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Liverpool FC, football, sport / racism, well done Prince Boateng & Milan
« on: January 04, 2013, 12:08:27 AM »

Milan players walk off the pitch after Kevin-Prince Boateng is racially abused by a section of supporters. The incident happened during a friendly between the Rossoneri and fourth tier side Pro Patria. Boateng furiously kicked the ball into the opposition fans after he heard racist chants during the match before he left the field, quickly followed by his team-mates

Liverpool FC, football, sport / did he just say what I thought he said?
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:03:09 PM »

"I am living in Manchester now, because in Liverpool, the women were crawling for me. It was too much. In Manchester, people don't recognise me that much and tend to treat me in a more respectful way. I don't want to be a star. I just want to play football"

Marouane Fellaini in the Liverpool Echo.

The Rest / to those that we lost in 2012
« on: December 31, 2012, 10:28:22 AM »

thanks for the wonderful memories.  RIP

Liverpool FC, football, sport / New Contract for Captain Marvel
« on: December 24, 2012, 04:04:25 PM »

Liverpool to open contract talks with Steven Gerrard after Brendan Rodgers highlights how crucial captain is to club

By Chris Bascombe, at Anfield

Gerrard has only 16 months of his current deal left, and Rodgers is keen to remove any doubts the England captain can play on for much longer at Anfield. The 32 year-old has a guarantee of an ambassadorial role at his club when he ends his playing career, but there is an expectation he will play on for several more years following an exceptional performance in Liverpool's 4-0 win against Fulham on Saturday, when he was one of the scorers along with Martin Skrtel, Stewart Downing and Luis Suarez.

With Gerrard’s current terms ­ending after the World Cup in 2014, it is essential that Liverpool tie up their captain for a longer period.

“He is vital to us, and I recognise that,” Rodgers said. “I know he has 16 months left on his contract, but I would want him to go beyond that for this club and this team. This is a guy who has led his life right as a football player and that allows you to play well into your 30s. Absolutely I would want him to stay beyond his current contract and extend it – there is absolutely no question about that.  He has been an inspirational captain for us, he has been a huge figure in the development of this team. We are improving, we are growing, and he has influenced that.”

The Liverpool hierarchy is cautious about handing out deals to players in their 30s, with Gerrard’s most recent contract, signed a year ago, ­amounting to just a one-year extension.

Jamie Carragher’s contract ends at the end of the season, although the lack of negotiations on his future has been mutually agreed until the player makes a firm decision on his intentions and the club informs him what role, if any, they see for him.

Gerrard showed against Martin Jol’s side that he can still be the dynamic presence he has always been. “You look at his stats this season and he is right up there as one of the most influential midfielders in the Premier League,” Rodgers said.


Liverpool FC, football, sport / rubbish
« on: December 18, 2012, 01:42:51 PM »
Brazilians discover Chelsea's tactical secrets in dressing-room litter

Journalists from the Brazilian website Globoesporte have discovered details of Chelsea's tactical preparation for major matches after rooting through the rubbish bins in the English club's dressing room following their 1-0 Club World Cup final defeat to Corinthians on Sunday.

The website has published photographs of crumpled print-outs showing where Chelsea's players should be positioned at both attacking and defensive corner kicks, exhorting players in large red capital letters to "be aware of counter attack" while pushing forward, and to "immediately [push] up after we clear first ball" when defending set-pieces. The pictures also show that Chelsea's cornertakers were told to signal where they were planning to send the set-piece by either raising or lowering their arm.

Globoesporte describe how their journalist found the information. "Among sandwiches, energy drinks and broken sports equipment, the British left in the dressing room simple notes about O Timão [Corinthians] and detailed explanations of what each player should do at set-pieces," they write.

The name of Paolo Guerrero, the Peruvian whose goal was to decide the game, is frequently abbreviated to Guerro – "A situation that may be a mistake or just an abbreviation," according to Globoesporte.


An Italian football fan who showed up to support his team in an away game has become a national hero - after it turned out he was the only supporter who bothered.

The away stand for Udinese's match against Sampdoria was completely empty - except for the presence of Arrigo Brovedani, a merchant, who clapped and cheered his team alone.

At first, Brovedani was booed by the Sampdoria fans - but soon his lone stand turned their favour. "When I went in and the local fans booed me, I felt a bit offended", he said.

"But in the end they clapped me and invited me for a coffee and a meal".

Udinese never takes more than 50 or 60 fans to away matches - but Brovedani was disappointed at the particularly low turnout: "I went there thinking I'd find five or six other people".

The four hour drive home won't have been so bad though, Udinese finished the match 2-0 winners - and dedicated the victory to their fan.


Liverpool FC, football, sport / Fergie: City Get Too Many Penaties
« on: December 07, 2012, 05:30:38 PM »

Sir Alex Ferguson has increased the pressure on the referee Martin Atkinson for the Manchester derby by claiming there would be a House of Commons inquiry if Manchester United were awarded as many penalties as Manchester City.

Since the start of the 2010-11 season, City have been awarded 21 spot-kicks at the Etihad Stadium and in the past three games on home soil they have been given four – two against Aston Villa and one each in the draws with Real Madrid and Everton.

United visit City on Sunday and Ferguson said: "The number of penalty kicks they get – 21 in the last year or something like that. If we got that number there'd be an inquiry in the House of Commons. There'd be a protest."

United have actually been awarded more penalties, five, than City this season, only to miss three.

The Rest / Before & After Drugs
« on: December 07, 2012, 04:09:26 PM »

Liverpool FC, football, sport / fees paid by clubs to agents
« on: November 30, 2012, 09:00:27 PM »
Bottom-of-the-table Queens Park Rangers paid the third-highest amount to agents over the past year, their figure of £6,818,688 topped by only the champions Manchester City and Liverpool, the Premier League revealed on Friday.

City were the biggest spenders on £10,537,982 – up from £9,663,700 the previous year – with Liverpool second having shelled out £8,600,444, an increase from £7,000,242.99. But it was QPR – who brought in a number of high-profile signings over the summer including Júlio César, Park Ji-sung, José Bosingwa and Esteban Granero – whose payments stood out, with their figure having almost trebled from £2,499,214 in 2010-11.

Tottenham (£6,595,905) were fourth on the list, followed by the Champions League winners Chelsea (£6,490,382), Arsenal (£5,580,873) and West Ham (£4,436,992). Manchester United's figure dropped to £3,681,580 from £4,457,103.

Promoted Southampton had the lowest figure (£646,106), with Swansea – last year's lowest spenders – second-bottom of the list despite their payments having risen from £248,633 to £1,100,845.

The overall amount spent by the 20 clubs in this season's Premier League was £77,003,130 (806 transactions), compared with £71,868,749.94 (765 transactions) for the previous 12 months.

The latest figures cover the period from 1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012, which spans two transfer windows. The amounts include payments made by clubs on behalf of players.

Arsenal £5,580,873; Aston Villa £2,730,539; Chelsea £6,490,382; Everton £3,092,891; Fulham £2,581,208; Liverpool £8,600,444; Manchester City £10,537,982; Manchester United £3,681,580; Newcastle United £3,485,503; Norwich City £1,248,725; Queens Park Rangers £6,818,688; Reading £2,167,833; Southampton £646,106; Stoke City £1,717,266; Sunderland £2,173,762; Swansea City £1,100,845; Tottenham Hotspur £6,595,905; West Bromwich Albion £1,341,301; West Ham United £4,436,992; Wigan Athletic £1,974,305. Total £77,003,130


Liverpool FC, football, sport / McClarenitis!!
« on: November 26, 2012, 10:17:09 PM »

Joey Barton has caught the French strain of McClarenitis!!

Liverpool FC, football, sport / Rest in peace
« on: November 25, 2012, 06:05:04 PM »

Phil McNulty Chief football writer, BBC Sport

Dave Sexton was one of the great elder statesmen of English football - both an innovator as a coach and a success as a manager.

He is best remembered for leading Chelsea to FA Cup victory against Leeds United in 1970, following it up by securing the European Cup Winners' Cup against Real Madrid the following season.

Sexton came close to arguably his greatest triumph in 1975/76 when he almost brought the title to Queen's Park Rangers, only to be narrowly pipped by Liverpool.

A quiet, modest man who was regarded as one of the game's great thinkers, Sexton took Manchester United to the FA Cup Final in 1979, where they lost to Arsenal and his acumen and wisdom was utilised by the FA and a succession of England managers in his later years, leading the Under-21 team to back-to-back European titles in 1982 and 1984.


Jen Chang, the public face of Liverpool who threatened a spoof blogger, leaves the club

Liverpool’s communications director Jen Chang has left the club, three weeks after an apology was issued over threats he made to a fan.

Chang, a former writer and editor at Sports Illustrated, joined the club in June, and undertook a wide variety of roles, including running the women’s football team. He was also committed to developing the club’s social media presence, though his determination to control a Liverpool fan, Sean Cummins, who launched a spoof comedy Twitter account under the name of Duncan Jenkins, seriously damaged his credibility.

As The Independent reported last month, ‘Jenkins’ claimed to know details of transfer targets, by tweeting them shortly after mainstream football journalists had published them. Chang became convinced that the writer had a mole at Liverpool and at a near two-hour meeting with him in Manchester threatened that fans would make his life a "living hell" if he did not admit he had no club contacts. After Liverpool’s investigation, Chang left for the United States to be with his family.

Liverpool have not specifically link Chang’s departure to the ‘Duncan’ incident. A spokesman said: “I can confirm Jen Chang has left Liverpool football club by mutual consent and has returned to the United States for family reasons.”

Liverpool FC, football, sport / In Memory
« on: September 26, 2012, 06:16:35 PM »

John Bond, another of the West Ham old school, passed today, aged 79.

I'll always remember his efforts at Norwich in the 70s.  He played a very positive style of football.  He transformed Norwich.  Indeed, at that time, football in the Anglia region, with Ipswich (under Bobby Robson) and Norwich, was excellent.  John and Bobby put the region on the football map.

RIP  John.


A share in one of the world's most storied football clubs is once again up for grabs. The Glazer family's flotation of 10 per cent of Manchester United on the New York Stock Exchange today marks the end of a long and bumpy road.

The family, which took the club private in a £790m leveraged buyout in 2005, explored a float in Singapore and Hong Kong last year, but were forced to retreat in the face of weak demand. And the New York share issue had to be delayed because of market volatility last month. At one stage, it looked like the whole deal might be shelved.

But now the sale is finally away. So what does it mean for investors, for fans and football itself? Commentators have tended to analyse the float either from the perspective of the shareholder or the supporter. And neither is a pretty picture. The Glazers have pushed through an aggressive valuation for the shares. The $18-$20 price puts a value on the entire club at around $3bn, around 26 times the club's annual earnings. Analysts have pointed out that an established media company such as Disney is only presently valued at just 10 times earnings.

Although the Glazers will probably offload the shares at their demanded price, attention will quickly turn to the level at which they trade in the market. Facebook shares are down by almost 50 per cent since the social networking site's much hyped floatation earlier this year, leaving early investors feeling conned.

Some have suggested the only financial logic for buying the shares is that the club could be targeted by a wealthy private investor who will have to buy out all the equity holders at a premium to secure the prize.

If the Glazers' promises of capital gain do not materialise in the coming years, new shareholders will not have an opportunity to influence the running of the club. The brothers have put in place a two-class voting structure which means the family retain almost total control through B shares that have 10 times the voting power of those that are publicly traded. Manchester United shareholders will buy risk without control.

It is one thing for someone like Rupert Murdoch, who built his News Corp business from almost nothing, to treat shareholders as second-class corporate citizens. But the Glazers did not found Manchester United. They used money borrowed from bankers and hedge funds to acquire the club when it was already one of the most successful sporting institutions in the world.But what stinks even more than the rough treatment of gullible shareholders to many of the club's fans, including this one, is the fact that a sporting institution – one of Britain's most treasured community assets – is being relentlessly milked for the private profit of a single family.

The Glazers had initially suggested that the new money raised from this float would be used to pay down debt that the family heaped on the club after the 2005 buyout. At the last count, this stood at £437m, a bigger debt burden than any other in English football. But it has since emerged that half the proceeds from the share sales will go in to the Glazers' personal pockets.

This fits a depressing pattern. The Glazers' takeover has already sucked more than £500m out of the club since 2005 in debt interest payments, administrative costs and fees paid to the family.
And over this period ticket prices have risen well above inflation, pricing out many of the club's longstanding local supporters.

Shareholders and the clubs' fans actually have a common interest. Both want the team to fulfil its potential on the pitch and for the club to have a sustainable financial structure. Early dismissal from the lucrative Champions League for a few seasons would present serious financial problems, even for a club as wealthy as United.

And relegation from the Premier League would be an economic disaster. That might sound an outlandish prospect for such a successful club, but there are signs that the huge debt pile the Glazers have heaped on United is finally beginning to hinder its ability to compete with the best teams in England and Europe.

The Glazers have successfully driven up commercial revenues – particularly sponsorship – in the years since they took control. But spending on players has been modest in recent years despite the manifest need to strengthen the squad in vital areas. The 2011/12 season was the first since 2005 in which the club has not won a trophy.

And there are growing fears that when the club's veteran manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, retires, as he surely must in the coming years, it will be difficult to attract a top class replacement who will be willing to work within a limited transfer budget.

The curse of Manchester United is that while the Glazers remain in charge of the club's destiny and while their debt remains hanging around the institution's neck it is difficult – for either shareholders or fans – to see brighter days ahead.

Fan power: Major brands targeted by supporters

The Glazers have struck some massive sponsorship deals since 2005 after persuading companies of Manchester United's vast popularity. The most recent has been the $659m (£422m) shirt deal with General Motors Chevrolet.

But the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST), which organised the anti-Glazer "Green and Gold" protests, last week issued a head-on challenge to this aspect of the family's business model when they launched a global boycott of the club's sponsors in protest against the float. Manchester United fans have been asked not to buy products manufactured by the club's sponsors, which include, Aon, DHL, Chevrolet, Hublot, Smirnoff and Nike.


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