Do UEFA’s Financial Reforms Unfairly Target Manchester City?

al-mubarak_lrg_03In an exclusive interview for the Guardian, Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak criticized Michel Platini’s planned control of football club expenditure. He has a point.

Platini wants new financial rules by 2012. Under those guidelines, Clubs would spend within their soccer-generated income. Failure to do so would end in a European ban. Khaldoon argues that this calcifies the status quo.

Continued at EPL Talk


UEFA Rescinds Diving Penalty for Eduardo

UEFA has rescinded Eduardo’s two match diving ban, clearing him Arsenal’s first group stage match against Standard Liege.

Eduardo sparked the controversy against Celtic during qualification, falling before anticipated contact from Celtic keeper Artur Boruc. The contact never came, but the referee awarded Arsenal a penalty.

UEFA’s decision was correct.

Eduardo anticipated the situation incorrectly. He made a mistake. We should distinguish between that and a lame attempt to deceive the referee.

Had he been caught by the referee, Eduardo would have received a yellow-card for simulation, not a two-match ban. UEFA was not punishing him for the crime, but for the effect it had.

The precedent would be ludicrous as well. Diving, however odious, is ever-present. Two-match bans for each instance would be ubiquitous. Players would still dive, and there would be far fewer great ones to watch.

Diving is natural. It won’t be eradicated by no-nonsense enforcement. The solution should allow referees to decide correctly. That may mean extra officials on the goal-line.

UEFA to Fine Arsenal and Manchester United £5,000, Why Bother?

nemanja_vidicUEFA will fine both Arsenal and Manchester United £5,000 respectively for fan incidents during last years Champions League semifinals.  An Arsenal fan hit Nemanja Vidic with a plastic bottle.  A Manchester United supporter hurled a smoke bomb onto the pitch.    The actions were potentially serious.  The fines are not.

UEFA functions like all bureaucracies.  It continues actions without a hint of rational analysis, solely because it was policy beforehand.  Has no one questioned the purpose of these penalties?

Continued at EPL Talk

Could the Economy Create a Super League in European Soccer?

michel_platini_mene_le_jeu_par_petites_touches_a_l_uefa_resize_crop320par220jpgCould the Economy Create a Super League in European Soccer: UEFA is willing to listen to the ECA about creating a “Super League” in Europe.  It may sound far-fetched now, but if the buoying TV contracts begin to falter, don’t be surprised.