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Thread: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Look ... the World Cup is over and camps are opened in most of Europe. Heck the season is underway in some countries. Time for a new seasonal news thread!

    Selfishly, I'll start with Aston Villa. After a summer of discovery following their loss in the Championship playoffs ... mostly discovering that their Chinese "billionaire" owner was either a liar or a fraud or both, and discovering that the financial fair play rules had basically been ignored for two years, and discovering that the staff weren't properly paying their tax bills ... Villa have announced new investors. A consortium led by the owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and an Egyptian financier, both ACTUALLY worth billions, unlike Tony Xia who now holds the title of Co-Chairman but probably only until he can be completely levered out the door. Villa's new cash means they will avoid administration, which was a real possibility as recently as a month ago, but they still have a LONG row to hoe to get out from under their FFP issues. Some player sales are all but guaranteed, with Jack Grealish being the highest priced toy in the shop window. They've basically sacked everyone in the offices aside from Steve Bruce and his sporting staff. Look for a year of re-building the organization and hopefully survival in the Championship.

    And yes ... this is an utter disgrace. The FA should be ashamed of approving Xia's purchase of the team in the first place, but this mess is fully on Villa's Board at the end of the day. Clean it up guys.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    So John Spano changed his name to Tony Xia?

    They’re still going to lose Grealish, even with the infusion of capital.

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    Rookie VinatieriDefinesClutch's Avatar
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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    I had not been following Villa news, crap. Well this will teach me to ever care about anything.

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    So John Spano changed his name to Tony Xia?

    They’re still going to lose Grealish, even with the infusion of capital.
    Xia isn't quite up to the level of grift that Spanos pulled on the NHL. He's definitely a Chinese billionaire, it's just that due to the nature of China's ever changing financial regulations, the guy can't get his funds out of China. And what are you really worth if nothing is actually liquid and you can't access it when you want? Xia made all sorts of claims about having moved liquid assets out of the country before purchasing Villa, and that was pretty much all BS. He took out a BUNCH of loans based on the assumption that Villa would get back to the Prem before their balloon payments started to taper down .... nope. And with next to no ability to access his own cash to cover those debts, Villas was left without money to pay basic expenses like executive wages and tax bills. The whole concept of Chinese individuals owning foreign sports franchises needs to STOP. Their corporations function under something akin to a free market when it comes to cash assets, but Chinese individuals decidedly do not operate under the same rules. That's something the FA should be bright enough to figure out, because this is not the first time this has been an issue.

    On the sales front, Financial Fair Play rules combined with Villa's terrible record of buying in garbage players over the last two seasons renders selling around $40 million worth of players pretty much mandatory. Either that or they'll have to plot a course through a hefty fine and a complete restructuring of the club's finances. The second option would simply take too long at this point, so selling off players it is. I'm guessing 90% of the fan base doesn't understand that and will end up blaming Grealish for something that's totally out of his control. He's a home grown kid and he'd like to stay, from all accounts. Sadly, he's the only guy on the books who has the kind of market value to put a dent in the sums they need to generate in one move. Otherwise you've got to move a LOT of Mile Jedinak type players.

    On the upside, the academy has been pretty productive and there's young talent in the squad. All hope is not lost ... just all momentum.
    Last edited by jeffbear; 07-21-2018 at 12:17 PM.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    The Daily Star reports that Villa’s new owners have a verbal agreement to replace manager Steve Bruce with...Thierry Henry. But they have to agree on a salary and transfer budget.

    https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/fo...e-Championship

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    The Daily Star reports that Villa’s new owners have a verbal agreement to replace manager Steve Bruce with...Thierry Henry. But they have to agree on a salary and transfer budget.

    https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/fo...e-Championship
    Yeah. I wondered if Bruce was going to go sooner rather than later. He did a decent job correcting the mistakes of his predecessors (which were large and numerous) and getting Villa back on a competitive footing. But as always with Bruce, he's only got one successful way to play and that way demands veterans who "get it." Not just vets ... HIS kind of vets. With Villa forced by FFP to go younger and cheaper with the current senior squad, Bruce just wasn't a good fit. Dr Tony was never going to fire him while the rest of Rome was burning, so he was sort of the last man standing from the prior regime.

    I mean ... he'll be fine. Bruce will all but certainly get a couple of offers to perform Premiere League rescue operations before the 2019-19 season is done. Henry? Who the heck knows? I love the guy, but he's completely unproven as a manager.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbear View Post
    I mean ... he'll be fine. Bruce will all but certainly get a couple of offers to perform Premiere League rescue operations before the 2019-19 season is done. Henry? Who the heck knows? I love the guy, but he's completely unproven as a manager.
    He has more experience than Lampard at Derby or Gerrard at Rangers. But all 3 are risks.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    He has more experience than Lampard at Derby or Gerrard at Rangers. But all 3 are risks.
    Don't get me started on those two. I know Rangers are desperate to catch lightning in a bottle and get seriously good fast ... and cheap. But sheesh, talk about a risk. Their fans are terribly forgiving either. They want at LEAST a strong 2nd place finish and a couple of home wins over Celtic right freaking now. Good luck with that. Celtic are miles ahead of them and Aberdeen and Hibs aren't pushovers. They did danged well to finish third last season but their fans acted like the whole season was torture. Not to mention they've had yet another charge of financial improprieties stemming from their dodgy "death" and re-incorporation back in 2012 from UEFA this summer. Newco or Oldco, Rangers still can't seem to read the rules and follow them.

    On the upside, Gerrard made a couple of quality signings and got them past their first leg of Europa League qualifying. That's WAY better than they did last year.
    Last edited by jeffbear; 07-24-2018 at 05:50 PM.

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    Rookie VinatieriDefinesClutch's Avatar
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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    It's always struck me as odd how ex soccer stars become managers consistently, but that doesn't really happen in American sports. Sometimes you see some ex players become baseball managers (not an overly nuanced job) or basketball coaches (more rare for good reason. See: Kidd, Jason), but you'd never see a football star become a head coach. Soccer seems to still be stuck with this old mentality that you've had to have played at the top level to understand how it works versus maybe considering that studying the managing aspects of the game for longer periods of time might be more helpful.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    It happens in baseball more often, but the players aren’t typically at the Zidane, Cruyff, Deschamps level. Add Larry Bird and Magic Johnson to Jason Kidd in the NBA, but they both bailed after a few years. The most successful current NBA coaches are Popovich and Kerr. Pop never played in the league, Kerr had a long career but was a role player, with a career 6.0 points per game and 1.8 assists per game average.

    With Henry, Gerrard and Lampard, we’ll see if they have staying power or burn out quickly like Zidane did.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    To be fair to Zidane, he may well be back. That wasn't exactly a low pressure gig he had at Real Madrid but by all accounts he handled everything very well after he settled into the job.

    And look ... different sports have different levels of buy-in when it comes to former players. Baseball has a ton of pretty prominent former players hanging around pretty much every club in some capacity or another. Lots of hitting instructors, instructional coaches and other various assistants are pretty well known alums. The step a lot of them are unwilling to take is going to the minors to REALLY learn how to manage a club. Ditto hockey. Lots of Brind'Amour and Housley types never get the chance to be head coaches because they aren't willing to go down and grind it out in the minors. But sooner or later a few of them get tapped for a head job due to circumstances or whatever. I doubt that will change much.

    Soccer has just been a bit more open to big name alums than some of the other sports. Plus, there's a million levels on which to cut your teeth, unlike the narrower path of North American sports. Get your credentials and licensing sorted and you can be breaking in working with a posh club's youth team nearly right away. And there's not that much travel for those positions either. It's just an lower bar for entry.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    The most successful current NBA coaches are Popovich and Kerr.
    I guess you said most successful and not best, so I guess I won't challenge you to a fight for leaving Brad Stevens off the list, though if just success is the barometer, you left off former NBA player Ty Lue who has been very successful (and definitely in charge of the team). I had forgotten about the random Magic coaching year, Bird was actually a pretty decent coach for his short stint, but yes, most of the players turned coaches tend to be roll players like Kerr, Lue, Rivers, Phil Jackson, Danny Ainge (the shockingly implausible former player turned good coach and great GM), Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley, Scott Skiles, etc. Also, you could argue that other than Kerr who took a kind of long training route as an analyst and a GM before taking a coaching job, almost all the former players have either retired, were never good, or the game has passed them by. It's now guys who have spent their time honing the craft of coaching and studying the game and adapting who are the top coaches and pretty much every player who became a successful head coach didn't jump right into a head coaching job right after retirement.

    The main point is that American sports got over the whole "he doesn't have to earn his dues as a coach, he was a star, that's earned enough" thing decades ago and the players have gotten over any thought of, what does this guy know, he's never played in a big game.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Yeah, didn’t name Stevens since he hasn’t won anything yet. I’m glad he’s in Boston though, it means my Villanova Wildcats don't have to play against him. Of all the others that you named, Sloan was probably the most accomplished NBA player.

    I think Bird and Magic got fed up with dealing with players who didn’t work as hard as they did as players. I guess the great soccer players like Zidane, etc., dealt with it better or didn’t have as big a problem with it. Maybe soccer players have a better work ethic.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Sloan was quite a good NBA player. As was Riley. Not Grade A, but Grade B at a minimum. The greats seems to be happier in management types of roles these days, not that any of them have been particularly good at it. MJ has been a nightmare in Charlotte (I know he's technically the owner, but c'mon), Bird had a run in Indy but was never really that good a GM, and Magic ... who knows what he's going to end up doing in LA aside from spending a lot of other people's money. Isaiah Thomas was a disaster in both roles.

    I think soccer management is more of a political job than a tactical one most of the time. And high end players get into that aspect of their clubs pretty heavily while they're still active. Maybe it's less of a transition for them.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    QPR accepts FFP sanctions from 2013-14. They’ll pay a fine of 17 million, reimburse the EFL 3 million, convert nearly 22 million of loans into club shares and they accepted a January transfer ban.

    https://www.qpr.co.uk/news/club-news...pute-with-efl/

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme retires at 32. He missed all of last season after being diagnosed with acute leukemia in July 2017. He was also Nigeria’s starting keeper but missed the World Cup. He made 200 appearances for Wolves since joining their academy as a 14 year old. He announced on Twitter that he’s in complete remission.

    https://www.wolves.co.uk/news/club/2...is-retirement/

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Forest Green Rovers in League Two have become the first professional sports team in the world to be certified carbon neutral by the United Nations. The stadium is powered entirely by renewable energy with 20% of it coming from solar power.

    http://www.espn.com/soccer/club/fore...n-neutral-team

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    For the record, back to the subject of Tierry Henry at Villa, our old friend Steve Bruce has done a tour of the media over the past weekend and is making noises like he's on board to carry on through the coming season. He's apparently had a series of meetings with the new ownership team and has settled the business plan for 2018-19. And they're making noises about keeping all of their active roster players. That means two things ... first, the roster is probably settled aside from any players they want to bring in on loan and a couple of dead weight vets they'd still like to offload, and secondly they're probably going to follow QPR's lead and negotiate a Financial Fair Play fine to get through this season.

    So, if the new Villa bankrollers were ever serious about bringing in Henry, it either fell apart or they just decided to go with Bruce's experience over Henry's energy. One other thing ... the new owners have definitely taken full operational control from Tony Xia, despite his title as Co-Chairman. That means less crazy, and more money. Both good things.
    Last edited by jeffbear; 08-01-2018 at 12:03 PM.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Stan Kroenke will buy Alisher Usmanov’s 30% stake in Arsenal. That will give him 97% ownership but it will enable him to force the Arsenal Supporters Trust to sell their 3% share to him. It will be the first time in Arsenal’s history that they’ll be owned by 1 person. The deal gives Arsenal a nominal value of 1.8 billion.

    http://www.espn.com/soccer/arsenal/s...b-in-18bn-deal

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45094538
    Last edited by andyt; 08-07-2018 at 08:00 AM.

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    Default Re: News Thread ... 2018-19 Season

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Stan Kroenke will buy Alisher Usmanov’s 30% stake in Arsenal. That will give him 97% ownership but it will enable him to force the Arsenal Supporters Trust to sell their 3% share to him. It will be the first time in Arsenal’s history that they’ll be owned by 1 person. The deal gives Arsenal a nominal value of 1.8 billion.

    http://www.espn.com/soccer/arsenal/s...b-in-18bn-deal

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45094538
    Now ... does Kroenke feel like winning, or does he just want to make money?

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