Real Madrid’s Five European Cups (1956-60) : Luck? Circumstances?

Intelligent question raised in The Guardian.

Was it because there were no other real challengers from across the globe?

The Superga Air Disaster destroyed any hope Torino could have had going into the early years of the European Cup, the Hungarian Revolution ended any chance Honved had of having a competitive chance as players like Kocsis and Puskas were forced to leave (Puskas incidentally to Madrid), and those in Britain are obviously familiar with what happened to Manchester United‘s young team. By the time all of these teams dissolved, Real had only won 2 of their 5.


Interesting Man United Fact (Upto GW32, PL 12-13)

Interesting Observation:

In the PL, number of red cards against Man United this season? Zero. In the PL, number of red cards against Man United? Zero.

Has this ever happened to any team at all earlier in any season in any major football league? I doubt it.


Interesting? Yes. Surprising? No.

Football: Net Spend, Salary and Wage -Turnover Ratio

Taken from a comment in the Guardian website:

Net spend is NOT the primary financial factor when it comes to transfer strategy.Wage-turnover ratio is much more important.

Man United are firm about keeping it below 50% Utd’s wage-turnover ratio is currently around 46%. Its hovered between 45 & 50% since the Glazers took over. Turnover has actually increased since the Glazer’s took over and as a result, the 08/09 wage bill increased from £123m to £132m in 09/10.

People love to talk about the burden of debt on the club and how this negatively impacted the amount of money SAF has to spend. Yes, it might affect how much money SAF can bid for a players, but it doesn’t affect the wages Utd can offer to players. Turnover (revenue), is calculated before the debt payments are deducted. The debt has no impact on the wage structure or the contracts Utd can offer to players. Utd could have given SAF £100m to spend on players, but he probably still wouldn’t have been able to offer Nasri the wages City were offering him because of the strict wage structure at Utd.

And when we Arsenal fans crib about why we could not get Juan Mata, however much we wanted him…. That’s why.

An ‘Iconoclastic’ mail about the Premiership stars

On Mediawatch today (Ref: ’24 hours later’) you mention that

    “We should also take a minute to savour Mr Smith’s words ‘He is, perhaps, the only true global icon plying his trade in the Premier League’ and offer the words ‘Wayne’ and ‘Rooney’.”

Well, let me be a bit of an iconoclast here – great player that he is, the two words ‘Wayne’ and “Rooney’ do not make a global icon. A global icon is not necessarily (one of) the best footballers in the world. David Beckham was probably never among the top three players in Man United leave alone the world, but was he, for a long time, the face of the Premier league to the greater world? Oh yes he was. Cantona was a global icon. Henry was a global icon. Zidane was a global icon. Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the biggest footballing global icon. Messi and Kaka are global icons. And before you say that probably one has to be reasonably okay looking to be a global icon, Ronaldinho, and before him bucktooth Ronaldo, with faces that could sink a thousand ships, were global icons too. However, Rooney is not. British icon he may well be, footballing world icon he is not.

The Premier League is a huge global brand, especially because of its reach, it reaches the non-footballing superpower countries and regions (Africa, Arabic Asia, the Cricketing subcontinent, South east Asia, for example) in a way in which no other football league manages. Only the world cup compares with the Premier League in reach. And I have a bit of a vantage point here, as I am currently in India, and have a fair idea about the football following culture in South east Asia and Arabic Asia, and a little about the South Americas. Rooney is not the face of the premier league to the greater world, Torres is. Even Gerrard and Lampard are bigger global brands than Rooney. If anything, Sir Ferguson is a bigger brand than Rooney to the greater world. Arsenal is similarly icon-malnourished. A match between Arsenal and Man United is always advertised as the clash of Arsene and Sir.

And the shirt sales numbers are misleading. Man United is the most supported club in Asia by a distance (Liverpool comes second). I believe in the rest of the world it is fairly evenly distributed. So how is Torres’s shirt selling the most? It is because the casual not-virulently-supporting-a-club Premier League fan (yes, those exist) will buy the shirt of the biggest icon, and that is Torres. As for Rooney’s shirt sales being the third or fourth highest, that number is misleading too. This club has had global super-icon after super-icon. This club has had Cantona, then Beckham, then Cristiano Ronaldo. This club is the most supported in the shirt-buying world (that mostly excludes Spain and Germany and Italy too. They buy their own clubs’ shirts). The United fans are still there, remember? So whose shirt can they buy? The best player of their club, of course. And that’s Rooney.

Jaxx [{( If Rooney goes to Real Madrid, he will be out of the top 10 in shirt sales )]} B

Jaxx View IV: Rangers against Man United

Jaxx View 4 (click here)

…Rangers short-changed football indeed! Rangers, playing away against a team about 20 ranks ahead of them in World Club rankings, short changed football indeed.
But of course Man United in 2008 against Barcelona didn’t, and Chelsea in 2009 against Barca again didn’t, and Inter against Barca last year didn’t (oooooh, Mourinho is such a genius too !), why even my beloved Arsenal against ManU at the finals of the 2005 FA Cup final didn’t. And these teams weren’t 20 positions behind the other in club rankings.

Leveraged Buyouts, Salary Caps and the Premier League

An interesting comment on the Glazers and Hicks-Gillette at the Guardian:


Comment 1:

What I question in the article is the assertion that the Glazers and Hicks-Gillette don’t know what they’re doing.
Of course this is not the US but they’ve ran several sports franchises/clubs with little questioning of their stature.

Comment 2:

All of those several sports franchises were in leagues which were financially regulated, with salary caps etc. This leads to predictable cash flows, does not rock the financial boat, and a leveraged buyout should (or at least might) be viable.
The Premier League is not financially regulated, and thus the loans accrued for a leveraged buyout along with the mighty cash spend required year on year just to maintain status quo (and this keeps increasing every year, remember), makes it rather untenable.
While the Glazers and Hicks-Gillete are not stupid and have experience in running several sports franchises, the Premier League is an animal they have no experience in handling.

Jaxx view 1 – Owen


…This is the second time I am writing something similar, so sorry there. But this is for Dave (no I have nothing better to do…)

Many ManUnited fans (and others too) tend to mention that they would like Owen in the World Cup because they will ‘back him to score against Brazil in the last minute’ (and not, say, Defoe). That reminds me that an injury-ravaged, slowed down old goal-poacher (indeed, arguably the best goal-poacher the world seen in the last 10-20 years, possibly ever) is banging them in for fun at Corinthians in Brazil (something Owen isn’t doing, incidentally; not yet at least)…And he does not have a whiff of a chance for a place in the World Cup for Brazil.

Lesson – Form and fitness over luck. So many makeshifts fitted into the team, just to ensure the last-minute thing against Brazil? Think of it, you have Argentina in the second round, and Messi is running at Barry/ Lescott…You can lose it all there. And carrying Owen to the finals for that last-minute miracle might come up three rounds short.

Jaxx [{()}] B