Thank you for your mails on everything. We look forward together to the return of football. Send mails to firstname.lastname@example.org
If the Premier League needs to lose two teams, how about Liverpool and Man Utd just f**k off and play each other in friendlies for the rest of eternity. Pretty sure the rest of the Premier League won’t miss them.
Chris Stockdale, NUFC
EFL needs Big Six in League Cup
I’ve seen a lot of people suggesting that Champs League clubs shouldn’t compete in the League Cup (I agree) but the problem is EFL clubs don’t want this and are unlikely to vote in favour of it.
Getting drawn away to the likes of Liverpool, united etc is a huge money spinner for lower league clubs. So much so that many of them would rather lessen their chances of progression by playing a big prem team away (so they can get the income from the shared gate receipts ) than by playing a team in a lower league than themselves where chances of progression are higher.
The cup is only a fairytale for fans to revel in a potential Rocky style underdog story. For clubs (at all levels) it’s about the huge financial windfall. For some lower league clubs that one tie away at old Trafford can pay the clubs costs for 2 or 3 months and keep it afloat.
Take those ‘big clubs’ out of that trophy and you also take away the money. They’ll never vote for it, because they can’t.
Could the FA Cup be a winner from Project Big Picture?
I want to raise a point I’ve been discussing with friends regarding Project Big Picture, in that whether it happens or not I feel removal of the League Cup could hail a fresh dawn for the FA Cup. A once majestic competition that has been rather run down and degraded over the years. With no League Cup, the oldest cup competition in the world, would become the only big cup competition in the country. Surely that would allow it to gain more sponsors and more funding? Plus, with one less trophy to contend for, might help the motivation of players and clubs to want it more?
Of course, it can never be the giant it once was, as money talks and CL qualification is now the holy grail, but I just thought it might help restore a little prestige and gain a little more focus to the old girl. Just a thought.
Laughing at the useless FA
The FA are truly laughable. Greg Clarke comes across as an English Football Trumpian. Completely oblivious to the fact that the current FA is not representative of football in England – at any level – and hasn’t been for a long time but pretending to be the bastion of all that is good and true.
Essentially a bunch of white geriatrics who are so divorced from the modern reality of the game, the FA neither help the true grassroots game nor the top level professional game.
So rather than acknowledge they have been sitting on their fanny for the last 30 years, building a boat anchor of a national stadium, ignoring the racial inequality of the FA’s governance, seem to cock up every major decision they have made recently – they would rather condemn the Big Picture report.
No, they would rather threaten the writers for having the temerity to propose ideas, and threaten them with expulsion from the European competitions. Guess Greg Clarke hasn’t been following all the ‘leaks’ regarding the creation of a European Super League. Even UEFA are concerned enough about the possibility of a breakaway to recraft their prized European competitions. So having the FA run off to Uefa may not have the desired results.
Is the Project Big Picture perfect, ideal or even a good thing? Not sure. It is an attempt to help the EFL clubs who like lemmings are jumping over an overspending cliff that the Coronavirus has brought closer. It is certainly more of a proposal than anything we have seen from the FA.
Listening to Greg Clarke reminded me of the classic Simpsons line “we’ve tried nothing and are all out of ideas.”
Double standards from the big clubs
Project Big Picture has been a controversial topic in the last couple of days, but there’s a completely different issue that I’d like to share here, as a fan on foreign soil.
Since last year, a number of official fan clubs of the big clubs in England (including my team Liverpool) and in Europe from my hometown, Hong Kong, have been stripped of their “official” status, reason being publishing political statement(s) (statements condemning police brutality in Hong Kong and suppression of freedom & democracy by the authoritarian chinese regime), with the clubs stating that they don’t wanna get involved in politics.
You would’ve thought LFC, with their recent history, would be more sympathetic towards victims of police brutality and lies, but no, all we get is a warning of no more political statements and later stripped off the “official” status. Today, my friend, a committee of the Juventus official fans club Hong Kong, told me their fanclub faced the same fate, again due to the official fans club (china branch) reporting to Juventus about the political statement made some time ago.
Fast forward to half a year later, to our horror/surprise, we’re seeing various clubs (especially the big clubs) taking the initiative to publish statements regarding the BLM campaign, even allowing players to repeatedly take a knee before matches, in front of a worldwide audience weekly. Last time I checked, BLM also started from police brutality and I guess no one would argue that BLM isn’t political stuff.
So, why the double standards? Is it because BLM is more marketable while speaking against authoritarian Chinese regime doesn’t help the business side much? Is that how things should be? Not that we cared about the “official fan club” status much, I’m not even a member myself, but these incidents are truly disappointing, the difference in attitude is leaving a very sour taste in our mouths.
Sam S. LFC, Hong Kong
Managers not given a chance
It was pointed out yesterday by Ferg from Cork that I had incorrectly claimed Shearer was in charge of Newcastle during the 15/16 campaign, when he was at the helm during the 08/09, first off spot on for calling that out, I realised my error once I’d read through my mail the next day, yikes, so apologies right there, but it did give me food for thought, which manager do you feel was never given enough time or an opportunity at a given club, how do you think it could have turned out for them if they had of?
For any Chelsea fan the one that sticks in my mind would be Carlo Ancelotti, now I know we won the Champions League the following season after his sacking, but would we have gone on to win, dare I say it, multiple Champions League titles under his watch, it’s food for thought as his Chelsea side were quite something and to be sacked for finishing second behind a top class United side still stings.
Mikey, CFC (100% proof read this email I promise)
Back from the dead
If you could bring back one retired/dead England player for this current team who would you choose and why?
Alex, London (Love the League Cup even though my team has never won it)
Surely Michael Ballack and Matt Damon are in for a shout for football lookalikes? See also Oscar and James Franco!
…Are we ending every mailbox with lookalikes now? I hope so! In that case, let me treat you to a few of my personal favourites…
Serial Watford flop Quique Sanchez Flores is the doppelganger of Hugh Laurie.
Didier Deschamps=Beaker from the Muppets.
Present-day Cantona=Captain Haddock (perhaps throwing a few sardines from the trawler)
Jesse Lingard=Karim Zeroual. (Surprised the Lingard Lookalike of the Week didn’t pick up on this)
Scott McTominay=Enrique’s Mole from the first series of Bo’ Selecta! (It’s the mouth that does it)
Lee (in my mind I look like a dashing young Gabriel Batistuta. In reality, probably more like Bottom-era Rik Mayall)
Send your news and stories to us email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and WhatsApp: +447747873668.
Before you go...
Democratic norms are being stress-tested all over the world, and the past few years have thrown up all kinds of questions we didn't know needed clarifying – how long is too long for a parliamentary prorogation? How far should politicians be allowed to intervene in court cases? To monitor these issues as closely as we have in the past we need your support, so please consider donating to The Climax News Room.