Feb 8, 2008

Friday Footie Link List, Feb. 8, 2008

One of this week's most blogged-about items was the English Premier League's plan to play regular season games overseas. Not surprisingly, most bloggers hated the idea: All Quiet in the East Stand titled its rant "The Day Football Started To Kill Itself." Football Corner wrote Premier League games abroad is not the answer" (they didn't say what the question was, but I get it; they hate the plan. Fair enough).

It wasn't just English bloggers who came out vocally opposed, either. Jakarta Casual out of the Indonesian capital city, is calling the EPL the English Prostitute League. Oh You Beauty, an American Liverpool fan, also blasted the concept, arguing that it would require too many games and dilute the fact that it's the English Premier League. I think he's a bit confused because the only thing English about the EPL (besides its name) is the fact that its teams play in English cities. I suppose a few of the players are English too, though not at Arsenal. If I'm not mistaken, there are at present as many U.S. goalkeepers as English ones starting for Prem sides. And we know all about the American, Russian, Egyptian, Icelandic and Thai club owners. Anyway, we haven't heard the last of this debate. I happen to like the idea, but I think I'm in the minority the only one (although I did find one blogger who seemed to think the whole thing was a cruel joke).

Here's something you definitely won't see in the U.S. Actually you probably won't see it anywhere but in St. Pauli, which is the section of Hamburg that contains the Kiez, the city's thriving red light district (think Las Vegas meets the East Village and you're about halfway there). St. Pauli also has a professional football club that literally plays its games at a fairground. The team, FC St. Pauli, currently plies its trade in Germany's second division and made news this week for signing a sponsorship agreement with Orion, an erotic mail-order company that will supply the club's fan shop with its own brand of condoms (thanks to The Offside for pointing this out to us). Gotta love that. The Offside asks what type of club would do such a thing and provides the link to a neat video report about the organization in response to its question. I can tell you from my own experience that St. Pauli is a very special place. I'm not at all surprised by the news. When I was living in Hamburg, its shirt sponsor was Jack Daniels, which is actually a bit more shocking only because that's a U.S. corporation and St. Pauli are quite literally anti-capitalist.

Wednesday night there was a full suite of international friendlies on the docket. From what I understand the U.S. tied Mexico and England beat Switzerland. Their parents must be proud. I find these games boring but Who Ate All The Pies posed an interesting question in conjunction with Fabio Capello's debut, namely how many England players are world class? WAATP argues that Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney (and "possibly" Joe Cole) fit the bill. I agree with them on Rooney. This got me thinking about the U.S. and Mexico, who between them probably have one world class player at present (Rafa Marquez) but several who could get there in the next five years (Gio, Jozy, Bradley, Adu and Vela come to mind), while England has Theo and Micah. Maybe there are others I'm forgetting. Or maybe, just maybe the U.S. and Mexico will be better than England in a decade's time? Nah. No chance of that happening.

Image taken from lapolladefutbol.com without permission.


  1. The idea doesn't make sense. Other federations should not allow English teams to come and play in their countries.

  2. I think its nonsense, its like laughing in the face of everything that means "tradition" nowadays.
    Globalization is creeping into the sport, and it has its pros and cons. When you start giving up on things so crucial like the seriousness of english football for the sake of money, then its gone too far.

    BTW, great blog, its my first visit and I have to say its great to see an American blog that does justice to the sport. Who said Americans dont know about soccer, right? Its interesting that you write about South America, Europe and not only the MLS :D

    Ill be glad to help you out with any info you need on S.American soccer

  3. I don't believe I said it was a 'cruel joke'...but I did wind up some friends of mine yesterday. I do believe this is a trial balloon though just to see what the public reaction would be. Seems that fans in the UK hate it and fans elsewhere love the idea.

    Anyway, thanks for the link. Nice blog.