January 12, 2010
English football's unwanted American families again dominate our headlines and it is a delicious irony that the country's greatest footballing rivals share such similar problems.
Around the time Tom Hicks Junior's email abuse of a member of a fans activists group forced him to resign from the board of Liverpool FC came news of the Glazers' latest financial plan for Manchester United, a £500 million corporate bond that, in the 24 hours following its release, has come under severe scrutiny.
Neither story should provide much comfort for followers of either club. Hicks stepped aside but his father remains in co-control with George Gillett. The source of the ire that caused the younger Hicks to pen the fateful words of "blow me f**kface" is believed to be the sending of an article about Rafael Benitez's transfer policy being forced to service the club's debts. Andriy Voronin and Andrea Dossena may be gone for a combined £6.5 million but a paltry £1.5 million is all the Spaniard has been granted to spend.
January 7, 2010
There are many dissenters of the transfer window system. Not least those of us who are in the business of generating football news stories. The intrigue surrounding the type of megadeals that used to happen mid-season was always a reliable way of filling column inches.
Andy Cole's move from Newcastle United to Manchester United in January 1995 had me and my university chums crowded rounded the only telly we knew with teletext while a year later my Toon-supporting pals were celebrating the arrival of Faustino Asprilla as the final piece in the jigsaw.
No such fun these days.The phrase "cutting your cloth accordingly" is one overused in football parlance but it's what clubs have to do. And the same goes for us in the reporting trade.