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Football Thread 2019/2020

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11 hours ago, milko said:

I’ve not tried looking at those numbers in depth but I know the mooted hypothetical “if we do this closed doors scenario” for, ugh I should be careful sorry, a really big PL team I work with, was 500 people in the stadium to run a single match and televise it. He’s putting that as the whole number across the entire league! They might be able to chop that down a good bit if they really have to (not sure I remember correctly but I think 100 were VIP places, the rest for players and staff) but it’s a shitload more than he’s considering in his scenario, I think. We are hoping to take 3 places out of that, would get by with 2, anything less (0 and doing it remotely is possible) would be a “no guarantee or liability” scenario. I imagine pretty much all involved would start from that kind of principle; it’s going to be hard. 

 

For clarity, those numbers are an NBA scenario, not a PL one.  I figured that the overall numbers would be larger for the Premier League*, but the key takeaway is even if you keep it down to 1000 people across the entire league, probability dictates that 5 are going to die.

 

*The fact that they are still thinking about VIP places to me indicates that they aren't taking this seriously.

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I think they based the 100 on what was done at the UEL closed doors games (you may now narrow down the teams I might be talking about!), but yes, at least at that stage, they really hadn’t thought it all through. I would put a positive light on it that these conversations were two weeks ago and the early part of the process.
 

I’ve not worked with the NBA but the idea that you’d have a team of 15 and equal support staff seems undercounted to me. I’ve done NFL a lot and there’s usually absolutely shitloads of supporting cast, I dunno how many they can cut. Maybe once you trim the bullshit stuff you can actually get there... and still have the problem your guy points out. 

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No wait, he’s including “filming them”? You would need surely at least three cameras unless you want to make it look like a League of Wales Second Division broadcast, some techs to rig the gear, a producer, editor, graphics operator, replay editor, director, and the list will go on quite a way even if cut to the bone. I can’t see this working.

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You can of course keep a lot of these people apart, especially with the extra room that not having a crowd offers. Even from what I know about Stamford Bridge, you've got room to change camera angles to use the stands more for instance and those people don't have to come into contact with more than 1 chelsea staff member total who can be kept away from the others.

 

Not perfect for everyone else of course, although we'd certainly learn some useful data on immunity since half the chelsea squad have already had it.

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Jack Grealish goes out to a friend's in his car and has an accident.

He says he's really sorry and all that, utterly hollow words from someone earning £75,000 a week to sit in the house and do some exercise a couple of times a day.

 

Not a surprise, he's no real captain - a selfish, entitled, man child.

 

Sounds perfect for that Man United transfer then.

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Why can't all clubs follow the Barcelona players?

Barcelona players will take a 70% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic and make additional contributions to ensure non-sporting staff receive full wages.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52092809

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47 minutes ago, gospvg said:

Why can't all clubs follow the Barcelona players?

Barcelona players will take a 70% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic and make additional contributions to ensure non-sporting staff receive full wages.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52092809

 

It's like the opposite of Spurs. 

 

Tottenham's 550 non-playing staff will take a 20% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic, the club announced in a statement on Tuesday.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52105337

 

oh and Newcastle

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52098392

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1 hour ago, gospvg said:

Why can't all clubs follow the Barcelona players?

Barcelona players will take a 70% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic and make additional contributions to ensure non-sporting staff receive full wages.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52092809


Imagine that’s more to do with the club having a €400m player wage bill and a shortfall in revenue than any sense of charity.
 

At least their PR department is still WFH though.

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If anything this period of limbo might dispel the myth that football is awash with unlimited cash. Even the world’s richest side has an annual revenue dwarfed by Gregg’s, and yet so many sides live like wideboy sales reps aboard a gravy train they think will never end.

 

Big house, fast car, lavish spending and an eye-watering debt propping it all up. All good when things are ticking along but throw a spanner in the works and it highlights there’s very little contingency to stop things quickly falling apart.

 

Well, besides non-profit organisation FIFA’s two billion pound cushion. They might actually have to spend some of that now.

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5 hours ago, Hamus said:

Jack Grealish goes out to a friend's in his car and has an accident.

He says he's really sorry and all that, utterly hollow words from someone earning £75,000 a week to sit in the house and do some exercise a couple of times a day.

 

Not a surprise, he's no real captain - a selfish, entitled, man child.

 

Sounds perfect for that Man United transfer then.

 

A couple of days after making a video for Villa social media urging people to stay in. Apparently the friend was Ross McCormack who was essentially sacked by Villa last summer for being a waster.  Grealish has been fantastic over the past couple of years both on and off the pitch, it's a real shame to see him get involved in bullshit like this. 

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1 hour ago, bradigor said:

 

It's like the opposite of Spurs. 

 

Tottenham's 550 non-playing staff will take a 20% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic, the club announced in a statement on Tuesday.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52105337

 

oh and Newcastle

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52098392

I've come here after seeing the Tottenham news, which is absolutely appalling - but a quick glance at that Newcastle story shows that their staff are still receiving 100% of their pay until at least the end of April, when it will be reviewed again. It's hardly fair to throw shade on them for that.

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2 hours ago, bradigor said:

 

It's like the opposite of Spurs. 

 

Tottenham's 550 non-playing staff will take a 20% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic, the club announced in a statement on Tuesday.

 

I for one am shocked that Spurs would underpay their staff.

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1 hour ago, Keiths_Dad said:

I've come here after seeing the Tottenham news, which is absolutely appalling - but a quick glance at that Newcastle story shows that their staff are still receiving 100% of their pay until at least the end of April, when it will be reviewed again. It's hardly fair to throw shade on them for that.

 

Yeah, I mis-read. 

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Here's something I didn't know:

 

Quote

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said "people need to wake up to the enormity" of the coronavirus pandemic as the club announced 550 non-playing staff will take a 20% pay cut.


Levy, who earned £7m last year - £4m in wages plus £3m for the completion of Tottenham's stadium move - is among the non-playing directors and employees at the club who will take a cut in salary, initially for April and May.

The club will also use the government's furlough scheme in an attempt to "protect jobs".

 

Levy got a £3m bonus for getting the stadium move done? Isn't that his base job.

 

Now it sounds like they might push this 20% pay cut and then latterly also furlough staff at 80% if their new salary?

 

Utterly scumtastic.

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Presumably he negotiated a salary with performance-related elements of which the stadium move was a big one. The numbers are ludicrous, sure, but no point getting bent out of shape about some of it being a bonus. He must have had to wait some time on it since the thing was delayed so long. 
 

The 80% thing seems so strangely identical to the furlough thing that I wonder if they just confused the reporting and it’s the furlough people who get only what the government will pay. I think that is pretty shit either way, they should have enough reserves to top up the 20%. 

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19 hours ago, glb said:

Even the world’s richest side has an annual revenue dwarfed by Gregg’s

 

I just checked.  That's my favourite new fact.

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1 hour ago, Dudley said:

 

I just checked.  That's my favourite new fact.


I’ve been itching to use it!

 

How does Levy still get a bonus when Spurs’ new stadium was significantly delayed? KPIs usually aren’t quite so forgiving...

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I don’t know but maybe he stood to get x more millions if on time? The numbers are essentially abstract at this point! 

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Sure, getting irate at what people in positions like Levy pay themselves is essentially shouting at clouds.

 

Still though, what a cheeky bastard!

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Levy is no mere senior employee, he's the owners man and is himself a percentage owner of the club, the story goes that Joe Lewis originally wanted to flip the club much more quickly (as is his way) but Levy saw the potential for huge upside with TV rights and the stadium situation and has been indulged whilst he's been achieving that. 

 

The likes of Levy/Lewis aren't interested in trophies per se, just how much value you can extract from the business when you eventually sell (which is helped by challenging but not necessarily worth the investment that winning would require)

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On 28/03/2020 at 16:54, Waggo said:

 

Don’t see why not as it would only be down to the exceptional circumstances. 

 

I wonder if all the clubs and fans who are pushing (purely for selfish reasons imo) for the season to be abandoned, would be quite so keen if they have to restart the season with the same squad, manager etc they have now, which to my mind is only fair if the season is to be scrapped and started again.

 

Great.  Athletico can give us Trippier back.  And Mourinho can GTFO and Poch can come back ;) 

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18 hours ago, Hamus said:

Here's something I didn't know:

 

 

Levy got a £3m bonus for getting the stadium move done? Isn't that his base job.

 

Now it sounds like they might push this 20% pay cut and then latterly also furlough staff at 80% if their new salary?

 

Utterly scumtastic.

 

"You're still thinking about the bad news, aren't you?"

 

BoI6z5HCYAA9vnA.jpg

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19 hours ago, milko said:

 

The 80% thing seems so strangely identical to the furlough thing that I wonder if they just confused the reporting and it’s the furlough people who get only what the government will pay. I think that is pretty shit either way, they should have enough reserves to top up the 20%. 

 

That's because it's exactly what they're doing.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52120578

 

Quote

Julian Knight, the chair of the Digital for Culture, Media and Sport committee, has condemned the actions of some Premier League clubs, who have furloughed non-playing staff.

Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich have opted to utilise the government’s job retention scheme during the pandemic.

Quote

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means the government will pay staff placed on furlough - temporary leave - 80% of their wages, to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

Knight is concerned that the scheme is not being used in the appropriate way.

"This isn't what it's designed for. It's not designed to effectively allow them to continue to pay people hundreds of thousands of pounds, while at the same time furloughing staff on hundreds of pounds," said the MP for Solihull. 

"I don't know whether or not the Treasury can legally turn down these applications.

"But at the same time I think football needs to have a good, long, hard look at itself and see whether or not morally this is really right and whether or not actually what they need to do is come to an arrangement with some of their stars so they can continue to pay their [non-playing] staff 100% of their wages rather than furloughing them on 80%."

 

So yeah, the lesser paid staff are essentially having their wages funded by the government while the teams still pay the players salaries....

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I remember someone trying that in Sunday League once and he messed it up, stumbled forward, fell face first in a puddle and was immediately subbed off :lol:

 

 

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interesting piece on the Athletic about player contracts and the issues they present in completing the season now

 

Spoiler

Several leading sports lawyers have raised serious doubts about the implications of extending the season beyond June 30, with one lawyer saying it is simply “not realistic”, while another said the situation would be an “absolute nightmare”.

The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is, of course, bigger than football or any other sport, but that does not mean the professional game is not dealing with significant and unprecedented challenges.

One of the most complicated issues is how to finish the current season in Europe, where many players’ contracts expire on June 30, a hard deadline to end one season and start another that nobody expected would be forced to move.

But that is the predicament facing administrators, clubs, leagues and players as they try to work out how to preserve the integrity of their competitions, as well as satisfy their various broadcast and commercial contracts, assuming their respective governments let them do so.

“If the season is to be extended beyond June 30, clubs are going to want to extend some of their expiring contracts, but they are unlikely to want to hand out new three-year deals, so they are very likely to be short-term deals,” says Nick De Marco QC, a barrister with Blackstone Chambers.

“But this presents a perennial problem for players: if you get injured while playing on a short-term contract, you could find yourself without a job. Now, it makes sense for all parties to negotiate and find a way through this, but it is not required for players to agree to these short-term extensions under English law.”

Dan Lowen, a sports contract specialist at London-based law firm Level, agrees with De Marco.

“Some with expiring contracts may be delighted to be paid by their clubs for a few more weeks or months, but others will refuse to accept any extension as they won’t want to jeopardise a long-term or better contract with a new club,” says Lowen.

A working group set up by world football’s governing body FIFA to look at the regulatory issues posed by the pandemic has recently sent a report to the game’s stakeholders.

In this report, which The Athletic has seen, FIFA says the “three core matters” that must be addressed are expiring contracts, the “appropriate timing” for the next transfer window (currently scheduled to open on July 1) and “frustrated” agreements that can no longer be fulfilled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The concept of frustration exists in common law systems, like England’s, and civil law systems, such as Switzerland’s, where FIFA is based. In simple terms, it says contracts can be set aside if an unforeseen event makes it impossible for the contract to be fulfilled.

This is particularly significant now that clubs are unable to provide their coaches, players and non-playing staff with work, and may be struggling to pay them. As a result, clubs have been persuading their employees to take pay cuts or defer wages until life returns to normal, with players at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus among those who have accepted cuts.

So far, only a handful of teams in England and Scotland have agree to do likewise, although Newcastle United, Norwich City, Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur have become the first Premier League clubs to take advantage of a government-backed scheme to furlough their non-playing staff. This means these employees will be paid 80 per cent of their usual salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, out of the public purse — a controversial move for companies who employ millionaires.

FIFA can only provide general guidance on these matters and its proposal is that “clubs and employees (players and coaches) be encouraged to work together to agree on deferral and/or reduction of salary by a reasonable amount for any period of the stoppage”.

The English Football League, Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association met on Wednesday in attempt to reach a united position and it is expected that English-based players will agree to defer a proportion of their wages.

That is certainly the hope of global players’ union FIFPro, whose secretary general Jonas Baer-Hoffmann told reporters on Tuesday he hoped the various contractual issues could be resolved “collectively, with the right will on both sides”.

But, presumably as an example of the wrong will, he also highlighted the example of seven-time Slovakian champions MSK Zilina, who became the first European club to start liquidation proceedings after the start of the coronavirus crisis on Monday when 17 of their first-team players refused to accept an 80 per cent pay cut.

This is clearly an extreme example, but it highlights how difficult it can be to find common ground or a way through the crisis.

As Lowen points out, the situation in the England, particularly at several of the Premier League’s top clubs, is further complicated by the fact many player contracts are now “heavily skewed towards incentives” or bonuses. 

“In normal times, these contingent payments are seen as a win-win because the clubs recognise that they gain if a player meets these targets,” he says. 

“If the season is cancelled, players will not receive these bonuses, some of which they could have reasonably expected to have received. In those circumstances, should they also agree to cut or defer their basic salaries?

“There is often a difficult tension between the regulatory and legal spheres in global sports and this crisis is shining a bright light on that. FIFA is in a tough spot because it has 211 member associations: each one of those may have a slightly different approach to the regulations around contracts and will have different legal frameworks in which those contracts exist.”

A good example of this is how an English court might interpret a contract expiring on June 30 versus a court elsewhere in Europe, and it is based on the concept of “contractual intention”.

“In England, it is based on what an objective bystander would reasonably consider the intention of the contract to be,” explains De Marco. 

“In this case, the fact the contracts say June 30, it would be reasonable to assume that is what was intended. But under civil law, you look more at the subjective interpretation of intention. So, for example, if you had evidence to suggest the parties to the contract actually meant ‘until the end of the season’, you could more easily extend it.”

Some experts have suggested football needs to look again at its player contracts, as they do not contain “force majeure” clauses that guard against unforeseen circumstances.

“They are common in other sports contracts,” says Dan Chapman, head of the sports and employment teams at Leathes Prior, a law firm in East Anglia.

“For example, the last race of the season in Formula One is scheduled for Abu Dhabi but the sport has had to cancel and reschedule races before. This is reflected in the drivers’ contracts, which have more flexibility.

“Football contracts, on the other hand, really aren’t very sophisticated and I wonder if this is something we should look at after the crisis. If you’re (Birmingham City’s) Jude Bellingham, just to pick one example, are you really going to want to play a few more games in the Championship this summer if you already have a move to Borussia Dortmund or Manchester United lined up?

“I don’t think extending the season for months is realistic or possible from a legal point of view. I can’t see players agreeing to short-term extensions if they know they’re going to be cramming games in before facing a quick turnaround for another long season. The risk of injury will only be increased.”

De Marco, however, is not so convinced that football contracts can or will be changed as a result of the crisis.

“Football contracts are not like most employment contracts for good reason,” he says. “First, they are the product of years of collective bargaining between the clubs, players’ unions and the governing bodies, so they cannot be altered without consultation. 

“Second, they are fixed-term contracts, so players cannot just be made redundant or dismissed on notice because there is no work for them. And there are no force majeure clauses in them because of the highly specific nature of the industry. 

“A Liverpool player cannot just hand in his notice and join Arsenal in the same way most of us can move to new companies. This is because of the integrity and team stability issues this would pose for football competitions, but it is a fundamental restraint of trade. Therefore it is only fair that players get something in return. 

“Force majeure clauses might seem reasonable to some but most players only get two or three good contracts in their lifetime: is it fair that those contracts could be ripped up for something that is completely beyond their control?”

Lowen believes one possible way out of the legal minefield is to relax FIFA’s ban on pre-contract agreements between clubs in the same country. Under the current rules, players can sign pre-contracts with clubs abroad, as Aaron Ramsey did when he left Arsenal for Juve.

“One way of potentially allaying players’ concerns would be for national associations to allow players to do this now for moves within national borders,” says Lowen. 

“This could, however, lead to potential issues with the integrity of the competition, as players could face their future employers in the final matches of the season. But signing a pre-contract would in theory give players a degree of protection against the risks and impact of a bad injury.”

Daniel Geey, a sports lawyer at Sheridans, raises another potential headache for clubs and players. “What happens if a player is out of contract on July 1 but cannot be employed or registered by another club until the new season starts because the transfer window has moved? That’s a restraint of trade,” says Geey.

“And then there will be other players who will only sign extended contracts if they are rewarded for the added risk of injury. That is why I can imagine some clubs would simply decide to play on with a smaller squad.

“My gut feeling is the clubs will have enough players to finish the season without dishing out lots of short-term deals, although this will clearly lead to some questions about the integrity of the competition. Watford are a good potential example as Heurelho Gomes and Ben Foster are out of contract. That is a good prisoner’s dilemma for them as they wonder if they should re-sign or not.”

Another lawyer, who wished to remain anonymous, said all these issues amounted to the “absolute nightmare” mentioned above and it is why he believes the game will reach a “tipping point” in the coming weeks and realise the season cannot be completed.

He said he thought the leaders in each league would be awarded the respective titles, the current Premier League table would decide the European places, the top two in the Championship, League One and League Two would be promoted and there would be no relegation. The divisions would then be readjusted over the coming seasons.

“Somebody will try to sue the leagues but I think it will be a case of the path of least resistance and I’m sure a settlement can be reached with the broadcasters,” he said.

 

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I think the Athletic are doing a good job so far with no football to speak of. Songs good stuff on there. 

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