Land of Hope and Glory
With Euro 2016 qualifiers stretching into this week, the nation remained utterly underwhelmed by England’s win against Switzerland on Monday. Danny Welbeck produced both goals in the game, which was hailed by pundits across the land as “alright”.
The problem is, despite a “convincing” win (I’m calling a goal difference of 2 “convincing”, even if they actually had less possession and only two shots on goal more than the Swiss), no one seemed to care, apart from the scary people in the scary pub over the way from me. So much so, in fact, that dear old Michael Owen “insightful” comments that we have “lost belief” in the national team and that England would need to actually not be rubbish for us to believe they were capable of not being rubbish.
Newly-appointed captain, Wayne Rooney, will be hoping to improve the team’s performance from “alright” to an emphatic “ok” by continuing his player-only meetings, which one presumes are a bit like when your company tries to look like it cares about the results of its annual staff survey by letting you slag them off for an hour or so.
Bills Bills Bills
Back in the Premier League, newly-promoted Queen’s Park Rangers are apparently already attempting to swerve the rocketing bullet of relegation, but bizarrely, from a league they aren’t actually currently competing in.
It’s all rather complicated to be honest, but essentially, the Football League’s Financial Fair Play rules limit the amount of losses a club can make within a season. Those clubs in breach of the rules who remain within the Football League face a transfer embargo, but those “fortunate” enough to win promotion have to pay a hefty fine, instead. Having made losses well over the threshold in the 2012/13 season, QPR are expected to reveal similar losses for the season of their promotion 2013/14 in November, which could lead to a fine exceeding £50m.
Precisely how fair these rules, which are designed to incentivise sound and sustainable financial management within League clubs, are remains a contentious issue, but failure to pay the fine could, in theory, lead to a club being banned from the Football League.
In QPR’s case, were they to face relegation from the Premier League at the end of the season having not settled their fine, they would effectively be relegated to the Conference. Let’s face it, there are quite a lot of hypotheticals here, a pretty good incentive to fight to stay in the top flight next season, nonetheless. But even the Big Dogs of the Premier League aren’t safe from these troubling economic times as even Manchester United announced an 84% fall in profits.
Far from finding their own football-y utopia, further stadium woes ensue for Tottenham Hotspur. Having made an unsuccessful bid to move to the Olympic Stadium, Spurs now face a year of being displaced from White Hart Lane owing to legal squabbles with the landowners of their not-yet-built new home next to the existing stadium.
Despite land for the new 58,000 capacity ground having been bought back in July, some manner of legal squabble with the landowners has led to a revised (read “bungled”) construction programme which will see the team moving out of the current ground for an entire season. An alternative venue for home games, that season, apparently include the, er, Olympic Stadium. *Awkward!*
Still, if it eases congestion on the way to Ikea, I for one will be very happy with the outcome.
Read more from Jen Offord here!