45 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

Matt Scott: Clubs run reckless risk as revenues rise with so much resting on unprotected players

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“I read a stat the other day that Burnley are bigger economically than Ajax.” Richard Scudamore, Premier League chief executive

The announcement that broadcast rights for Premier League football will soon be worth £1.712 billion (€2.317bn, US$2.633bn) every year in the domestic UK market alone must have caused a flood of mixed emotions for club executives across Europe.

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Matt Scott: MLS digital media deal is a new road for rights holders and sponsors to travel

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“Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly agein’. Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand. For the times they are a-changin’.” Bob Dylan

For the past 20 years football has had a very healthy and profitable relationship with pay-tv. This will be underlined once more over the next 24 hours or so when the Premier League makes its announcement over the result of the auction it has being holding for its UK rights.

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Matt Scott: Manchester United and their Messi set of accounts

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“Whether it’s a [world] record or not doesn’t really resonate with us. What resonates is an elite player that the manager wants who is going to be a star for Manchester United.” Ed Woodward

Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, has been pretty forthright about Manchester United’s transfer-market punch. His words have coincided with coquettish comments from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi about how uncertain are their futures at Real Madrid and Barcelona.

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Matt Scott: Meddling regulators put Premier League Golden Goose at risk

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“He who seeks to regulate everything by law is more likely to arouse vices than to reform them.” Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza, the 17th Century Dutch-Portuguese philosopher, was certainly ahead of his time. His inchoate views that there is no such thing as a providential God, only nature, which one day would form the basis of his far-sighted Theologico-Political Treatise (published anonymously) were so controversial he was formally excommunicated by the Portuguese-Jewish community in Amsterdam that had brought him up.

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Matt Scott: Five key events for 2015

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“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look farther than you can see.” Winston Churchill

Last week this column took a look back over what it had predicted for 2014 to see how they had fared in reality. Now, for the first column of 2015, and as one of history’s great men once said, it seems wise to look ahead, at least as far as we can see.

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Matt Scott: TPO ban is welcome, but now the hard work begins

“There’s not any other profession in the world where investors can buy stakes in a human being.” Theo van Seggelen, FIFPro

Football, said the former England striker Jimmy Greaves, is a funny old game. But so too is the business of it. In no other sector than the sports industry do men willingly agree to become the tradable chattels of others. It is true that the football transfer market has come a long way from the time decades ago when players were instructed to move to a specific club with no input at all into the trade.

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Matt Scott: Russian 2018 organisers face taxing task as inflation takes off

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“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” Vladimir Iliych Lenin

The Russian bear was dancing when it held the winter Olympics and won its bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. All the while it was growling a demonstration of its aggressive fighting strength in the Caucasus. But, for the moment at least, one of the world’s most historically important nations is cowed.

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Matt Scott: Man City’s FFP-friendly accounts could take football down a rabbit hole

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“If you drink from a bottle marked ‘poison’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Manchester City’s accounts released last week described a fantastical transformation of their financial fortunes. This is a club truly living in a football wonderland that even the most imaginative Alice of a fan could surely not have dreamed of 15 years ago.

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Matt Scott: FIFA corruption allegations will drive sponsors away, to UEFA?

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“The negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners.” Adidas statement, June 2014

Adidas has claimed that football is “the DNA of our company”. So when FIFA’s longest-serving commercial partner remarked publicly about the threat to football’s image presented by the many corruption allegations swirling around its governing body, Adidas revealed fears that its own reflection might become haggard.

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Matt Scott: FBI probe suggests FIFA is set for its ‘Salt Lake City moment – but not how you might expect

They say a week is a long time in football and the pace of change at FIFA has indeed been remarkable in the four years since the decision to award Russia and Qatar the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting rights.

Since 2010, 12 of the 24 people who voted on the destinations of those World Cups are no longer involved in the FIFA ex-co. Some, such as Ricardo Teixeira, were proved to have been guilty of taking irregular payments at one time or another.

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