With British teams having made an early exit from European competition this year, there is little domestic interest in this week’s Champions League quarter-final ties. Instead, the focus of much of the English football public will already have switched to the forthcoming FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.
Some may say that the competition is a distraction from the important business of the Premier League, and others may say that the significance of reaching the final has been diminished by hosting the semi-finals at the home of English football. But that will not stop the remaining four teams giving it everything they have to make it through. In this article we look at four of the men who will be shouldering much of the goalscoring responsibility for their teams at Wembley. Continue reading →
The English Premier League has confirmed that it will be sharing a significant portion of the new television money to the lower leagues.
The Premier League has been heavily criticised for widening the gap between the Championship and the English top division. Clubs in the Premier league can earn – through television money – in a single campaign what they would on for a decade in the Championship. Such wide gulf in class could mean bad for the game going forward, but Premier league chief executive Richard Scudamore has confirmed that the lower leagues will now receive £1 billion – over three years – from next season onwards.
This figure is a substantial increase from the current £700 million provided to the lower leagues. This increase comes after Premier league negotiated a new £ 5 million deal with sky and BT for television rights starting from the 2016 season. The league will be investing this figure in five areas – grassroots, participation, solidarity, disadvantaged groups, and matchday experience. Some have criticised the small increase in additional revenue, but it represents an increase of more than 40% over the existing deal. Premier league, meanwhile, had a £ 3 billion deal with its existing broadcasters. The league has the potential to learn more depending upon international sales figures. Continue reading →
The Premier League has once again proven to be the most marketable league in the world after negotiating a £ 5 billion deal with Sky and BT for the live telecast rights.
This deal will come into force from the 2016-17 season and it will make the Premier League clubs even richer. It would finally enable the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal to compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, who boast of huge TV money to go along with the large commercial revenue from the sponsors. TV money is a major contributor to the finances of a club.
The latest deal will see the bottom club in the Premier League receive more money than several time European champions Ajax, who play in the Dutch league. It remains to be seen if this huge sum of money will trickle down to the lower levels of British football. Currently, only a small fraction of the amount goes into the championship and the lower stages as parachute payments. Premier league has promised to support grassroots level football at a much bigger scale than it is currently funded. The news comes as a welcome boost for the likes of Manchester City, who failed to comply with the FFP regulations. Continue reading →
The Everton boss Roberto Martinez has refused to go too much into the statements made by Kevin Mirallas just ahead of the last weekend’s Merseyside derby.
Amidst all the excitement about the derby, Mirallas spoke to one of the Belgian dailies about his desire of featuring in the European Cup. In that interview, the winger said he would not mind taking transfer to a club where he gets to play European games. Continue reading →
The Premier League and the Major League Soccer both will be looking to expand their exposure in television by having more matches televised and broadcasted by more channels in 2015.
The Premier League is working on introducing regular Friday night live matches and have a total 168 live matches available per season for a fan to be able to watch on their household.
Even some major technology companies such as: Apple and Youtube are believed to be thinking about bidding to buy digital rights for matches where they could have the liberty of uploading certain matches to their online platforms.
Meanwhile on the MLS, the 2015 will be bringing a new level of exposure of football to the United States which is not considered to be one of the biggest or most influential sports in the country. Univision, ESPN and Fox are all of the networks that will get an exclusive national broadcast window each weekend as they all signed a $720 million rights deal with the American League which starts on 2015.
The matches that are going to be broadcasted by the Univision network will have the chance of being viewed in English and Spanish as well as this increases the amount of audience that would be interested in sitting at home and watch their favorite club playing in the MLS.
This is the first time ever that Univision has ever had streaming rights to its MLS broadcasts as well as being the first time that Univision is going to be production their own broadcasts from their own site instead of having a feed produced by a simultaneous local broadcast.
Next year, ESPN will also have online streaming rights to every MLS game which is not broadcasted national in United States and this allows fans from across America to be able to watch matches through the website of ESPN and a number of their applications.
Roma finally managed to pull themselves together and achieve consistency in the game after a 2-0 win over Cesena. The Italian club where in contention for the title along with Juventus at the start of the season. They managed to win six straight matches before this win was brought to an end with a 3-2 defeat against Juventus. Since then, the wheels appeared to follow from Rudi Garcia’s team after they suffered defeats, especially the one against Bayern Munich where they lost 7-1, in a row. The team finally managed to get back level on points with Juventus after the win over Cesena.
This was made possible because Juventus also dropped points after a 1-0 defeat against Genoa. This was the first of their season. They are now level on points with Roma, who are a comfortable six points ahead of third placed Milan after nine matches. Legend Francesco Totti has spoken about the importance of these three points. Roma appeared to lose their composure in recent weeks after the boss is less against Juventus and Bayern. They have now gone four matches without defeat and there will be looking to build on this run.
Despite being 38 years old, Totti continues to be an important part of the Roma team. His best goal this season came against Manchester City in the 1-1 draw. “I agree completely with what the coach said in his thoughts afterwards. Any result apart from a victory could have been a serious mis-step for us and in these games, it is essential to take maximum points. It is especially important at this stage of the season where there are many games and they are so close together so we must continue like this without slowing down,” said the striker, who also has three assists to his name this season.
Roma coach Rudi Garcia has claimed that his team will be focused only on the upcoming league match against Empoli rather than the Champions League encounter in the midweek. Roma return to the Champions League after several years, which has raised the expectation levels in the Italian capital. The club, though, will not be detracting from the primary job at hand – winning the league title – according to manager Garcia, who led the club to a second-place finish in his first season at the club. Roma are expected to rest a couple of important names like Gervinho for this encounter.
The club have begun the new season with a 2-0 win over Fiorentina which was a huge morale booster. Fiorentina were expected to be one of the challenges for a Champions League place at the end of the campaign. Garcia’s men looked impressive in the opening weekend, but this away match against Empoli could prove tricky. Their opponents lost 2-0 to Udinese on the opening day of the season. They are expected to struggle with relegation this campaign, but home advantage could be a major reason for worry.
Roma are in a very difficult group in the Champions League as they will face CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, and Bayern Munich. They open the campaign with a home match against CSKA Moscow. “I have to keep the team focused on Empoli, for me this is the big game. I do not even remember that we have to play on Wednesday. The international break? It’s happened before with Fiorentina, we only had two days to get everything ready. It’s new, however, we have demonstrated a great capacity to adapt and tomorrow will show that it takes two days to prepare for the match,” said Garcia.
Roma need to take three points against CSKA in order to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Former Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has revealed that one of the reasons for joining Roma after deciding to leave Chelsea was the presence of a player like Francesco Totti. The England international recently left Chelsea after eight years for the club. During this period, he cemented his reputation as one of the world’s best left back. Towards the end of his Chelsea career, though, first-team opportunities became far and few between. It was becoming apparent that Chelsea were not going to offer a new deal.
Hence, Cole started negotiations with clubs from across the world. It was heavily expected that he would complete a move to the MLS since North America is one of the favourite places for the 33-year-old. Cole, though, has shocked everyone by completing a move to Roma. He has signed a two-year contract with the Italian club, who finished second in the table last season. It clearly shows that most of the top clubs in the world still regard Cole as one of the best left backs. Cole has played for the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal – two London clubs with a lot of rivalry.
He says that he is quite amazed at how Totti has been able to become one of the Roma legends by staying at the club throughout his career despite interest from several clubs.
“Why Roma? It’s a great club with real ambition. Last year they came second. I talked with the Coach and he expressed the ambitions he had and showed a real will to win. I want to contribute to a team that will win the League. I faced Totti several teams, the first when I was 19, 20. He was extraordinary. He’s a god here. I’m sure we’ll have a good chat soon,” said the former Arsenal defender after signing the contract.
Colombian forward James Rodriguez says that they will not be feeling any pressure ahead of the World Cup quarter-final match with Brazil. Colombia managed to overcome one Latin American team in the form of Uruguay to reach the quarter-finals of the competition. Their progression in the tournament so far has been hugely helped by the form of James Rodriguez, who at 22 years of age is looking like a star in the making. He has scored five goals and is leading scorer in the tournament, when he has also contributed through assists as well.
Brazil will be providing the toughest test for Colombia so far in this tournament. As the hosts of the World Cup and one of the strongest teams in the world, Brazil will be considered as favourites to win the match. However, the odds have been slightly shifted after the latest round of last 16 matches. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team struggled to find a way past Chile in the last 16 match. The only narrowly scraped through after a penalty shootout win. The prospect of having to come up against another South American team will be viewed with dissatisfaction amongst the Brazilian players.
Colombia have been a surprise package and Rodriguez feels that they can continue this form going into the quarter-finals as well. “Obviously, we have to watch Brazil closely. They have very good players and they play good football, but they’ll have to watch us closely as well. There’s no pressure, we have good players and we can be dangerous. I think it’s going to be a beautiful match. I only want to help the team. I’m playing at a good level. We’re scoring goals and I’m happy because of that,” said the 22-year-old forward who moved to Monaco last summer. He is valued at more than £ 30 million.
Sky Sports has launched a dedicated channel for European football coverage. Sky Sports 5 will be coming along with the package without any extra cost. This will be providing the user with all forms of European football like Euro 2016 qualifying matches, Champions League, Spanish league, and Copa del Rey along with the numerous of the matches as well. For the first time, British users will be able to watch the Dutch Eredivisie on Sky Sports 5. The channel intends to show matches involving top teams like Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, and FC Twente.
Sky Sports has been facing intense competition from BT sports in recent months. BT sports recently managed to get the rights for the Champions League from the next season onwards. In order to cope with the extra pressure, sky see this new channel as an alternative. It remains to be seen how they will schedule the matches once the Champions League rights go away to BT sports. The competition between these two giants has seen television money increase rapidly. Premier League clubs recently registered a huge increase in the television money compared to last season.
Even the team that finished bottom of the table got £ 60 million and in addition to the parachute payments that they will receive over the next four years. “Sky Sports 5 takes our unrivalled live football coverage to the next level offering more European football than ever before. There’s never been a better time to be a Sky Sports customer and with two years’ free totally unlimited broadband, we offer the ultimate package for sports fans,” said the managing director of Sky Sports. “Sky Sports 5 will offer all the drama and excitement that European football has to offer and I’ll certainly be gripped,” said brand ambassador David Beckham about the new channel.