Anorak News | Money For Nothing

Money For Nothing

by | 17th, February 2005

‘IF money were goals, then British clubs would have dominated the European club competitions in recent years.

Keane picks up his trophy at the football marketing awards

Premiership clubs dominate the list of Europe’s Top 20 richest clubs, accounting (with the two Old Firm clubs) for half the names on the list.

And, says the Telegraph, it is a hold that is likely to become even stronger in coming years with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea taking the top three places.

At the moment, Real Madrid occupy second place in the list, compiled by Deloitte – and made £56.9m from commercial income alone.

David Beckham may not have set Spain alight on the field, but he certainly shifts a lot of shirts.

Liverpool may not have set the world alight on the field either, but they do at least hang on to a place in the Top 10.

Whether they can retain that, however, depends to a large extent on whether they manage to get a Champions’ League place next season.

And the Times reports that Rafael Benitez has read the riot act to his players after a fourth defeat in seven games threatened to undermine the club’s whole season.

“I have come here to work hard and I expect everyone else to do the same” may not qualify for the Sir Alex Ferguson Hairdrier Award.

But, says the Times, it marks a departure from the Spaniard’s previous Sven Goran Eriksson demeanour.

Words are one thing, actions another – as the FA managed to demonstrate again yesterday.

New chief executive Brian Barwick may have spoken convincingly about the need to eradicate “simulation” (otherwise known as cheating) from the game.

But, says the Times, that brave declaration was looking “as convincing as an El-Hadji Diouf swandive” yesterday as the FA has spectacularly failed to put it into practice.

Bolton’s defender Tal Ben Haim escaped without censure for what looked for all the world like a blatant dive in the match against Manchester United on December 26.

“The Israel defender attracted widespread derision,” it says, “when he reacted to a shove in the face by Wayne Rooney as if he had been struck by lightning rather than a podgy teenager.”

If the FA is not itself to attract widespread derision, it needs to act – and we are grateful to Roy Keane for this suggestion.

Having a go at Ashley Cole for his theatrics, the Manchester United midfielder said: “Before the game, there was all this stuff about anti-racism and anti-bullying.

“It would be a good idea to start wearing wristbands for anti-diving.”

A pointless initiative from the game’s ruling body and another great merchandising opportunity for the clubs – all in one.

Is genius too strong a word?’

Posted: 17th, February 2005 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink