Matt Scott: QPR’s past failure to cut costs would make life after relegation a real battle

“Economy is half the battle of life; it is not so hard to earn money as to spend it well.” Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon was the 19th Century preacher whose sermons taught millions of Victorian Londoners how to apply Christian virtues to life in an often-Hogarthian city. His mark was far from permanent: Spurgeon’s famous fondness for self-restraint has hardly left behind a city steeped in self-denial. He would no doubt be dismayed by a nation that has responded to the financial crisis by gorging itself on debt.

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David Owen: Financial firepower should soon put Premier League clubs back on top of Europe

Chelsea’s dramatic Champions League elimination at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night makes it likely that next week will bring down the curtain on the participation of Premier League clubs in this season’s flagship European club competition, before even the quarter-final stage. Survival in the other big continent-wide tournament, the Europa League, may last only a further 24 hours if Everton cannot get the better of Ukraine’s Dynamo Kiev over two legs.

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Matt Scott: Leo Messi and his successors can ensure Adidas’s star will rise again

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“To be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune.” William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing.

What sets the superstars of today apart from their forebears of football’s past? Is it their talent? Their drive and determination, perhaps? Or is it something more modern? I for one cannot believe that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are any more driven than were Pelé or Diego Maradona. Nor indeed that the latter pair’s talent would not transcend the generations and light up the sky as brightly as those stellar rivals from Barcelona and Real Madrid.

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Matt Scott: Inglorious failure has proved costly for former Premier League clubs. Who’s next?

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“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela

In Europe at least, falling is an ever-present risk in the game of football. Relegation makes it so. Every year in four of the top-five leagues in the UEFA jurisdiction, 15% must lose their top-flight status. It is a devastating emotional blow for all who suffer it but, due to the riches available to that division in England,

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Mihir Bose: Football’s short term horizons

My father used to say that public memory is notoriously short. He was referring to politics not football but that holds very true for the round ball game as well. And herein lies a contradiction. There is nothing that arouses greater fury in football, both among the fans and the media, than the hire fire policy of chairmen and the board of struggling clubs. The moan is that the money men who always know the price of everything and the value of nothing want instant success and just do not understand that success in football takes times.

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Matt Scott: Bundesliga battle to haul back English TV gap looks a lost cause

“If you look at the German TV market, it will not be possible any time soon for the Bundesliga to sell its rights for that much money.” Christian Seifert, Bundesliga chief executive

Investors looking for safe havens for their money in these troubled times have stampeded into German sovereign debt. The rationale is that the strongest economy in Europe will never default on its borrowings and so there is no risk to the investor’s capital.

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Martin Volkmar: Leverkusen save face for Germany Ausgerechnet Leverkusen rettet die deutsche Ehre

Leverkusen’s much criticised coach Roger Schmidt, after coming away with the only German victory in this week’s Champions League matches, has shifted pressure off himself, and in so doing focused attention on Stuttgart which might be the next club to make a coaching change. But even more unstable than the Bundesliga in Germany’s coaching sack race is Germany’s second tier.

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Andrew Warshaw: Questions of winter timings

The cries of foul may have receded slightly since football’s most open secret – a winter World Cup for Qatar in 2022 – was all but confirmed, pending being rubber-stamped by FIFA’s executive committee. But the resentment in some quarters will linger for weeks and months to come.

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Massimo Cecchini: Una telefonata a tradimento: Il caso lotito

Ennio Flaiano, uno dei più famosi sceneggiatori del cinema italiano (basti pensare la collaborazione al capolavoro di Federico Fellini, “La dolce vita”), parlando dell’Italia amava recitare questa battuta: “La situazione è grave, ma non seria”. Ecco, la si potrebbe riproporre senza problemi nel descrivere il momento del calcio italiano, che sta attraversando una nuova crisi istituzionale.

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