Premiership Football Clubs strike Gold followed by £200,000 a Week Football player Wages

It sounds astonishing to think that a Premier League player can command £200,000 a WEEK, yet this is the figure that is being talked about by the Deloitte Report on the Financial state of the Football.

Television Rights Deals are spiralling upwards, inevitably pushing Players wages upwards and the author of Deloittes report suggests that it will not be long before a player commands a £200,000/week Salary. The mind boggles that an average Premiership player and Journeymen (players who move from Club to Club) could then earn £50,000/week. Far fetched I hear you cry. Yet the money continues to pour into the game at a breakneck speed as the Premier League Football appeal spread across the world.

The English league is dwarfing its Italian, German and Spanish peers, with Match day, Sponsorship and Broadcast revenues reaching £1.4 Billion in the 2005/2006 season. The Serie A Italian League generated £1 Billion, falling well short of the English games financial windfall.

European Success

Perhaps these numbers explain the success of English clubs in the Champions league with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all reaching the final 4 this season.

Chelsea have spent big over the last few years backed by their owners generosity, yet Manchester United are not falling behind, having already spent £35 Million this week on Anderson and Nani, plus quite probably another £17 Million on Owen Hargreaves and the 2006/2007 season has only just ended.

With the newly negotiated TV deal kicking in this season the premier league clubs will be receiving £2.7 Billion over the next 3 years and the spending will not be stopping yet. The highly lucrative Television Rights from abroad will boost even further the amount of money the clubs have at their disposal, pushing towards the first predicted £10,000,000 a year salary.

More Figures of Note

  • In 2005/2006 Football Agents scooped a noteworthy £50 Million for brokering all these deals.
  • The general opinion is that Derby Countys victory against West Bromwich Albion is worth an extra £60 Million to them.
  • Manchester United sell Match day suites for up to £150,000/season
  • Match day attendance in the Premier League is 92%
  • Manchester United have an estimated 75 Million fans worldwide with 41 Million residing in Asia
  • The Premiership had a weekly global audience of 78 Million Football fans in the 2006/2007 season
  • 650,000 South Korean Football Fans have signed up for a branded Manchester United Credit Card

It's not a fair game anymore

It's very hard to get an understanding of all these numbers and what they mean in real terms. My dad has been telling me all his life how it's not a fair game and that it cannot continue (referring to wages of players) and that ticket prices are too expensive. Yet is does continue and in fact Match day income is not the biggest earner for the Premiership Clubs anymore with Broadcasting rights providing the bulk of their income. Football has come a long way since the cloth cap days and there is certainly no turning back to these bygone eras, ridiculed in the Harry Enfield Video below :

My Dads stand against £200,000/week footballers

He has made his decision to stand up for the small club, not because he doesn't want to watch the big games but because he believes it is just plain wrong that people earn this kind of money. He quit watching Premier League Football, cancelled his Skysports subscription and now follows Kings Lynn Football Club week in and week out. The football isn't so good but it is still exciting and it doesn't cost him a large chunk of his weekly pension to see the games.

Splitting the pot

Perhaps it isn't fair anymore. Only as far back as 1992 the TV income was split between the 92 Football League Clubs. Today a staggering 90% goes to the Premier League, with 7% going to the Championship and 3% to League 1 and 2. (Barnet Football Club Chairman - Tony Kleanthous on the state of English Football)

Good Management

Maybe though nothing has really changed. The big clubs still have to get their players. Of course their net is cast ever further looking for the best young recruits and this is not so good for the small English clubs as the money leaves the country. However money still pours down to the lower leagues through Transfers. This is where the smaller clubs have to be run well and managed efficiently.

This is also the lifeblood of football. Without the small clubs, managers do not learn their art, players do not build their skills and perfect their trade, coaches do not gain experience. After all Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard et al, did not just appear from thin air. My Father may have lost faith in Football but it may be just that the structure of the game has changed. The smaller clubs will be feeder clubs to the big clubs, and in effect this is what has always happened, as the best move up the Footballing ladder and the worse slide back down, whether you be a club, manager, player or coach.

Fifth Richest League

It will take longer to break into the imaginary elite of football for the rest of the clubs as the gap between the Premier League and the rest of the English Clubs continues to grow. Nevertheless the state of the English game, relative to the rest of Europe seems to be positive, with the Championship being declared the Fifth Richest League in Europe with an annual turnover of £318,000,000.

It's not just the smaller English clubs that can cry foul. The massive buying power of the Premier Leagues elite is also giving them a huge advantage over the rest of the European clubs. It looks like Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have very healthy futures ahead of them. So long as they keep one eye out for the less fortunate teams all should continue to bode well in the English game or Football will simply cease to exist without the whole Footballing structure in place.

And is it worth it? Well you be the judge.

Champions League Football Video Highlights 2006/2007

Resources :

Improving at Golf by learning from Football - Tips for Young Players

I have been playing a lot of golf recently and have noticed huge improvements in my game as a result of spending many hours on the driving range and picking up tips from better players.

I have bought a few golf magazines to pick up some more tips on how to improve and after flicking through the pages I noticed the amount of advertising for new equipment, something not unusual to see in Football Magazines and it started me thinking about what you need to excel in a sport. I wondered what you actually need to focus on to make big improvements in your chosen game and what you need to ignore.

When I was a boy I played with friends who were more concerned with having the latest equipment, rather than focusing on what you do with the equipment. In fact even as a professional Football player I noticed many players totally absorbed by the latest football boot design. Golfing magazines are awash with adverts for "larger sweet spots", "top performance putters", "titanium cup faces", "fusion technology", "forged cavity irons" etc etc.

Expensive Sports Equipment do not maketh the man

If you aspire to be a great footballer or golfer, the equipment should not be the focus of your game. There have been massive improvements in Equipment manufacturing (especially in golf, where players now average 300 yard drives and can often Drive over 400 yards) yet it is the practice that counts. Play, play and play again. Or I should say Practice, practice and practice again. Learn how a ball spins, moves, stops, swerves, curves and bounces in all conditions whether rain, snow or shine.

Repetition and Training Drills

Repeating every aspect of your game is the key, simulating match situations so that you are confident in pressure situations whether it is taking a penalty at Wembley against Pepe Reina or driving a 1 wood, 300 yards at Wentworth Golf Course. That is what training drills are for. To replicate situations of games so that you are totally prepared. Training drills can get dull but they are the essence of success in any sport and you will need to find a way to get excited every day about the prospect of repeating an exercise you have done 100s if not 1,000s of times before.

If you are a young player, do yourself a favour (or your parents) and save yourself a lot of money. Unless your boots are falling apart or your golf clubs are bent or 50 years out of date, keep them. Read the golf and football magazines but ignore the advertising for the latest products and concentrate on the tips and advice from the pros. The important stuff in the magazines is the information that can be picked up from the professionals, such as how much they practice, how they practice and when they practice.

Making Racehorses out of Donkeys

Professional sportsmen/women are extremely dedicated people and have the luxury of using the latest equipment but their skills were not honed to perfection by the equipment. The equipment enhances already perfected skills. You cannot make a racehorse out of a donkey, even if the Donkey is wearing Adidas Predator Boots and swinging a Titleist 905R Driver with Titanium body and beta-titanium insert with large sweet spot to boot.

1 Less member needed to buy a Football Club

Sandringham Estate in North Norfolk

Ok, so I wrote about the novel Football website set up by Will Brooks, looking to garner 50,000 members who will all stump up £35 to create a fund in order to purchase a football club. I still have a lot of questions about how this could happen but it is such a fantastical idea that even if it doesn't work out I think it's worth the £35 to "enjoy the ride"

I registered this morning, which involves giving your name and email address. (the £35 comes later).

The biggest decision is too decide which club you wish to purchase, (actually you do not need to decide on any teams yet) ranging from the Premier League all the way down to the Isthmian League.

I thought about the Premier League Clubs but the amount of money that would be raised would not be enough to compete with even the strugglers in the top flight. The lower leagues seem like a more attractive proposition, where an estimated £1,375,000 would be a huge amount of cash.

I have voted for Kings Lynn Football Club, known as the Linnets, who play in the Southern Premier League and come from Norfolk. Why Kings Lynn? Well I used to play for them, in fact they were my first semi-professional team in the late 1980s. They are a lower league team, with a decent stadium (although could do with a lot of improvement), have a decent squad, just missing out on promotion through the play-offs, and also had a decent cup run last year.

Therefore in my humble opinion I think they could be the perfect club. they obviously have a decent team (relative to their standing) and that is a great starting point. Oh, and the queen has a country retreat (picture at the top) nearby so maybe we can get £35 from her also.

So I ask you all to give Kings Lynn a vote and sign up for Footballs Greatest Adventure.

Here is the Website :

Charlton Football Fans are just a bunch of Bloggers

Commiserations to West Bromwich Albion after stumbling at the final premier league hurdle at Wembley. Congratulations of course to Derby County who go on to reap the rewards of a fantastic Championship season.

Of course after finishing 3rd in the regular season many observers will say justice has been done.

I was trying to gauge blogger opinion from West Brom fans before the game but it seems that West Brom Fans do not blog. Charlton fans on the other hand seem to be old hands at Blogging. A selection of a few Charlton Blogs that have caught my attention :

I wonder why the addicks are so keen, yet the baggies not so?

West Bromwich Albion Play Off Finals 2007 v Derby County

Good luck to my old team West Bromwich Albion tomorrow against Derby County in the Championship Play Off final against Derby at Wembley.

Video of West Broms 2 leg victory against their Black Country Rivals Wolves.

It brings a tingle down my spine to see and hear the baggies fans boing boinging at the Hawthorns.

Next : Golf and Football. Ignoring the "fancy" equipment ads and focusing on what really matters if you aspire to be the best.

Chelsea Football Club Youtube Channel - Global Brand

Chelsea Football Club have become the first club to open a Youtube Video Channel, allowing fans to congregate online, watch clips of commentary on the club's fortunes and post their views on the season's progress.

Chelsea are reaching out to a new, fast growing medium on the Internet, although they are not allowed to show Live footage due to contractual rights.

Chelsea Chief Executive Peter Kenyon said: "We are delighted to work with YouTube. Chelsea is the first football club to move into what is clearly one of the fastest growing new media platforms."

Youtube which was acquired by Google for $1.65 Billion (USD) is reaching out to sports fans all over the world, and Chelsea will be one of the front runners, hoping to grab a small share of the 100 million video downloads every day from the youtube site. With Google experimenting with Video advertising, the Chelsea channel could be a lucrative business for the club.

The possibilities of the increased advertising revenues from the internet are surely very tantalizing for Football Clubs and Chelsea will no doubt be watching closely to see how many pairs of Chelsea "eyeballs" view their Page.

The Social Networking phenomenon (Myspace, Yahoo 360, Bebo, Flickr, Friendster, Youtube etc) has taken the web by storm and how Chelsea interact and communicate with their fans through youtube is yet to be realized. Along with I expect we will be seeing and (in their local languages) in an attempt to galvanize a larger fan base.

Traditionally, Football Clubs were supported by the local community, in the immediate vicinity of their stadiums and the surrounding town or city. Their reach was limited geographically by this area, however this no longer applies. The reach and success of clubs, especially the larger clubs is linked to their appeal as a Global Brand, the team messages zooming down Fiber Optic networks to the far flung corners of the planet.

With Liverpool FC having 28,000,000 registered online members worldwide, Chelsea seem keen to innovate on the web to cement them as a Global Brand and reach Fans all over the world.

Resources :
Times Online
Chelsea Youtube Page

Top 7 reason NOT to buy a Football Club

  1. Crowd Abuse
  2. If you get it wrong you could lose a lot of money
  3. Players really don't care about the owner (see no 3, top 7 Reasons to buy a Football Club)
  4. Fans really don't care about the owner
  5. It's a lose, lose situation. A thankless task. Win the league and the players and manager get credit. Get relegated or win nothing (see Newcastle United, Aston Villa, West Ham, Leeds United etc etc) and the fans want more money and better players.
  6. Unless you own one of the big teams no-one will care what you think in the Premier League meetings. (see no 6, top 7 reason to buy a Football Club)
  7. No-one knows who you are

Football Tricks and Top Goals from 2006/2007

Freestyle Football Video Skills - More tricks than David Blame

Professional Footballer's Association - Website for Youngsters, Coaches and football fans

The PFA is a great website for an insight into the goings on of a Professional Football player and is a great read for anyone interested in Football or pursuing a career in football.

The PFAs chairman is my old Charlton Athletic colleague Chris Powell,(Chris's PFA interview) and is packed with information including loads of player interviews.

Chris points to the role of the PFA in his interview which is undervalued and underused by its members (Football players) saying : "I think some players still don't recognise what benefits they can get (from the PFA), how can they be helped with their financial planning and looking ahead to the future, and life outside football".

The website has some short but insightful interviews with Professional Footballers and does not just concentrate on the star names, but goes through the leagues picking the thoughts of players from all over the country. A refreshing change to hear the opinions of players on the fringe of stardom.

It also has a hot seat, currently Stuart Pearce talking about leaving Manchester City, his job, being fired (a brief phone call telling him his services are no longer required), and the future for Pearce.

The website is packed with information ranging from :

Today, the modern game of Football has major concerns over widespread corruption and players would do well to take advantage of the PFA (players union), which offers a fine service to players, whereby they receive representation in contract negotiations, financial advice and post career advice. They do this for a modest fee and quite often in a more professional manner.

50,000 members needed to bid for a Football Club

As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I have found this website that is looking for 50,000 members to join and sign up for £35 each to purchase through a society a Football Club.

The website, which is the brainchild of Fulham fan Will Brooks and 2 years into development has been featured on the BBC. Although it throws up a host of potential problems, the possibilities are tantalizing to say the least. With 50,000 members all having a single vote and the club run by true democracy it has to be worth £35 of anyones money.

MyFootballClub is offering to buy out a club that meets the following criteria :

  • 51% or more of the football club shares can be bought with the Purchase Fund

  • There is none, or a manageable debt

  • The club has the potential to reach the Premiership

The Ultimate Fantasy Football Manager Game

Once the club is purchased here is where the fun starts. Members will be able to :

  • Vote on team selection and formation

  • Decide tactics, by voting for your preferred style of play and substitutions depending on match situations

  • Vote for or veto Club transfers

  • Suggest player purchases and send scouting reports

  • Vote on how to allocate club funds, whether it’s on transfers, youth policy or the stadium or other major decisions

Currently 26,500 members have signed up and you will even have the option to vote for which club to purchase : The top 5 voted for so far are :

  1. Leeds United

  2. Cambridge

  3. Accrington

  4. Nott'm Forest

  5. Brighton

Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all feature in the voting although I think wishful thinking is more at play here. You can vote for any team from the Premiership all the way down to the Conference North and South.

For more information visit the My Football Club Website here :

The BBC ran an article covering Will Brooks ambitious scheme :

Freestyle Football Video Skills

Freestyle Football Video to make even Ronaldinho jealous

More Freestyle Football

And now the masters, Ronaldinho and Cristiano Ronaldo

Resources :

Ronaldinho Official Website
Cristiano Ronaldo Wikipedia

Want to buy your own Football Club?

Sounds crazy but "Footballs greatest adventure" to put together 50,000 members to bid for an English Football Club is underway.

More tomorrow. Or is it an internet scam...

Top 7 reasons to buy a Football Club

Yet another Premier League takeover is on the cards with Billionaire Mike Ashley buying 41.6% of Newcastle United Football Club, valuing the Geordies at £133.1 million, not quite as much as Liverpools £178 Million but still a vast sum of money. I wrote about why there has been such an interest in the last few years from Billionaires and consortiums in purchasing notoriously bad businesses (Football Clubs) and have compiled a Top 7 reasons list to buy a Club.

Top 7 Reasons to buy a Football Club :

  1. Free Ticket to Home Games and go where you like in the stadium

  2. Entrance to away team Boardrooms

  3. Get to meet the players

  4. Get to buy the players

  5. Bragging Rights

  6. Sit in on Premier League meetings with the high flying big wigs of football

  7. Great Pre-season Holidays with the team

If you have any suggestions leave them in the comments below...

and the Top 7 reasons not to buy the club?

As for the Champions League final. Liverpool got hit with the classic sucker punch. After playing the better football and wasting numerous great attacking positions (how they missed someone like Robbie Fowler), Pippo Inzaghi popped up to show them how to do it with 2 predatory goals, although the first does nothing to prove his goalscoring skills other than his willingness to follow up the free kick and get into dangerous goalscoring areas. Something Liverpool obviously missed.

I rate Dirk Kuyt but so much of his work is done in front of the opposition back 4, contributing much to the teams build up, whereas Inzaghi is constantly looking to get in behind defences, contributing less to the team over 90 minutes, but how much value do you place on 2 Champions League final goals?

Football Pitch in the Olympic Park, Munich, Germany

Why would you buy a Premier League Football Club?

For the fun? For the Prestige? For the money? It certainly provides owners with immense Kudos to add a Premier League Football Club to their Portfolios. With premier league clubs being bought up by American Billionaires and mysterious Foreign investors one most wonder why they are doing this, especially when the buyers seem to have very little emotional attachment to the clubs.

No matter how many times Malcolm Glazer (Manchester United), George Gillett and Tom Hicks (Liverpool) and Roman Abramovich (Chelsea) say they love their Football Clubs a cynical observer can only conclude they see these clubs as good investments and will make some money along the way, or at least avoid losing money on the deals, while indulging themselves in the luxury of owning well supported teams in arguably the most passionate sport and football league in the world.

After all if you own racehorses, sports cars, private jets and villas around the world a Football Club is another great plaything.

American Billionaires have shown a healthy interest in purchasing English Premier League Football clubs and an interesting article from Conde Naste Portfolio, probes these buys. Apart from the obvious sheer "hell of it" factor the article points to the fact that these ultra rich men have run out of sports franchises to purchase in the US, and when a Sports team does come up for sale, bidding is frenzied.

So why not turn their attention to European shores where clubs are available and actively searching for new owners to provide the investment needed to keep up with Manchester United and Chelsea. The Conde Naste article continues by quoting Liverpools website has 28,000,000 registered members worldwide. And here I feel is the crux of the matter.

Website Revenue Guestimate

With online advertising growing at a phenomenal rate, (check Googles share price to see what the stock market thinks of online advertising) clubs such as Liverpool have a potential goldmine in advertising revenue on their doorstep. 28 million registered members equates to a lot of people every day viewing the Liverpool site.

If Liverpool can attract 20% of their members to view the website every day, a carefully thought out Website Pay per click Advertising campaign could bring in online revenue of between £80,000-£100,000 EVERY DAY. This is a mind boggling figure and certainly enough to cover the £178,000,000 loan borrowed from Royal Bank of Scotland to purchase Liverpool FC. Add to this the share of the Premiership Worldwide Broadcast rights, other advertising revenues, stadium rights and Gate receipts you can suddenly see the value Foreign Investors now see in English Football Clubs.

These worldwide membership numbers are only set to increase as the clubs fight to gain footholds in the lucrative Chinese and other Asian markets. Hence the influx of Chinese players into the Premier League.

So for the Globally thinking modern Premier League owner, the sky is the limit, this of course assumes that you can create success on the field, which is the eternal footballing battle.

Have you ever wanted to own a Football player or Sports Star? Another interesting article about the incredible prospect of owning shares in an Athlete and then trading them for real money.

Next : Top 7 reasons to Own a Football Club, Top 7 reasons NOT to own a Football Club.

Resources :

Football Training Techniques - Plyometrics at Charlton Athletic

My last article I wrote about Sam Allardyce taking over at Newcastle United Football Club and his use of modern techniques to enhance the abilities of his players. I touched on the subject of Plyometrics, a type of exercise that uses explosive movements to develop muscular power.

Plyometrics resources

In the final few years of my Football career I was introduced to this training technique and found it to be extremely useful. Charlton Athletics fitness coach Joe Dunbar was responsible for bringing the technique to the club, although obviously Alan Curbishley (former Manager of Charlton Athletic Football Club) must be given credit for his foresight in using this training technique.

Through a combination of Weight Training, Bounding and Jumping mixed with agility training, Plyometrics was used by Charlton to improve the speed and strength of our players. Initially Joe received very funny looks and lots of ridicule from the Football team as no-one was sure of the purpose of these exercises.

Before every training session Joe would put out cones and small hurdles for the players to bound over, sometimes hopping on one leg and other times bounding 2 legged like kangaroos. Other exercises included zig-zagging from side to side in a slalom like fashion. It felt strange at first. Even though the co-ordination of Professional Footballers is as good as any athletes, the introduction of any new exercise takes some adjusting too. Players would be falling over, crashing into the hurdles and making fools of themselves in front of a large cynical footballing audience.

Of course in Football you have to be thick skinned to any criticism and continue to practice these new techniques. Sure enough over time with the use of controlled weight training, we noticed a marked difference. The use of Plyometrics coincided with our Championship winning season, gaining promotion to the Premiership league.

Over the next few seasons Joe continued these training sessions. Some players were not convinced by these techniques but for a few of us we were hooked and would start our training sessions 30 minutes early in order to practice on the hurdles and slalom courses that Joe set up.

My personal experience was that I found a huge increase in leg strength. I was always a very lean player and found it difficult adding power and strength to my legs. For most of my career I experimented with different kinds of weight training programs, lifting heavy weights to make myself stronger. But Plyometrics surpassed any of my previous training programs and I felt a huge boost in power, enabling myself to jump higher during matches, sprint faster and hold off monster sized centre halves.

I could even be seen in Greenwich Park, London a stones throw away from the Charlton Stadium, practicing these techniques. In June and July before the pre-season training had started, I would find a quiet area away from the sun-bathing public and go through the routines that Joe had given me. Gradually over the weeks my 10 one-legged hops or 10 two legged bunny hops would increase in distance, testimony to the benefit of Plyometrics. I must have looked very strange in my training kit, bounding through the park, but as I previously said, as a Football player you have to have a thick skin. If this technique was beneficial to my game then I was prepared to try it out.

I would recommend Plyometrics to any player, especially Footballers looking to gain more power and strength. Although I would definitely suggest getting professional advice because the strains and tensions put on your muscles and body can cause serious injury.

Another New Era for Newcastle United Football Club

Newcastle United Football Club have taken a brave step in hiring another manager to lift the so called sleeping giants out of hibernation. It must be such an old cliche for the fans of the club to hear, but with a massive fan base and a huge stadium they are a Football Club that could achieve so much more than their history suggests.

In Sam Allardyce they have what seems to be a traditional English manager who builds Football teams that are very hard to beat, yet in the not so traditional sense, Allardyce employs extremely modern techniques at his clubs. With a team of experts around him Allardyce ensures that he has the expertise in areas of a football club that he himself does not have time to run.

I played for many clubs who hired Nutritionists, Specialist Coaches (When I played for Newcastle in the early 90s they had a sprinting coach even way back then), motivational experts, Physiotherapists and other such gurus to enhance the performance of the team.

At Charlton Athletic we had a fitness coach called Joe Dunbar (who also worked with World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Lennox Lewis) who was responsible for the fitness routines, pre match warm ups, post match warm downs and any other Cross Training required at the Club to enhance the players physical attributes. Including a revolutionary exercise program called Plyometrics, which I personally found to be very useful adding enormous amounts of strength and power to my legs.

When I was at West Bromwich Albion, Alan Buckley hired a motivational expert to try and help the players out of the worse slump in the clubs history, 13 straight defeats. In the early 90s this kind of specialism was just beginning although it really failed to have much of an impact on the players or the club at that particular time.

English Football has come a long way since, and Allardyce confirmed that he will be implementing at Newcastle what he did at Bolton, although of course that took 8 years to do. Whether Newcastle United and their impatient fans will give him this amount of time, especially as he has only signed a 3 year contract remains to be seen.

Allardyce has an impressive record at Bolton, finishing 16th, 17th, 8th, 6th, 8th and 7th in the last 6 years. He also points to his ability to inspire older players, star names with so called egos, and also to Boltons exceptional injury record losing just 72 player days to injury this season, compared to Newcastles extraordinary 340 player days.

It doesn't take a Brain Surgeon or indeed a Football expert to analyze these figures and realize that the more time your players are available and the less injuries they are carrying, the greater chance the team has of winning games. With Newcastle Uniteds financial clout and impressive squad, a fully fit team will instantly perform better than most other sides (excluding the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea) and if you average out these performances over a season Newcastle should see steady progress under Allardyce.

Needless to say a lot will depend on Allardyce tinkering to find the right squad plus his ability to build his team of experts and motivate the motivators.

Congratulations West Brom Football Club

Well done to West Bromwich Albion Football Club in making the Championship 2006/2007 Play Off finals.

Wembley has had quite an overhaul since I played there for the Baggies in the 1993 play off finals. I wish them luck in the final against Derby, and hopefully I will still see 2 of my former sides lining up in the Premier League next season.

Freddies Football Faux Pas

Newcastle Uniteds Chairman Freddie Shepherd was caught on a mobile video phone by an enterprising bunch of Liverpool fans, with a less than complimentary comment about Michael Owen. This video is now doing the rounds on Youtube (140,000 views in 3 days) and is a Classic F**k up which will hardly endear him to Owen.

Outrageous Football Skills

The agony of Football Relegation

"When our fans stopped singing we knew Oldham were beating Southampton. You realise out on the pitch that you're doomed." Geoff Thomas, Crystal Palace talking about relegation in 1993.

I have experienced relegation with Charlton and it's a terrible thing. I felt the expectation and disappointment of the fans and really do feel that you are letting a lot of people down.

Adrian Chiles (A West Brom Fan and Match of the Day 2 presenter) wrote from a fans point of view in Four Four Two Magazine, that it is the hope that kills you. Quote "All last season I was dreading going down but when it finally happened I was a new man. It's the hope that kills you"

I suppose once you are relegated you make peace with the fact and move on. Football fans being the ultimate optimists that they are.

Read More from the Guardian Article

Turning down £15,000 a week!

I get a lot of Emails from people who are suffering or believe they are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I was struck down with this illness in 2000 at the height of my professional Football career. For anyone who is looking for a reference point for CFS I would suggest reading the article about the problems I had, including how it affected the end of my football career.

Nearly 6 Years after being diagnosed I am unable to resume even a semi-professional career in football and I am still trying to persuade my insurance company to recognise that this caused the end of my career, and to finally pay me. I wish they were as quick at settling claims as they are at accepting premiums!!!

At the time I was in my last year of my contract and negotiations had started to sign a new contract with Charlton that would have been worth in excess of £10,000/week and possibly as much as £15,000/week, an astronomical figure when I look back now, although in the year 2007 this probably isn't even the average salary of a premier league footballer.

I could have signed the new contract and sat on it for the next 2/3 years while I tried to recover from CFS. You cannot imagine how difficult a decision this was to make. Money vs my health. I suspect many players have taken the money option, and I played with a few who seemed to spend rather too much time off the football field than on it. However I knew something was wrong so I decided to opt for the (arguably) harder option, which was to change my lifestyle and take a total rest from Football. Of course this meant giving up my career at my peak, but no job is worth your health. Even if it is for £15,000/week.

Thanks for the Football memories - West Brom 1992/1993 Play Off Squad

For all Baggies fans this is a nice summary and trip down memory lane of the Play Off final squad.

West Bromwich Albion Football Club v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Football Play Off Finals 2006/2007

West Brom v Wolves in the Play offs. I played in a few of these local derbies and really wish I was there for this one. Good luck to West Bromwich Albion Football Club, my old Team. I was playing for West Brom in 1992/93 in the play offs when we were promoted from the old division 2 in the Play Off final at Wembley Stadium. (heading to Wembley in 1992/93 - my story).

I remember how nervous we all were then but to be up against their long time arch rivals in the play offs is doubly cruel for all concerned.

2006/2007 Championship Play off Review.

And commiserations to Charlton Athletic Football Club (another of my old teams) on being relegated from the Premier League. A big blow I am sure to the Club. Pardew is obviously used to life in the Championship and knows his way around that division very well, so they will be hot favourites to return.

Myself scoring at Wembley Stadium in 1993 for West Bromwich Albion Football Club v Port Vale

100 Milliseconds to Save a Football Penalty?

Pepe Reinas saves in the penalty shoot out against Chelsea in the Semi Finals of the Champions League were impressive especially when you consider that a goalkeeper has 100 milliseconds to make his decision. According to Professor Tom Reilly (Professor of Sports Science at Liverpool John Moore University) the ball takes 600 milliseconds to travel from the penalty spot to the goal line, leaving a goalkeeper a mere 100 milliseconds to choose his direction. Most Penalty takers would choose their spot before approaching the kick, unless of course you are in the class of Eric Cantona who seemed to have an uncanny knack of sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Looks like this goalkeeper could do with some hints from Reina....

Last 10 Escribbler Posts


  • Powered by FeedBlitz