Melting pot

‘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...


‘The data’s clear: soccer is becoming more significant in the US sporting landscape’

By Roger Pielke Jr 12 September 2014  It is a favorite debating topic among football fans in the United States: has soccer arrived in the United States? On one level the question simply reflects the fundamental insecurities of the American soccer supporter of a certain vintage. But those insecurities are based on experience. If you grew up when I did, in the 1970s and 1980s, soccer was a third-tier sport at best. My high school did not even get a varsity team until my junior year in 1985. On the other hand, trends do change, and it worth asking what role soccer plays...


Radamel Falcao: a symbol of Uefa shackling Manchester City in the FFP era

* By Ian Herbert 5 September 2014 Why didn’t Manchester City buy Radamel Falcao? It’s one of the unexplained mysteries of the transfer market. They admire him. They would have leapt at the chance of buying him last summer. And now they go into the season with only three strikers, after letting Alvaro Negredo leave for Valencia on deadline day. It would have been one striker out; one striker in. Why not? City were certainly interested, interested enough for their director of football, Txiki Begiristain, to have discussed the Colombian with the selling club, Monaco, when he arrived in the principality for the Champions League...