Man United optimism prevails; no Pogba blame here…

Date published: Tuesday 14th July 2020 9:11

Manchester United fans dominate a massive mailbox that also takes in Man City...

Paul-Pogba Man Utd

Keep your mails coming to theeditor@football365.com…

 

Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole
That was a tough game. We were not at our best, made things difficult for ourselves and were, in some ways, unlucky. Dropping points at the end was difficult. But setting aside the football, there was a moment for me immediately after the game which sums up why I, and I am sure many other United fans, feel infinitely better with Ole in charge instead of Jose.

Before his interview, I knew that I would be proud of what Ole would say. He wouldn’t throw any players under the bus – no sly comments about Pogba. He wouldn’t complain about VAR – a shocking challenge missed by the officials which likely would have changed the outcome. No excuses, no feeling sorry for himself or the team, he wouldn’t moan or belittle Southampton or lash out at officials. He would act with class, dignity and say the right thing.

That’s football.

We need to be better, we need to improve, but we are still unbeaten, can still qualify for the Champions League through our own deeds and the headlines should be about the result and the football, not the manager or some manufactured drama. Thanks Ole.
Andreas Hunter, St Albans

 

Backing Pogba
Very frustrating to see United drop two incredibly valuable points, pretty much dropping them down to 3rd to 5th in one swift move in the last minute from a James Ward-Prowse corner (Arsenal Player written all over him, class player and set piece delivery is second to none). What was actually quite ironic about the goal was how similar it was to the Ole goal in the last minute against Bayern in the 1999. Could prove to be a pivotal moment!

Thought United’s performance was decent though and thought we responded very well after going 1-0 down after 12 mins and it was a very good start Southampton with the level of pressing they were doing on United. Was happy with most people’s performance, particularly Martial and Rashford. The reason I am not too worried even if United do not get Champions League football next season is because those two players are going to become unreal for United in the next 2-3 years and will guarantee some Top 4 spots with the amount of goals they could score if they reach their full potential. I think we obviously should get the Top 4 though and expect the team the win the last 3 games. They are certainly against opponents United can beat if United weren’t so careless with some of the passing and movement today.

Wasn’t chuffed about the Pogba mistake for the 1st Southampton goal. Thought the pass from De Gea wasn’t the best but pass it or clear it the first time if you aren’t comfortable receiving it. Mistakes happen and that is completely normal. He bounced back and got into the game, but gives the ball away too often when playing as a holding/central midfielder and that has to learn to stop that otherwise we will leak unnecessary goals. Backing him though to finish the season strong and he has handled coming back from injury very well. Think it is really important United keep hold of him and it looks like he is staying put for the time being unless there is a big change to occur. In the big games, Pogba does and has shown up so I think overall the season will end well and we can finish Top 4. Yes, you could say Pogba’s form has been ‘hit and miss’ at United since he came back from Juve in 2016. But he is way more important than people give him credit for. and Overall, with some of the teams he has played in at United, he has delivered quite well in my opinion and the poor recruitment or management that has occurred in the last 4 years really shouldn’t be held hanging over his head and think that may be part of the reason he hasn’t done tremendous since he is feeling that overwhelming responsibility. I think now with some of the players we are developing, that is starting to change so feeling optimistic overall.

I don’t expect Leicester to win their next two games, think Sheff U could cause them some issues and hope Jose doesn’t play shite that game on purpose when they play Spurs. Think Chelsea have gotten away with murder by not overtaking them but got to say it was our own fault by not taking some the chances when United were 2-1 up. Let’s see how the season pans out and hope the relegation battle in the league is just as good!
Rami, London

 

United bottled it
Was actually writing out a mail on how Leicester were bottling their top 4 spot, and how I had written in to the mailbox in December talking about how I’d prefer to have Leicester on Liverpool’s coat tails than City in the title race, because Leicester just would not have the staying power. I was derided and ridiculed by many who were aghast at the apparent disrespect I was showing the title challengers at the time. You see, I’m a big fan of “I told you so”.

However, in the midst of compiling this mail, I happened to witness a more sensational case of bottling over at Old Trafford.

Manyoo absolutely bottled it today, there is no question about it. It appears the chance to catapult into 3rd place may have been a bit too much for them to stomach, and what makes it even more striking is the run of form they have been on prior to this bottling. Their only saving grace could be that Leicester have Sheffield United and Spurs coming up, while Chelsea themselves are looking a little wobbly. You can bet yourself that the Manyoo players and Ole will think back ruefully to this bottling if they miss out on the top 4 from here.

I also spilt another damn coffee on the floor when on the replay, it became apparent that Maguire was marking Wan Bissaka quite well on Southampton’s corner.

Either way, it makes for a very compelling final day of the season with Leicester vs Manyoo and Wolves vs Chelsea.
johnnyWicky

 

VARce
You’ll get a lot of these, but if Greenwood’s studs had stuck in the ground Romeu might have just ruined what is being discussed as a generational talent. For a nothing ball that had already gone in the middle of the park.

For me, referees should be using tools at their disposal to deal with that kind of worry, moreso than if a toenail was offside.

If VAR is only useful for protecting the linesman, and not the players, than it really isn’t good enough.
Ryan, Bermuda (could Romeu look anymore like that kind of player?)

 

Captain Nutmeg
Can we please stop the lionising of Harry Maguire as leader of Man United?

He’s been megged every game since the restart; with last night’s being particularly embarrassing. In the second half, he was done from 10 yards away after the ball had already been put through Shaw’s legs. He seems to have more difficulty closing his legs than a pro in Amsterdam’s red light district.

Great attitude, great fella (by all accounts), good player. A top half premier league centre back, sure. But that’s it.

Yours in frustration,
Tony F. (Squeaky bum time is here)

 


Read: Big Midweek – Arsenal v Liverpool, Lampard, Martial, Sheffield United


 

 

CAStanbul
If you think City got away with grand larceny, then I’ve got great news for you. Every year, you are going to be reminded of CAStanbul. Next year and every year thereafter, July 13th will be St Bert’s Day. July the Berteenth – geddit!

But you shouldn’t be aiming your ire at City fans who fancy themselves as comic geniuses. You should be getting angry about how this case has been reported

For a start, the story of 2018 to 2020 cannot be understood without reference to the settlement between City and UEFA of 2014. If you don’t know about that, then you can’t possibly understand what happens later. City and Gianni Infantino cut a deal. The former took a light punishment but got to wipe the FFP slate clean. Why did Infantino cave? Because the clever lawyer that he is realised that the way UEFA had changed the FFP rules about 80% of the way through the game purely to ensure City failed would be shredded in court. The club turned a Nelsonian eye but also knew that the years of paying Roque Santa Cruz while not playing in the Champions League would not be revisited thanks to that wonderful phrase “full and final settlement”. Yes, this was an egregious mistake by UEFA, yes it helped City a lot, and no, Infantino didn’t really have an alternative. If you want to know more, google is your friend.

Then the issue of “limitation” apparently dropped out of the sky yesterday. According to the New York Times “what few knew was that City’s salvation lay in plain sight”.

The problem with that is that it is total bollocks. The highest profile City podcast explained within days of the initial ban in February last year when speaking to a hotshot corporate lawyer who also happens to be a blue (to some people’s amazement, City fans went to Manchester Grammar School as well as comps in Stockport) that this would be, and I quote directly “City’s strongest and cleanest point. It is very hard to see how UEFA could overcome this limitation on any basis.” The fan media led the way and with the exceptions of Simon Evans of Reuters. Simon Mullock of the Mirror and Martin Samuel of the Mail they have absolutely outclassed the traditional media on this story. David Conn has had a very strange time with this story. He has got some things right but has totally missed the main thrust of the tale.

Not only that, in the initial CAS case last autumn which City used to test the CAS waters, they said – and the court papers confirm – that limitation would be front and centre of any possible defence. One tactic they didn’t use was surprise. They then did exactly that at the main hearing in the knowledge that the judges were almost certain to agree with them.

Of course Sheikh Mansour employed some of the best lawyers in the world, but he really didn’t need to. A reputable Manchester solicitor would have done much the same. This was not a case for Perry Mason and the briefs earned some of the easiest money of their careers. This is why City were so confident and did not play for time. They wanted CAS as quickly as possible – hardly the actions of people who think they are a losing cause.

If you think City is an arm of the UAE state (it isn’t but I really can’t be bothered to litigate this now), then look at the way that country rolls out a Corona track and trace app. These people are highly competent and trust the experts they employ. Their confidence wasn’t Swales-like bravado. They knew that barring something totally unforeseen, they were going to win big and that is exactly what happened.

Unfortunately, when pointed to this analysis, the Chief Football Correspondent of The Independent (a self-proclaimed expert on these matters) said “I had read it, found it awful and showed it to people involved. They similarly found it “impenetrable” and “irrelevant”” . Well done, Miguel, your finest hour there mate.

So – did you read any of this before yesterday? Is this news to you? Were you shocked yesterday? Answer those questions and then ask if you should be angry with a football club fighting their corner of the football media that failed its audience by not reporting what was in front of their noses. You have been let down, but don’t worry, I would be somewhat surprised if City buy Messi, Haland and Mbappe in a week this September. They – and we – will roll on much as before.
Mark Meadowcroft

 

City’s spending has done PL teams a favour
Here is something for the fans of the other big 6 teams to consider, without the City Football Group and their investment over the past decade, english teams would have become second class citizens in Europe. Just look at the Champions finalists over the 16 years. From 04/05 – 11/12, English teams made up 8 of the 16 finalists, but since 11/12, English teams have only taken 3 out of the possible 14 finalists spots. From 12/13-17/18, only 4 english teams actually even made it as far as the quarter finals. Clearly, English teams had started to fall behind their European counterparts.

Regardless of how you feel about City’s ownership and their money, the structure they have set up and the investments they have made have forced other English clubs to change their ways of operating to keep them from being left behind. The clubs like Liverpool and Spurs/Chelsea who have adapted quickly have been able to get back to competing with the top clubs in Europe. Man U and Arsenal have been slower to change, and they have both gone through extended struggles, but even they look like they have started to figure things out.

The past two seasons have been the nightmare scenario for clubs like Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern, and Juve. English teams have finally started to figure out how to use their financial power to invest intelligently, and semifinal spots are no longer a given. Why do you think that Javier Tebas and Bayern Munich have been so vocal in trying to get City banned from Europe. Teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona are not well run, they just have always had the most money and have been able to promise the best players the chance at European glory.

Those days are over though, and if English teams keep going far in the Champions league, more and more the top players will realize that they do have to go to the same 5 teams. You can hate City for their ownership and their money, but you have to at least acknowledge their role in forcing English teams to adapt.
Ryan, MCFC

 

Football, FFP and fizzy pop
Financial fair play should be pretty simple. Concerned about club solvency? Then clubs shouldn’t be allowed incur huge debts, punish the indebted clubs and restrict their spending (but that might not suit some of the elite). Concerned about future losses, and clubs committing to long term player contracts at huge salaries, without certainty about future funding? Then any clubs doing that need to show the sustainability of future revenue, maybe assuming no ECL qualification. I’m not sure any elite club would accept that restriction. City could get the expenditure underwritten by Mansour I suppose, and if you’re genuinely worried about the solvency of clubs, that shouldn’t be an issue, a good thing even…

Next, if you’re genuinely concerned about “financial doping” and a level playing field, then salary caps and transfer limits are the way to go. Can’t see Bayern Munich with their 8 consecutive titles or Juventus with 9, or PSG with 7 of the last 8, would be too happy with the idea of any kind of domestic financial equality, or even a slight levelling of it. Madrid and Barca wouldn’t like being restricted in their ability to blow away the competition in Spain.

It’s somehow deemed far more logical to impose a rule based on the existing revenue of the elite super clubs, the big earners are protected because the upstarts can never invest enough to become as big and successful as them. The most vociferous proponents of the EPR (elite protection rules) are supporters of those big clubs, they are numerous and loud, and all over the media.

But City “signed up to the rules”, so they have to abide by them! What was their other option, refuse to play in the Champions league because they don’t like the rules? The competition is rigged, but you need to be in it.

City were actually found “not guilty”, but as a City fan I’ve no doubt we massively bent and even broke the rules, some of our sponsorship deals just don’t make commercial sense, I’ve no doubt owner funded cash was poured in. But I don’t care, I hope we broke them, as often and as badly as we were able to get away with. We don’t need lectures about financial probity from anybody at Bayern Munich.

If Bill Gates decided to buy up Cavan Cola, and chuck his billions at it to compete with Pepsi and Coke, why should he be stopped, why allow a rule (formulated by the incumbents) that a growing soft-drink minnow can only have marketing and promotion budgets based on their existing revenues? But surely football is different, it has a physical and emotional connection to local people and is embedded in localities. Nonsense, at the elite level it’s a global product, marketed and broadcast and merchandised all over the world, football is fizzy pop, and Man city are Cavan Cola, with a wonderful owner.
Rupert Pumpkin. MCFC

 

City should be worried
Of course City’s ban was overturned. Its actually better for UEFA in the short term as now they don’t have to look at how Jeep can afford to buy Ronaldo. Whoops, meant to write Juventus.

There’s a lot of lessons to learn in this for UEFA and for City. For UEFA, they need to look at enforcement and oversight. Its clear that they can’t bully super clubs in the legal arena now. Mailboxer yesterday saying that had it just been a fine City would have just paid it and that would be the game going forward is a good way of putting it. Now UEFA need to look at reporting from clubs, independent auditing, robust oversight and whether the deterrents are effective. The FCA for example don’t need to fine a company to make trading more expensive. An FCA independent review can cost a firm millions to manage.

10mil is hefty fine in isolation but look at what GDPR and Data Protection have done. These fixed fines are no good anymore. GDPR introduced a turnover based fining system and it shook up Bond villain Zuckerberg enough to come clean at the ICO about the Cambridge Analytica data misuse the day before the laws changed.

Seriously, name a Bond villain more evil than Zuckerberg.

With turnover based fining in place you need a cyclical process of fines and investment in the teams that investigate the clubs. Get people in there that can build a case so when you want to really make an example of a club you can. When City start competing with UEFA for lawyers, then you make your case.

And City’s lesson? There’s always someone bigger and better off than you. Its fun when you are splashing the cash but as easy at it came for you it will be just as easy for the next one. If the Premier League says no to the Saudi takeover of Newcastle I’ll eat my hat. If UEFA are going to spend the next 5 years waiting for you to make a mistake, the best way they can do that is let the Saudi’s push you to make that mistake. With unlimited money all of Newcastle’s problems go away. Even the rain isn’t a problem. You set up the training ground in Portugal or Miami and fly the players in for each game. You can live in the sun of Portugal and be paid more than City will pay and UEFA won’t give two f*cks because you are pissing off the club that embarrassed them.

Oh and good luck winning the Champions League this year City. I suspect if you make the final the event will be voided.
Alex, South London (Sorry for the acronyms. A lot of this topic is quite dull.)

 


Gossip: Man City to splurge £150m on five new signings


 

The new monopoly
If you thought FFP was only to protect a few big clubs, the death of FFP is going to make sure only an even smaller group of teams will be protected (or competitive).

Make no mistake there won’t be another PSG or Man City, there will only be PSG and Man City (maybe Newcastle too depending on the obvious).

There are only 3 states capable of such investment, no Chinese, Russian or American owner can compete with these nations and the Saudis are the last to join the sport washing bandwagon.

Congratulations to City fans, enjoy the next couple of titles because football in the future won’t be comparable to our past and present.

Make no mistake Juve, Bayern, Madrid, Barca, United & Liverpool fans the decades of building reputable brands and progressive business decisions aren’t going to save you from what’s coming next.

The landscape has changed and right or wrong the new “elites” is going to be an even smaller, more dangerous and much less inclusive bunch than todays elties.

I think about this is like Bruce *from the film Matilda* devouring the cake,only this time when he stands up to celebrate and lift the dish there’s no one else there.

Regards,
Luke (I have tried to swerve the mailbox since March but today is a monumental day for the sport, and I want my prediction on record)

 

What would you do?
Well, if Monday morning’s mailbox was grimly predictable in terms of its’ knee-jerk, frothing at the mouth, holier-than-thou content, including Levenshulme Blue’s (gloating’s never a good look our kid) then so was the afternoon version with its far more balanced and informative take on the matter. And this synchs quite nicely as I was intending to reply to ‘David lfc’s’ mail from Sunday’s mailbox (the Debbie McGhee one).

Whilst it made me smile, the problem with his point is the same whether you are railing at City for allegedly breaching FFP (which I’m sure they did) or ‘sports washing’. Because Sir, or Madam, if you are one of those people then, I respectfully suggest, you’re shouting at the clouds. David rounds his mail off with the following sentence:

“Yet I am always left with this nagging unanswered question. So why did you marry the squillionaire state that owns you?”

Thing is mate, I didn’t. Like every supporter of every club reading this now I, as a City fan, have absolutely bugger-all say in either who buys my club or how they subsequently run it. Just ask Charlton, Bury or Wigan fans for instance. The inference, of course, in such mails is that the writer wouldn’t stoop so low as to allow himself to support a club so owned. Neither would any respectable fan follow a club who would, apparently, breach existing regulations. That’s fine until Dave Walker buys your club, or Mike Ashley, or Comrade Abramovich. Or, indeed, when the prospect of a Saudi buyer simply won’t go away. Because, if David lfc and the like are correct, then we would’ve already seen large scale protests outside St James’ Park wouldn’t we? That ‘Toon fans would surely rather keep Ashley than be owned by a ‘squillionaire state’ with an extremely poor record of HR abuses?

Except they wouldn’t and, if the alleged takeover of Newcastle Utd does indeed take place then, shock horror, there will be no mass exodus of supporters ripping up their season tickets/shirts in faux moral outrage. I’ve said on here before that if Sheikh Mansour had bought Everton instead of City, and the Toffees had consequently enjoyed both the football and the trophies that came with it as we have, are you honestly telling me that the Goodison Park faithful would’ve turned their back on their own club?

I don’t condone ‘sports washing’ and nor do I think breaching finance regs to gain an advantage is morally right. By all means slate either issue as much as you like. But please. And I say this nicely. Don’t come on here, or anywhere else, using either issue to beat City fans with along with an inferred expectation that we turn our backs on the club we love as much as you love yours. Because you wouldn’t either.
Mark (The Sheikh being the 7th owner I’ve known since 1972) MCFC.

 

Petty Cash
I know there have been tons of emails regarding City and UEFA.

I just want to add, as a tongue-in-cheek, that if (IF) City win the Champions League this season, they should just back out of it the next season citing some ludicrous reason like ‘We are reevaluating our situation with UEFA’ or ‘We are reconsidering whether to play a UEFA tournament when they have been so unfair to us’.

THAT would be hilarious.

I know no club in its right mind would say no to UCL, but just curious : Is that something a club can do?
Bucky Dent (India)

 

Making City’s reprieve about Liverpool
Following all the furore about City’s ban, I’d like to point out that Jurgen Klopp’s achievements at Liverpool are monumental and we may fondly remember him one day as one of the last of his kind- a coach who can build a great team on limited resources. I know everyone will claim Liverpool have huge resources but their net spend over the past few years is on a level with teams such as Brighton and less than the likes of Everton or Wolves. I’m not trying to claim Liverpool are on the same financial footing as those clubs but they are nowhere near City, Chelsea and United and any effort to make them appear so is pure mischief. Leicester is the greatest story in Premier League history and this Liverpool team cannot compete with that. However, in the face of a massive disparity in spending power and from an initial point of being unable to attract players of proven quality, Klopp has built a team capable of competing for multiple titles – and winning them. Players on City’s bench earn more than Liverpool’s top stars. It is hard to compete with that and even harder to eclipse it.
If Valencia suddenly won a Champions League and won La Liga the following year (not to mention finishing runner-up in both competitions) we would all be enquiring after their coach- he would probably become Pep’s replacement. I suppose I’m rambling but I think Liverpool fans should cherish Klopp. His achievements will be looked on as outlandish when the history of these years of football is written. Along with achieving what was said to be almost impossible in the present, he has given us a chance to be successful in the future. However, it will take somebody pretty bloody special to follow him. So let’s not get too worried about whether other clubs get banned or not. Let’s just enjoy a proper team, put together by a charismatic leader- and let’s not think about four years down the road!
Michael, Ireland

 

FFP is unethical
Long time reader but first time contributor.
The response to city’s court battle win has been perplexing to me. While the focus has been on whether city broke FFP rules has dominated the conversation, it is necessary to examine why FFP was initiated by UEFA in the first place
FFP was claimed to have been established to prevent professional football clubs spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success and in doing so getting into financial problems which might threaten their “long-term survival”. The idea that spending beyond your means threaten survival of any enterprise is blatantly wrong. Companies go bankrupt when they run out of capital, rather than spending beyond its means. As an example Tesla (the most valued car manufacturer in the world) made profit in only 1 of the 70 quarters it has been in existence. It didn’t go bankrupt as investors have been giving capital to the company. Same goes for football clubs, if owners are willing to invest and provide capital to cover losses to clubs like Manchester city, Chelsea, PSG their financial survival is not in jeopardy at all.
So in summary, if the real goal of UEFA was to prevent clubs for facing economic collapse instead of FFP they should have done policies for guaranteeing cash flow or measures in that ilk rather than the regressive approach of mandating that each club has to make a profit (basically what FFP mandates)
FFP was just designed to maintain the status quo, to ensure that the top ten revenue generating clubs will be safe in their lofty perch 20 years from now.
If the footballing community realized how anti free market, anti freedom, and anti mobility FFP is we would have been rightly focusing on getting rid of these regulations rather than going through Manchester city’s leaked emails
Sarath Nath (Chelsea fan btw)

 

Alternate FFP universe
Imagine that the Russian and Saudi oil money didn’t come in – banned under the FFP. Arsenal remained Arsenally, Spurs…Spursy, and as for Liverpool, well, (as you will see below) it was all just a dream.

As with all good ManU transfer stories this one would start at Spurs with the new Alan Shearer. There’s no way ManU would be able to resist Harry Kane. They’d probably pick up Alderweireld whilst they were there, and then halfway back up the M6, realise that they’d forgotten something and come back for Eriksen.

There would also be the shiny bauble of Raheem Sterling across the Pennines that they would then desperately need. The Leicester uprising would be swiftly put down with the acquisition of Kante and Mahrez. Meanwhile, Saints would be persuaded to give up Mane and Van Dijk, and Wijnaldum would be a cheeky purchase from Newcastle.

Last year, the emergence of Trent Alexander Arnold would have seen him move as well, and this year Gomez would look to be the one to go.

This of course, is a world without Silvas, Hazard, De Bruyne, or Aguero.

ManU would line up
De Gea
Wan Bissaka, Van Dijk, Alderwierald, Shaw
Kante, Pogba, Eriksen
Sterling, Kane, Mane
Bench: Henderson, Maguire, Wijnaldum, Mahrez, and Rashford

To add a particularly offensive cherry to the top of this particular cake for Liverpool fans, Klopp would have obviously been plucked from Dortmund to oversee the post Fergie era – a mid-table Liverpool rebuild vs the ManU juggernaut is not much of a choice in this scenario.

Does this seem unbelievable? Welcome to the world of PSG (France), Bayern (Germany), Juve (Italy), and the Real/Barca duopoly in Spain, all of whom have complete domestic dominance (consecutive titles for 5+ years) and who remain on top by buying the best players from their rivals. Frankly, it’s not a great stretch to see ManU having joined them.

Maybe we need to be careful of what we wish for 🙂
Matthew (ITFC)

 

Old corruption = no corruption
Ok I’m a man united fan, despite that it was obvious from the outset that city were never possibly going to be found guilty on this in any way that could stick.

Firstly they were taken over in 2008, by about 2013 after billions invested in financial doping assuming you ignore where the money on their balance sheet originally came from they were self sufficient.

The sponsorships from their parent companies are massively inflated… however still smaller than the shirt sponsorships received by united, Real Madrid and Liverpool. They argued this makes them reasonable.

The guy who led the investigation stated on day 1 of the investigation that he was going to prove they had breached FFP. No where was there a possibility in his mind they could be innocent, this meant the investigation was biased from the outset. Within this frame he rejected information and evidence provided freely by City which supported their side of the argument, hence further bias.

So despite everyone knowing they broke the rules my conclusion is old corruption = no corruption.

This investigation is only about 10 years too late otherwise it would have been really good.
Simon, Manchester (United)

 

WTF, CAS?
On hearing the City CAS decision my thoughts ran along the same lines as Chris, Barnet from the morning mailbox. Of course, in that argument, it would appear that all the party goers and house owner would have pre-agreed that the police would have the final say.

My understanding is that CAS was started to arbitrate on Olympic related sports but seems to have grown a wider brief. It is almost guaranteed that any appeal to overturn a decision by a sport governing body is upheld. Take, for example, the case where a whole pile of Russian athletes, who had been embroiled in the concerted effort by the Russian sport federations to essentially cover up doping, were allowed to participate in the 2016 summer games.

City’s public argument that Der Spiegel illegally obtained copies of emails because of a hacker, and therefore shouldn’t be used, avoids the fact that the emails are damning. Even the Abu Dhabi airline’s own financial report showed that some of the funds were not for sponsorship but going direct to City. How can it be that City can be shown to clearly flout FFP rules and be given a piddling fine. CAS have essentially green lit financial doping. It won’t be just City celebrating but so too PSG.

With clubs like Bayern, Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona dominating TV rights revenues in their countries and PSG, City (and Chelsea if Roman deems it) able to stuff as much money as they want into their team, it makes both the domestic leagues and European competitions less competitive than even now.

It’s a sad day for football
Paul McDevitt

 

… ​A reply to Vernon, Dublin, Ireland mail

– As far as I’m aware, both UEFA and Man City agreed to bring this to CAS. Considering the might of both organizations, and how they wanted this to be handled quickly and definitively before next season, it is only rational that they not waste time and escalate this to highest level quickly.

Usually football do have multiple levels of this stuff, as an example look at ongoing EFL vs Mackersfield for points deduction case for not paging wages on time. Its been appealed a few times.

– I assume unlike real Supreme Courts, the CAS is not as busy so escalating it there is an option.?

– As far as I know Man City post-buyout earlier years did not break FFP because the rules weren’t there yet. FFP became a thing because of clubs like Man City to begin with.

– Haven’t read the case report yet (this is still new) but one of the mail boxers pointed out that one of the reasons for the ruling was that UEFA had statute of limitations and this had already passed them.
Yaru, Malaysia

 

Cos City are a massive club
Ade, We didn’t fiddle the accounts. That’s been proven. You can keep saying it and you’ll always be wrong. You’re obviously a Liverpool fan (because you’re in Guildford) but tell me this. If we’ve always been a small club, then how come we won the FA Cup 65 years before you did? If we’ve always been a small club, then how come we have at least twenty attendances that are bigger than your highest attendance? If City have always been a small club then how come we were the first club to achieve a double of an English and a European trophy? If we’ve always been a small club, then how come we’ve spent one, ONE, aberration of a season out of the top two divisions in our entire history?

I could go on but what’s the point? Ade, you’re a know nothing blowhard.

James Outram, we meet again and I think the pleasure is all yours because there isn’t any at my end. Thanks for trawling through and copying emails. The emails that were hacked, taken out of context and ultimately dismissed as irrelevant because if they weren’t irrelevant, we’d know about it. By the way, you know Der Speigel? The paper that printed all of these emails? You do know that they had to sack their chief Features Writer after he was found to have been making his articles up, FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS? So, nothing going on there, then. As ever, you’re deliberately missing the point because it suits you.

Concentrate on your own club because there’s plenty to be concerned about there. Have you ever read about the curious case of the connections between Liverpool and Roma and deliberately underinflated transfer fees? Have you heard about the transfer bans you received for snatching little kids and then leaving them hanging, abandoned? Hacking into other clubs databases? Defending a racist who bites other people? Apologising for tapping up other clubs players? The list goes on and on. However, they don’t matter….because your club committed those minor indescretions.

As for FFP itself, the whole basis of it is corrupt. It’d be much easier if we included debt too or do you, or any other clubs, want that included? Seems like an obvious omission, to me. Curious though, I mean, why miss out such an item? Can’t be because all of a sudden, life would be made sooooo much more difficult for the old guard, would it? The clubs with positions to protect?

You’re as corrupt as anybody else. I look forward to your email to the Football 365 mailbox campaigning to see loveliness and fairness re-established for all.

There’s a good lad.

Just trying to help, as ever.
Levenshulme Blue, Manchester19

 

Not guilty? Not innocent either…
This is in response to the gloating of MCFC fans regarding the CAS ruling.

Have you actually read the information currently available regarding the ruling?
“Most of the alleged breaches reported were either not established or time-barred”.
This is NOT an exhoneration of wrongdoing, as any fair-minded person should be able to understand. A combination of the burden of proof not being established by UEFA, and too much time elapsing for repercussions to be applied. That is not the same as there being no wrong doing.

If CAS was absolving City, they would surely have released a clear and unambiguous statement to that effect.
With the limited information we currently have, it would appear that the prosecution of City has been woefully inadequate, borderline negligent. That would be easier to swallow than anything more nefarious (but given how much corruption there is in the upper echelons of football, this can hardly be discounted). But again, this does not exhonerate City in the slightest.

In fact, they were fined for non co-operation; more than that in fact, obstruction; “MCFC’s disregard of such principle [importance of the co-operation of clubs in investigations, quote] and its obstruction of the investigations” is what confirmed the fine.

Gloating City fans – why would your club not co-operate in an investigation? Why did they actively obstruct the investigation? Are these the actions of an innocent club? I expect answers to these from MCFC fans please.

You are not entitled to any apologies from the footballing community. We’ll wait to recieve them from UEFA, thanks.
Rudi, nearly there, Fulham

 

The people versus Manchester City
I cannot even begin to fathom the incompetence at UEFA for failing to deal with Manchester City years ago when they originally failed to cooperate with them. They should have had the balls there and then to stand up to them and say “you’re out of the competition until you play by our rules”. Now the whole game is in a hole that may become too deep to escape from. Does anyone really want the Premier League to become a play thing of human rights abusing dictatorships? Puppet states used for political manouvres.

I’m a lifelong Liverpool fan and I know how much the “this means more” tag grates on people. Manchester United have always annoyed me for obvious reasons but for the first time yesterday I actually felt a bond with the club I’d always hated. The crowing from City fans about how innocent they are even though it’s obvious to anyone with a brain cell that they’ve cheated the system to get to the top. I’ve come to realise that it’s time to put tribal differences to one side and remember who the real enemy is in this turbulent time for the sport we all love.

I seriously urge fans of all clubs to unite and make a stand against City. Let’s petition, lobby and force the Premier League and FA to look into their finances since the day of their takeover onwards and make them act accordingly. Let’s do what UEFA couldn’t and show these dictators that they can’t cheat football.
Marcus

 

Liverpool were innocent
I won’t weigh in on the FFP debate, largely because I know sod all about FFP, but I had to write in and reply to Glyn’s accusation of Liverpool illegally accessing a rivals system and call it what it is, absolute bollocks.

What happened was we hired an ex Man City scout and his former club neglected to remove his access to their system, he didn’t hack anything and he didn’t cheat his way in there, he used his username and password and if you don’t revoke a former employees access then that ones on you.
Manjo, LFC

 

Firmino v Giggs
Roberto Firmino is trending on Twitter. Scousers: “If you just judge Firmino on his stats, you don’t know football”.

I bet these are the same Scousers who say Giggs is as overrated and then site his stats. Here’s looking at your Jamie Carragher.
Tom (no idea why this is bugging me so much. MUFC)

 

Continental clash
Further to the best per continent challenge yesterday evening, how about a Europe vs South America best XI debate. Just off the top of my head, the standard’s of both teams are frightening, although on balance Europe would probably shade it in terms of depth, particularly in defence.

Both teams line out in a modern 4-3-3 formation, with one holding midfielder, and none of this false nine nonsense. These forwards are here to score goals.

Europe: Yashin; Thuram, Beckenbauer, Baresi, Maldini; Matthaus; Zidane, Charlton; C.Ronaldo, Puskas, Cryuff.
Subs: Buffon, Moore, Lahm, Rijkaard, Keane, Best, Muller.
World Cups: 10
Ballon D’Ors: 16
Champions Leagues/European Cups: 33

South America: Allison; Cafu, Passarella, Godin, Zanetti; Mascherano; Rivellino, Di Stefano; Messi, Pele, Maradona.
Subs: Chilavert, Carlos Alberto, Lucio, Simeone, Socrates, Ronaldo, Garrincha.
World Cups: 14
Ballon D’Ors: 9
Champions Leagues/European Cups: 16

Obviously the Ballon D’Or’s would favour the Europeans due to the awards own rules for years (likes of Eusebio and Platini would add to that), and the South America team is top-heavy with Brazil and Argentina so the total World Cups would be more concentrated. What a game it would be though, with I think the European’s aforementioned stronger defensive options proving key (struggled to think of many “classic” South American defenders and goalies compared to Europe).
Brian (kudos to anyone able to compile a balanced Asian/Africa best XI), Wexford

 

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