Rescinded Red

Oh the media monkeys and their junket junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away.

Thursday Headlines: Fergie Gets Frisky at Man U Semi-Final Celebration

pro_34212_alexferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson acts like he’s been there before after the Carling Cup Semi-Final Win. (Off the Post)

Maurice Edu blames US Soccer for placing too much pressure on Freddy Adu. (Tribal Footall)

Arsenal will make the Emirates Stadium much more technology-savvy. (Arsenal Mania)

Emerson thinks Kaka should move to Real Madrid (The Beautiful Game)

MLS is not pleased with Sports Business Journal over wording. (LA Times)

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , , , , , , , , ,

Benitez Rejects New Contract: How Much Longer Will Rafa Be the Gaffa?

rafa-benitez-2Rafa Benitez rejected a new Liverpool contract, because he will not be given complete autonomy over transfer policy.

Benitez wanted to hire a director of football type person, answerable to himself, who would handle transfer negotiations within a predetermined budget.  Current transfer control rests with chief executive Rick Parry.

Having that infrastructure would avoid situations similar to last summer’s Gareth Barry saga.  Benitez spent nearly three months orchestrating an £18m deal for the Villa midfielder, only to have it vetoed by the club’s owners.

According to the Times, Hicks supports that plan, but Gillett and Parry do not.

Real Madrid will be looking for a permanent manager after this season.  If Liverpool don’t sort the situation to the Benitez’s satisfaction, don’t discount a return to his home country.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , ,

Calderon Resigns as Real Madrid President

ramon_calderonReal Madrid president Ramon Calderon resigned his position at the club, after the revelation of vote rigging at the club’s assembly in December.

Marca, normally de facto PR for Real Madrid, named ten individuals whom Calderon was accused of planting at the club’s assembly.  The false members allegedly voted for Calderon and operated loudly for him.

On Wednesday, Calderon fired Luis Barcena, the club’s director of members, and, Nanin, a 25-year-old employee who acknowledged sneaking in the candidates.  He did not say why, only that he had followed orders.

Calderon insisted he did not know the men, but a follow-up report connected four of the men with Calderon’s family.

He faced pressure for many grievances, notably failing to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas.

Calderon was elected in 2006.  He faced another election in 2010.

The strife at the top already adds to an unstable managerial situation and tension from their adrift league position.

Filed under: Football, Primera Liga, Soccer, ,

One Step Closer to Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo Trademarks “CR9”

ronaldopfa2007Cristiano Ronaldo has copyrighted “CR9” in his home country of Portugal, sparking even further speculation he’s off to Real Madrid.

Ronaldo already owns “CR7,” emblazoned on a boutique and other merchandise. 

Should he move to Real Madrid, however, Ronaldo would need to change his number as Raul already wears the number 7 shirt.

The 23-year-old already announced he’s learning Spanish.  A Portuguese bank has a sponsorship deal with him that kicks in, if he moves to Spain.

The only worse kept secret than Ronaldo moving to Real Madrid next summer is LeBron signing with the Knicks in 2010.

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , , ,

Headlines: Messi Unleashes Some Sass

messiLeo Messi is getting a bit frisky of late. (Dirty Tackle)

Djibril Cisse sported a festive green racing stripe. (Off The Post)

New Real Madrid signing Lassana Diarra will face some ribbing for the back of his shirt. (The Spoiler)

Would you trust Joey Barton with your small child? (The Beautiful Game)

No one in the U.S. wants to watch MLS, but, apparently, some foreigners might. (American Soccer News)

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , , , ,

Real Madrid Claim To Have Signed Cristiano Ronaldo

Football’s longest running super-saga that no one cares about has resurfaced en force.  Real Madrid’s director Pedro Trapote told the newspaper El Mundo the club have an agreement to buy Cristiano Ronaldo next summer, but can’t yet announce it officially.

cristiano-ronaldo-portugal1“If you are asking me what we are going to do now then I would tell you that we are going to do now then I would tell you that we have already signed the best player for the summer,” Trapote said.  “The best of the best.  It is Cristiano, there is no other.  It is better that we do not say anything at the moment though.”

“There are some clauses that prevent us from announcing it now.”

Real Madrid president Roman Calderon had said the club would halt its pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, after making eyes at him all summer.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, forced to speak to the media at the Club World Cup, denied a deal was in place.

“You don’t think we’d get into a contract with that mob, do you? Jesus Christ.” Ferguson said.  “I wouldn’t sell them a virus.  So that’s no — there is no agreement between the clubs.”

Cristiano Ronaldo refused comment.

There are two endings to this nauseating story.  First, Ronaldo says, without coercion, he wants to play for Manchester United.  Second, Manchester United sell Ronaldo to Real Madrid.  Unfortunately, neither appears imminent.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Primera Liga, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, , , , ,

Portsmouth Accept £20m Bid for Lassana Diarra From Real Madrid

lassan-diarraPortsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra likely will move to Real Madrid, after the club accepted a £20m bid for the 23-year-old Frenchman.

The former Chelsea player moved to Arsenal in the summer of 2007, but left for Portsmouth in the winter after becoming the victim of Mathieu Flamini’s ascendance.

Madrid initially bid £9m for the player, but Portsmouth held firm for £20m.  Portsmouth’s debt and pending sale, probably decided their acceptance.

If the deal goes through, it’s an excellent, if a bit pricy, signing for Real Madrid.  Diaara’s a versatile, skillful midfielder and can fill in for his unrelated namesake Mahamadou Diarra.

Manchester City had rumored interest in Diarra.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, , , ,

When Will Footballers Discover Free Agency?

cristiano-ronaldo-portugalBaseball pitcher CC Sabathia recently signed an eight-year $161 million contract with the New York Yankees.  His salary, approximately £15m per year, would make him the highest paid footballer in the world.  International football bandies about similar outrageous sums, in the form of transfer fees that go to the club not the players.  This begs the question, why have footballers not discovered free agency?

Cristiano Ronaldo tried to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid over the summer, just a year after signing a £120,000 per week contract with Manchester United.  The club want him to stay this season and likely next season, but eventually they will sell him to Madrid or elsewhere for a big payday, possibly £70-£100m.  To maintain control over Ronaldo, United will likely placate him with an extended contract and include a substantial raise.

However, if you were Ronaldo, why would you sign the extension?  His current contract with United expires in 2012, when he will be 27-years-old, with at least four years of top-level play left in him.  Why wouldn’t he bide his time until free agency at that point.

There’s a certain cache to being the subject of a record transfer deal, but Ronaldo won’t see that money, it hamstrings the club with whom he’s negotiating and he only gets to negotiate with that one club.  He derives no benefit from the large transfer deal.  Ronaldo may get a fat contract with Real Madrid, but he’s hardly realizing his potential.

If he became a free agent at the end of his contract, he arrives at an outrageous discount.  Teams can divert the transfer money into Ronaldo’s salary.  He can also negotiate with as many teams as he likes and auction himself to the highest bidder.  Coming for free, Ronaldo could start the bidding at £300,000 per week, involving all the big clubs in England, Spain and Italy.

Moreover, this possibility increases his leverage.  If United know that Ronaldo won’t resign, they will try to deal him before he leaves, to recover some value.  To agree to a deal with Real Madrid, Madrid would be forced to pre-empt him becoming a free agent, and pay him more. Ronaldo, rather than the clubs, would hold the transfer conch.

Who will be the first player who figures that out?  Will the players’ totally above-board agents let them?

Filed under: Football, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, , ,

El Classico: Barcelona Beat Real Madrid 2-0

messi-pic-14Real Madrid played stern defense and Iker Casillas saved a penalty, but the Juande Revolution could not overcome a relentless Barcelona side. 

Samuel Eto’o gave Los Cules the lead in the 83rd minute and Thierry Henry assisted on a late Messi goal to seal the result.

The loss leaves Real Madrid 12 points adrift from Barcelona, in fifth.  If Atletico Madrid and Deportiva La Coruna win tomorrow, Madrid would drop to seventh.

The road appears better lit under Ramos, although it would with anyone after the mess Schuster made.  Special Juande has the talent to lead the club back to respectability.  Though, with consecutive upcoming fixtures with Valencia and Villarreal, it won’t be quickly.

Filed under: Football, Primera Liga, Soccer, ,

Real Madrid Sack Schuster, Hire Ramos

bernd-schusterReal Madrid have fired coach Bernd Schuster, replacing him with recently departed Tottenham manager Juande Ramos.  His contract lasts to the season’s end.

Schuster won the Spanish League at Real Madrid last season, however, the club’s awful form this year sealed his fate.  Real Madrid won just five of their past twelve in all competitions, conceding 24 goals.

Much of the problem has been a terrible run of injuries, although the frequency of muscle problems casts eyes back to the coaching staff.

Real sit in fifth-place, nine points behind leaders Barcelona.  They face the top three teams (Barcelona, Villarreal and Valencia) in their next three fixtures.

If Schuster’s situation had not been untenable enough, it surely became so when he publicly admitted his squad could not beat Barcelona.  “At the Camp Nou now, it’s not possible to win,” Schuster said.  “They are playing really well there and it’s their year.  We can just try and hopefully play a good game.”

Tottenham fired Ramos after an abysmal start to the English season.  However, he has extensive experience in Spain.  During his most recent stint with Sevilla, Ramos won two UEFA Cups and the Copa del Rey.

Filed under: Football, Primera Liga, Soccer, , ,

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