One Mailboxer may have spent lunch in the pub in suggesting Van Persie could go back to Arsenal. Also, some Premier League meh-ing and a fine Acewatch suggestion...
Even the lesser teams have players like Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku so it's all bloody good fun. But mostly the mailbox features United fans being told to grow up...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A genuine question here for the readers of F365 that has been troubling me for some time. Yesterday I was thoroughly reprimanded by my friend for buying THE SUN newspaper. She called me a disgrace for buying the paper and that I had let down the Victims and the Families of the Hillsborough Disaster and could not call myself a true fan.
I am not from Liverpool
My friend is also not from Liverpool
I was only 4 when the Hillsborough Disaster occurred thus I have no direct memory of the event so I have relied on documentaries and reading reports/investigations to understand the tragic events for which I have been so moved at times have cried tears of genuine sadness and sorrow for all affected by this shocking day.
In buying The Sun occasionally have I let the families and victims down and can I not call myself a genuine fan/supporter of Liverpool Football club?
I'm bored with Suarez/Bale/Fabregas, and as many of you are probably too, I'll share this thought with you.
I recently found out that Zlatan Ibrahimovic bought an island so he can go hunting. My first thought upon hearing of this, was of a naked Zlatan, wearing only the hollowed out head of an artic fox, covered in blood, with Rambo style blade between his teeth, stalking his prey. Sneaking up behind a fawn and strangling it with his bare hands as he whispers "shhhh little one, you're with Zlatan now...shhhhh"
I told my girlfriend of this, and her eyes glazed over as she bit her lip. She was with Zlatan right then.
Si (Homo erotic short stories since 2013 - Coming soon: Igor Biscan buys a ranch) LFC
Here's the thing about all this speculation regarding simian Bale. Madrid can act like tits just like Barca did with Fabregas. Infact, the Fabregas saga might quite possibly be the longest, boring, irritating, most painful saga ever where Barca players even mocked Arsenal publicly while celebrating the World Cup by putting a jersey over Cesc. And all this for a squad player. No doubt Cesc has contributed but all that courting just for him to be a squad player?
And who but Cesc could've ended all this speculation. But he chose not to. Why? Because he himself wanted to leave and also didn't want to hand in a transfer request. And I understand the Suarez situation. Liverpool don't need to sell him. And the same applies to Bale. Spurs don't need to sell him. AVB is happy. The squad seems stronger.
But if Spurs fans and the rest want to have a moan about why Madrid act the way they do, then it's the player in question who is indirectly allowing this to happen. All Bale needs to do is commit himself and state this publicly so Spurs can get on with their training and begin the season. But will he? No. He is holding out for Madrid to rescue him by the bagload just like Suarez did earlier. Hence, blame the player. Blame the silent simian. Blame Bale.
Carl (I never knew a primate could be that expensive.), AFC
Real Aren't Technically Tapping Up
The rules of "tapping up" a player are basically that the club or any of it's employees or representatives cannot speak directly to the player or the players representatives either in a direct conversation, over the phone or via the media without the express permission of that player's current employers.
Real Madrid have not done this, really, they haven't.
Spot the difference between the following two phrases
"Bale should come to Madrid" says Casillas
"Bale, you should come to Madrid" says Casillas
It's an annoying semantic difference that allows them to get away with this but at no point (publically) there has been no dialogue DIRECTLY between RM & GB. I keep hoping that one of them will slip up, say the wrong thing and then Spurs can complain to UEFA who can (but won't) slap a transfer embargo on them.
Sucks doesn't it?
Tap, Tap, Tap
Sorry to single Donal, Ireland out from all the spuds pissing and whining about Real tapping up Bale, but I wonder if, in the "long time" he has been a spud, he has ever heard the name 'John Bostock'.
What goes around comes around.
The Erosion Of Player Power
A pleasing aspect of this summers dealings so far has been a slight erosion of player power with clubs standing firm on players under contract, especially those with 3 years or more to run. Take Bale as an example, Spurs can quote any absurd figure for Madrid that they won't match. They know they can still sell Bale next summer for pretty the same amount Real will pay this summer, so why let Bale go now when he has 3 years left on his contract? What can Bale really do but have a cry about it? What can Suarez do if he's not sold? Have a bigger cry?
The same about Rooney. United have 2 years left on his contract and the gap between the price they'll get this summer and next summer doesn't offset the loss of a quality back up forward to their main rivals for the Premiership. With Benteke and Villa, he was told he has 3 years left on his contract and we set the price, if nobody is interested to do a deal before end of the July then he's staying.
I hope this steadfast and firm approach continues. With clubs deciding what amount of money would actually offset keeping the player for another year and then selling him at his going rate. With players 1 or 2 years into their contracts with the majority still to run they have to just put up with it. They usually signed those longer term deals for more money. They're getting that money and they don't get to pick and choose what parts they want (the money) and what parts they don't want (having to honour a contract).
I hope none of the players I mentioned move this summer. I hope this catches on and smaller clubs can tell their star players no dice when a big club comes calling.
Numbers And Real Madrid
This one is for our friend Sean, London who wonders about shirt sales and the massive fees Madrid seem intent on paying. The truth of the matter is actually not as linear as that. I've broken it down into the 4 main points:
- Madrid are rich. Richer than anybody else, by far. The latest Deloitte studies shows that the EBITDA of the club has been over €50m since 2001. Never in that time have Madrid not made a bottom-line profit, usually between €20m and €40m. Why? Well...
- TV rights. Barça and Madrid make €140m on TV deals a year (not including CL money). This is more than clubs get in the UK, and indeed more than any club gets anywhere else...
- Madrid's wages aren't that high (around the €100m mark), which means you have a ratio of wages to operating income (excluding player sales) in the range of 30 to 40%, which by any standards is among the best in world.
- Commercial income from shirt sales is over simplified. The actual profit Madrid make from a £50 shirt is along the lines of 15%, which would mean Ronaldo won't pay his fee with shirt sales alone. It does help though. In 2011 more than 2m Ronaldo shirts had been sold, resulting in a profit for Madrid of ~€25m for his first 2 years of contract, effectively paying his wages.
- Image rights. Madrid keep 50% (40% in Ronaldo's case) of the player's image rights. This is valid for deals signed only after the player signs. Madrid's commercial department is top class, so when Madrid signed CR, they already had about 6m in new deals waiting to be signed. Ronaldo got richer, but so did Madrid. He has been there since 2009, which results in his value for Madrid increasing over the years. Every time a new deal is signed, or an old one renewed, Madrid make that much more.
Considering these 4 aspects, its easier to see why such fees are paid. Zidane's transfer (€73m in 2001 - for a 29yr old) was included in the Harvard Business School's case studies as an example of good football financial management, as the french star went on the provide the club 3 times what he cost (fee + wages) over the course of his 5 year contract. Hopefully he'll be a strong assistant manager too!
Andre (shame that the other La Liga teams get screwed over in their TV money...) London
The Bayern Comparison
I enjoyed Dan Storey's article, and though I didn't agree with a lot of it (doing adverts is nothing new, training in high temperatures can be far more beneficial for fitness, the banter on a trip to Thailand is probably a hell of a lot more than it would to Torquay, and the foreign players who play in the Premier League don't seem to have much problem with tiredness at national level) I empathised.
Until you mentioned Bayern, that is.
It is quite easy for Bayern not to venture to Africa, Asia and beyond, because they are not dependent on foreign markets in the same way. In 2010 they earned £150m in commercial revunue alone. Second were Real Madrid, £17.3m behind, and United were £63.91m off. They are by far the biggest team in Germany (don't forget that Dortmund only escaped bankruptcy in 2003 because of a £1.6m loan from Bayern Munich) and the country's size and position in Europe means they vastly dominate that territory.
If our clubs are therefore to compete on wages and transfers, especially with Financial Fair Play coming in, they need to venture further afield to capitalise on relatively untapped markets, not least to get their figures up before Financial Fair Play comes in. This is also why Real Madrid and Barca won't negotiate TV rights like we do, because their system sees them earn over double United's £60m for winning the PL (although that will go up to £100m this year).
Bayern is a team that felt comfortable throwing £20m on a goalkeeper who had one year left on his contract. Not even City or Chelsea throw money around like that. Their Deutsche Telekom shirt deal was the biggest in Europe until Qatar Airways at Barca. And all this helps them win the league on average about once every 2 years over the last 20, and they have been in 3 the last 4 Champions League finals. This success simply perpetuates the cycle of wealth.
On top of that, Premier League clubs make over £150m payments in solidarity payments to lower leagues. Bundesliga clubs make none. Premier League clubs are also financially responsible for their stadia. Bayern Munich received £170m from the German government to help develop the AllianzArena (Hertha Berlin were given just under £200m for the Olympiastadon). They now own it 100% because 1860 Munich (who owned the other 50%) had to sell to avoid bankruptcy. Think of what Everton and Liverpool could be doing if they had that kind of backing to build, or how many unknown French u21s Wenger could have bought if he hadn't have been funding the Emirates.
And I know people might point to United recently going over the £100m mark, the new TV deal, how many times we've won the league etc over the same period. But imagine if the government had chucked us a couple hundred million to build Old Trafford, and we had been individually negotiating our tv rights this last 20 years. Those are the types of teams in Germany, France, Spain and Italy that we're all competing with.
David P (£1.6m!) Manchester
More On Friendlies Etc
Whilst I won't disagree with Conor that the clubs view these overseas tours as marketing opportunities and aim to fill their coffers as much as possible I have to disagree with the sentiment that playing local friendlies is somehow more beneficial than these tours.
Firstly, in the era of Financial fair play can you blame a club for honestly trying to make as much money as possible?
Secondly, are you and Daniel Storey really suggesting that a couple of preseason friendlies against Hamilton Academicals or Sligo would be more beneficial than having friendlies against AC Milian, Roma, Valencia etc even if they are in the U.S and against the reserves. Given the fact that the big four will only face a handful of lower league opposition in the early rounds of the domestic cups but face various rounds against European opposition on the Champions or Europa Leagues.
As for the whole won't somebody please think of the players scenario, well I watched a few of Chelsea's preseason games in Asia, the players that competed in the Confed cup were absent and for the most part the players utilized were mostly youngsters and new players being given a chance to show the manager what they have got with cameo's for the bigger names, so aside from a bit of jet lag its not as if they are playing a major competition over the summer!
Lastly as I'm sure you are aware the Premier League is shown in over 200 countries to an audience of over 600 million people this means there is significant revenue coming into the league from overseas as TV rights are sold. Between 2010-2013 there was around 1.437 billion pounds from overseas, notably Singapore contributed 190 Million pounds, the Middle East 225 for example and over the next 3 years the US network NBC will pay 250 million dollars for exclusive rights to games. Remind me what happens to this money..... oh yes a big chunk of it is shared out amongst ALL the topflight clubs, yes even those who don't do overseas tours.....so it seems the whole Premier League benefits from its popularity which is maximised by these tour, not just your select few hated clubs.
Seems to me that the only ones losing out are the lower league clubs who might have made a few bob from selling tickets to preseason friendlies, but as Conor pointed out would the British fans be singing with such vigour at a meaningless friendly..... I dare say they wouldn't turn up at all so there's F-all benefit anyway!
Tommy Gun, Cape Town
...I think Daniel has missed one of, if not the key beneficiaries of clubs doing pre-season tours: fans of the team in those locations.
As a NFL fan, I really enjoy and appreciate it when the Wembley games occur every season. It's an opportunity to see these players in the flesh and experience top-level American Football first-hand. Sure, you could argue that I should go and watch a local amateur team instead (the only teams available to me locally), but it's just not the same as watching the world's best. The same is true of fans of the Premier League in Thailand, China, USA etc. etc.
If the German teams do not want to take advantage of the marketing possibilities that exist to them outside of Europe, then it will be to their detriment if teams from other countries do. In the future, they may not be able to compete in terms of transfer fees and wages because they have not successfully won and monetised (shudder) new fans outside Germany. And, lets be honest here, do the local fans give a flying f*ck about pre-season friendlies anyway? It's not like we're being denied competitive, exhilarating football matches in favour of a load of "plastic" fans from the far East. They're welcome to the pre-season games, as far as I am concerned.
Daniel Storey needs to get real: Football is only a sport for 90 minutes every Saturday afternoon. The rest of the time it is a business.
In reply to Mark Bickell in yesterdays mailbox. The line that done it for me was "So all together Carrick, Giggs, Cleverley, Anderson, Jones, Rooney, Kagawa and Fletcher, eight viable options for the two midfield spots - where is the desperation?" Ok so. Carrick is a good central midfielder. Giggs is nearly 40, now a player coach, and will never be a proper central midfielder despite his occasional creative brilliance. Cleverley is promising, but is not an established central midfielder who plays every week - yet. Anderson will get all our hopes up with a few good games, then get injured, and fail to complete 90 mins all season due to poor fitness. He should be sold. Jones can fill in there when needed but is a centre half. Rooney is a forward who might not be with us next season. Kagawa is an attacking midfielder or a number 10. Hopefully Fletcher recovers fully but he has missed a lot of football and will be 30 before the season ends.
I would count our central midfielders as Carrick, Cleverley and Anderson. The latter two still have a lot to prove while as good as Carrick is, he does struggle against the best (probably due to a lack of help). This is simply not good enough for a team who wants to be the best in Europe. I'm not even going to compare it to Bayern, Barca, Madrid. Spurs first choice midfield is also vastly superior in my opinion.
You are correct about last season, we competed brilliantly, but were helped in no small way by City and Chelsea having poor seasons. That won't happen this year. It is the strength in depth of our defence, wingers and attacking players that keeps us competing at the top. We are often outplayed in midfield by our main rivals both domestically and in Europe. We are exposed in Europe where the top teams defence and attack are as strong as ours, but they are vastly superior in midfield.
If two of these mooted signings are made (Fabregas, Modric, Felliani) I think we could realistically win the CL this season, even if we don't retain the Premier League. If not we will still compete, but will struggle to win either the PL or CL. At least our new manager is trying to sign the best, which is very encouraging.
Arsenal - Like a Hare Krishna parade, spend entire season preaching their way and how football must be saved whilst being generally ignored and troubling no one of any importance
United - Anyone who pulls on the picnic cloth to be canonised other than Anderson who spreads out a buffet on it. Moyes to lose Fergie's 'precious' in not so drawn-out saga.
Tottenham - Spurs Laud Levy in Bale Out package. Lord help him or more particularly AVB when the impact of not having an impact player becomes obvious.
Newcastle - Ashley renames ground Gallowgate Evangelical Church recruiting Jesse Jackson Jr as Minister of Football in rebuke to CofE and because Jr really does need a loan at any cost. F-Kinnear to be f-kin somewhere else by October
City - Covering ourselves in oil and handing out matches. Make it out of CL group stages only for humiliation at hands of Cypriot side who cost 2 goats and a turnip.
Chelsea - Mourinho puts in request that League table is printed with names of managers instead of clubs
Liverpool - Ricky Gervais sues Rodgers for plagiarism. Fenway explore proposal for half of home matches to be played in Melbourne
Everton - Martinez branded witch by v. local townspeople for trying to create elaborate runes or patterns on pitch
In others, Di Canio assaults player scoring own goal (this really could happen), Steve Bruce to not talk about referees for one weekend and raise record-breaking charity sum, football to pass by Midlands quicker than HS2
Surely if you go about correcting someone, you should make sure you get your facts right?
"A 'ton' is an imperial unit of measurement, equalling a shade over 907kg. The metric equivalent, at 1000kg, is a 'tonne'."
The only correct thing about this is Jim's statement about the metric equivalent 'tonne'
The imperial ton is actually also know as the long ton, and weighs 2240 pounds, or 1016kg.
"Even if it's made up to sound all clever-bollocks, in fact especially as such, there would be no such thing as a 'metric f*ck-ton'."
Wrong again Jim, 'metric ton' is a synonym for 'tonne'
Shaine (Annoyed by people who are annoyed), Cape Town
So Do We
When I read the papers et al say: 'insert club' are preparing a bid of 40million, I imagine them to be going into the bank with metal cases and counting the money into the cases ready to meet a 'insert club' official in a car park somewhere.
Greg ('preparing' to buy something off ebay) MUFC