Matt Scott: Debts are no longer a taxing issue for the big clubs


“If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has.” John Maynard Keynes

Like him or loathe him – and he splits opinion as surely as Marmite – John Maynard Keynes was one of history’s greatest minds. His writing has formed the basis of the modern economic system. (Although what he taught has been treated as a piecemeal buffet from which to pick and choose according to political expediency,

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Matt Scott: Managers are too important to hire and fire on a whim. But are they all up to it?


“Sacked in the morning, your getting sacked in the morning…” Terrace chant

It is one of football’s accepted truths that no employee in a club is more important than the manager. His influence on the most decisive input into the club’s operations – the results on the pitch – makes him so. It follows then that with so much swinging on how they do, there must be some objective measure for the quality of their performance.

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David Owen: The migrant crisis gives sport a chance to show it can make the world a better place

Sports leaders are often keen to ascribe a higher purpose to the gloriously trivial pursuits to which they owe their positions. Hence last year’s agreement aimed at strengthening collaboration between the United Nations (UN) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC); hence FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s dogged attempts to use football to help map out a modus vivendi between Israel and Palestine.

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Inside Insight: That Chung Thing

Ever since the Korean Grandee, Chung Mong-joon (lovingly called MJ by his friends) announced his candidacy for the post of FIFA President, he has been doing what he has done best in the past: throw stuff at people. Whilst “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” was his motto in May of 2009 when he supported Sheikh Salman of Bahrain against Mohamed Bin Hammam, his target, this time, have been broadsides against his former ally and ExCo candidate of 2009 whom he then fervently supported.

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Matt Scott: How the De Gea mess shows who football’s winners really are


“The money coming into the game [football] is incredible. But it is just the prune-juice effect — it comes in and goes out straight away. Agents run the game.” Lord Sugar

Lord Sugar (then just plain Alan) became chairman of Tottenham Hotspur in 1991 and stayed at the helm there for 10 years. He was even manufacturer of the set-top decoder boxes that took content from dominant UK pay-TV channel,

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Mihir Bose: West Ham renting the Olympic stadium shows how the British state has failed in the modern sports business

West Ham must have hoped that the dust had finally settled on their move next year to the Olympic Stadium. Not a bit of it. There are growing calls for public inquiry by fans of other football clubs into the decision by Boris Johnson to let the Hammers rent the stadium built by taxpayers’ money for the 2012 Olympics, an occasion of great British national celebration.

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Matt Scott: Nothing but the best will do. But can Everton really do better?


“Nil satis nisi optimum” Everton Football Club motto

How Everton’s owners must lament that history has bequeathed them as a motto a Latin phrase meaning “Nothing but the best will do” because, since their 1995 FA Cup win, Everton really haven’t been the best at anything. But it is a stick with which to beat an underperforming club, and so it was with the acronym NSNO that disaffected Everton fans appended their banner of dissent as it flew by St Mary’s Stadium last week.

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David Owen: Reining in Confederations should be priority for Carrard

I was interested to read Laila Mintas’s recent column on voting reform at FIFA. But while I can see much logic in the position she stakes out, and can certainly appreciate the democratic anomaly of China (population 1.3 billion) having the same voting power as American Samoa and Andorra (populations each less than 100,000), it seems to me there are more important matters to focus on before the introduction of Mintas’s Point-Voting-System can have any bearing on the calibre of governance in world football.

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