Ian Herbert

‘The president couldn’t say who owned his players. Maybe criminals. Astonishing’

By Ian Herbert 12 September 2014 One of the main panel events at the Soccerex global convention in Manchester this week was headlined: 'How to run a club successfully.’ We heard all of the usual stuff about what the game has become: Liverpool selling £50,000 of Mario Balotelli shirts in a day, reaching 10 million unique users and having 100 million page views on the website. And associated confection. And then the Sporting Lisbon president, one of a panel of executives assembled for the discussion, said two extraordinary things. That he did not know who ultimately owned some of his players. And that...


Takeovers, triumphs and Hansen’s first column: why the end of a Liverpool institution is a dark day for journalism

* By Ian Herbert 22 December 2013 The sign on the exterior wall of the building where I started out in this business, on a September morning 24 years ago, has not kept up with the sad diminution of the paper which became a rich part of my life for a decade. “Liverpool Daily Post and Echo,” the words read. During the rapid cycle of reduced resources and falling circulation - which saw the Liverpool Daily Post become a weekly title a year ago and publish for the last time last week - no-one got around to putting up a ladder and taking the...


‘The problem for football is that it is up to its neck in gambling’

By Ian Herbert 12 December 2013 There won’t be any great sentiment for footballers who are banned for illegal betting but the small details of the case of what we might call the "Accrington Five" does reveal why one of the root causes of match fixing – the players need for some ready cash – is staring us in the face. The five players who received bans for betting thousands of pounds on what turned out to be the correct outcome of the Accrington Stanley v Bury match in May 2008 were on a weekly wage of about £800. One of the five, Andy...