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The Joy of being Dortmund
It strikes me that Borussia Dortmund are one of the most fascinating as well as fortunate clubs in any of the major leagues today. We all know that they routinely sell their best players, usually for a very handy profit. In the past 5 years, they’ve sold Hummels, Mkhitaryan, Gundogan, Aubamiyang, Dembele, Pulisic, Yarmolenko, Alcacer, Diallo, and Sancho, amongst others. This lot has earned them about £470m in fees and cost them around 25% of that. That’s an amazing business model, especially for a club whose shares are publicly traded.
On the pitch too, their story is interesting – they last won the Bundesliga in 2012, but have been runners up 5 times since then. They’ve won the German Cup 3 times in the past decade. It’s fair to say that they are the best of the rest after Bayern. They obviously have built this amazing youth development system which aligns with their business model and they are a magnet for both young players (for career development) as well as their agents (for future fees). A finishing school for the most expensive players of tomorrow.
The magic trick that Dortmund are able to pull off is simply this. The fans don’t seem to complain about their lack of ambition. Because we know they will sell Haaland and Bellingham for similarly eye watering sums of money. Yet, given the disparity of the German league, nobody grudges them the lack of league titles. We don’t hear of discontent amongst the fans of a lack of ambition to go past Bayern. (Dortmund fans are invited to write in and share what they think of this).
Also because of the relative lack of competition, they are always good enough to make it to the Champions league regularly, and that works well for the players showcase. I would suggest that Dortmund are similar to a Leicester, who have been similarly good at finding good talent and selling them for relatively high margins. But Leicester fans I’m sure will be happier if they can retain those players and be regular Champions league participants than missing out by the skin of their teeth every year. Imagine the Premier League with Man City, Leicester, and a bunch of other clubs which are of the quality of (say) Everton and the current Arsenal. It’s both an indictment of the German League as well as a complement to Dortmund for how well they’ve been able to play this game.
Ved Sen, London, MUFC.
READ MORE: Ten Liverpool players Klopp liked but lost
City FFP dam squib
It seems more and more clear that Man City cheated and the Mail on Sunday article seems to shed light on how hard the club has been trying to stall progress, conceal evidence and avoid negative publicity.
I think it’s clear to every rational person that City cheated their way to the top, no matter how loudly you shout time barred that doesn’t mean they didn’t cheat. It means they avoided punishment on a technicality.
There is a legitimate argument about the fairness of the rules. If the owner can afford to Chuck a load of money at the club then why shouldn’t he? FFP didn’t exist when Abramovich took over Chelsea and made them a force so why can’t Sheikh Mansour do the same now?
The more pressing question is what exactly the premier league hopes to achieve. They won’t strip them of titles or deduct points because Man City are now at the top of the food chain and Pep plus the players help bring in the big TV money which makes all the executives happy. The only logical conclusion is that the Premier League just want to extract a heavy fine to pay their own exorbitant salaries which seems a bit pointless; transferring money from a sportswashing nation to a boys club that is only motivated by self interest.
This makes for interesting reading but my suspicion is that any outcome is likely to be a damp squib.
A collective Pogba shrug
Frankly bewildered at Daniel (Cambridge)‘s email regarding Pogba. On the hallowed pages of F365 from the mailbox to media watch, on tv panels reviewing matches, on every sports page in every newspaper there can hardly be a better aired topic than United’s many many problems over the last ten years.
No one ANYWHERE has ever laid ALL the blame at Pogba’s inconsistent feet. There can be few footballing personalities as reviled as Edward Woodward. His baffling footballing incompetence scrutinised, analysed and dissected weekly. The failed transfer windows, the poor coaching the dreadful management. Mourinho, Solakjaer, Van Gaal – is Daniel suggesting none of these have been criticised? He must be a new reader of F365. in fact I’d sympathise with supporters of smaller clubs who have to read yet another Woodward/mourinho out mailbox/analysis.
The transformative influence of a truly world class player with desire and focus is there for all to see. The impacts of Bruno Fernandez and Virgil van Dijk prime examples. Pogba promotes himself at that level, that he is one of the worlds greatest, yet he has never had the impact to justify his marketing.
The responsibility for United’s success is not and shouldn’t be Pogba’s alone. Responsibility for his performances is however. And no one could claim he has come close to satisfying his enormous potential in a red shirt.
For both parties it is time to end it. He will depart not in triumph and appreciation but with a collective shrug of the shoulders. The fault for that is entirely his.
Leave with some dignity, Paul
At no point did Mr Watson give the impression he was blaming Pogba for all United’s woes.
You could choose to believe everything you’ve written ,and it still wouldn’t change the fact that Mr Pogba has gone missing either by well timed injuries or while on the pitch .
His bottom line is basically buttressed by part of your defense, United needed to get a good loyal partner , that would stand strong during rough times, and instead started life by marrying, the entitled luxury second wife that wouldn’t lift a finger to help do anything .
These sort of descriptions are too rampant with Pogba , he’s the specialised Ipod which only works with the right charger ,the Beta dog who becomes clueless and less brave when the alpha doesn’t show up .
It hasn’t worked and now, like an entitled luxury partner ,he doesn’t want to leave ( the key issue is he’s not signing a contract), because he wants to see what will be the best option for him in a year . mainly this is because he has only 4 options 3 are skint and he already apparently antagonised the other by talking up a rival in Marseille.
Would love for him to stay but if he offers nothing, then leave with some dignity….or is that something that’s hard to comprehend.
Trust in Marina
Reading the Top ten spenders at F365 and not finding Chelsea on that list is for a change very nice.
Chelsea each season are busy buying truck load of players … some of which are hits some duds and some still trying to fall in one of those buckets. Chelsea obviously are well run and they prefer buying young players with great potential and sell on value or go for Uber experience on cheap to solidify the team.
Chelsea usually does not target the players who are already world class as they want to avoid paying over the top premium for such players.
And not being in the list of top spenders in this still early stage gives me great hope that they will make an exception this season to bring in a world class player… which is Halland. That should surely light up both Chelsea as well as EPL with other teams also adding up quality.
We also probably need one good defender … and get rid of dead wood from the team. But I trust Marina to do the job.
B CFC ( Really excited for Halland and Chelsea to be top of all tables )
1. Should the person fouled in the penalty area take the penalty.
2. Should all players requiring on field medical assistance be required to spend an equal amount of time on the sideline. This would discourage floppers and provide true recovery time for the truly injured.
3. Should matches ending in a draw go to a penalty shootout for the 3rd point. This would sharpen penalty taking across the spectrum.
Your thoughts please.