Saturday, October 9, 2010

United Bleeds Red

A Shout Out to My Friend James, who emailed me last night (ok, it was actually a text, but let's not let certain facts distract us from the larger story) about how depressed he was that there was no EPL football this weekend. I hear ya, bruddah. Man, am I getting tired of these news compilations, and dying for some actual footie to watch. I know there were international games available for viewing yesterday (Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal, among others, all in action) but this pesky little thing called work interfered with my ability to sit back and watch them. I hope to see some actual live games this weekend and get back to the usual cutting-edge gameday analysis and insight you've come to expect. Or at the very least, display our shocking naivete and inexplicable fascination with less important parts of the game, mixed with clever bon mots and witty tongue twisters from our interchangeable cast of intrepid analysts here at

So, without further ado, let's plunge into the stories making news this morning:

Maybe He Forgot to Invite Fergie? Wes Brown's time at United could be 
coming to an end in January, according to the UK rag The Sun. Apparently, Brown and Fergie had a "blazing row" during the Red's pre-season visit to North America, during which SAF forbid Brown from joining his teammates for a night on the town (maybe that explains their insipid performance the night I saw them in Philadelphia). SAF in particular was described as being "incandescent" during the argument. Regardless, the end result is readily apparent: no league starts for Old Wes, who's had to settle for appearances against Scunthorpe and Rangers to date. The article make sense if you take a look at the United defense this year prior to Rio's return: I couldn't figure out why Evans, O'Shea, Rafael, and Fabio were getting playing time and Wes wasn't despite all the problems we've had in the back. Now I know.....

Some Guys Never Learn. So US Mens' Team forward Charlie Davies was pulled over last week for 
driving 125 MPH in the Jura region of France.  No big deal that, just another athlete-driving-an-expensive-car-too-fast story, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT that this is the same Charlie Davies who almost died in a car crash just about a year ago, and was just touchingly portrayed in an ESPN the Magazine article that diligently documented his difficult road back to top flight soccer. Hello?  Charlie?  Anyone home inside that head of yours?  If so, please keep the driving a bit more sensible, and try to showcase the speed when you're on the pitch, not behind the wheel of your Audi Q7.

photo by scmikeburton via PhotoRee

Oh, Yeah; and Then There's This Small Item:  United made an operating profit of £100 million this past fiscal year. Now that's some serious coin...!  Straight from the team's most recent release of financial results, it appears that Manchester United produced record revenue of almost £300 million this past fiscal year, and an operating margin of an envious 30-plus percent.

Pay no attention to the almost £550 million in debt sitting on the club's balance sheet (net of more than £150 million in cash that is "earmarked" for player purchases, LOL), and the related interest on which led to a net loss of £80 million for the team. In the verbage of Drexel Burnham, I'm "highly confident" there's a banker somewhere who can explain away all this debt as being at a "prudent level" for a club the size of Manchester United, and how the loss was brought about by "exchange rate fluctuations and costs associated with the team's bond issuance," so don't give it a second thought. Seriously. I mean it. You remember those bankers, don't you?  They're the same guys who brought us collateralized debt obligations and subprime mortgages......  And those worked out really well, so it should be full steam ahead and clear sailing for the SS Manchester Titanic.

 clear bit of bum smooching, Villa defender Luke Young spoke about how much the Villain lads are enjoying the new regime, and how it's exactly what he would have done if he was the coach. Apparently, under former coach Martin O'Neill, the Villa players rode around on motorized scooters for the second half of matches, while Houllier is trying to get them to actually run around the pitch for the full 90 minutes. As if that's their job, or something....

That's all for now -- and all for farlieonfootie for October 9th.

Villa Boss Introduces Double Training Sessions. In a move that proved highly popular at Eastlands last year, double training sessions have been introduced at Villa Park by new boss Gerard Houllier.  In a

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