfer market, to the real value of a goalkeeper to a football team?
The Champions League. The pinnacle of European and indeed world football. Oh the glory. That music. Popular in all parts of the globe. And it’s all about winning isn’t it? Isn’t it?
So there is a limit to the power of the English Premier League. Indisputably the most entertaining, popular money-spinning league in world football, the world does not, it seems, revolve around it. At least not yet.
The FIFA Presidential election has absolutely nothing to do with public support, or indeed media backing. Around two fifths of nine tenths of NOTHING. I reiterate that after an in-depth Talk To Al Jazeera interview to be aired over next few weeks with Prince Ali, the candidate considered the main challenger to Sepp Blatter.
How many of the coaches at the Africa Cup of Nations are black? Three. How many coaches in the world’s most watched, celebrated, multicultural league, the Premier League, are black? That’s right. None. Do these figures sounds acceptable to you?
Exactly how much should you pay to watch your football team play? What can you afford to pay? How much should those players be paid? How much should you pay for your football-dominated television package? How much is your club actually worth?
It’s just not the way the Premier League is expected to work is it? What on earth are Southampton doing up in the Champions League qualifying places?