Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Platini reservations over foreign takeovers

UEFA president Michel Platini is planning a series of talks about the wave of foreign takeovers sweeping through football.

Platini, elected as president of the European governing body a fortnight ago, wants to make sure clubs are not falling into the hands of businessmen who just want to make a profit.

Liverpool's takeover by American tycoons George Gillett and Tom Hicks this week means seven Barclays Premiership clubs are now in the hands of foreign owners - Manchester United, Chelsea , Aston Villa, West Ham, Portsmouth and Fulham are the others.

UEFA communications director William Gaillard believes Liverpool's new owners appear to have the interests of the club at heart - but has added there are concerns about the overall trend.

Gaillard told said: 'Michel Platini has doubts whether this is good for football.

'This is why he wants to have consultation with the whole football family - clubs, leagues, players and so on - so we understand a bit better in which direction football is moving.

'The interests of the game should be paramount, and we want to avoid football clubs becoming objects of speculation.

'At this stage we don't have a model to follow; we will develop it with the whole football family.'

Gaillard reasons the commercial opportunities mean a new type of club owner is becoming commonplace.

He added: 'Times have changed. It used to be local captains of industry who owned clubs, or clubs were owned by fans - as they have been in Spain.

'We now have a situation where people are investing in clubs because they see them as a way to make money. In the past, it was a way to spend money.

'If they want to invest in football because they love football, that's fine. But if we have a situation where someone buys a club and sells the stadium for real-estate development, sells all the players, goes home and cashes in that would be terrible.'

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Saturday, 24 March 2007

Your views

Ok, since i have been writing this blog, i have included my own opinions and those from articles throughout the media. However, now i want your opinions on foreign owners in football. Where do you think this is going to lead and what effects this will have on the game we all love. So, feel free to leave comments on any of the articles that have been posted on here and i will do my best to put the best ones on the blog. Remember keep all posts clean and if you can manage it, unbiased as well. Cheers.

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Thursday, 22 March 2007


Should have really done this on Tuesday morning but was still extatic after the victory at White Hart Lane. Ive put a few pictures from Monday night on here courtesy of www.fcchelsea.com.

A fantastic night was had by all in blue and we won 2 -1 thanks to two spectacular goals from Shevchenko and Wright phillips. Chelsea will now play Blackburn at Old Trafford for a place in the final. Manchester United also progressed thanks to a 1 - 0 win over Middlesbrough, they will now play Watford at Villa Park.

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The Foreigners are coming

Found a very interesting article on http://leftback.info/category/chairmen/. So all credit goes to the author of this site.

Interesting post on 101 great goals about how the Premiership is the new Monte Carlo. The influx of foreign owners looks like it’s just beginning.

I suppose most fans won’t care. Any Chelsea fan reluctant to embrace Abramovich’s billions because of how he might have obtained them has seen his fears wiped out by two consecutive league titles. United fans opposed to Malcolm Glazer are hardly apparent as they sit top of the league and with a full, newly extended, stadium.

Villa fans will welcome Randy Lerner although they’d probably have thrown out the red carpet for Hitler just to get rid of Doug and now we have Liverpool about to be bought out by Dubai International Capital (DIC), the investment arm of Dubai’s government.

Some Liverpool fans will complain but with a massive transfer fund and brand new stadium they’ll fade away into the background. If that deal goes through 7 out of 20 clubs will be foreign owned and you can be quite sure they won’t be the last.

Arsene Wenger was mocked when he spoke about Arsenal retaining an ‘Englishness’. There certainly could be more English players in the side, in fact they could probably do with a couple, but beyond the first team the club is English and has worked itself to make itself a player in modern football. No dubious benefactors, no buyouts, no takeoevers.

People complain that the number of foreigners in the English game is a bad thing and to an extent they have a point. What would be a bad thing is if the majority of English Premiership clubs were foreign owned. With the best will in the world the owners are interested in one thing and that’s profit.

Things like youth academies and educating young players and junior level teams cost money. Serious money. You can be sure when some clubs feel the pinch or want to maximise profits this is where they’ll look first. They’ll justify it by saying only ‘x’ players out 100 ever make it close to the first team and long term it’ll be cheaper to buy and pick up Bosmans from across Europe than to develop their own talent. Another nail in the coffin for the English national teams.

Are foreign owners going to put any money back into grass roots football? Not a chance.

The FA and the Premiership committee need to keep a close eye on this. It might be only a game of Monopoly to some people but for the fans it’s more than that.

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Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Football: Scudamore has 'no issue' with foreign takeovers

The Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, is unconcerned by the number of English clubs being taken over by foreign owners - provided strict eligibility criteria are met.

Chelsea, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Portsmouth have been sold to non-British investors and Arsenal and West Ham have been linked with deals.
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"We have an ownership model, as do other businesses in this country, that allows those who have the money to come in and purchase assets in this country," Scudamore told BBC Radio Five Live's Sports-week. "We have to be realistic. This league has attracted foreign players, managers and investment. So ultimately it will attract foreign owners.

"The issue isn't who the owners are, their country of origin or the colour of their skin. The issue is how they conduct themselves and how we regulate what goes on. I have no issue that at the present rate of investment, in five years' time half of the Premiership clubs will be owned by foreign investors, as long as they pass the proper tests.

"We have a very good Department of Trade and Industry. There is a whole lot of regulation that goes on before anyone can take over any business in this country.

"That includes checking out where the money is coming from. We've put in a few new regulations on top of that. The underlying inference in a lot of commentary is that we don't like foreign owners or the colour of their skin. We are not going to go down that route. "I don't want to see a Premier League that is entirely stocked with foreign players. What we want to see is the best of English talent matched against the best of foreign talent."

This article has been copyrighted by the Independent 2006

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Sunday, 18 March 2007

FIFA wants stricter regulation on foreign takeovers

Stricter regulation of foreign takeovers of football clubs is needed according to FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Blatter warned that the sport could be damaged if it continues unchecked.

"We need to be careful football doesn't end up in the hands of people who want football to serve them, instead of them serving football," said Blatter. "It is a very delicate matter and we need the help of the judicial authorities."

Icelandic federation president Eggert Magnusson recently paid GBP 85 million for a takeover of English West Ham. It became the sixth English Premier League club to be taken over by foreigners, following Fulham, Chelsea, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Portsmouth.

"There are investors who buy clubs, especially in England, which happens to be the most attractive," Blatter said. "We must safeguard football's independence and we need the help of politicians to do so."

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Tuesday, 13 March 2007


It was another pulsating weekend in the FA Cup.
On Saturday evening Manchester United drew 2 - 2 with Middlesbrough at the Riverside in a highly entertaining game. Chelsea met Tottenham on Sunday lunchtime in what was one of the most memorable games of recent times. Tottenham began brilliantly and surged into a 3 - 1 lead by half time with goals from Berbatov, ghaly and an essien og. Lampard had equalised for the Blues. After half time Chelsea responded with goals from Lampard and Kalou. Both teams could have won it in the final frentic few minutes but the match finished 3 - 3. Blackburn beat Manchester City 2 - 0 and Watford booked their place in the semi final with a hard fought win over Championship side Plymouth.
Tottenham vs Chelsea and Manchester United vs Middlesbrough will replay on Monday the 19th March.
The semi final draw will see either Tottenham/Chelsea vs Blackburn and Manchester United or Middlesbrough vs Watford.

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Thursday, 8 March 2007

Investment - where does it lead to?

Where would teams be today if it werent for the investment made in them.
Lets first start by looking at Liverpool in the 1970's and 80's. There can be little doubt that they were a great football team throughout that period, winning numerous trophies. However, would they have been as successfull without the major backing of David Moores?
Manchester United in the 1990s, again a club who holds the most Premiership titles in history. However, again money was a major factor. More recently they themselves have spent vast quantities of money on players.
Chelsea since 2003 have one two Premiership titles, would they have done had it not been for the investment of Abramovich, perhaps not.

However, its not so just the big clubs who can be accused of using money to get better. Fulham is a prime example. In 1996 they were languishing in Division 3 (now league 2) when they were purchased by Millionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed. By the start of the 2001-2002 season, Fulham were in the Premiership. Is this not a similar case?

Where would Wigan FC be if Dave Whelan hadnt purchased them in 1995 when they were in the old Division 3?

The bottom line is investment leads most of the time to more success. (unless your called West Ham...

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Peter Osgood RIP

Just over one year ago, Peter Osgood, one of the greatest players to ever put on a Chelsea shirt sadly passed away. He played in 289 games for the team scoring 93 goals including the famous winner in the 1970 FA Cup Final Replay against Leeds United. A great player but also a great man has been lost, yet his memory lives on.

Osgood - the king of Stamford Bridge

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Tuesday, 6 March 2007

However, as a follow up to my last post, i decided to include this article. Granted it comes from a pro Chelsea website, but it does raise some very interesting points.

I’m sure that most had read the reports on Wenger´s unprovoked attack (yet again!) on Chelsea with regard to finance and our link with PSV? The total hypocrisy and ignorance of a manager who I greatly respect is disappointing to say the least.

What was also surprising was that the Arsenal manager decided to unleash his rant on the eve of a champions league match – and there he was denying that he was “Chelsea voyeur” before! What’s he doing talking about us on the eve of a Champions league match?!!!

The first attack was with regard to the recent losses of 80M posted by Chelsea and his view that clubs should operate within their own “natural resources”:

"I have said many times that all the clubs should be balanced with their natural resources. That means they can only spend what they earn. The rules allow them to do it. I have my own opinion about that, I know how I feel.”

"It is viable because they do it and they have a super-sponsor. But with normal mathematics, minus 80 is minus 80. It’s not on the surface it is 80 miles below water, and to survive so deep is normally very difficult. But if you have a support, that allows them to do it.”

Firstly, I wonder where Wenger has been recently – presumably living in some kind of bubble. Endleman of Arsenal has already posted losses of some 260M and stated that next year these will rise to 385M!!! Makes our 80M look like chicken feed. Of course, IF Arsenal are at least reasonably successful over the forthcoming seasons, they should have no problem in making the repayments – their debt is structured over 25 years I believe. Our spending or debt also has a structured 10 year program to make Chelsea a viable business. Does anyone honestly believe that we are less able to be successful and therefore achieve a zero balance on finance? Come on!

The fact is Arsenal have spent more money over recent years than we have – FACT. They have invested in a stadium – we have invested in players and an academy.

“Ah yes! But Roman Abramovich isn’t a natural resource as Wenger points out!” I hear you say. Hmmm….so is a 330M euro bond and a massive loan from a group of banks headed by the Royal Bank of Scotland a “natural resource”? Banks are not the little old lady who stamps your savings book at the post office! Banks are companies owned by groups of people, rich people (in some cases just like Abramovich) or even governments. Banks express concern is to make money out of you. Banks will gleefully snatch your assets away if they think they can make a quick killing if you fail to make repayments. Banks are ruthless – they will ruin your life if they think they can make money legally without a second glance. Now excuse me, but I never realised that these banks were part of Arsenal football club (if they were, I can imagine all those Spurs fans with accounts with the Royal Bank of Scotland scurrying down to their branches to close their accounts!). “Natural Resource”! Do me a favour!

Even if my argument still doesn’t convince anyone, Wenger then proceeds to put his foot in his mouth in spectacular fashion:

"If we had had such an offer from someone we would not have turned it down. Chelsea are in a situation where they are lucky to have that kind of sponsorship. I can understand completely that they take advantage of it.”

So, what have we here? Let me see. Something like “It isn’t fair but if Roman would have come along to us then that would have been alright!” That quote alone DESTROYS any credibility that Wenger may have had on the matter of Chelsea’s finances.

The next attack on Chelsea came with the subject of the Chelsea – PSV connection. Apparently (and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true) Chelsea already “own” two of PSV´s outstanding players; Alex and Alcides.

“The Chelsea connection is a concern but no one really knows what is at the bottom of things. There seems to be an arrangement but I don’t know what legal relationship exists”.

“It’s very difficult to control and that is why the ownership of players has to be made clear. Chelsea and PSV are playing in the same competition.”

“We have an agreement with the Belgian club Beveren but the big difference is they don’t play in the Champions League.”

So fair enough, as I said earlier, we may well own these players and we do indeed have great relations with PSV. “So, if true, then Wenger´s right then isn’t he?” Well no..he damn well isn’t – in fact, his justification is that it breaks UEFA regulations. Since when has getting around the rules been a moral problem for Arsenal?!!! Apart from the fact that their own history is rife with corruption let’s look at recent events and how they relate to UEFA regulations:

Beveren don’t play in the CL true (well, at least not at the moment!) but isn’t it against UEFA rules to own or part own another football club? Let us remind ourselves of what happened at Beveren: Arsne Wenger has shares in a football academy in the Ivory Coast. Beveren can’t afford many players and are in fact, a very modest, lower division club in Belgium. Nonetheless, promising players from Arsne´s academy are sold to Beveren and those that come through are shipped off to Arsenal. It turns out that Arsenal made an “interest free loan” (because they are such a caring club) of some 1.5M to a newly created company called Goal. Goal own Beveren! Ok, so they got round the rules – hey presto, Arsenal are not breaking UEFA rules. Now Arsne, I ask you…Do you not think that it’s highly likely that Chelsea have got round the UEFA rules with Alex and Alcides as your club has done with Beveren? Therefore, what’s good for the goose is sauce for the gander surely?!!!

Shall we enter into the signing of Gilberto with that trip to with David Dein to Belo Horizonte? Or how about how Wenger tried to sign Baptista the first time around?

Arsne Wenger is a great manager but this recent tirade smacks of hypocrisy and envy. Do us all a favour, put your toys back in your pram and concentrate on Arsenal – Leave Chelsea to Chelsea please.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recently made yet another dig at Chelsea, this time concerning the clubs finances and the fact that they continue to operate at a loss. The interview was carried by a number of different media outlet and appeared in the Sun dated 20th February.

Wenger also voiced his concerns about Chelsea’s ability to carry on absorbing huge losses — £300million in three years — due to the generosity of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

He said: “I have said many times all clubs should be balanced by their natural resources.

“That means you can only spend what have you’ve got coming in.

“With normal mathematics, to lose £80m in one year would leave you 80 miles below the surface of the water.

“To survive so deep is normally very difficult. But for Chelsea it is viable because they have the support of a super-sponsor.

“But is it right for any business, not only in football, to have that kind of artificial income?

“And is it right for a club to be so reliant on one man?”

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Monday, 5 March 2007

I know this is quite old news, but ill post it anyway. Chelsea revealed their finances for the previous year a few weeks ago and this is what Chief Executive Kenyon had to say about it.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has given an overview of the current state of the club's business. Speaking at Monday morning's launch of Chelsea FC plc's accounts for 2005/6, Kenyon outlined the main areas where changes were made or improvements seen over that 12 month period. He also indicated that a five-year plan initiated after Roman Abramovich purchased the club remains valid. 'The backdrop of these results is success on the football pitch,' Kenyon said, 'not just for this season but for many seasons to come.

'Looking at it two or three years in, we have started successfully in that area and that underpins our business activity. 'The Academy system is paramount to ultimately reducing the amount we spend ontransfers,' he added. 'We have made significant investment in the structure of our Academy and our scouting network and not only are we delighted to have six full England internationals in our first team squad, we are also delighted that we have 10 England internationals at Under 21 level or younger.' Kenyon noted an on-going strategy of outsourcing non-core competences - the policy of allowing companies to work in partnership with Chelsea on areas where the club does not claim top level expertise - such as catering or the running of the hotels.

'We have seen increased brand awareness in North America and Asia' he continued. 'Hosting the Chinese Olympic team followed the launch of our Chinese language website and there will be other announcements about China in the next two to four weeks. 'In addition, we will go there in 2008 for a pre-season tour. That will follow going to America for the third pre-season in a row this July. 'It is fair to say that our awareness levels in both these countries are on a par with any top European club. From these levels we can improve business revenue and boost the image of our sponsors.

'Our losses are reduced by 43 per cent, down to £80 million and overall turnover increased by 2.3 per cent. 'Our merchandising revenue has increased by 44 per cent. That is very significant and up there with any club. 'Our football activities increased by six per cent and what I can tell you is there will be very significant increases in this current financial year in terms of turnover. The ability to grow this business will continue. 'So while no-one is sitting here happy to make a loss of £80 million,' began Kenyon's final summing up, 'it does show that we are on course to break even as outlined in our five-year plan.'

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There was another round of Premiership fixtures on the weekend as the battle for the title continued and the dog fight of relegation raged on. At the top, Man Utd briefly went 12 points clear of Chelsea after an injury time goal from John O'Shea handed them a 1-0 win at arch rivals Liverpool. In the late kick off Chelsea beat Portsmouth 2-0 to close the gap to 9 points with a game in hand.
At the bottom of the table Charlton battled back from two nill down to draw 2-2 at Watford, while Sunday saw one of the most dramatic games in the Premiership of recent times. West Ham played Tottenham and went into a 2 - 0 lead. Tottenham rallied after half time and made it 2-2. West Ham regained the lead in the 85 min through Zamora, but two late goals, including the winner in the 95th minute secured 3 points for the White Hart Lane outfit and surely killed off any remaining hopes of the Hammers avoiding the drop.

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