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Old 13-09-21, 09:10 PM   #10081
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0-1

Burnley
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Old 13-09-21, 09:18 PM   #10082
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Old 13-09-21, 09:25 PM   #10083
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That Everton manager is decent.
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Old 13-09-21, 09:25 PM   #10084
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WTF 3-1.

I'm not watching but thought my eyes were playing up when I checked the score.
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Old 13-09-21, 09:27 PM   #10085
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Burnley going down if they are getting tonked by Everton
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Old 13-09-21, 09:31 PM   #10086
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“Rafa …Rafael, Rafa …Rafael…”

They must not know what to do.
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Old 13-09-21, 09:34 PM   #10087
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Some of the challenges in this game from burnley that have not been booked have been laughable.

Atkinson needs to retire.
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Old 13-09-21, 09:45 PM   #10088
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedReet View Post
La Liga’s allure and star quality diminishes as bid for Champions League glory restarts
The challenge for Continental supremacy begins all over again this week

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
3 hours ago
comments

<p>Few consider Barcelona, Madrid or even Atletico Madrid to be top-tier contenders for the Champions League </p>
Few consider Barcelona, Madrid or even Atletico Madrid to be top-tier contenders for the Champions League

(AFP via Getty)
A few weeks before the end of the transfer window, one major European club started to investigate whether they could challenge Real Madrid for the signature of Kylian Mbappe. There were discussions with his circle, and a point was made that at least caused them to sit up. It may even have prompted Madrid’s late flurry of bids.

“Spain has nothing now. Leo Messi has just left for Paris Saint-Germain. Why would any star go to Spain? It’s done.”

That may be an exaggeration, and may not change Mbappe’s thinking, but it does reflect a certain reality within the game.

La Liga has lost its supremacy. Its glory era is probably over. It has lost a lot of its appeal.

While that isn’t to say its clubs can’t still be competitive, their power has been greatly diluted. That power was admittedly at a level the game had arguably never seen before, not even from Serie A 1988-99.

Between 2013 and 2018, Spanish clubs won all of the Champions Leagues and all but one of the Europa Leagues. The semi-final places of both were regularly dominated by La Liga.

Now, the successes of Villarreal and Sevilla in the Europa League feel like mere muscle memories from stronger eras. Few in the game consider Barcelona, Madrid or even Atletico Madrid to be top-tier contenders for the Champions League. They are seen as vulnerable, and collectively at their weakest for decades.

This is key to the longer-term future of the Champions League as much as this season. The competition has so often been conditioned by the dominant domestic league. The history of European football – and particularly its premier club competition – has been measurable in dominant national eras that have broadly gone as follows, with some interludes: Spain 1955-64; Italy 1962-69; Netherlands 1969-73; West Germany 1973-80; England 1975-85; Italy 1988-99; Spain 2005-12; England 2004-13; Spain 2013-18.

The rise and fall of leagues has been European football’s equivalent to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s quote about how “families are always rising and falling in America”.

That was intended to reflect the dynamism of American society. Different league eras have reflected the dynamism of European football, as well as Continental competition’s glorious ability to spread ideas.

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A trend would take hold in a country, its clubs would take command, and other leagues would seek to emulate them before the next evolution.

It is at least possible that cycle has been broken, because of the nature of the new trends. They are no longer primarily based on tactics or coaching infrastructures but broadcasting markets and commercial strategy.

Spain, like Serie A two decades before, may have lost its strength at precisely the wrong time. There are certainly parallels.

Like La Liga in the last few years, Serie A in the 1990s was undeniably the domestic competition that the dominant stars went to. Italy would eventually get everyone, from Diego Maradona and George Weah to Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo.

The problem was that the league itself didn’t have the same global outlook as the clubs’ sporting directors. Serie A was too provincial in its attitude, and failed to market itself sufficiently. Silvio Berlusconi’s broadcasting model, which itself changed football and would directly influence the Premier League’s rise, didn’t reach beyond Italy at that point.

For all the charming nostalgia of Serie A’s showcasing on Channel 4, the fact it was still on the station into the 2000s was itself almost an indictment of the league’s lack of strategy. One national free-to-air channel just wouldn’t be possible for the world’s marquee competitions now.

Of the substantial sums Serie A did bring in during that period, most of it was spent on more big signings, but very little on infrastructure. Commercial revenue streams weren’t constructed. Stadiums owned by municipalities couldn’t be refurbished. That meant there wasn’t a virtuous circle, and it all came to a halt just when other leagues ramped up.

<p>Left to right: Dejan Savicevic, George Weah, Roberto Baggio and Marcel Desailly were global greats and AC Milan stars in 1995 </p>
Left to right: Dejan Savicevic, George Weah, Roberto Baggio and Marcel Desailly were global greats and AC Milan stars in 1995

(Getty Images)
There have been similarities in Spain, as the Covid crisis merely exacerbated existing financial problems. So much was hollowed out by the big two. They were too big to fail, until they became so big they couldn’t but fail. Barca and Madrid were so top-heavy in terms of player wages they were about to topple over. This reached a point of absurdity when the Camp Nou hierarchy were unable to register the greatest player in their history, as La Liga lost its biggest star. By that stage, Messi was one of its few stars. It is telling that the 34-year-old Iago Aspas was already appearing on La Liga publicity.

This is something that really illustrates the fall of the competition. In the space of five years, Spain has gone from having most of the 10 best players in the world to none. The only stars close are Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Luka Modric and Luis Suarez, but all are on the downslope of their careers in terms of age. This generation fosters that feeling of staleness, to go with what many top coaches feel is a slow style of football.

The competition has lost its unique selling point. It had been “the league of stars”, culminating in so many Clasicos between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. This was where the game’s true megastars went. This was the highest level of football.

“This was what it was exclusively sold on for so long,” one football industry source explains. “If you have megastars leaving, who can’t be replaced, what does that do for your product?”

At the other end, agents describe the Spanish market this summer as “brutal”. Most of the league could only pay €0-1m in transfer fees and salaries on a par with the Championship.

There’s another uncomfortable truth to this.

None of it would matter so much if it wasn’t for the immense strength, and wealth, of the Premier League.

Absolutely everything everywhere else is in relation to that.

There is a strong argument that the Premier League’s 2015 broadcasting deal – that brought in £5.14bn over three seasons – might be one of the most important moments in modern football history. It might be why Richard Scudamore ends up as one of the most influential figures in modern football history.

That is no exaggeration when you consider the profound effects of his broadcasting policy, which is a development of Berlusconi’s initial idea of the “television spectacular”. The manner in which the Premier League has marketed the image of competitive balance, and sold it to individual markets around the world, has created a huge financial disparity between its income and the rest.

No other competition gets close.

It has created a situation where the Premier League has had a net spend of £1.8bn more than all the other major leagues since the start of the pandemic, and 10 times more than any other league this summer.

That is an astonishing gap. The last broadcasting deal also kept it going, keeping it at that high level. That has fostered certainty, unlike anywhere else.

It has also exacerbated the issues in other leagues, because the finances have such a gravitational pull. They create a gradient and a talent drain. The better players naturally want to go where they’re better paid.

This has deeper consequences, too. Teams can’t retain talent or build, so they are always in a state of flux. That prevents true progress and evolution.

The big question in all of this is whether the Premier League is now unassailable, whether there is a gap that is impossible to close. Its clubs have probably even under-performed in Europe over the last decade, but that looks like it’s changing.

<p>The world’s best players naturally want to go where they’re better paid, like Manchester City </p>
The world’s best players naturally want to go where they’re better paid, like Manchester City

(Getty)
As one source in the football industry says, “why would you invest in a club anywhere other than in England”? Even recently promoted sides can quickly become worth more than all but a handful of Spanish or Italian clubs.

The caveat is that many would have said the same at the peak of Serie A or La Liga. It was virtually impossible to imagine those competitions falling at their height, but there are always unanticipated situations or unintended consequences.

There is also an argument that Spain has already made the corrections required to get through the worst of it. The decisions that have been taken over the last decade to spread wealth and create cost control have finally made most clubs financially stable. Tax debt and administrations are way down. This has been the consequence of Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional president Javier Tebas actually going against Madrid and Barca, to the point he barely talks to them, and bringing everyone else onside. Even the circumstances that led to Messi’s departure are a roundabout illustration of that. He took the hard decision that was required.

The league is more egalitarian than it was when it was seen to be thriving and the biggest clubs were demolishing all in front of them.

Spanish player coaching also remains so strong. Brilliant talent is created, although the country’s football ideology could do with an evolution. Pedri could be Spain’s own next megastar.

The pandemic just came at precisely the wrong time, and has forced the clubs into a situation where they have agreed the CVC deal, selling off 10 per cent of the competition to private equity. Many in football feel this is “mortgaging your future”.

“Selling stakes of competitions to private equity is rarely the foundation for purely sporting decisions,” one connected source says. “It’s rarely a good thing for sport. Private equity firms don’t lose money. Someone else might. They won’t. If a payment is missed, the stake is raised. It’s uncomfortable. It’s hard to see what La Liga get out of it in the long term.”

In the short term, there’s some stability. There are also solid teams, like Villarreal, but no longer spectacular teams.

That is not to say they won’t challenge for European trophies. It’s just that bit tougher for them to do so.

<p>Ageing stars such as Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Luka Modric give La Liga an ailing image </p>
Ageing stars such as Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Luka Modric give La Liga an ailing image

(AFP via Getty)
The same applies to major transfers. Mbappe still wants to go to Madrid. He still has the image of the club from the league’s peak and most of their history. That has a power in itself, even on the pitch. His signing will even restore glamour.

It just isn’t the power or glamour it used to have.

The eras when national leagues ruled Europe:

Spain 2013-18
5 Champions Leagues wins, 2 losing finalists
4 Europa Leagues
Won 90% of era’s trophies
Had 55% of era’s final places
4 different clubs won trophies
4 different clubs involved in finals
Italy 1988-99
4 Champions Leagues, 5 finalists
8 Uefa Cups, 6 finalists
3 Cup Winners Cups, 2 finalists
Won 45% of era’s trophies
Had 42% of era’s final places
9 different clubs involved in finals
6 different clubs won trophies
England 1975-85
7 European Cups, 1 finalist
3 Uefa Cups
1 Cup Winners Cup, 2 finalists
Won 37% of era’s trophies
Had 23% of era’s final places
8 different clubs involved in finals
6 different clubs won trophies
Spain 2005-12
3 Champions Leagues
4 Europa Leagues, 2 finalists
Won 50% of era’s trophies
Had 32% of era’s final places
4 different clubs involved in finals
3 different clubs won trophies
England 2004-13
3 Champions Leagues, 5 finalists
1 Europa League, 2 finalists
Won 22% of era’s trophies
Had 31% of era’s final places
7 different clubs involved in finals
3 different clubs won trophies
Italy 1962-69
4 European Cups, 1 finalist
1 Cup Winners Cup
2 different clubs involved in finals
2 different clubs won trophies
West Germany 1973-80
3 European Cups, 2 finalists
3 Uefa Cups, 1 finalist
1 Cup Winners Cup finalist
Won 33% of era’s finals
Had 24% of era’s final places
5 different clubs involved in finals
4 different club won trophies
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England 2019-?
2 Champions Leagues, 2 finalists
1 Europa League, 2 finalists
Won 50% of era’s trophies so far
Had 58% of era’s final places so far
6 different clubs involved in finals
2 different clubs won trophies
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Old 13-09-21, 09:59 PM   #10089
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Some of the challenges in this game from burnley that have not been booked have been laughable.

Atkinson needs to retire.
one of the worst ref performanecs i've ever seen.

i'm pretty sure he hates scousers. he's always awful for us and everton. didnt he let brighton take a free kick whilst Adrian was stood on the post aligning his wall?
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Old 14-09-21, 08:27 AM   #10090
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Only just read it myself, quite interesting.

If I hadn't personally copied it, I'd have swore Aspas was an edit.
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Old 14-09-21, 08:44 AM   #10091
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Burnley going down if they are getting tonked by Everton
Good. Sean Douche and his gang of dirty fuckers have been in the league for way too long.
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Old 14-09-21, 09:00 AM   #10092
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Some of the challenges in this game from burnley that have not been booked have been laughable.

Atkinson needs to retire.
Got to let the game flow....you know, when i heard that, I thought they were referring to people going to ground under the slightest of nudges, or being outmuscled and throwing yourself to the floor. I didn't realise it was going to cover some of the blatant fouling that was now in the game.
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Old 14-09-21, 12:03 PM   #10093
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Don't worry, if Ronaldo receives a robust challenge you will have Neville and all the rest of the Sky idiots up in arms over dangerous play and how players need to be sent off and banned ove such dangerous play.
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Old 14-09-21, 08:33 PM   #10094
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Nothing to see here

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Old 14-09-21, 08:48 PM   #10095
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Ethical €90,000 a week contract
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Old 16-09-21, 08:51 AM   #10096
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/58565529

Quote:
Dynamo Kyiv's Denys Garmash was a tad perplexed when English official Anthony Taylor showed him a second yellow card and then a red in his side's Champions League game with Benfica on Tuesday.

The reason being that Taylor had not yet shown him his first yellow card.

The incident occurred near the end of the 0-0 draw between the sides and prompted much confusion.

Thankfully for Taylor, his mistake was pointed out and Garmash able to end the game with just a booking to his name.

The incident is something of a reverse version of that featuring another English official, Graham Poll, who cautioned Croatian defender Josip Simunic three times before sending him off in a 2006 World Cup match between Croatia and Australia.

Unfortunately for Poll, his mistake stood.

In Tuesday's game, Benfica forward Roman Yaremchuk was left frustrated after spurning a number of opportunities to give his current side victory against former employer.

The best of them came when the ball fell kindly to him on the edge of the six-yard box, but his shot was saved by the legs of home goalkeeper Denys Boyko.

Bayern Munich lead the group after their 3-0 victory at Barcelona.
Good to see the English referees are still as good as ever
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Old 16-09-21, 09:08 AM   #10097
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/58565529



Good to see the English referees are still as good as ever
Who’d have thought a Referee would need to be able to count to two
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Old 16-09-21, 08:36 PM   #10098
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For what its worth I've got a non-disparaging clause in my new contract, that said I don't get any cash for it, only the threat of legal fuckwittery !
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Old Yesterday, 09:52 PM   #10099
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Derby go into administration

https://www.dcfc.co.uk/news/2021/09/...september-2021

Sent from my SM-G998B using Tapatalk
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Old Yesterday, 10:06 PM   #10100
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Wycombe must be feeling miffed after the shenanigans last year
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