The Sweeper (August 9)
Thanks for the feedback about the Daily Sweeper. I’m glad many of you have enjoyed it! It will now be a feature 3-4 times a week, rounding up the most interesting stories out there. Photo Daily will be taken out and live a separate existence.
Right then. After a summer of increasingly tedious transfer tittle-tattle, actual football is finally breaking out in Europe. Thank god for that. You’ll notice there is no mention of the “R” word here.
- Some time ago, we noted Brian McClair’s harsh comments about the structure of youth football in England, including the tough geographic restrictions on where clubs can now recruit players from. In a slightly disjointed article in the Telegraph, Henry Winter at one time praises Man Utd’s youth team as the match for any worldwide, yet McClair’s view is still that the restrictions are making it difficult for the club to develop enough quality players.
- “Crowd violence, racism, a kidnapping, stadium bans and financial problems marred Bulgarian soccer last season,” says Angel Krasimirov. “Things can only get better”, according to the Bulgarian FA. Let’s hope so!
- Twohundredpercent previews the Non-league season in England. I fear for my favourite Non-league team Lewes, who went up to Blue Square Premier last season, but bizarrely sacked their manager and lost many of their best players.
- QPR might be newly minted with their collection of billionaire owners, but their fans are having to pay through the nose — season ticket prices have almost doubled in some sections.
- The Red Bulls have done the sensible thing and lifted the bans on six fans caught up in trouble with security, including the legendary Binks. And in what could be a very positive decision, regular stadium security will now be replaced in the supporters’ section with supporter group leadership and Red Bulls staff liasing, and only calling in security when necessary.
- Chicago Fire forward Chris Rolfe has a superb dissection of Commisioner Don Garber’s stance over the Superliga pay dispute between the players and the league over the fact the players would receive only $150,000 of the $1M prize money, pointing out that “we would split the $150,000 between, at least, 37 people – possibly more. That means that each team member would receive about $4,054 before taxes. After taxes, they’d each receive about $2,878 or $575 per game. There are men’s amateur teams in Chicago that will pay you as well as that.”
- Goal.com looks at the end of one of North America’s biggest rivalries, as Portland and Seattle squared off for the final time in USL in front of 12,000 at PGE Park. Timbers fans saw their team lose, as “a coffin outside the park waited for the corpse of the Timbers’ opponents and bitter rivals, the Seattle Sounders.”