Ballsy Banter Roll of Honour 2012: Villain of the Year

December 20, 2012 in Awards

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We are well and truly into panto season, and today’s category in the Roll of Honour looks at the ‘Villains of the Year’ - those that have raised the ire of the footballing world. Be it through poor judgement or moments of madness, these people have made the footballing landscape an unpleasant place to be.

So let’s see who we’ve picked as our ‘Villain Of The Year’….

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How do UEFA solve a problem like Europe?

December 3, 2012 in Europe

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The Champions League is arguably the greatest club competition in the world; a tournament steeped in history, graced by the world’s best players from years gone by, and has offered up some truly memorable games in its 57-year history, if we count the European Cup. It still offers that today, despite being bloated by the group stage. The Europa League, in comparison, has always been the problem child, the one who has not achieved the dizzy heights of its brother, and instead of being loved, it’s seen as a waste of time by both managers and fans. Michel Platini, the head of UEFA, has seemingly noticed this and has had some thoughts about the future of both competitions and has mooted the possibility of combining the two. Is this a good idea? And what else could they do to shake things up a bit?

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Financial Fair Play is Broke

September 5, 2012 in Transfers

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A few days ago, Zenit St. Petersburg opened their chequebook and ripped the spine out of Portuguese football, signing both Porto’s Hulk and Benfica’s Axel Witsel in one paralysing swoop. They weren’t cheap though; at around €40m each, one is equally as shocked at the price as well as the location of this move. But it isn’t an isolated incident.

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Arsenal Vs. The Money Machine: Counting out from ten, nine…

July 5, 2012 in Premier League, Transfers

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Yesterday, Robin van Persie announced that he will not sign a new contract at Arsenal.

Back in the midst of of late December or November, I know it was cold and I know it was wet, and I remember an article that named Arsenal as the model of how to run a football club. Now I can’t remember where I read this, because as established in the first sentence, my memory is for jokes, but the thrust of its point was this - Arsenal’s balanced wage structure and value of growing players over buying them gave them a stability over the long term. This stability would lead to long-term success, while flashier, more big-spending clubs would shine bright before fading away. Looking back at this now, I can’t help but wonder if this was written by UEFA, whose cherry picked ‘role model’ teams, championing  financial restraint and growth, keep getting talked up before getting their ass handed to them. And Arsenal, who have to consider both their ever-diminishing impact on the Premier League and the fact that for the life of them they can’t seem to keep hold of world class players, might have to bring an end to the era of being holier than thou. Or risk losing everything.

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Boxers, Betting and Bendtner: UEFA again show themselves as idiots

June 19, 2012 in Euro 2012, Europe

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Yesterday, UEFA announced that our favourite extremely humble striker Nicklas Bendtner was fined £80,000 and banned for one competitive match. Why? For celebrating a goal against Portugal by baring a pair of boxer shorts which had the name of betting company Paddy Power across the waistband.

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