Category Archives: Sports

£35m For Andy Carroll, So What ?

The morning after the frenzy of the night before and the media, sports writers, Joe Public, armchair experts and pundits are all weighing in with their own assessments of the 11th-hour spending frenzy, which overtook the British Premier League yesterday as the transfer window came to a close.

Even the radio talk-show hosts have fielded calls from irate and mystified members of the public looking to make some sense of the frantic spending, as well as, the monumental wages commanded by some Premier League footballers.

With a total transfer market spending of £200m, on a handful of football players, in these hard economic times, it is crystal clear that football is one recession-proof vocation.

I strongly feel that market forces should continue to decide the market value of players. Market value considers a number of variables including: the age of the player; whether the player is a finished product or has future potential; the player’s current contract situation; injury record and so on.  I truly believe this to be a fair yardstick for assessing a player’s monetary worth. On the other hand, I also believe that football clubs should make informed business decisions before buying players in the transfer market. Buying players on the ‘hop’ or to simply prove a point could have potential adverse financial ramifications for a football club ( of course if you are Roman Abramovich this is just a past time. Who cares if you make a profit or not, right? )

So Liverpool Football Club paid £35m for a 22-year old striker, Andy Carroll, hardly a finished product in some people’s estimate. But why the uproar? Maybe Liverpool sees huge potential in Mr. Carroll that no one else does.

Agreed, Liverpool may have thrown caution to the wind in a desperate bid to garner a replacement for Fernando Torres, who they let go for £50m, but hey, it’s their money.  If Andy Carroll’s signing turns out to be a toxic investment, Liverpool will have to take the financial hit, lick its wounds and live to fight another day – hopefully not in the Championships. However, if Carroll does offer future economic benefit, then all well and good.

From a business perspective it makes economic sense for football clubs to nurture and develop in-house talent. After all, accounting rules allow football clubs to recoup their investment in training and developing in-house groomed players, when they are eventually sold on. However, the fierce jostling for Premier League pole positions, exacerbated by the influx of petrodollars from the Persian Gulf and Russia, has intensified the demand for established players of good pedigree. And this has brought about the, sometimes, seemingly preposterous player transfer fees as recently witnessed.

Despite being a Manchester United fan myself, I applaud Mr. Arsene Wenger’s discipline in trying to strike a fine balance between silverware and balance sheet. For that reason alone, I would like to see Arsenal win something this season. Albeit, to make an economic point, nothing more 🙂

Can The Man On The Street Explain The Football Offside Rule?

Despite the recent sexist comments of Sky Sports presenters, Andy Gray and Richard Keys, about women not knowing the offside rule in football, the video below shows that some men aren’t any the wiser either.

It is a good thing Sky has now sacked Andy Gray following “new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Underwear-tugging Nadal to Front Armani Undies Campaign

So Rafael Nadal is set to become the new face of Armani underwear in 2011. Am I alone in wondering what swung it Nadal’s way for Mr. Armani?

Please don’t get me wrong. I have nothing but love for Rafa. I think he is a smashing tennis player and I unreservedly applaud his on-court accomplishments. Most notably, his transformation from clay court specialist to major all-round grand slam contender. At the time of writing, his grand slam tally stands at an impressive nine.

Whatever it is that swayed it for Mr. Armani,  there is no denying that Rafa definitely has oomph and takes pride in his appearance.   Yes,  I agree it is lovely to watch him on the tennis court in his trademark sleeveless tops that  accentuates his muscular torso.

So where does it all fall apart for me?

The answer lies in Rafa’s constant tugging at his underwear while on the tennis court.  There’s no two ways about it, constantly pulling ones underpants out of ones behind in full public view is a non-starter. I use to  wonder why, with all his money, Rafa couldn’t get himself proper-fitting underwear.  Well, according to Rafa, it isn’t about the underwear, it is a habit he picked up when he was young and which he is finding difficult to break.

We hear what Rafa is saying, but isn’t it ironic that someone with this impulsive habit is selected to front a major underwear campaign?

Of course, it would be interesting to know whether  there is a ‘no underwear tugging’ clause in the Rafa’s contract with the House of Armani. If  such a clause does exist, would it ultimately help Rafa kick this disgusting habit?

Well, I guess if all else fails, Mr. Armani may just have to accept defeat and make  ‘underwear tugging’ the main theme of the advertising campaign.  Who knows, it may transpire into a win-win situation for all. What do you think?