test

Welcome to Talk Chelsea

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Steve

The English Football Thread

Started by Steve,

13 hours ago, Laylabelle said:

It's been like it since October. Yeah its lovely and all but nahhh. Why should neutrals want them to win. We dont.

Its incredible isnt it, the media is supposed to be fair and impartial. These cunts in eng media literally do nothing but making them look better and bigger. Yup outside that no one gives a flying fuck about them.

1 hour ago, Vesper said:

I fucking hate 'em

unless it is a crucial place-clinching or title-clinching game versus the club we need to lose or draw, I am 1000000% in on the bindippers losing every time I watch the cunts

other than v spuds if the game is meaningless

For sure, theres a good reason they are so hated or rather reasons.

Vesper likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so fucked if true, what the fuck are the EPL and the FA thinking????

this is massively dismaying  :(

fucking murderous head-choppers invading our football :rant:

Bin Salman on brink of Newcastle takeover

https://www.besoccer.com/new/bin-salman-on-brink-of-newcastle-takeover-837122

The Premier League have reportedly given the green light to the purchase of Newcastle United by Mohammed Bin Salman, according to the official news channel of the Saudi Arabian government

Atomiswave likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Vesper said:

so fucked if true, what the fuck are the EPL and the FA thinking????

this is massively dismaying  :(

fucking murderous head-choppers invading our football :rant:

Bin Salman on brink of Newcastle takeover

https://www.besoccer.com/new/bin-salman-on-brink-of-newcastle-takeover-837122

The Premier League have reportedly given the green light to the purchase of Newcastle United by Mohammed Bin Salman, according to the official news channel of the Saudi Arabian government

Mate we talked about it the other day....they were never going to say no to him. Politics does indeed play a role in sports no matter how much one will deny it. He is a friend to Eng, lots of shit has happened behind the scenes. Salman only had to show the money and thats that. EPL has gone to the rotters.....its a piss poor League with corruption and favourism.

Vesper likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Atomiswave said:

Mate we talked about it the other day....they were never going to say no to him. Politics does indeed play a role in sports no matter how much one will deny it. He is a friend to Eng, lots of shit has happened behind the scenes. Salman only had to show the money and thats that. EPL has gone to the rotters.....its a piss poor League with corruption and favourism.

If this goes through, I hope every fucking Geordie who is oki with this chokes on a hallal cock. Mind-boggling we are letting these global mass-murdering terrorists buy a fucking English club.

Atomiswave likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most Geordies will welcome the cash injection, but even more the back of Mike Ashley who they fucking despise.

Bin Salman, 'fit and proper person' my arse.

If you ever need proof that the beautiful game is run as a business, a business that would sell its mother, and burn its children for profit. 

Atomiswave likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Vesper said:

If this goes through, I hope every fucking Geordie who is oki with this chokes on a hallal cock. Mind-boggling we are letting these global mass-murdering terrorists buy a fucking English club.

And in Eng is exactly where they will thrive best......Eng and Saudi very good pals in crime. Halal cock :lol:

14 hours ago, Fulham Broadway said:

Most Geordies will welcome the cash injection, but even more the back of Mike Ashley who they fucking despise.

Bin Salman, 'fit and proper person' my arse.

If you ever need proof that the beautiful game is run as a business, a business that would sell its mother, and burn its children for profit. 

They sure will but its not worth it....no one gives a fuck about them now, with Salman they will be hated everywhere. Yeah im not super fond of footy anymore, its money money money and ego all the way. When an agent can make 20m Pounds just for 1 player then you know its heading the wrong way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Atomiswave said:

EXuZ4g6XYAAL0D0?format=jpg&name=small

You cunts have nothing to laugh about you murdering deceiving low class scumbags.

besides the fact they are cunts

that graphic is full of shit

Mansour controls a shedload more than £20bn in assets and that head chopper listed wealth of £320bn is NOT at all his personally, it is the part of the state wealth he oversees, not outright owns

Bezos is worth less than half that yet is ALWAYS listed as the richest man in the world

MBS personal net worth is less than £10bn

the House of Saud is worth 1.4 trillion USD (£1.15 trillion), BUT that is split hundreds of ways

whoever made that graphic is a duncy lying twat and a fraud

to put all that in perspective, the US, between Federal Reserve balance sheet expansion and spending bills passed by congress, has spent over 10 TRILLION USD in the past TWO MONTHS due to COVID-19 and more to come, trillions more

just for the 2007 to 2009 global financial crisis there was over 35 trillion USD in wealth shifts by the global banking system

COVID-19 is going to make that look like a Sunday walkabout in Hyde Park by the time it is all said and done

The US has a future-forward amortised debt load (counting mandated transfer payments like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) of over 150 TRILLION USD now

 

 

Atomiswave likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Vesper said:

besides the fact they are cunts

that graphic is full of shit

Mansour controls a shedload more than £20bn in assets and that head chopper listed wealth of £320bn is NOT at all his personally, it is the part of the state wealth he oversees, not outright owns

Bezos is worth less than half that yet is ALWAYS listed as the richest man in the world

MBS personal net worth is less than £10bn

the House of Saud is worth 1.4 trillion USD (£1.15 trillion), BUT that is split hundreds of ways

whoever made that graphic is a duncy lying twat and a fraud

to put all that in perspective, the US, between Federal Reserve balance sheet expansion and spending bills passed by congress, has spent over 10 TRILLION USD in the past TWO MONTHS due to COVID-19 and more to come, trillions more

just for the 2007 to 2009 global financial crisis there was over 35 trillion USD in wealth shifts by the global banking system

COVID-19 is going to make that look like a Sunday walkabout in Hyde Park by the time it is all said and done

The US has a future-forward amortised debt load (counting mandated transfer payments like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) of over 150 TRILLION USD now

 

 

Bonkers the amounts we are talking about here.....in any case as you said they are all cunts.

Vesper likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Atomiswave said:

Bonkers the amounts we are talking about here.....in any case as you said they are all cunts.

it is madness at every level

Atomiswave likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jason said:

 

Kinda a good thing training is still individually. Know not many but add more people into the mix and would spread more.

Vesper likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liverpool's clash against Atletico Madrid 'led to 41 additional deaths' as government failed to ban fans... while 'Cheltenham festival has also been linked to 37 coronavirus-related fatalities in data-modelling'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-8352021/Liverpools-clash-against-Atletico-Madrid-led-41-additional-deaths.html

Vesper likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the Premier League fair if stars like Kante and Deeney are pulling out?

https://theathletic.com/1824189/2020/05/22/deeney-kante-premier-league-project-restart-unfair/

GettyImages-1213995243-scaled-e1590087165813-1024x683.jpg

It feels like a long time since Troy Deeney pulled back his right boot to score Watford’s third goal in their last Premier League assignment at Vicarage Road. You might remember the occasion: Watford 3 Liverpool 0. Or “Phew”, to quote Arsenal’s Twitter account, as Liverpool blew their hopes of emulating The Invincibles. Deeney’s goal capped the shock result of the season, followed by a victory run to the corner flag, a slightly uncoordinated knee slide and a victory group-hug involving Harry the Hornet, Watford’s mascot.

The kind of scenes, to put it another way, that make you realise what it is about this infuriatingly addictive sport that drags us in.

That was Deeney’s sixth league goal from December 22 to February 29. To put that into context, only Sergio Aguero at Manchester City and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin (seven each) managed more in the top flight over the same period.

Deeney was on target in a 2-0 pre-Christmas defeat of Manchester United, too. He scored twice a week later in a victory over Aston Villa. He got another in mid-January’s 3-0 victory away to Bournemouth and one more against Villa again — the only game in this sequence that Watford did not win. In short, nobody has done more to haul Watford out of a seemingly irretrievable position in the bottom three, where they were previously bottom of the table and 10 points adrift of 17th place. Nobody in England’s top division was exerting such an influence on the relegation positions, pre-lockdown.

All of which leaves a reasonable question for Watford, and the Premier League as a whole, if Deeney sticks to his position that he holds so little trust in Project Restart then good luck, comrades, but it is not for him.

First, it was Deeney. Then there was N’Golo Kante at Chelsea. A number of other Watford players have also stayed away from training after one of their colleagues, defender Adrian Mariappa, tested positive for coronavirus (along with two members of club staff) without realising he had it. In the coming days and weeks, it is very possible we will hear about other players at Watford, and elsewhere, who are asking to be excused.

And, in each case, it is difficult to imagine there will be any kind of public backlash.

Deeney has a baby son who has suffered from breathing difficulties and, explaining his reasons at the start of the week, he also pointed out the statistical analysis that shows there is an increased risk for BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) males.

Kante is also unconvinced that it is safe, or wise, if there is even a tiny risk of picking up the disease and passing it on to others.

The midfielder’s life, lest it be forgotten, has been touched by tragedy. His elder brother, Niama, died of a heart attack two years ago and he lost his father when he was 11 years old. Who would be so flint-hearted to challenge him if he has decided, no matter how many times he has been assured it will be OK, this is not a time to blur his priorities?

It does, however, leave the potential for everything to get very messy should the Premier League return in its new form in mid-June.

Some teams will no doubt be at full strength. Others, it seems, could be missing key players. And, at a time when “integrity” appears to be the new buzzword in football, it is certainly not going to feel particularly satisfactory if this threatens to have a direct impact on the final league positions. The bottom three, just for starters.

As it stands, Watford’s improvement since Nigel Pearson’s appointment in early December has seen them accumulate more points in that time than third-placed Leicester City and the same number as Chelsea in fourth. Watford won 13 points out of a possible 15 in the midst of that run. Yet it is only goal difference (minus-17 to minus-18) keeping them the right side of the dotted line, above third-bottom Bournemouth.

With Deeney, you would back Watford to complete their feat of escapology over the remaining nine matches. Without him, it is far easier to see them slipping back into the quicksand. He is their captain and leading scorer. He is their best hope.

watford_attack-1.png

Before going any further, it should probably be clarified that neither Deeney nor Kante, or anybody else, has categorically stated they will not be involved if the season resumes to the timescale that the football authorities now expect.

Plainly, though, that has to be a possibility when various players — some named, others not — have already been given permission to stay away from what is being called “Stage One” of the clubs’ training programmes, which mostly involves running and other drills where social distancing can be maintained.

Kante took part on Tuesday before asking Chelsea’s head coach, Frank Lampard, if he could be excluded. There are still three weeks to go before the big lift-off. Nobody knows what kind of numbers will ultimately be involved, whether it will be high or low, and it is probably only when we reach that stage that a reasonable assessment can be made about the potential impact on the league.

Watford, of course, could be one of the clubs to suffer. But is it fair, equally, that Bournemouth had to face an in-form Deeney in January’s loss and other clubs in the relegation frame might now come up against what, in theory, would be a weaker Watford team?

Watford still have to play Norwich City, who are bottom, as well as West Ham United (16th), Southampton (14th) and Newcastle United (13th) in their final nine matches. What if six or seven Watford players have concluded that Deeney is the only one making sense and decided en masse they are better staying away? What if the numbers are even higher? It may be one player or it may be 10 — the point is, nothing can be ruled out. And the league, with zero training in pandemics, has nothing in its rules to allow for such a matter.

For now, it is a waiting game as, bit by bit, the next phases of training are introduced to allow players to tackle and otherwise come into contact with one another. And if the players are concerned now, those misgivings will inevitably increase once it starts to feel more like football, in a real sense.

As Gary Neville, in his Sky Sports television role, says: “I do think there will be more players in training at the moment with nerves who are wary of going in and are considering their health. A large majority will be OK with it and want to play, so it’s a case of, ‘We’re not going to stop this now they’re back in training’. This is a train back on the track, so it isn’t going to stop.”

In Watford’s case, there is also bound to be heightened concern after the disclosure this week that the club accounted for half of the six positive coronavirus tests from the first set of results throughout the league.

Those figures were widely seen as positive elsewhere and it is very clear that football, as an industry, is determined that the show must go on. Not all the cast may be involved but, at the top of the sport, the widespread feeling is that the present situation should not be classified as being different from any kind of personal issue that may require a footballer to seek time off as compassionate leave.

These are, after all, unprecedented times and when the football authorities started putting together their plans for the restart it was always accepted that it would be virtually impossible to satisfy everyone. The decision-makers are also entitled to point out that the vast majority of players have been willing to go back. And, harsh as it may sound, there is so much momentum now that a lot of the relevant people are frustrated that Deeney, as a club captain, appears unwilling to accept what has become the party line.

It is safer, as they keeping telling us, for a professional footballer to start playing again than it is for that player to visit a supermarket. It is just that not everyone seems willing to believe them.

Atomiswave and Fernando like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finishing this season’s FA Cup matters more than you might think

https://theathletic.com/1831147/2020/05/23/fa-cup-project-restart/

FA-CUP-scaled-e1590174656518-1024x682.jpg

Amazon, the environment, female heads of state, flour mills, loo roll manufacturers, the NHS, Zoom… there will come a time, hopefully, when we can ask who or what “had a good lockdown” and, when we do, nostalgia must be high on the list.

If it is not families sitting down together to enjoy The Lion King or Only Fools and Horses, it is middle-aged couples watching Normal People and wishing they were 20 again.

It has been the same for football fans. Broadcasters, clubs, leagues and governing bodies have mined their back catalogues for the classics, none more so than the BBC, which has played the nostalgia card better than most.

So we should perhaps not be surprised that the national broadcaster is turning it up to 11 with its homage to the FA Cup final, which — in case you forgot — should be taking place at Wembley this afternoon.

Once upon a time, this was the only game fans could watch on television all season but today the BBC’s “full day of special programmes dedicated to the world’s most famous domestic cup competition” must compete with five Bundesliga games on BT Sport and FC Slutsk v FK Ruh Brest on the Belarussian Football Federation’s YouTube channel.

Even in lockdown, the FA Cup final must share the stage these days.

The BBC is kicking off at 9am on the Red Button with the 1973 final between Sunderland and Leeds United, and pushing on all the way to Ashley Cole’s greatest hits at 11pm on BBC One, via a themed Football Focus, a two-part 50 Greatest Moments show, an FA Cup Final Rewind programme and the latest instalment of Gary Lineker, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer’s Match of the Day top 10s.

But what about this year’s FA Cup? Is it destined to remain stuck in the quarter-finals, which is where we left it in March?

The FA’s chief executive Mark Bullingham addressed the matter in a conference call of his own on Thursday, when he told the FA Council’s members that he believed the remaining games could and would be weaved into the Premier League-led Project Restart programme.

One source who was on the call said: “The FA is determined to complete the cup — there will be a huge financial impact with domestic and international broadcast rights if they don’t. Bullingham said it was something the Premier League understands and is supportive of, and it would be factored into their plans to start playing again.

“My gut feeling is it’s part of a quid pro quo for the FA being supportive of the Premier League’s efforts to finish the season.”

Another source who listened to Bullingham on Thursday agreed, saying: “I think it will happen. Look, the FA really needs it to happen and I haven’t heard anything from the Premier League to suggest otherwise.

“If everyone continues to be collaborative, reasonable and flexible — and not get too precious about dates — then I don’t think there’s any problem fitting the FA Cup in.”

This chimes with the views of the eight Premier League clubs still in the competition: Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City and Sheffield United.

Bottom of the table, Norwich are particularly eager to do what one club source described as “something special” in a competition where they have not enjoyed much success, while Newcastle’s manager Steve Bruce is understood to believe he could require cup success to impress his new bosses, assuming he ever gets new bosses.

Three of those eight sides — Arsenal, Manchester City and Sheffield United — have 10 Premier League games still to play, not nine, while Chelsea, City and Manchester United have unfinished business in Europe, too, although there must be even bigger question marks about the Champions League and Europa League finishing this summer than a knockout competition that does not involve cross-border travel.

As things stand, the Premier League and English Football League are still aiming to cram in 200-plus games, including a full Championship programme and the League One and League Two play-offs, in seven weeks starting on June 12, although many in the game believe that date has already slipped to June 19 and could be heading to June 26.

The debate about when, where, why and how these games are going to take place has been probably the best live sport we have had for the past two months, but the FA Cup’s seven remaining fixtures have not been widely discussed.

This is understandable when you consider the fact that the Premier League is already facing a £340 million rebate to its broadcast partners and every place in the final table is worth an extra £2.5 million in prize money, compared to the FA Cup winners’ cheque of £1.8 million.

That is not to say the FA Cup games have not been mentioned at all, though, particularly within the FA, which has as much riding on these games as any of the Premier League sides do when it comes to potential losses.

The FA has already revealed it believes it will lose up to £150 million in revenue as a result of the coronavirus. As well as the disruption to its best club asset, the FA has seen two England men’s home games in March disappear and the cancellation of Euro 2020 this summer. Wembley was meant to host seven of that tournament’s games, including the semi-finals and final, and while it should get to do that in 2021, that does mean it will have to do without its usual season of concerts.

With its 90,000-seat stadium shut down and the hotel and conference centre it runs at St George’s Park in Staffordshire also closed for business, the FA has already furloughed some of its 1,200 staff and cut the salaries of anyone earning more than £50,000. Its biggest earners, including England manager Gareth Southgate and Bullingham, have agreed to a 30 per cent cut.

Some of you may be reaching for your tiny violins at this point, particularly if you are among the millions of people in the UK and elsewhere contemplating an extended period without work, and nobody at the FA will be thinking they are any more deserving of sympathy than anyone else.

But, if you care about football in this country, you should care about the FA’s more general financial concerns.

Last month, it published its annual accounts for the 12 months to July 31, 2019. They were, to put it in layman’s terms, brilliant.

Revenue was up 25 per cent on a World Cup-boosted 2018 to £467 million, which enabled the FA, a non-profit organisation, to distribute a record £165 million throughout the game, pay off another chunk of its Wembley rebuild costs and still finish with £40 million in the bank.

The FA has got plenty wrong in its long history, including a few very expensive mistakes, but in recent years it has become a very well-run commercial operation and the FA Cup has underpinned that transformation.

Last season was the first year of a six-year international rights deal worth $1 billion (£820 million). The domestic rights are shared by the BBC and BT this season but last May the FA managed to ink an improved four-year deal with the BBC and ITV starting in the 2021-22 season.

These deals, plus the contracts for the England men’s and women’s teams, helped the FA more than double its broadcast income last year to £262 million. Throw in more than £100 million from the 54 events Wembley staged and an impressive roster of sponsorships and you have a very profitable non-profit organisation.

Then the virus struck.

“In many ways, the FA is a victim of its own success,” a government source explains. “No other governing body generates nearly as much money as the FA or gives as much away, but no other governing body is as vulnerable to the pandemic’s economic impact, either.”

The old-fashioned view of the FA is that it is a collection of stuffed blazers whose main purpose in life is to ruin our summers. A more modern perspective, however, would be that the FA is the national game’s biggest single funder of amateur facilities, coaching courses, safeguarding initiatives and grassroots programmes.

This season’s competition might have to settle for midweek slots to let the Premier League fulfil its contracted weekend fixtures, or it could end up carving out a long weekend for itself in early August, perhaps with Wembley-based semi-finals and a final. Whatever form it takes, the FA Cup deserves to be part of the Project Restart conversation, not just another slice of lockdown nostalgia. Your local pitch might just depend on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's sad the effect this is having on League One and Two clubs. Burton manager stepped down to help and think Luton did the same rather then sacking as it seemed at the time. 

Not sure about our unfinished bussiness in Europe lol..though that be intresting with our 14 day quarantine. Depends when gets played.. if gets played what the situation is then.

Vesper likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

‘It could do huge damage’ – fears and bills mount as EFL players’ wages shrink

https://theathletic.com/1832595/2020/05/24/efl-wage-cuts-fears-quit-football/

JACK-SIMPSON-1024x686.jpg

On February 20, 2018, Connor Simpson arrived from the substitutes’ bench in the 89th minute at Villa Park. The Preston North End forward, only 18 years old at the time, was about to face one of England’s most decorated defenders. “The next thing I knew,” he recalls. “I was backing in and trying to hold off John Terry.” For Simpson, now 20, it remains his only glimpse of Championship football.

A 6ft 5in striker, Simpson (pictured top playing for Carlisle United) first emerged from the Hartlepool United youth team as a 17-year-old, breaking into the first team and becoming the first player born in the 21st century to score for the club.

He impressed sufficiently to move up from the National League to England’s second tier and join Preston. He resisted the advances of West Ham United, where he enjoyed a successful trial, in favour of the promise of playing time. Since signing for Preston, however, it has been tough going. There have been loan spells, with varying success, at Carlisle and Accrington Stanley, as well non-League detours to Hyde United and Lancaster City.

In the coming weeks, however, Simpson’s time at Preston is likely to be over. His contract is up in June and, although he is still to be officially informed, he is wise enough to know “the signs are there”.

“I don’t think I am in the plans,” says Simpson, residing with his parents at their family home in Hartlepool.

“Preston are doing the testing for the virus (in preparation for Championship’s restart) and I am not in that group, so I am guessing I won’t be part of training. So, it looks like they’re not going to give me a new deal.”

Simpson will be one of those colliding head-on with a “train coming extremely quickly down the tunnel”, to quote the EFL chairman Rick Parry. During an evidence session to the UK parliament earlier this month, Parry revealed that 1,400 EFL playing contracts are due to expire in June and as the clock ticks down, players grow more fearful.

Over the past week, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) revealed alarming results of a members’ survey. Among the 111 current players who responded, 24 said they are depressed or considering self-harm. Among the 262 members surveyed — including current and ex-players — 69 per cent of respondents said they worried about their livelihood and 72 per cent admitted they are experiencing feelings of “nervousness or anxiety”.

In the Premier League, concerns centre on the safety protocols and squabbles over wage deferrals. Yet further down the ladder, livelihoods are at risk. Over the past few days, The Athletic has spoken to several players in the lower echelons of the Football League: within WhatsApp groups, players are already organising mortgage holidays, worrying how they will fund household bills and dreading unemployment.

Little wonder, therefore, that the former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness this week predicted the following doomsday scenario on Sky Sports. He said: “There are going to be tragic cases. There will be players who are professional footballers today who will not be in six months. There is a correction coming across the country.

“For all the different money (the chancellor) has handed out, he now somehow has to come up with taxes in an acceptable way to get that back. Football will fall into that category. Clubs will find themselves in dire financial straits and may end up going out of business. The consequence of that will be players on the dole.

“The talk is of the mother of all recessions. This is the time when the big guys in football have to think of everybody involved. There has to be a sharing of the incredible riches of the Premier League. There will be so many casualties and we have to take care of the little guys.”


As the summer months approach, it is usual for a high number of players to move freely around clubs in the Football League and the National League. Yet the upcoming transfer window is mired in uncertainty.

First, leagues in England are ending in varying circumstances at different times. League Two has been curtailed, but relegation and play-offs are still to be finalised. In League One, discussions continue over how to conclude the campaign, while the Premier League and Championship attempt to play the season to a finish.

This creates a distinction between end dates for the current season. In the meantime, every club in English football is awaiting a start date for the new campaign. Until then, nobody knows how or when to offer new contracts.

In League One and League Two, where the majority of clubs concluded that the cost of testing and the expense of hosting home games without match-day revenue cannot be justified, there are even question marks as to whether the divisions can return before a vaccine is found for coronavirus.

As clubs seek to stay afloat, it is no surprise, therefore, that the many players due to be out of contract are hearing next to nothing about future opportunities. On top of the 1,400 EFL players, there will also be numerous younger players and scholars released from Premier League clubs amid the pandemic, who may ordinarily find solace in the lower tiers.

On top of the saturated market, further issues arise. Lost match-day revenue equals less lucrative contract offers for players and the Football League is also extremely close to approving new financial regulations for a salary cap in League One and League Two. It is reported that League One clubs will be restricted to a salary limit of £2.5 million to £3 million while League Two will be between £1.25 million £1.5 million.

On top of this, clubs may be forced to have no more than 20 first-team players over the age of 21 on their books.

Gary Neville, the co-owner of League Two Salford City, this week spelt out the “major reset” for lower league salaries. He told Sky Sports: “It is going to be the biggest game-changer for lower-league players in the last 30 or 40 years. No matter what club, crowd or income you have, you will be restricted in the money you can spend.

“The PFA is sleepwalking at this moment. I don’t think they recognise that coronavirus is an issue for players and a crisis for clubs. There will be deferrals and cuts in the immediate term but there is a major reset coming in terms of player wages at League One and League Two level and, potentially, the Championship if the salary cap extends there, which I believe it may do in the future.”

It adds up to one harsh reality for players: lower wages. Neville added: “The salary cap will be severe, well below average salaries being paid at the moment. It is a game-changer for clubs at that level but also players, who will be earning a lot less.”

Adam Collin, Carlisle’s 35-year-old first-choice goalkeeper in League Two this season, is one of those players who has already been told he will not receive a renewal. He tells The Athletic: “It is a tricky period. Clubs do not know what they are doing financially. Some do not know which league they will be in, so it is very hard for clubs to go out and offer contracts.

“It is a waiting game for teams and players. We have never seen anything on this scale. It will play into the hands of clubs, who will get players at a cheaper rate. More players are being released than normal and the market is going to be flooded.”

GettyImages-1191712480.jpg

In the bleakest terms, those who ply their trade in the third and fourth tiers of English football have little idea when they may next play competitive football. If clubs are unable to fund training and matches in socially-distanced circumstances, players might be forced to contemplate an extended period away from football.

“This is the uncertainty,” Collin says. “There was a decision to call off League Two, as it was deemed infeasible to do all this testing and not play in front of crowds. There is a lot of work that needs to go on behind the scenes.

“It is worrying as we are not sure if we can even play in January or February. Coronavirus is not disappearing. The testing has to be there to play on and I don’t know whether clubs can afford to do it.”


Gridlocked by a pandemic, lower-league players are now examining the financial repercussions of football grinding to a halt. One report this week claimed that some players may need to accept terms reduced by over 50 per cent at their next employers.

Is that the noise, too, within the game? Collin says: “Most players understand the situation. It is going to be the case all over English football.

“It could do huge damage. We do not earn £20,000 per week. We earn decent money but not enough so that we can go for six months without earning or working. We have bills and mortgages to pay. Those who are out of contract have no idea if we will get one or when it will start. It will be very damaging and a lot of players will be very worried.”

Adam Osper, who works closely with many footballers in financial planning at Tilney Sports, warns that players should already be discussing mortgage holidays with their advisors and banks.

He explains: “Lower down, it is much more problematic. These players have footballer status but they are earning £50,000 to £100,000 a year. It’s a good amount of money but a lot of these guys are married, with a mortgage and have children. They do not have much disposable income. In those cases, you have to speak to them about talking to banks for mortgage deferrals and mortgage payment holidays. We hope, also, that they don’t have too many cars on finance. That can be a problem.

“Sometimes, footballers do not have advisors around them. They have agents to do deals but some players will then just step away, not get involved and not be aware of the mortgages, credit cards and loans they have. They are the biggest outgoings for these guys. People also may not realise that footballers tend to get much shorter mortgages with higher repayments than the average person.

“Whereas you or I would get a 25-year mortgage, a footballer would get a five-to-10-year mortgage. To pay it off in time, they have larger monthly rates. They have shorter careers, especially lower-league players, and they don’t want to get to 35 with lesser job prospects and a chunky mortgage outstanding.

“This is one of the things that gets missed a little bit when people say, ‘Oh, footballers should take wage cuts, they earn lots of money’. Yes, but they have very big mortgages and it is common for them to pay their parents’ mortgages, or their brother’s or sister’s. They may have family members furloughed, so they are supporting them at the moment, too.”

At Crawley Town, central defender Jamie Sendles-White is in a more privileged position and expects to remain at his club. As with many League Two clubs, he and his team-mates were furloughed. In their case, Crawley topped up the furlough grant to ensure players received maximum pay during this period.

Yet it is unclear how long the government will continue to contribute — as it stands, clubs will be asked to pay part of furloughed staff’s wages from August. Should the Football League’s postponement outlive the grants, players know they may not be immune to the redundancies shattering lives across the world.

Sendles-White, 26, knows the challenges. He says: “We were extremely grateful to be topped up. We have heard some stories in our league and the league below where finances are incredibly tight, where it must be so stressful to not be able to get even 80 per cent of their pay.

“I have heard people who live near me thinking it is all fun and games and that we are earning fortunes. We are in a more privileged position than most people but I have a mortgage, based on what was affordable to me, according to my basic pay and bonuses. We do not get bonuses at the moment as we are not playing, making it a bit tighter.

“I also budget my life for the coaching company that I run but we have hardly earned anything there during the pandemic as we have had to pay people back. It is not what people think football is down at our level. It is not the Premier League or Championship.

“The lower down you go, the more incentivised the contracts become. You have your basic pay, then your appearances, goals, win bonuses. They make a massive difference to your end-of-month pay, and you budget to that. When you are then furloughed, it is quite tough.

“We get 100 per cent of our basic pay but when you know the bonuses are not coming, it changes your monthly planning. In other ways, you do save money. I usually spend £80 per week on petrol. The first six weeks of lockdown, I filled my tank once. It probably does almost even out. But it is still the stress of the mortgage and bills. In the coming months, there will be players forced to take contracts they would never ordinarily do, just to make sure they are earning.”

GettyImages-1205772934-scaled.jpg

Has the worst-case scenario — where football does not return until an effective vaccine is developed — crossed his mind? He says: “I have tried to not think too much about the worst-case. But there would be so many footballers at this level in serious financial issues. If football does not come back for months and months, I don’t even want to think about the situation a lot of players will end up in. ”


When football supporters ask why the sport cannot simply wait until it is safe to return, these concerns provide an insight into the severe economic pressures. At the PFA, the union oversaw a 100 per cent increase in benevolent grants between March and April this year as players scramble to secure their futures. The 24-7 well-being helpline is available, in addition to WhatsApp and emails for those who require support for both their mental health and practical contractual services.

However, many would like greater support to be in place, with clear planning for the worst eventualities. Players are aware that the PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor earns more than £2 million per year while the current chairman Ben Purkiss claimed previously that the union has £50 million of capital in the bank.

Should a pandemic hardship fund be put in place? Sendles-White says: “We get a few emails sent out and there’s a free mental health app called Headspace. This is where the PFA will need to look after players more so than ever. The money we hear they have — there should be something in place for players who are not getting new contracts and are finding it hard to get another club.

“They need to sit down and have a serious conversation about that. There are going to be so many players who will need massive help in the coming months.”

Collin, the PFA representative in Carlisle’s squad, explains: “There’s always some sort of help. The PFA is fantastic for players, they will help as much as possible and especially those without a club or contract will receive support. But it is the uncertainty. The EFL and the leagues are not making decisions quickly.

“I am pleased the season has been finished but now we need to get promotions and relegations sorted. It seems to be dragging on. Once decisions are made, people will know what is happening. The big thing is not knowing, which causes anxiety. If we get decisions by the end of this month, and play-offs done in June, then everyone will know where they stand and can sort out deals. If pre-season can start in July, with a view to starting in September, everyone has a date to work towards.”

Sendles-White adds: “It is all ifs, buts and maybes. Until we have a date for the season and understand the damage caused, it is so hard to see how deep the trouble could go.”


In the meantime, individual players can only train alone. Simpson has trained every day in a field in the north east since the start of lockdown. He has football friends in his age group who are talking about other careers, maybe even walking away from the game altogether.

Collin, 15 years older than Simpson, has heard similar: “It is logical. It is going to be so tough for players to get contracts. Teams will run with smaller squads. They will use the loan market as much as they can. A lot of players will be out of work or unhappy with wages on offer, and maybe start looking at other options or avenues for income.”

Some in the sport are starting to fear a generation aged between 18 and 21 may be lost. Ordinarily, younger talents from the Premier League would be released and picked up lower down the food chain.

“It could not come at a worse time for players coming through from under-23 level,” Sendles-White says. “They are looking to kick on their careers and make their names at first-team level. It will be hard enough for experienced pros in League One and League Two.”

The transfer market is stagnant. One agent says his clients who have contracts expiring in the summer “have absolutely no idea what is going on”.

Sendles-White has discussed the issue with friends in the game. He says: “I don’t think there’s much going on at all, in terms of clubs looking for players. It is going to be so hard. There will be a date set for next season and then it will be chaos: managers, agents, players phoning everyone.

“The players I have spoken to who are out of contract have not heard anything. Until there is a date, I cannot see anything getting sorted. It is so important to get a date. There needs to be a plan from the EFL, the FA and the PFA. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes for clubs. It could become impossible for some players to get through this.”

Young striker Simpson remains committed, filming his lone training sessions and preparing videos to show prospective employers.

“I don’t see it in quite the same way,” he says. “The money will not be as high but I view it this way: as a young player wanting experience, it may give me a chance instead of taking on older guys with higher demands. It may work out OK. I have to be optimistic. Every day, I go for a run and then go to the field.

“I do a lot of fitness, speed and agility training, and a lot of finishing from different areas. I bought a ball machine that fires balls out to you at different speeds. You press the remote control and it acts as a player on the pitch. It crosses balls for me to head, or it does it on a timer. I can also replicate receiving the ball with my back to goal. I then watch back my videos and analyse what I can do better. I am doing runs, wearing weighted vests to spice it up a bit. I need to be ready for trials. I am a fighter.

“I came through at 17 at Hartlepool, they were struggling and needed to look at youth players. I washed my kit, cleaned my boots. There was no money there, so everything was off your own back. I got a lot of kicks early on in men’s football. They wanted to bully me and throw me about. I was only 17 and quite weak at the time. I had to fight for myself. The defenders in that league are quite mad and the refs are not watching as much.

“I got the move to Preston and this was mad; my first time on the bench was Villa away in front of 30,000. I had played in front of 4,000 at Hartlepool but it was surreal really against Villa, against John Terry. I want more of that.

“The level matters less to me but the main thing is playing games. There won’t be footage of me recently in action, so I want to show clubs I care, that I’m not sat at home doing nothing. I have to give myself a chance.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Vesper said:

drop acid time

Shitty's 3rd kit

Manchester City's supposed third kit for the 2020-21 campaign has been leaked on Twitter

Quite like it! Bit to much going on though...

Liam Gallagher loves it...

''Who ever is responsible for that new Man City kit needs putting on the nxt flight to WUHAN and who ever buys it needs to be on the 1 after''

 

Vesper and Atomiswave like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.