The joke that’s been going round since the last day of the season goes like this: What’s the difference between Alan Shearer and Newcastle United? Answer: Shearer will be on Match of the Day next season. Trouble for fans of the Toon is that it’s probably true.
The financially challenged club is up for sale, the players are due back for pre-season training in 3 weeks and yet Shearer still hasn’t had any contact with owner Mike Ashley about whether he’s required on a permanent basis. What sort of a way is this to run a football club? Who’s overseeing their transfer policy? Who’s making plans for pre-season? It was only a few weeks ago that Ashley declared that Shearer was the right man for the job. What a shame that no-one realised a few months back that Ashley clearly wasn’t!
The man for the job?
Does anyone else ‘get’ Florentino Perez because I certainly don’t? I don’t understand all the fuss about him returning as president of Real Madrid, I can’t see why he’s regarded as some form of Messiah and I really don’t see why he’s set out a course of action to put together another set of Galaticos starting with Kaka at £59 million.
Sure, his strategy worked OK at the beginning of his last term in charge, but when he left the club in 2006, Perez had overseen a trophy drought like no other in Madrid history. Barca fans will be rubbing their hands with glee at his return.
Talking of making the same mistake again, there’s more news this week on cash-strapped Irish subscription broadcaster Setanta. Sadly for the world of sport, they are now in even more trouble and are expected to cease trading anytime now. They’ve failed to meet a £3 million payment to the SPL whilst the EPL faces a financial black hole amounting to £400million if the broadcaster crashes. Sky has dismissed any talk of picking up the pieces with their chief executive Jeremy Darroch accusing Setanta of short term business practices.
You’d have thought football would have learnt its lesson after the ITV Digital disaster, but apparently not. Once again they went for the big cash deal, once again they didn’t do their homework properly and once again it’ll be the clubs who are hit hardest. Disgraceful.
I have nothing against Uzbek football. The truth of the matter is I know nothing about it. And until a few weeks ago, you’d imagine that was probably the case for Phil Scolari. But not any more. The former manager of World Cup winners Brazil, Kuwait, Portugal and Chelsea has been named as the new boss of Bunyodkor who play their football in Tashkent.
As it turns out, it should be a home from home for Big Phil – there are 4 Brazilian’s on the playing staff including Rivaldo who’s reported to be earning $14 million over a 2 year period. Indeed, this is the club that once tried to sign Samuel Eto’o. With money, ambition and now a coach like Scolari, perhaps it won’t be long before we all know a little bit more about football in Uzbekistan.