They say that London is a
city of two hundred languages and two million immigrants. Add to that some
decent football grounds, great communications with the rest of the world
and seemingly footballers of every nationality plying their trade in
Britain. The result is that Britain - and London in particular - has
become the natural home for far-off countries wanting to stage friendly
making the long trip home. Mighty Brazil, for example, established a
second home in north London playing their first match at the Emirates
Stadium (against Argentina) when Arsenal themselves had only played one
Premier match at their new home.
On the Tuesday February 6th
2007 London set a new world record when four full internationals were
played in the city on the same evening - and none involved England with
the new Wembley still not completed. Brazil were at the Emirates again,
playing Portugal, while Ghana v Nigeria was played at Griffin Park
(Brentford), South Korea v Greece at Craven Cottage (Fulham) and Australia v Denmark at
Loftus Road (QPR). Brazil's match was the only one sold-out but the TV
audiences were impressive - an estimated 300 million worldwide watched
Brazil v Portugal and another 100 million in Africa watched Ghana beat
Retro shirts are very much
in fashion these days but there is one Scottish shirt that you don't often
see accompanying a kilt. At the turn of the 20th Century Lord Rosebery was
an influential figure in Scottish football having been the Prime Minister
as well as President of the FA and Hearts. He was also a famous racehorse
owner with his horses winning the Derby in 1894, 1895 and 1905. He
persuaded the Scottish FA to allow the Scotland team to ditch their
traditional dark blue shirts and play in his racing colours - of primrose
and pink! This they did on at least nine occasions starting in 1881 with
the last time being in 1951 against France. Perhaps the most notable match
in which they wore those colours was a 4-1 victory over England at Celtic
Park in April 1900 when Rosebery told the Scottish captain "I have
never seen my colours so well sported since Ladas won the Derby."
West Ham United were one of the
first clubs to have a club anthem having adopted 'I'm Forever Blowing
Bubbles' in the 1920's. In 1999 that association saw the Hammers set a
new world record. With each fan attending West Ham's last Premier Division
match of the 1998/99 season, against Middlesbrough at Upton Park on Sunday
May 16th 1999, being given a bubble-blowing pot by kit supplier Fila,
23,680 of them blew bubbles for 1 minute to get into the Guinness Book
of World Records.
So am I the only one who thinks the
only important match statistic is the number of goals scored? In the
absence of a decent England showing all the news around Euro 2012 seemed
to be based on stats. Spain averaged 626.3 passes a match managed in an
average of 60.03% possession. Is that really possible - who counts these
things? And for those really interested those passes can be split into
long and short passes, successful and unsuccessful ones....and so on. The
860 passes Spain made in the Ireland match (788 completed) was a team
record and Xavi's 136 passes (127 completed) were an individual record.
There were 21.7 shots per match, in their match against Italy England's
most frequent passing combination was between Joe Hart and Andy Carroll,
Wayne Rooney slept for 83.2% of each match he played in (sorry I made that
one up...or did I?).
The commercial interests couldn't
resist facts like those. Players wearing Nike boots scored 60% of the
goals compared with 20% for adidas. Based on time on the pitch, 47% of the
players wore Nike and 38% adidas.
The only stat I will remember is
that England needed to improve 100%.
"Things were so much
easier when I earned £100 a week". Wolves midfielder Jamie O'Hara - who was reported to earn £35,000
a week - in a Twitter posting in December 2012. I'm sure we all
sympathised with him!
Herbert Chapman was a brilliant manager and will always be remembered
for his successes at both Huddersfield Town and Arsenal. He was a
deep-thinker - from tactics right through to floodlights, playing kit and
even ground design. He also didn't miss a marketing opportunity. He could
never understand why the underground station next to the Highbury ground
was called Gillespie Road. He saw it as an advertising opportunity missed
and argued that renaming the station Arsenal would benefit both the
football club and the underground's owners, the London Electric Railway.
If the name 'Arsenal' was presented to every user of the underground it
would attract new supporters to the club and additional journeys on the
underground. Not that a change would be easy. As now every map and
timetable would need to be changed but in addition, in those pre-computer
ticket was pre-printed with destination names on them. But as Herbert
brought success to Arsenal the bargaining power they had over the
underground owners grew and on 5th November 1932 the name of the station
was duly changed from Gillespie Road to Arsenal - the Gunners celebrating
that day with a 7-1 First Division victory at Wolves!
In Fulham's 'Inside The Cottage'
programme notes for the visit of Middlesbrough in a Division Three match
at Craven Cottage on Saturday 27th September 1986 the writer gave plenty
of encouragement to the cause for their following home match - against
Liverpool in the second leg of a Littlewoods Cup tie. It was perhaps a
little tongue-in-cheek - Fulham had lost the first leg 0-10!
The attendances in the Third Division of the Scottish League for Saturday
August 18th 2012 proved interesting reading - 512 (at Annan Athletic), 401
(Clyde), 631 (Elgin City), 498 (Queen's Park) and 49,118 at Rangers for
their match against East Stirlingshire. It was the first League match that
the new Rangers had played at Ibrox in their new lowly surroundings and
set a new world record attendance for a match in the fourth tier of a
League competition. The previous record was set in England on 31st March
1961 when 37,774 were present at Selhurst Park for a Crystal Palace v
Millwall Football League Fourth Division fixture.
Brian Clough was one of those
unpredictable characters. Prior to the 1980 European Cup final in Madrid
Cloughie ordered Garry Birtles off the bus taking the team from their
hotel to the match and insisted he had a shave. So was that due to
Clough's hatred of scruffiness or was it as Birtles thought 'He could
see I was nervous and wanted to take my mind off the game'. I wonder!
"Perhaps I shouldn't say it, but I'm maybe a little too intelligent to
be a footballer".
So claimed Joey Barton in a French newspaper
in November 2012. That's the same Joey Barton who was in France after
being banished from the English game after being red-carded and then
attacking two Manchester City players while at QPR. And that's the
same Joey Barton who in 2008 was jailed for 6 months (he served 77
days) for common assault and then given a four months suspended
sentence for a training ground assault on former teammate Ousmane Dabo.
had to happen. Clubs in the round ball code were looking for extra income,
particularly from under-utilised grounds, while the professional oval ball
game was looking to expand beyond its traditional boundaries. The
inevitable result was that football clubs and rugby league clubs would
join forces and play from a single ground.
trendsetters were Fulham and unlike what happens currently where football
clubs and rugby union clubs share grounds but remain independent
organisations, Fulham FC formed at Rugby League club in their name and
entered the Second Division of the Rugby League.
first competitive match could hardly have been against
better opposition - Wigan, who were having something of a 'blip' in their
fortunes at the time. In the match played at Craven Cottage on Sunday
September 14th 1980 Fulham won 24-5 and both clubs were to go on to win
promotion in the 1980/81 season.
crowd that day was 9554 which was to be Fulham's rugby clubs' best League gate of the
season (home or away) although they did attract higher attendances at
Craven Cottage in cup matches against Leeds (12,583) and Wakefield Trinity
with the average home attendance being over 6000 - and having gained
promotion - the experiment was considered an initial success.
League hadn't had a home in London since the 1930s so Fulham offering a
home for the sport was a major coup for the Rugby League authorities.
However they were not alone and both Cardiff City and Carlisle followed
their lead in the 1981/82 season. But while London still has its Rugby
League side (which has descended from Fulham although no longer part of
Fulham FC) that particular experiment did not prove to be a long-term
is always good for a quote. One has reached almost legend
status, his comment on Eric Cantona's trawler and seagulls
quote - 'If a Frenchman goes on about
seagulls, trawlers and sardines, he’s called a philosopher.
I’d just be called a short Scottish bum talking crap.'
However reporters beware because
if you ask him a silly question you are liable to get a quote
you hadn't anticipated....
'Bang, there goes your unbeaten run. Can you take it?' Strachan:
'No. I'm just going to crumble like a wreck. I'll go home,
become an alcoholic and maybe jump off a bridge. Um, I think I
can take it, yeah.'
'So, Gordon, in what areas do you think Middlesbrough were
better than you today?' Strachan:
'What areas? Mainly that big green one out there!'
***** Reporter: 'This might sound like a daft question, but you'll be
happy to get your first win under your belt, won't you?' Strachan:
You're right. It is a daft question. I'm not even going to
bother answering that one. It is a daft question, you're spot
'Gordon, you must be delighted with that result?' Strachan:
'You're spot on. You can read me like a book!'
'Gordon, do you think James Beattie deserves to be in the
England squad?' Strachan:
'I don't care, I'm Scottish.'
'You don't take losing lightly, do you Gordon?' Strachan:
'I don't take stupid comments lightly either.'
'Welcome to Southampton Football Club. Do you think you are
the right man to turn things around?' Strachan: 'No. I was asked if I thought I was the right man for
the job and I said 'No, I think they should have got George
Graham because I'm useless.'
'Gordon, can we have a quick word please?' Strachan:
'Velocity' and he walks away!
Perhaps I'm too much of a traditionalist but for me weekend football
should kick off at 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon but the demands of
television have seen an assortment of KO times develop over both days of
the weekend. Television dictated the earliest kick-off in Premier League
history on Sunday October 2nd 2005 at the City of Manchester Stadium when
Manchester City were desperate for TV income. Their match against Everton
was screened on PPV (pay per view) TV and kicked off at 11.15 on the
Sunday morning in front of a 42,681 crowd. TV also dictated the kick-off
time of the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and
Chelsea in Moscow. Us armchair fans saw the match kick off at 7.45 which
was perfect for the British and western European TV audience. But the
match was played in Moscow and 7.45 for us was 10.45pm local time in
Russia. When extra time was over and the penalties were taken it was 1.30
in the morning in Moscow, and the cup still had to be presented!
But TV couldn't be blamed for the earliest kick off in
senior football in England - it happened in 1892! Football League side
Burton Swifts were double-booked on Saturday 1st October 1892 - a Second
Division match at Crewe Alexandra and a home FA Cup Preliminary Round
match against Singers of Coventry (a forerunner of Coventry City). They
solved the problem by bringing forward the cup tie to the previous
Wednesday - with an 8am kick off, yes that's 8 o'clock in the morning!
Swifts won 3-0 although there is no record of the attendance!
Many a match has had a delayed kick off because of the
late arrival of the visiting team - back in 1961 a nightmare journey led
to an abandoned Football League match between Barrow and Gillingham (abandoned
matches). Over 50 years later in what was an almost identical
journey Ebbsfleet United travelled to Barrow for a Conference match, the
team coach leaving Kent at 10.45am on the morning of the match (Wednesday
3rd April 2013) for a 7.45pm kick off in Cumbria. They were soon delayed
by an accident on the M25 and then a serious delay on the M6 when a lorry
shed its load of baked beans. Ebbsfleet finally arrived at the ground at
8.40pm with kick off being put back to 9.15 and the final whistle in the
1-1 draw being blown a little after 11 o'clock. Then it was back on the
coach and a 300-mile plus journey home for Ebbsfleet. The joys of being a
However the prize for the craziest kick off time must
surely go to Barcelona when they entertained Sevilla in a Spanish La Liga
fixture in September 2005. The match was scheduled for Wednesday 3rd
September which was the day they had to release many of their
international players to their countries for a weekend of international
fixtures. Not wishing to play with a weakened team Barcelona tried to get
the date brought forward to the Tuesday, without success, but what they
did control was the kick off time. So they decided to kick off on the
Wednesday at 12.05am - 5 minutes past midnight - in the hope that all
their star players could play, get a reasonable night's sleep and then
leave to join their international squads on the Wednesday morning as the
rules required. That ploy wasn't a complete success as far team selection
was concerned but the match was a success. Attracted by the novelty of the
fixture, cheaper tickets and free snacks an amazing 80,237 turned up at
the Nou Camp to witness a 1-1 draw.
They say that the one day of the
footballing calendar that sees most dreams shattered is the first day of
the League season. Before the 2012/13 season started a Liverpool fan bet
£44,000 that his side would win the Premier League title. The 25/1
each-way bet with William Hill was set to win him £777,333.33 if they won
the title or £205,333.33 if they finished second. Then Liverpool played
their first League match - a 3-0 walloping at WBA with West Brom also
missing a penalty. Dream over?
"We are at a club where we
can't deal in the top bracket of players we would like to bring here.
We are not at Crufts, we are at Battersea Dogs Home. We are looking
for strays. We are looking for people who have gone astray with the
aim of bringing them back". What Stoke manager Tony Pulis had to say after signing Matthew
Etherington in January 2009. Perhaps not the greatest of welcomes!
Coventry City shirt sponsors Peugeot got their moneys
worth when Chelsea visited Highfield Road for a Premier League match in
April 1997. Chelsea only took their home kit with them and that clashed
with the Coventry home kit so the Londoners were forced to borrow
Coventry's red and black check away shirts. Sadly for the Sky Blues
it was the only way to get the likes of Zola, Vialli, Di Matteo and
Leboeuf to play in the Premier League in their colours!
In January 2013 Swansea City had
beaten European champions Chelsea in the first leg of the League Cup
semi-final 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and so were on the verge of their first
major cup final. Then came the second leg and the headlines were all
about...a ball boy! When Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan apparently
slipped and fell on the ball and was seemingly kicked by Chelsea's Eden
Hazard who was trying to retrieve the ball few had any sympathy for Hazard
when he was red-carded. Twenty-four hours latter sentiments had
changed. Endless TV replays seemed to suggest that Morgan grabbed hold of
the ball and wasn't going to let it go and that Hazard had kicked the ball
rather than the boy (or youth, he was 17). It emerged that Morgan had
tweeted before the match that he would waste time if that was needed.
Then, worst of all, Morgan was 'exposed' as the son of a Swansea director
and was an heir to a £43 million fortune. The newspapers had the ball boy
as living a more affluent lifestyle that the Chelsea superstars so there
wasn't going to be much sympathy there! What happened? Well, Charlie
Morgan became a Twitter sensation with his followers increasing from 400
before the match to nearly 90,000 immediately after it...and Swansea drew
and went through to the Wembley final.
Well, if you think the fans of
Carlisle United or Plymouth Argyle have a tough time when it comes to
travelling to away matches spare a thought for Russian fans when
Luch-Energiya were members of the Russian Premier League. While most of
the members of the League were in the Moscow area Luch-Energiya were from
Vladivostok on the eastern Pacific coast of the country. That is 4,000
miles from Moscow as the crow flies or over 6,000 miles by road, avoiding
Mongolia and China! After one trip to Luch-Energiya CSKA Moscow goalkeeper
Igor Akinfeev complained that the club 'should play in the Japanese
League' and he was just complaining about the seven hour flight (and a
4-0 defeat!). He only had to make the journey once a year - Luch-Energiya
players and supporters had to do it every other week. When Zenit St
Petersburg visited Vladivostok in 2006 three intrepid fans - Aleksandr
Zaraysky, Evgeny Stepanov and Veronika Davidova - decided to make the
12,000 + miles round trip by car to support their club. They got to
Vladivostok but then the car decided enough was enough and gave up the
ghost stranding the trio in darkest Siberia. It took them a six-day train
trip on the Trans Siberian Railway to get them back to St Petersburg. But
thankfully there was a happy ending. To mark their madness
loyalty Zenit presented the trio with a new car - and two years later
Luch-Energiya were relegated!
was a time when a local solicitor or butcher brought welcome financial
strength to the Board of Directors of football clubs. Then came the
millionaires, then the multi-millionaires and then finally the
billionaires. It now seems you can't have a successful club unless you
have a billionaire owner, the odd hundred million in the back pocket just
isn't enough. Manchester City acquired their billionaire owner in 2008 in
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi. City fans commemorated
the event with these fake £500 billion notes and sat back waiting for the
money to be spent and success to arrive. OK, £500 billion as his wealth
was a tad optimistic but it is believed his piggy bank was a lot better
financed than the owners of Chelsea or Manchester United and so, four
years after taking over, City won their first League Championship in 44
records show that if Tottenham had won their last Premier League match
of the season in 2005/06 they would not only have finished one place above
Arsenal but would also have pipped their great rivals to the fourth
Champions League place. Sadly for Spurs they were not only up against West
Ham in that final match but also a far more troublesome opponent. Spurs
stayed the night before the match at the five-star Marriott Hotel in
Canary Wharf and enjoyed an evening meal of lasagne. That enjoyment turned
to horror during the night when practically the whole squad became
violently sick with suspected food poisoning. There was one place every
suffering player wanted to be - and that wasn't playing a Premier League
football match! Without a great deal of guidance from the Premier League
authorities Spurs considered postponing the match but fearful of a points
deduction (as happened to Middlesbrough in 1996/97) decided against it.
West Ham were happy for the kick off to be put back from 3 o'clock to 7
but the police were against that fearing the consequences of the extra
drinking time. So the match kicked off as scheduled at 3 and although
Spurs put up a good fight the match ended in a 2-1 West Ham victory and
Arsenal - who played their last match at Highbury that day - had got the
better of Tottenham yet again.
the conspiracy theorists had a field day checking the Marriott kitchen
staff to see if any were related to Arsene Wenger, the police were called
and samples taken and Spurs tried to get the match replayed, all to no
avail. But as disappointed as Spurs were they must have been pleased by
the sporting attitude of the West Ham fans. The Hammers faithful knew
exactly what the Spurs players needed and were happy to provide it to
them, see picture!
thinking of the matches Wembley Stadium has staged thoughts immediately go
to the Cup Finals and internationals rather than Clapton Orient in the
Third Division (South)! But it happened.
Clapton Orient - now Leyton Orient - moved
to their Millfields Road ground in 1900. All was well at the ground - which
had a record attendance of 31,400 against Newcastle in 1926 - until 1927
when a greyhound racing syndicate bought the ground from the local
council. Relations between the greyhound and football fraternities were
soon strained with the O's being banned from using the ground for training
or the boardroom on match days. A new ground was needed and this they
found just half a mile away at Lea Bridge Road.
The oval-shaped ground had been used for
speedway and had a wooden fence around the perimeter. The first League
match at the ground was on the afternoon of Thursday September 4th 1930
(no floodlights in those days) with 5505 specators witnessing them defeat
Newport County in Division 3 (South). A couple of months later when the
O's had beaten Torquay United 4-0 the visitors complained that the wooden
fencing was too close to the pitch and affected their play. As a result
the Football League closed the ground for alterations to be made.
While those alterations were being made
Clapton Orient played their two home League matches at Wembley Stadium. On
Saturday November 22nd 1930 the Third Division South match against
Brentford was staged at the famous Stadium and 8319 fans witnessed a 3-0
'home' win. Two weeks later on Saturday December 6th the O's defeated
Southend United 3-1 at their temporary home although terrible weather cut
the attendance to 1916.
Between those two matches - on Saturday
November 29th - a 'home' FA Cup First Round replay against Luton Town was
staged at Arsenal's Highbury stadium. An attendance of 8021 witnessed a
4-2 victory for Luton.
With the works at Lea Bridge Road completed
Clapton Orient played at that ground until their move to their present
Brisbane Road ground. Their last match at Lea Bridge Road was in April
1937 with the O's taking over Brisbane Road from Leyton Amateurs at the
start of the following season.
After Peter Hartley and James Poole each scored a goal for Hartlepool
against Notts County on Saturday February 2013 their shirts were put up
for auction with £1000 being raised for the club's Youth Development Fund.
Get it - Hartley and Poole score for Hartlepool!
The busiest turnstiles in English
football were at Manchester City's Maine Road ground in the 1946/47 season
when Old Trafford was closed due to wartime bomb damage and City shared
their ground with Manchester United. Attendances were generally high in
the first post-war League season but particularly so in Manchester were
City finished as Second Division champions and United were runners-up in
the First Division. When those crowds were added to the numbers who
attended an England v Wales international, an FA Cup semi-final and the
Wigan v Dewsbury Rugby League Championship play-off final played at the
ground some two and a quarter million attended fixtures at Maine Road, a
record for any English football ground.
One export that Britain has supplied to every corner of the world is
football. In 1909 a group of teenagers in Chile formed a football club and
named it Everton after our Everton who had toured South America that year.
The South American Everton have proved to be one of the top sides in
Chile, winning the national championship four times. In August 2010 the
South American side made a pilgrimage to Goodison Park as a delayed part
of their centenary celebrations to play a unique match...Everton v
Everton. The English Everton beat the Chilean Everton 2-0 to win the
Brotherhood Cup in a match that was shown on live TV in Chile.
Over the years many an animal has found itself on a football pitch - dogs,
chickens, squirrels, foxes and Vinnie Jones to name a few!
Burton Albion lost an FA Cup Third Round replay in January 2006 5-0 at
Manchester United they complained that they hadn't just been sharing the
Old Trafford pitch with their opponents but also with some unexpected
visitors - mice. Most grounds have the occasional rodent problem in the
spectator areas as a result of large amounts of discarded food waste but
it is a tad unusual to find them invading the pitch during a match.
United's next match at Old Trafford was against Liverpool four days later
and as one United fan said 'Rafa Benitez may think he’s the big
cheese but I still think Fergie’s boys can squeak through'.
But perhaps the
strangest creature to be rescued from a football pitch was a....fish! Back
in January 2005 Carlisle United's Brunton Park ground was drying out after
severe flooding but just before the pitch was finally cleared of water a
goldfish was found swimming around the goalmouth. Apparently it had found
its way to the ground after escaping from its bowl in a nearby flooded
house. Nicknamed Billy after the half-human, half-fish creature who was
Fulchester United's goalkeeper in the Viz comic, it was rescued and
put in a tank. It proved to be a lucky mascot for the Cumbrian club who
were in the Conference at the time. A Carlisle spokesman was later to say
about Billy - 'It’s fair to say that the good luck tag has been an appropriate one for Billy. From the comfort of a fish tank in the
reception at Brunton
Park he has overseen United’s return to the Football League, the League
Two title triumph, trips to the Millennium Stadium and the new Wembley
Stadium and even a club record run of 14 consecutive home victories in the
2007/08 season.' Rumour has it that rather than sack unsuccessful
managers for a while club chairman took the cheaper option of buying a
tank of fish!
The title of the loudest fans in the
world goes to the supporters of Turkish side Galatasaray. On 18th March
2011 in a local derby against Fenerbahçe at their Türk Telekom Arena in
Istanbul a peak noise level was recorded of over 131 decibels. In England
a noise survey was held in the 2010/11 season and found that Liverpool
fans were the loudest at 97 decibels followed by Manchester United at 94
decibels and Aston Villa on 89. As a comparison continued exposure of
noise at the 90 decibel level can result in hearing loss, the pain
threshold is about 115 decibels while the noise from the Galatasaray crowd
is about the same as listening to a jet engine 100ft away.
With 366 possible dates for a birthday its a bit of a coincidence when
two Premier League managers share the same birthday. But what are the odds
of those two managers up against each other for the first time - on the
day of their birthdays? It happened in 2013. Queen's Park Rangers manager
Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino of Southampton were both born on
March 2nd and on March 2nd 2013 their opposing sides met each other in a
Premier League match at St Mary's. With 'Arry having had a bit of
'history' at Southampton the home fans made his return to the South coast
more than a little uncomfortable but he ended up with the main birthday
present - 3 points - with QPR winning 2-1.
When Arsenal recorded a 3-0 Premier
League victory over Sheffield United back in the 2006/07 season remarkably
all three goalscorers shared the same birthday. The first goal came from
William Gallas and the third from Thierry Henry (both born on 17th August
1977) and in-between them Sheffield United's Phil Jagielka (born 17th
August 1982) scored an own goal. The perfect conclusion would be to say
the match was played on 17th August but sadly no - September 23rd 2006.
many clubs can boast that one
of their finest hours was in the Anglo-Scottish Cup, but Chesterfield can.
They won the competition in its final season, 1980/81, but it is perhaps
not the winning of the trophy but one of the ties that is best remembered.
The only Scottish club they played was the mighty Rangers at the
quarter-final stage and they beat
them 4-1 on aggregate. The clubs drew 1-1 at Ibrox before 14,000 fans and
then on Tuesday October 28th 1980 Chesterfield beat Rangers 3-0 at
Saltergate before 13,914 fans.
After having progressed from a qualifying
group that put them up against Grimsby, Hull and Sheffield United the
Spireites then eliminated Rangers before getting the better of Bury in the
two-legged semi-finals. The final was against near neighbours Notts County
who were beaten 2-1 on aggregate with 23,000 fans watching the two ties.
I always thought that it was a given
that Liverpool were going to have a new stadium. Not so from what one of
the clubs' owners, John W. Henry, said in June 2012 -
“Whatever the reason, a belief has
grown that Liverpool must have a new stadium to compete with United,
Arsenal and others. Nobody has ever addressed whether a new stadium is
rational. The difference [with Chelsea, Arsenal and others] stems as
much from revenue per seat as the number of seats. Even if Liverpool
had 60,000 seats, there would have to be an increase from £900 to
£1,550 in revenue per seat as well to catch Arsenal. Can Liverpool as
a community afford Chelsea or Arsenal prices? No. Our future is based
building a strong club that can compete with anyone in Europe. This
will be principally driven financially by our commercial strength
globally.” I think what he was saying was he
would rather take money out of the coffers than put it in!
is the only person to have played first-class County cricket and won a
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