Unfortunately, I never worked for anyone who thought of employee bonuses like this


Click to enlarge

As Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title win continues to refuse to sink in, the club’s owner has once again reminded us all that our collective daydream is actually a work of non-fiction.

Indeed, a batch of photos taken outside the Foxes’ King Power stadium appear to show that the owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has splashed out on a fleet of matching BMWs, which are to be doled out among the squad.

We’re reliably informed that we’re looking at 19 brand new BMW i8s, which retail at around £75,000-80,000 a pop depending on the model…

Dreams for motorheads.

Howard Webb to referee the World Cup Final

England’s Howard Webb will be the referee for the World Cup final. The 38-year-old from Rotherham has been chosen for the final by Fifa’s referees committee.

Webb and his assistants Darren Cann and Michael Mullarkey will officiate in the final on Sunday between Spain and Holland at Johannesburg’s Soccer City.

He will become the first Englishman to referee the final since Jack Taylor in 1974…

Our family of football fans hoped Howard would be in line – since he didn’t set foot on the pitch for any of the winding up matches preceding the Final.

Webb’s team have not put a foot wrong in the tournament so far. Cann correctly ruled out a Fabio Quagliarella equaliser for Italy against Slovakia while Mullarkey was praised for his decision to allow Luís Fabiano’s goal for Brazil against Chile.

Howard Webb is a favorite of many who follow the English Premier League season. Not only does he work hard at being fair, he doesn’t especially tolerate diving and other pantywaist stunts.

Glad he left the constabulary and went full-time into being a referee.

England are paying the price of foreign Premier League


EPL Champions 2009/2010 – how many Brits in the photo?

England’s dismal failure at the World Cup can be blamed on the Premier League’s inability to promote home-grown talent, according to the president of Spain’s La Liga.

José Luis Astiazarán has questioned the number of young foreign players at Premier League clubs and said the principal reason Spain have reached Sunday’s final against Holland is that “77.1%” of footballers in their domestic league are Spanish-qualified, a direct result of home-grown players being given the opportunity in their clubs’ first teams. In the Premier League fewer than 40% of players are English…

Astiazarán said. “Our strategy is to work very hard with young home-grown players and to try to have a mix between them and experienced players.

Why is it not a high number of foreign players in La Liga? Because we invest more and more in young Spanish players than in young foreign players. England has many times taken young players from outside who are 14, 16 years old. These kind of players are not English. This is one of the most important differences between Spain and England. We invest in young Spanish players. In Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United there are a lot of young Spanish, French and Italian players – maybe this is why at the moment you are not creating young English players…

Spain are also the reigning European champions and Astiazarán does not deny that imported, established foreign stars have aided the development of domestic footballers. “OK, there are very good foreign players who help improve the Spanish players’ level because we have players coming from the major leagues who have played in the Champions League and big competitions in Europe and this is important,” he said.

I agree. But, anyone who knows me – already knows this.

Our own MLS is just getting into the addition of star imports as well as a healthy addition of a number of players from Central and South America. That is only natural. But, I doubt we have much worry of repeating the days of the NASL.

Now, we’re getting full steam into pushing our best players forward into Euro leagues; but, that’s a different problem/context than what the Brits face. Think about the fact that nine players on the Dutch Team, Sunday, also were in Madrid for the Champions League Final.

The rap from those who favor the “international teams” like Arsenal and Manchester United – or even Inter Milan in the Serie A – is that these are teams that provide the most entertaining and winning football. Maybe so.

Maybe they don’t need fans anymore, either.