Three Ways to Sell Merchandise at a Football Tournament

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One of the ways you can turn your tournament into a revenue-generating event is to sell your own merchandise.  Shirts and other souvenirs are items you can sell that will not only improve the memorability of your tournament, but also help finance the event.  However, it is also possible for the opposite to happen and selling merchandise could cost you money if you don’t do it right.

If you order a quantity of merchandise that is too high, you could end up on the hook for anything that doesn’t sell.  While this is always going to be a risk, it’s one that you can minimize by running your sales well.

Here are three ways that as a football tournament director, you can improve your merchandise profits.


1.  Sell Online and Allow Pre-Orders

With modern web applications you can fairly easily add a basic online store to your tournament or club website. You’ll need to have a basic design to show your prospective buyers, but you don’t need to have your full inventory ready yet.  This will allow all coaches, players, and any other visitors to pre-order any merchandise that they are interested in.

First and foremost this obviously gives you guaranteed revenue, but maybe more importantly it will give you a better indication of your demographics.  By learning about the most common sizes and what merchandise is most popular you can determine which items you need to stock up on the most.


2.  Contact Coaches of Registered Teams and Increase Visibility

As the football tournament director you probably already contact coaches before the tournament for various reasons, but do you ever mention merchandise?  Not only can you inform them if you have an online store up, but you can also ask them to send a quick email to team parents about your merchandise set-up at the tournament.

Secondly, make sure your merchandise booth at the tournament itself is highly visible.

Ideally it should be right beside the sign-in tent with easy to see signs.  There’s nothing worse than losing a customer who was planning to buy a few things before the tournament because they couldn’t find the booth.

Having a highly visible booth will also allow you to give directions beforehand easier.


3.  Run Team Specials

Just like any other retail store, running specials can help your revenue.  There are many things you can offer, but it’s up to your judgement to determine what will bring in the most revenue based on the wants of the visitors and the merchandise you have access to.

One popular tactic would be to give a team a free ball if they bought 10 or more t-shirts as a team. Another is to run a buy-two-get-one-free t-shirt deal so that a pair of parents with a child player will be tempted to buy the set for the family.


Concluding Remarks

You should spend a serious amount of time and effort on improving the sales of your tournament as the soccer tournament director. While the quality of the tournament is always the primary focus, realize that good merchandising can contribute to the experience for the registered teams.

Not only that, but more revenue will allow you to offer more tournament features in future events.


Written by Dale Cahill

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Pre-season friendlies: Have they become a victim of football’s obsessive media scrutiny?

Pre-season friendlies are an established part of football’s close season. With the pressure of the various league competitions forcing clubs to be ready to hit the ground running, friendlies play an important role in ensuring players’ fitness and bedding in new signings.

Having spent several weeks with little to no physical exertion, footballers can be forgiven for being sluggish in their first few weeks of training. More than this, the summer transfer window sees the majority of teams face at least some upheaval in their squads, as departures need to be plugged and new faces accepted.

Additionally, coaches can play around with new formations and blood potential stars, luxuries not permitted in the ultra-competitive league format. Over recent years, however, friendlies have created more and more media interest.

Real Madrid’s pre-season match against Shamrock Rovers, featuring the debut of the one-and-only Cristiano Ronaldo, was a tepid affair, settled only by a late Benzema goal. Having spent over 180-million-pounds that summer, many expected Real to annihilate their opponents. The score, though, was not where the popular interest lay. The match was an exhibition, an opportunity for Real to showcase the attacking talent that they held, and to allow salivating fans their first chance of seeing Ronaldo in action.

More than this, the friendly served as a glorified fitness check, ensuring the Madrid players were in acceptable shape. Friendly in name only, this type of fixture does possess a serious drawback – the attitude of the opponents. Refusing to lie down and die, Shamrock attempted to match their superior foes through sheer physicality. Although an accepted part of football, a problem for managers is the risk of losing their star players to injury in an ultimately meaningless friendly.

Another footballing superpower, Manchester United, took a different approach to their pre-season preparations. Renowned for having a huge following in the Far East, United took the team to them, playing a series of fixtures in China. This not only swells their coffers in the short-term through merchandising, but also serves to raise their profile even higher.

Additionally, their friendlies against inferior opponents have allowed new summer signings acquired in previous years such as Michael Owen a chance to show his prowess by netting four goals in as many matches. This helped eases fans’ worries over his suitability for the team, and encouraged high hopes heading into that season. United’s financial gains were surely welcomed, but is this reason enough to justify the trip?

Every club must balance their accounts, but United may well have let greed choose an unsuitable pre-season. Another example of a pre-season friendly that raised the hopes of fans and players alike is provided by Villarreal’s 27-0 demolition of third-division Navata in 2009. Whilst United’s success on tour and Villarreal’s record-breaking victory can have a psychological impact on the team and the fans, that wasn’t why they were scheduled.

Results aren’t important in friendlies. An example of this: Newcastle’s 6-1 humiliation at the hands of League One side Leyton Orient. It was a result that hinted at the possibility of malaise gripping the club, but it doesn’t hide the talent still resting there. The fixture meant nothing to the players who would have shown more fight in a competitive match. Although it would have been another blow to severely weakened morale, that one result will have no effect on the club’s overall season.

Symbolic of the hyperbolic world of friendlies was the Wembley Cup, a competition featuring Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, Celtic and Egyptian Champions Al-Ahly. This served the traditional purpose of a pre-season competition by allowing players to adjust into vaguely competitive football again.

However, the marketing aspect of the competition demonstrated how serious friendlies could be, portraying a glorified training session as one of the prizes of European football. The crowds that swelled to Wembley (with a two-day ticket reaching £100) illustrated the moneymaking potential of pre-season, and football as a whole.

Friendlies should be merely opportunities for players to prepare for the upcoming campaigns. Instead, they become more victims of football’s obsessive media scrutiny. Victories and defeats should count for nothing, but are seized upon and used as evidence to praise or vilify players and teams. These stories are lapped up by fans, desperate for any indication of how their team will fare in the coming season.

The financial side of friendlies just demonstrates how commercial modern football is, with fans charged for the privilege of watching their team prepare.


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Ghana in Brazil: Review of Go Go Black Stars…GOAL! Anthem by Wiyaala

Wiyaala did not just amaze Africa with her fierce ball winning and tackling abilities during her time at the Upper West Girls team, she is now back dazzling the world with her singing prowess.

‘The Young lioness of Africa’ from Wa, otherwise known as Wiyaala, blends the use of tribal drums, big stadium choruses, three Ghanaian languages and English.

The tribal drums can be clearly heard as the song starts. It creates an ambience of excitement as Wiyaala readies herself and her crowd for the excitement that is to come. Wa must have learnt this from K’Naan whose song ‘Waving Flag’ was used as a 2010 World Cup club banger. Wa doesn’t disappoint as the words “GO, GO, GO” start a beautiful exploration of music.

Her use of the words “It’s time to show the world again what we’ve got’’ doesn’t just relate to Ghananians alone, the whole of Africa is immersed into this strong sentiment drawing to Ghana’s heroics at the 2010 World Cup. Still in a mourning or healing stage after the Gyan penalty miss?, the hope it offers an escape route in the shape of music.

Whether in your car stereo, the stadium speakers or your home theatre- this song will get you rocking as you wait for the World Cup.

At 1.18 minutes - for a preview track - it’s a little brief especially for those who would love to interact more with Wiyaala’s voice and message, for a pre-match chant though: Wave your flag, press play and enjoy as the players exchange pleasantries before kick-off.

Below is the preview track of Wiyaala’s World Cup anthem for Ghana’s national team:


About Wiyaala (taken from the song’s press release): Wiyaala, “The Young Lioness of Africa,” is an Afro-Pop sing-er/songwriter, artist, actress, and ambassador of African culture from Funsi, Upper West Ghana. Noella Wiyaala (full name) infuses the giant pop sounds of David Foster with the modern funk and flair of Janelle Monae.

She won two Golden Moments awards at the 2011 edition of “Stars of the Future,” and later became a winner of Vodafone Icons Mixed Edition. Wiyaala is also known for standing up for women’s rights, having a very distinctive androgynous image herself.


Review written by John Aggrey, whom you can follow on Twitter @Superjohna07.

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Football: What does it mean and how us fans shape our lives around it

There comes a time where we must all grow up. Young boys stop playing with little action figures and move on to games consoles, young girls stop wearing their mothers make-up and start wearing their own. We all go to secondary school, reach an age where an interest in the opposite sex grows and we watch more shows created for an older fanbase, as opposed to the kid’s TV we used to enjoy.

We can change our minds so easily when we grow up. We outgrow almost everything from our childhood, be it a show, a board game or an obsession with our favourite teddy or toy that never left our side. Even hobbies find their way of slowly drifting from our routines and finding their place in our memories, never to be forgotten.

One thing that seldom changes, however, is relationships. Some even grow stronger. Childhood friends become school friends, school friends become work friends, maybe even partners. Having an affinity with something rarely changes, and it’s the same with football.

Football can shape the childhood of children so easily. We watch and become transfixed by one player, one team or just the sport in general. For children in football mad families, it is inevitable that they will watch football from early. As a young boy in an Arsenal mad family there was no other team I was ever going to watch, and when I did watch I was hooked by Thierry Henry.

He was my first idol, the first player I fell in love with. And even today, the sight of Thierry Henry or the mere mention of his name buckles me up and takes me down the greatest evocative road I’ve ever journeyed on. Reliving the moments that lit up my childhood, experiencing those moments again. Just fantastic.

To this day, as an 18-year old, I will admit that if it come down to going on a date with a beautiful female or going to watch the Arsenal, I’d pick Arsenal. She may be upset by that so I’d invite her along. If she says no then that’s her problem, not mine. However strong that may sound, football has played a part in my life so huge that living without it would be fairly difficult. It’s an escape, and the same for many other people.

People shape their lives around football. Socially and professionally, everything is built around football. Unfortunately though, not for me, professionally speaking. I work when most Arsenal games are on, and as an 18-year old I’m sadly unable to dictate when I work.

Money comes first when you’re building for a future. Needs must. But it’s not the same for others. People book days off from work to go to games. Even if they’re just going to watch it down the pub with some friends, football comes first.

It’s a strange connection, as people who don’t love football are unable to comprehend the feeling felt by fans when a goal is scored, a pass is misplaced or the ball is controlled. All these footballers are really are just normal people who can kick a ball better than the rest of us, but it’s not as simple as that.

As kids we idolise these men and treat them as superheroes and when we grow up we just sit back and watch in awe. They become parts of our lives and on the back of interviews and performances we end up feeling like we know them.

It even influences the way we use social media, particularly on Twitter. Many people you’ll find on there use it solely to air views and discuss football. There’s something about mixing social media and watching football that results in a narcissistic belief that our views are superior to others. Opinions in the world vary, but on social media the passion we hold for our clubs exudes into 140 characters and any objection comes across as disparagement. So, naturally, we bite back.

Peronally speaking as a reserved individual, football provides a platform for conversation. With not many interests other than the beautiful game finding a middle ground is difficult, and relating to people is rare. With all this in mind, football is the most important thing in my life and it’s played a huge part in the development of me as a person. It’s taught me many different emotions and even a few swear words along the way. Like millions of my fellow humans, I don’t know where I’d be without football.

Football elicits emotion that is not comparable to anything in life. Loyalty to your club is not a choice, it is an obligation; something that is very much permanent; like a birthmark, or a mole - something we cannot remove from ourselves. No matter how frustrating we may consider our connection with a football club to be, there is no doubt that however illogical perserverance through frustration sounds, it would sound even more illogical to contemplate removing your loyalty.

So loving football isn’t necessarily a choice, it’s a requirement. And it’s fun to be part of a community that’s so widespread yet united as one. It’s a wonderful feeling. And that’s why football will always come first.


Written by Ryan Goodenough

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Personal Feature: Three top players I wish I had seen in their prime

Football has long played a huge part in the lives of many people, and football players have left many memories for those who have witnessed their talents. Memories that can be passed on and kept alive for future generations.

Having been born in 1995, I’d perhaps be considered part of the last generation to have witnessed the greatest players from 2000 onwards, and I would consider myself fortunate enough to be at the age where I am able to pass on some wonderful memories. There’s nothing like football to make you feel old.

Being a kid and growing up learning about football is a truly mesmerising experience. Your eyes open to a world full of professionals who have mastered their craft, transfixed by skill, technique and innate ability combined with the rewards for hard work. Past or present, some footballers have lit up the world more than any player of their generation can dream of. It’s due to the learning of football that I’m writing this.

I have learnt a lot from other people, books, videos, documentaries, and because of that learning I am familiar with some of the greatest players to ever play without ever being alive to see them at their best.

So, as to not digress any further, here are  players that I wish I had seen play


3 - PELE

Probably the greatest goalscorer of all the time, the Brazilian scored over 1000 goals for Santos and grabbed 77 goals in his 92 games for his country. Pretty impressive. He is also the only player to ever win the World Cup three times.

During his international career, he helped create Brazil’s synonymy with the beautiful game, taking them to a new level alongside some great teammates. He could dribble at pace, score goals, had skill and a great mind, as proven with his famous ‘runaround move’ around the Uruguayan ‘keeper in the 1970 World Cup.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele was given the nickname “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football) and will go down as perhaps the greatest Brazilian footballer ever.



Alongside Pele, The Black Panther as he was known, took goalscoring to a new level, and the pair were perhaps the Ronaldo and Messi of their time. Two players above everyone else, scoring goals for fun. With so much power and athleticism he became an unstoppable force in Benfica’s quest to dominate Europe, and was a similar feature in Portugal’s National Team too.

After his recent passing, many players who have had the pleasure of facing him spoke fondly. A gentleman in the game, a player who was almost impossible to stop, one of the best ever - many things were said, and all positive. Born in Mozambique, he was signed by Benfica after rejecting a trial from their rivals, Sporting. They missed out on one of the greatest players ever.

He had pace, a powerful shot, strength and many other attributes that propelled him to excellence. Admittedly, I’m not the most knowledgable when it comes to Eusebio, but he’s a player that I’ve enjoyed watching back. If only I could’ve seen him first hand.



“When he was out there, the pitch was a circus ring, the ball a tamed animal, the match a party invitation. Garrincha nurtured his pet, the ball, and together they created such mischief that people almost died laughing. He jumped over it, it gambolled around him, hid itself away, skipped off and made him run after it. And on the way, his opponents ran into each other.”

Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan writer, puts it perfectly. Garrincha played football to entertain; to enjoy himself; for the fun of it. He was not worried about the money, the occassion or the opposition: he would take on any right-back in the world, and beat him. He cared only for football and women.

Give him the ball and he would provide many people with pure joy. While Pele may stand as the greatest Brazilian player ever, Garrincha will always be the most adored. His Botafogo and Brazil team-mate Amarildo, who replaced Pele in the 1962 World Cup after his injury, states that Garrincha is the only player who is loved by every one. Fans of rivals love him like the fans of Botafogo; he belonged to Brazil.

With a turbulent lifestyle and bent legs, Garrincha’s talent was outstanding. However, that turbulent lifestyle ultimately cost him. After retiring from football, he was no longer able to sweat out the alcohol he was drinking and it took its toll, leading to his death. It’s his incredible story that drew my interest in him. Learning of his life and watching old clips of him has been great fun, although it would have been more fun to have seen him live.

Taking on a defender then turning back to take him on again is something not done in today’s era, but done all the time by Garrincha. He was an entertainer, rightly nicknamed Alegria do Povo and undoubtedly a joy to watch. Just a shame I never had the opportunity.


Some other names:

Personally speaking, I couldn’t simply pick just 3. That would be far too difficult, but after much deliberation I decided I had to.

However there were some others in the running:
Marco van Basten, a player I fell in love with during Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial. You could see the class with every touch of the ball, even flicking it over the head of one defender (Steve Bould if I remember correctly) and unleashing a sweet left-foot volley which was saved by Mart Poom.

As an Arsenal fan there are many players I wish I’d have had the pleasure of watching. Liam Brady, Charlie George, Paul Davis and Bob Wilson to name a few, and as a follower of the Brazilian National Team Socrates and Zico spring to mind as well. Puskas is another who has intrigued me. Many great players have graced football pitches over the years, and many have left memories in the minds of fans. Memories to be cherished and passed on.

Divulging into the history of the sport is a pleasure for many young fans, and maybe in 30 years time another teenager will be sitting there wishing they could’ve witnessed the brilliance of Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho or whoever, but one thing’s for certain - players come and go, but great players remain.

Thank you for reading.


Written by Ryan Goodenough

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Real Madrid: A Memorable Day At The Stadium Tour

Football fans who are visiting Madrid absolutely must visit the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Should you not be able to make that visit, then at least take some of your visit time to take a stadium tour of the most impressive football stadium in the world. You’ll be standing on top of the world when you visit this stadium.

No visit to Madrid is complete without this fantastic stadium tour. Whether you’re a football fan or not, young and old alike will appreciate and enjoy learning more about the historical facts of this venue.


Pricing For The Stadium

Inexpensively priced for adults and even less for children who are under 14, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the stadium and dream for a moment about the Champions League Final in which you’re the key player. Let yourself sit back and picture your life as a championship player.

Children will enjoy the fantasy and you’ll feel the energy of the crowd as you make that winning goal. If you’re wondering about other possible discounts, you’ll also get a steep discount if you’re a member of the fan club. Well worth the time and effort. Young and old alike will appreciate this visit.


Plenty To Enjoy On Your Visit

Tours are available year round between 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday has reduced hours. On match days it may be a bit more difficult to gain access to the changing area but it is still possible.

Visitors are given free reign to peruse the Trophy Room which is interactive. Children love interactive tools and exhibits so plan to spend some time simply interacting with all that they have to offer on your visit to the Trophy room. With a lot of great exhibitions including tributes to many legendary figures.

You’ll appreciate and enjoy the finer details of this stadium. Take a stroll around the pitch and up into the gods via the top of the stadium. Make sure to snap some fabulous photos for your own collection. Sit down and picture yourself coaching in Madrid and impersonate Jose Mourinho or Carlo Ancelotti.

Feel the power as you picture them emerging from the tunnels. One day, you can say to your grandchildren “I was there” and of course tell them all about your fabulous trip and how you stood in the stadium in that very spot.

Don’t forget to visit the press rooms and practice interviewing your friends before you move on to the rest of your trip. For a brief moment you can say you were there, at the best football club in the world. Be sure to grab some video of it to share with friends and family.

Have The Most Amazing Time

Now that you’ve taken the trip, think about your stay and let others know your reviews:

Both soccer and Madrid fans will say it’s one of the most amazing stadium tours available. the trophy room is put together very nicely and you’ll be able to appreciate the history behind the club. Even someone who doesn’t follow the game can enjoy this as much as you. This is a definite highlight of the stay.

Even if your favorite team isn’t Real Madrid, you’ll enjoy and appreciate the museum and feel the history of soccer in the tour. You’ll never regret the time you took to take this tour.

One of the most amazing tours in Madrid and even more unique when you enjoy a trip to the Bernabeu. Enjoy and appreciate the views as you walk along the Stadium and revel in the breathtaking tour.


Other Great Tours To Enjoy While You’re In Madrid


The Prado Museum Tour

Housing one of the largest art and sculpture collections in the world, this museum houses paintings by the likes of Tintoretto, Goya and El Greco. Picasso and Rubens are also showcased. reasonably priced and if you go during the last few hours of the day, your entry fee is free.

Make this your afternoon or evening closing sight for any day.


Retiro Park (Also Known As Parque del Retiro)

Known as the lungs of Madrid, this park is very close to the Prado. Ideal for a combined visit. Set on over 320 acres and completely enclosed with Palaces as well as museums and lakes with boating and beautiful gardens to walk through. Something is always going on as you take a moment to stroll around and enjoy local musicians who are entertaining the crowds.

You’ll enjoy stalls with plenty to see and do. You’ll enjoy taking a leisurely stroll through the park and learning more about Spain’s military history.

If you enjoy Charlton Heston, you’ll like visiting the El Cid’s sword that is on display from the movie El Cid he starred in.

Royal Palace of Madrid

No trip to Madrid would be complete without a visit to the Royal Palace. With over 2000 opulently decorated rooms you’ll get a taste of the luxury from bygone eras. Take along your passport as there is an entry fee however, it is free if you’re from EU.

These special free hours are during winter months from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and in summer months from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. You won’t be sorry you took the time to visit this palace.

Picture your life living here and living in such opulence.


Amy Rice writes for when not writing I enjoy spending time with my daughter, going to the gym and playing adventure golf.

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Manchester United: Moyes between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Last night must have been one of the worst of my life. I am a football fan, yes. But on top of everything, I am a staunch, unrepentant supporter of Manchester United and what the club stands for. For almost two decades, I have loved and followed the red devils and long may that remain.

This Premier League season has been intriguing and exciting to say the least. Irrespective of where our allegiances lie, this campaign might be the best we have ever witnessed the way events are unfolding.

However, one man is a beleaguered and confused spectator thus far. Sometimes, I think of what I can actually do to the Scot who was handpicked by SAF to take over the managerial responsibilities of MANCHESTER UNITED. Unfortunately, my hands are tied.

David Moyes has won the LMA award three times in his career and only SAF (RETIRED) and Arsene Wenger have taken the MOTM (Manager of the month) gong more times than him since he became a top flight manager. He has the credentials to coach any team in the country but I am beginning to doubt if the present one is part of the ‘pot’. The former Celtic defender has only been here for five months and all our enviable records against every team in the League are disappearing faster than anyone could ever have imagined.

When SAF was delivering his final speech at the Theatre, he said ‘The fans MUST stand by their new manager’, knowing fully well how rough his first few years where before he starting hitting the right notes and accumulating titles like they were going out of fashion.

Those times seem to be lost now. Memories we would have liked to remain fresh if his replacement does well to keep up with the winning tradition. So far, so underwhelming, so frustrating, and so depressing. 14 games into the 13/14 Season and it is W6-D4-L4. For EVERY other team, it would seem a pretty decent record, but not for a club in the stature of Manchester United. The position is even more shameful. 9th? Holy Christ.

For God’s sake, we are staring at the likes of Soton, N’castle, Everton and Spurs ahead of us after more than a third of the total no of games have been played. It isn’t something out of the ordinary that Arsenal, Citeh, Cfc and Liverpool lead the pack with the gooners setting the pace quite remarkably and Ozil providing the needed flair and maturity of a WINNER.

It’s all doom and gloom at M62. With the departures of Gill and SAF, the club has been positioned under the leadership of Edward Woodward- a man who from all indications, knows absolutely nothing about being at the forefront of greatness. The man is bereft of ideas and has done nothing to improve the club since he was promoted.

The last transfer window was probably the worst in the club’s history with the failed pursuits of Fabregas, Thiago, Ander Herrera, Leighton Baines are a host of others, the major talking point(s). Toothless and tactless. More painfully, we panicked at the last minute and paid far more for Maroaune Fellaini than he was valued by the club he served for half a decade. Bad bad bad all the way.

More saddening is the disgraceful statistic that the Belgian giant has failed to start a League game for us and end up on the winning side. Yesterday night was probably his best game for the club and it still ended up in disappointment.

Before Moyes came, the likes of West Brom would come to the Theatre knowing fully well that only a point could surface whatever they brought to the table. This season, everything has turned for the worse. The differences between the way Fergie took over and his woes in the early part of his reign and Moyes’ are glaring for all to see.

SAF left a league dominating side for Moyes, whereas the great Scot inherited a rotten team staring at relegation in the face with morale at its lowest ebb. Nothing can be worse than watching your beloved club being taken apart by teams unworthy of even getting a shot on target before the arrival of Uncle Dave the dithering one.

Lamentations and rants aside, I still believe Sir Alex has reasons why he chose Moyes ahead of more illustrious and deserving candidates for the managerial hot seat he vacated. Only time will tell if the 50 year old will eventually prove everyone wrong and resurrect the hopes of the average fan. As defending champions, even if we are going to get beat (no, we should show some resilience and courage).

Four losses have left us TWELVE POINTS behind Arsenal and just a paltry TWELVE ahead of 19th placed Crystal Palace. The mathematicians among us can do all the permutations they deem fit, but as things stand, only a miracle will enable us retain the title and realistically, 4th place is now a priority for a club used to dictating the pace and leading the pack season after season.

The likes of Arsene and Jose still maintain that we are not out of the title race yet. Nothing can be more distasteful than seeing rival managers holding hope in a seemingly hopeless situation which has metamorphosed into a big sarcastic brouhaha. I can’t deal!

In situations like this, we have to stand by our new MANAGER as Fergie said. Those who play the piper must dictate the tune. Circumstances may have changed but we owe SAF a lot for establishing us among the greatest teams of the last two decades. Taking his parting words hook, line and sinker for a couple of seasons might hurt, but will not kill.

My final submission is that DAVID MOYES is the right man for the job. He alone cannot make the ship sail. Everyone must contribute in his own little way, especially the executives, including SIR ALEX FERGUSON. Astonishingly, I never thought I would ever toe this path, but a scary situation calls for urgent reactions and actions.

Decisions have to be taken, no matter whose ox is gored. Some players are not fit to wear the United jersey and we are all aware of that. Names like Welbeck, Cleverley, Anderson (sadly) should never be seen/found anywhere around the club. Danny Welbeck never improves. Our patience as fans, has run out.

Even an imbecile would have transformed into something much better in the span he has taken to score a handful of goals in a zillion appearances. We cannot continue to eat work rate and industry. He can keep those attributes in his pocket. January represents a good chance to bring in some very good players who can at least bring back some sanity into the club.

Remi Cabella very much wants to exit Montpellier and the likes of Koke and Resu have been thrown into the mix. Although the latter is a big ask and Klopp will know more than to sell one of his prized assets. We need MIDFIELDERS- about 10 (exaggerating), and good wingers. Nani and Valencia are pipes. Januzaj needs to continue developing and Uncle Ashley Young should be donated to/for a good cause.

Enough is enough. AS ROY KEANE said in 2005 before his ill-fated RANT, ‘WE ARE MANCHESTER UNITED AND THAT’S WHAT WE DO.’ Nothing else matters but to remain the UNDISPUTED BEST.

One thing is for sure though-DAVID MOYES has no place to hide anymore at Manchester United. Good results are tied to a great tactician and he must start to turn things around. Enough of the ‘LEARNING CURVE’ sh*t.

It is SQUEAKY BUM time and the earlier he realises it, the better for us all.


Written by Ohireime Eboreime

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English Premier League: The struggles of football fans in India

In India, there is always the talk about encouraging sports. Some people are actively involved in encouraging kids to look at sports in a broad minded way, to inspire kids into choosing and following different sports beyond just cricket, its certainly a very good initiative to begin with. The vocal support it has garnered is quite pleasing on the eye, but are we really working on it?

To be a football fan in India is quite a frustrating experience, to say the least, especially for those who depend on the autocratic and conservative cable wallahs in small cities. Majority of people in such cities are passionate about cricket, and as such cricket runs the rule over other sports on TV.

Each time an Indian cricket series comes knocking, channels are replaced so as to please the majority, and it is very often the football which gets replaced by cricket.

Kids who take to football at an early age are naturally devastated by such an experience and the general consensus is that, these kids slowly, rather unwillingly give up on the game they love.

Here is an essay with a 10 year old Arsenal fan, Ishaq’s view with respect to his struggles:

“If there is one thing I am very good at then it is on giving up, maybe its time for me to give up on football, I can’t follow Arsenal throughout the entire season since I don’t get the channels very often.

Fresh from missing Liverpool at home and Dortmund away, two of the best games Arsenal have played this season so far, I think it’s time for me to realise that I can’t change what’s meant to be.

It’s my parents who pay for the cable connection and so they are entitled to choose any connection that suits them, meanwhile the cable operator would say he will try then again he would be helpless if he doesn’t have the channel.

And there is little I could do since I don’t earn a penny, to change things, when there is nothing you could do about what you love, it hurts..”

It is certainly depressing to be deprived of, and discouraging to the interests of a democracy, when its citizens are deprived of something they like and are passionate about, in an autocratic manner.

If a sport has to thrive in India then it should be nurtured in these small cities, it should be allowed to express itself, just as the way cricket thrives.


Written by Asim Mahmood

Follow Asim on Twitter @asimthegunner

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SSC Napoli: Football in the Partenope

Watching a football match at the magnificent Stadio San Paolo in Naples is an experience that everyone can enjoy. Italian football fans are so passionate that even people who are not particularly interested in the ‘beautiful game’ are sure to get swept up in the enthusiasm.

Italian football players are known for their dramatic styles, and there is never a dull moment when you watch a football match in Naples. Matches tend to be extremely fast paced and no matter who wins, players and supporters of both teams take part in the celebrations at the end of a match and these celebrations tend to go on long into the night.

I recently watched SCC Napoli play at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples. This large football stadium was opened to the public in 1959 and was designed by local architects Carlo Cocchia and Luigi Corradi. The stadium was extensively renovated in 1990 and although it originally had the capacity to hold 87,500 football fans, these days the pitch and surrounding facilities have been enlarged, which means that only 60,240 people can attend a match. Despite this, the Stadio San Paolo remains the third largest football stadium in the whole of Italy.

The Stadio San Paolo is home to the local team Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli, which was founded in 1926. The club has been extremely successful over the years and throughout most of its history has scored a prominent place in Serie A.

In fact, SSC Napoli is the most successful football club in southern Italy and the team has won Serie A twice to date, while they have also won the Coppa Italia an impressive four times and won the UEFA Cup during the 1988-89 season.

Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli is my favourite Italian football team and I try to catch a match whenever I am in Naples. However, I often have to ask a friend to arrange tickets for me, as the passion of local supporters means that tickets are often sold out several weeks before a big match. This time I was lucky and I arrived in Naples just in time to watch SSC Napoli play the French team Olympique de Marseiile.

Tensions were running high as I took my seat in the stadium, which can be found in the western suburbs of Fuorigrotta in Naples. As usual the entire stadium was full of football fans and the roar of the crowd was almost deafening.

I was pleased to see that all of my favourite players were in full force, including Local legend Maggio, mid fielder Davide Bariti and team captain Paolo Cannavaro. Unfortunately local goal keeper Antonio Rosati is out on loan at the moment, but his substitute Rafael certainly worked his magic.

Fortunately, SSC Napoli beat Olympique de Marseiile 2-1 and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. Of course, after the match my friends and I took to the town, surrounded by hundreds of other football fans and the night that followed was perhaps as memorable as the match itself.


Greg has supported SCC Napoli since childhood. He is enjoys traveling to away games and is also contributor to a challenge blog.

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Special Feature: Three Guys One Cup - an FA Cup odyssey

Firstly, we’re not three men violating the best china. If you were hoping for that, you’re in the wrong place…

We’re two young chaps who work in advertising agencies and one other bloke who works for a publishing house. Collectively we have far too much time on our hands and an unhealthy obsession with futile football trivia.

We aim to follow every round of this year’s FA Cup, from the extra preliminary first round all the way to the final at Wembley.
It’s winner stays on and we’ll be following the victorious side from each tie – no matter where in the UK it might take us.

But it’s not gonna be easy. They’ll be times when we’re crippled with regret. Times when Blyth Spartans run out chips before half-time. Times when the toilets at Chippenham United are out of order.

Times when we’ll be driving back from a Wednesday night replay in Tranmere, arguing over who came up with the stupid bloody idea.

But they’re the moments that will make our quest. And they’re also the moments that will make reading our match reports that little bit more satisfying.

We’ve already witnessed a 5-1 mauling in the game between Quorn FC and Holbrook Sports. We then saw a much closer affair between Basford Utd and Quorn FC that finished 2-2. The replay was an FA Cup epic: a last minute equaliser from Quorn took the game to a shootout that finished 5-3 to Basford. And let me tell you, it doesn’t get much more magical than that.

But all this is only the beginning. Our next fixture is a first qualifying round clash between Basford Utd and Matlock town on the 14th of September. From there, our fate will be in the hands of the likes of Georgi Kinkladze and other FA Cup draw cameos, pulling balls from a bag, unaware that they could potentially make or break our weekend.

So, if you fancy yourself a bit of grassroots enthusiast or are curious as to what the grub at Macclesfield Town is like, why not follow us on Twitter? Or better still, visit our website and read some of our previous match reports.


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Check out their adventures on their website, Three Guys One Cup

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