Ex-chairman John Ryan blames League
23 July ~ On Thursday July 17 "Doncaster Rovers" trended on Twitter. That's a significant PR triumph for a third-tier football club, so long as you didn't look too closely at the content. "The Doncaster Rovers can go die" is fairly typical of the tweets sending Rovers viral as the proposed takeover by former chairman John Ryan and pop-star Louis Tomlinson of One Direction collapsed. Hell hath no fury like a Directioner scorned. Proposed at the start of June, the takeover by the "Tomlinson-Ryan Trust" was delayed over image rights (presumably Louis' rather than Rovers'), but remained on course for ratification, due to be secured on July 18.
Thirteen clubs raise "lowest" categories
23 July ~ Despite the Premier League's latest TV deal being the biggest so far, with clubs benefiting from being in the most lucrative league in the world, thirteen of them have raised season ticket prices for the coming season. Alex Miller has looked at the figures for Sporting Intelligence, revealing that the average "lowest price" ticket is now £526, up 6.5 per cent. Promoted teams QPR and Burnley have raised theirs the most, the latter by 47 per cent, while Stoke, Hull and Crystal Palace's new lowest prices are also over ten per cent higher than last season. Sporting Intelligence have the full breakdown.
Seasiders struggling for players
21 July ~ While other Championship clubs have got their squads assembled and are busy preparing for the new season, Blackpool are, not for the first time, scrambling around for players at the last minute. Even in the Seasiders' sole Premier League season, manager Ian Holloway was forced to entertain a number of trialists including the forgotten man Francis Jeffers. Twelve months ago, then-boss Paul Ince complained about having to field so many auditionees in a pre-season friendly at Penrith: "We're a Championship club, and with no disrespect to anyone, we shouldn't really be looking at trialists."
Ray Whelan arrest not only incident in Brazil
19 July ~ When all eyes were on the decisive stages of the World Cup the uncovering of an illegal ticket sale scheme by Brazilian police threatened to tarnish FIFA's image once more. The arrest of Match Services executive director Ray Whelan on July 7 for his alleged role in the scheme brought matters uncomfortably close to home, since the company handles sales of premium tickets, accommodation and hospitality packages for FIFA. With Whelan staying at the Copacabana Palace Hotel that also hosted top executives from FIFA, the scandal could hardly have been more awkward.
Links with Sun newspaper
18 July ~ Thanks to a most unusual pre-season, the ire that so characterised Newcastle United's 2014 looks to have faded this summer. For the first time since January 2013, owner Mike Ashley has sanctioned a number of permanent signings, something that has surprised fans and, judging by their official website, even the club itself: when France and Montpellier playmaker Rémy Cabella was unveiled earlier in the week, their choice of headline was the telling, rather desperate: We've got Cabella!
Replaces Conte and has history with Pirlo
17 July ~ Antonio Conte's resignation as Juventus coach on July 15 may have been sudden but it wasn't unexpected. In May, after winning the third consecutive league title with a record number of points and concluding the club's most successful domestic run since 1930s, Conte turned down a contract extension. He made it clear that he'd agree to stay for another year on condition of having a transfer budget that would make Juve competitive in the Champions League; having lifted the trophy as a player with Juventus in 1996, it's also well known that one of Conte's main ambitions is to win it as a manager.
Via Uli Hesse on ESPN
16 July ~ Since Germany won the World Cup on Sunday there have been plenty of people around the world questioning what it means for the country as a whole. It was their first World Cup win as a reunified Germany and done with a young, multicultural team. Yet Uli Hesse, author of Tor! The story of German football, has noted for ESPN that Germany long became comfortable with its new identity. Instead their Brazil 2014 success is purely a vindication of their new football style, having proved their critics wrong.
Business deal distances club from community
15 July ~ Oldham Athletic has agreed a five-year sponsorship deal with the sports goods retailer Sports Direct. The deal, reported to be worth £1 million in total, includes renaming Boundary Park as SportsDirect.com Park. The deal also involves shirt sponsorship, a change in kit manufacturer and Sports Direct taking over the club's merchandising. In one sense there is nothing remarkable about the deal. There are 30 clubs that have sold stadium naming rights, and eight of those are, like Latics, in League One.
Entire federation needs new people and ideas
14 July ~ The immediate response was every bit as memorable as the shock and awe that sparked it. Shame, disgrace, humiliation howled the front cover of the Rio daily O Globo in the wake of Brazil's staggering 7-1 defeat to Germany. Those sentiments were echoed in bars and living rooms throughout the country as a nation struggled to recover its breath, let alone make sense of the carnage. Another daily, Folha de São Paulo, called it the "Mineiraço", a none-too-pointed reference to the Seleção's 1950 defeat to Uruguay.