It’s been a wonderful summer of sport, but The Premiership is back, ready to dominate the back pages as usual.
The whole of the British public is suffering a post-Olympic hangover, and rightly so. We’ve witnessed 16 days of magnificent sport right on our doorstep, and that following swiftly on the heels of Euro 2012. It really doesn’t feel that long since Aguero fired that last-gasp winner past Paddy Kenny and snatched the title from Fergie’s grasp.
A lot can change in 3 months though.Continue Reading ›
I’d reckon this is pretty much the biggest week of Barca’s recent history now.
This team has the chance to become immortal. We are still in contention to win;
- A fourth league title in a row
- A third Champions League in 4 seasons, and also become the first team in the Champions League era to win it back-to-back
- A second Copa Del Rey in 4 seasons
- Altogether win the treble for only the second time in Spanish football history.
This team really is on the verge of true greatness, of achieving confirmation of their status as one of the best teams in ever.
We were unlucky to lose midweek at Stamford Bridge, but we were also beaten by gameplan we’ve been beaten by before, and we were extremely wasteful. Normally Sanchez would’ve had two goals, Adriano at least one, Messi one and Fabregas one given the chances they had, and don’t get me wrong, Chelsea’s defending and Cech’s goalkeeping in particular was outstanding… but we still should’ve got a draw, if not a win.
Now we’ve got to pick ourselves up for El Clasico. There is no way to describe this game other than, quite simply, the biggest match in the world.
Pretty sure if we win it then we’ll go on to sweep Chelsea aside on Tuesday and advance to the final, and then proceed to overhaul Real, win the league, and inadvertently get Mourinho the sack (and what a shame that would be).
I haven’t been this nervous about a football match for a long time. Ever since Iniesta’s goal and that famous Guardiola celebration as he ran down the Stamford Bridge touchline it’s been one big rollercoaster that the wheels never looked like falling off. Even when we lost to Mourinho’s Inter we were still acknowledged as the best team in the world, it was like we knew that we were only being temporarily halted.
This week the wheels could come off tho. If we lose this clasico, lose the league, lose the semi-final and only win the Spanish Cup (and there’s the danger of us losing that too), then I can see Guardiola leaving and taking a break from management.
Part of me is cautious about all this because there is so much at stake… but on the other hand I’ve always trusted in this team and I’m not going to stop now.
At the moment I’m ridiculously optimistic about our chances, and that’s why my prediction for the match is 4-1, Sanchez, Fabregas and a Messi double, with Benzema scoring for Madrid.
But just imagine if that actually happened..
By Peter Hine ©
Nadal vs Ronaldo!
Two of the world’s top atheletes go head to head in an energetic battle of explosive speed and precision.
US sports manufacturer Nike are notorious advertisers and their latest campaign promoting the ‘Mercurial’ boots involving Rafael Nadal and Cristiano Ronaldo certainly entertains fans with a vivacious tennis/football encounter.
By now I am sure everyone with even a passing interest in this worldwide sport will have heard that Glasgow Rangers Football Club are in financial meltdown. The most successful club in world football in terms of trophies won are in danger of slipping out of existence altogether.
In the 1990s Sir David Murray, who according to some fans was the greatest chairman they ever had, took control of the club and poured millions into buying some of the very best players available. With the likes of Paul Gascoigne in the squad they were expected to make a serious push for success in European competition, but this did not materialise. The 1998/1999 season saw £35 million squandered in player signings in a last-ditch attempt to conquer Europe, bringing the total spending for the “9-in-a-row” years to over £80 million, but still they did not succeed
With international players in the squad being paid huge wages that the club could not afford, a sneaky case of tax evasion and several bank loans were used to let the club carry on spending. All this carried on whilst the Rangers “faithful” turned a blind eye to it all. They thought this golden era of financial power and on pitch success was not going to end.
But now? They are in administration with Craig Whyte as chairman, a man who is a convicted criminal.
So what went wrong with David Murray? Simple. He stopped caring. Anybody who would like to challenge this is welcome, but if you have supported your team your whole life and start using tax evasion to save money whilst taking out considerable bank loans that the club couldn’t afford to pay, then one must question how much they love the team and have the club’s best interests at heart.
That is just what he did as chairman, and then he sold the club to Craig Whyte. A convicted criminal who was banned from being a director in any company for 5 years. A man who in every business he has been a director in has folded. A man who despite all of his business failings was now an apparent multi-millionaire. One of the boys on my university course, Andrew, lives 5 minutes from where Craig Whyte grew up, and yet he had never heard of him until this crisis started to unfold. To quote;
"When a man from five minutes down the road from you is meant to be a multi millionaire you’d be sure you had heard of him"
Despite this Murray still sold the club to him, which is ridiculous. He has destroyed Glasgow Rangers Football Club’s reputation and everyone in the boardroom and outside could see it coming. Whether they chose to watch it coming or turn a blind eye is a different question, but the club is still in a dire situation because of the sale to Mr Whyte.
Many Rangers fans are blaming Craig Whyte for the clubs downfall, but it’s not as simple as that. A borrowed £24 million from Rangers during Whyte’s reign has mysteriously disappeared, making him dishonest and complicit in this crisis, but the club still had masses of debt before he became chairman. It is safe to assume that Sir David Murray was not the saint Rangers fan seem to view him as, or at least in financial terms his final few years as chairman were not sustainable or fit and proper from a business point of view. This phenomenal debt, presumed to be around £75 million, largely preceded Craig Whyte, whatever his faults as a chairman, and he should not take all the flak for this famous club going down such a bad road.
In conclusion, it is only fair to say that had the Rangers faithful listened when other fans told them this constant mad spending would not be financially sustainable then maybe they could’ve expressed their doubts before the crisis reached such heights, but with 9 titles in a row could you blame them for turning a blind eye? Maybe not.
One thing that is clear though is that Sir David Murray has played as much a part in rangers downfall as anyone else associated with the club.
By Adam Garvin ©