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Monday, November 07, 2005

"I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel."

Well, well, well, look who thinks football clubs are greedy.

Lennart Johansson, the crusty old head of UEFA, took a dim view of the big clubs' request that FIFA and UEFA pay their players' salaries during international qualifying. FIFA and UEFA already distribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the national associations before and after the tournaments, and the associations can choose to pass some cash along to players. But the clubs are forced to release players, free of charge, for national team duty.

Three comments:
  • Of course football clubs are greedy. They're businesses, and they also know that more money usually means better players and more success on the pitch, which means more money, which means....

  • The clubs also know when they sign a top player that he'll be on national team duty, so his contract implicitly has a discount built in. On this basis, there's no need to compensate the club. But UEFA and FIFA are getting the players for free, so they should bargain with them directly - that is, unless the players have some old-fashioned notion that it's an honor to take the field for your country.

  • Lennart, you've got a nice pot belly, but stop calling the kettle black; the average compensation for UEFA employees during the 2003/04 fiscal year was about $131,000. (You can do the math yourself using their annual report.) UEFA's a monopoly, and it shows.

Toon fans will have shed yet another crocodile tear for Woodgate, who's crocked again for at least a month - and just as he was showing up on Sven's radar. It'll be a little while, then, before he's evened up his personal goals for-and-against ratio....

Shearer's hernia surgery in Munich will supposedly put him out of action for a couple of weeks. Knowing the skipper, however, it seems likely that he'll swim back to Tyneside and leg it over to St. James's in time for the Chelsea match. Here he is in his early poolside years, and here he is practicing the Australian crawl (pointy-finger version) as per his usual training regimen.


One more note on last night's big match: say what you want, Shaun Wright-Phillips was never worth 21 million pounds. That kind of money should only pay for someone who can reliably change a game. Against the Red Mist, SWP couldn't. At age 24, how much is he really going to improve? In the meantime, Man City's chairman, John Wardle, should stop complaining about SWP's supposed betrayal. His cash-strapped club got the better end of the deal, a fact TDH hopes the other directors realize.


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

I dunno, SWP is a pretty phenomenal player on his day. But I was shocked to realise that he's actually older than Young Joe, who, in my biased opinion, played him off the pitch, despite being below par.

Re: woody, John Carlin attacks claims that he was suffering from a severely strained nose, rather than hamstring, as 'utterly unfounded' in this month's Observer Sport Monthly. I'd take that seriously if he wasn't Real's official knob polisher (has he ever even slightly criticised a Merengue?)

6:23 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Yeah, I actually thought Cole was playing well enough to stay on.

So the Carlin piece only calls the drug rumors "utterly unfounded" in passing. He didn't even bother to ask Woody about them directly - sure sign of a lousy journalist. No one has comprehensively refuted the existence of the photos that supposedly show Woody and Kate Lawler doing a Tony Montana face-plant. Anyway, can the recurrent hamstring problem really be a hangover from his Tyneside days?

6:44 AM  

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