round up #4

so all of the major european leagues are finally under way, and there has been plenty of news to fill many a blog posting. here are a few things i’ve come across that i’ve found interesting, but haven’t had enough time to write a full posting about. enjoy.

cheapskate: roman abramovic
cheapskate: roman abramovic

roman plots to KO spending –
want to know the true definition of irony? then read the above link. apparently, chelsea owner roman abramovich is teaming up with several other billionaire club owners from around europe to put a limit on spending on transfers. yes, the same man who bought chelsea and pumped an estimated £600 million of his own money into transfers to build “chelski” into one of the biggest clubs in europe now wants to place limits on transfer spending. “roman abramovich… [does] not want to fork out any more.” i can’t even comprehend that statement. just because someone infinitely more rich than him has rolled through and made his typical spending habits look meager, roman decides now is the time to limit spending in football. truly ridiculous.

manchester united awarded biggest slice of premier league television money in 2008-09 –
speaking of huge sums of money, manchester united don’t appear to be getting any shorter on cash. it was announced that the red devils were dished around £51.5 million in tv revenue from last season for finishing first in the league and having the most matches shown live (25). add that to the money they received for selling ronaldo and united pulled in around £131.5 million this summer, minus any amounts they paid to bring in any players of course. with the american owners hoping to reduce the staggering debt they took on to buy the club, it’s not that surprising that sir alex was “content” to not buy any more players this transfer window.

sporting emotions in the highest pitch –
espn’s page 2 writer bill simmons is by far my favorite sports writer out there, and has again been sucked in by the growing soccer enthusiasm in the states. for non-long time readers of “the sports guy,” bill was originally hooked by the beautiful game after the 2006 world cup and attempted to pick an EPL team to follow that next season. i gleefully loved that he picked tottenham! though he didn’t really discuss how that went (my guess? poorly), he has caught the bug again and attended the u.s.-mexico qualifier in mexico city three weeks ago. simmon’s entertaining account of that game shows why there is still hope for the game to catch the attention of the non-soccer fan in this country. well worth the read.

spurs close on kranjcar –
a deep price was paid to help continue tottenham hotspur’s flying start to the season, with in-form playmaker luka modric breaking the fibula in his right leg during the saturday win over birmingham. modric has been the creative force in yids’ offense this season, so his loss is potentially devastating. and with the tiny croatian set to be out six weeks, boss harry redknapp has been on the lookout for quick fix before the close of the transfer window. the gaffer seems intent to again raid his former club portsmouth, looking set to sign their croatian midfielder niko kranjcar. this is great business in my opinion, as he is a quality player with loads of experience in the premier league and niko was excellent in pompey’s run to f.a. cup glory two seasons ago. however, this probably draws a further line under harry’s complete lack in faith in jermaine jenas.

u.s.l. sold to NuRock soccer –
the united soccer leagues, the minor soccer league system in the u.s., was sold this week by sportswear manufacturer nike. despite this being big news, especially for developing pro talent in this country, i’m not really sure what to make of it. obviously, loosing the financial backing of a major corporation such as nike seems like it could be a blow to a league that’s teams often struggle with finances. however, rumors of a more european-style managment of the league (including the possible introduction of a promotion/relegation system!) and a focus on development of younger players could be signs of better things to come. our country desperately needs to find a better way to identify and produce more quality players, and hopefully the new ownership will steer the league towards providing that answer.

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