Football has long remained a global sport which has the unique power of uniting millions of people from across the world in their passion for the beautiful game. Matches are televised on a worldwide scale through multi-million pound broadcasting deals which allow live football to be beamed across every continent. Football’s appeal is predominately based upon the level of drama, tension and excitement that created on the pitch which keeps fans on the edge of their seat.

Although domestic league competition provides each country with their own unique identity and passionate supporters, major European competitions and international tournaments provide the greatest attraction for football fans. The UEFA Champions League and World Cup are archetypal examples of tournaments which attract the highest viewing figures in world sport thanks to the high calibre of football on show from the very best players. Such prestigious tournaments were made possible through the efforts of governing bodies to create events that would shape the future of football, in addition to the growing income generated through sponsorship deals.

 

Business in the sport

Football’s ever-increasing rise to prominence has culminated in the growing rate of sponsorship deals through companies who realise the vast business potential within the sport. A recently agreed deal between Coral and Chelsea illustrates a trend within football which is quickly developing into a multi-billion pound industry where business is equally as important as the game itself. Money has become an integral factor in numerous facets of the game, with football clubs searching for new methods of income to remain stable and finance improvements on and off the pitch to become more established. Sponsorship deals reflect an interdependent relationship between external companies and football clubs; companies need football clubs to promote their brand on a global scale through merchandise, football shirts and advertising boards, while football clubs need companies to generate sufficient income for economic solidity and potential growth. Football clubs also benefit from the wealth of customers who are brand loyal to a particular company, as special promotions and marketing strategies can help to create a global fanbase for a club to thrive upon.

 

Manchester United

Despite their current on-the-field struggles, Manchester United remain one of the wealthiest clubs in world football thanks to multi-million income generated through global investments and sponsorship deals. Not only are Manchester United amongst an elite group of clubs who have their training and playing kit designed and manufactured by Nike, but the club’s brand continuously draws multi-million pound deals with companies who wish to be associated with a prestigious football team. Following on from their deal to become the global shirt sponsor and principle partner of Manchester United in 2010, multinational corporation AON agreed an eight year deal worth £160 million to put their name on the club’s training ground. The deal came into action in July 2013 as the infamous Carrington became the AON Training Complex, with every player and coaching staff wearing training kit that includes the AON logo. Part of the deal also includes AON sponsoring annual summer tours and friendly matches to increase brand awareness as a commercial business, and promote the company’s global portfolio to prospective clients. The lucrative nature of the deal illustrates the considerable volume of money coming into football, and how sponsorship is vital to generating finances to be put towards operating costs and transfers.

 

Chelsea

Although a large percentage of Chelsea’s considerable wealth is based upon the multi-billion investment from Russian owner Roman Abramovich, income is also generated through carefully chosen entries into numerous marketing sectors to create sponsors and business partners. The deal agreed between Chelsea and corporate bookmaker Coral in January 2014 signals a niche opening in the market for football clubs to utilise the gambling industry to grow their brand and receive a percentage of all profits. Coral have become Chelsea’s European online betting partner in a two-and-a-half year deal which sees Chelsea fans across the world providing a professional betting service through Coral’s online and mobile betting platforms. While Coral will not feature in any form of club merchandise, Chelsea fans will continuously benefit from the partnership through exclusive offers, which has already included a free 2013/2014 home shirt for those who place a £25 bet after registering an account with Coral throughout the whole of March.

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categories: France, World Cup 2014
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The Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby recently revealed he is close to making a return from the knee injury he got in March 2013 and maybe even play in the World Cup 2014.

Since the injury he hasn’t been able to play but have a strong determination to get back in his former strength and shape. People are already placing bets on the World Cup and taking the opportunity to play with GoWild Casino promo code.

Diaby says he is very close to his rehabilitation and keeping things in perspective. He is very impatient but has his goal clear to him, to be back strong and in perfect ease in his body.

“I work hard without asking questions. I work hard because I know in the end I will play again. I am still a high level footballer in my mind, otherwise I would have given up. But I never think to give it up.”

His dedication and conviction to get well and be able to play again is impressive and he definitely has the right mindset to get back on the field, he aims to be back in March 2014.

“My priorities? Feeling fine and play again before the end of the season. I don’t think I will be scared to play. I trust my body. Nowadays I feel strong, but I know coming back to London I will also have some changes. I am watching closely my diet and recovering periods.” Diaby tells.

Diaby has a place in the French national team, and is hoping to be ready to play in the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

The 27-year old was born in the 10th arrondissement of Paris and been playing for Red Star Paris, Auxerre and now Arsenal. Unfortunately he been struggling with numerous injuries the past years, but he has not giving up on become fully recovered and pursue his career.

 

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Footballers, eh! They seem to have it all: palatial homes, supermodel girlfriends and more wonga than you can shake a stick at. However, that sort of success doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes years of commitment and a rigorous training schedule to get them to the top of their game.

But once a player makes it big, what do they do with all that dosh? Well, blowing a huge wad on a motor is one way to go! And these days, no self-respecting footie star would be seen in anything costing less than £100k. Autoweb’s fun infographic shows their top 10 footballers’ cars. Enjoy!

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category: World Cup 2014
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Denmark’s visit to Wembley on Wednesday night is the first of four matches that Roy Hodgson’s England side will face before their opening World Cup group game against Italy on June 14th.

The England manager insists that places are still up for grabs before he names his 30-man provisional squad on May the 13th which means there is a great chance for first-time international and Southampton defender Luke Shaw to win a place, plus another chance for the in-form Raheem Sterling of Liverpool and Cardiff’s Steven Caulker to win a place on the plane to Brazil.

This will be the last friendly before Hodgson names his 30-man squad, the subsequent friendlies against Peru, Ecuador and Honduras all take place after he has to submit his initial squad.

Speaking to reporters, Hodgson was quick to offer hope to anyone not selected for the game against Denmark.

“It would be very foolish of me in March to give a definitive 30-man squad [for the World Cup],” Hodgson told reporters. “This is the squad I have chosen for now.

“Andy Carroll has hardly played [after returning from injury]. Adam Johnson is a player we know and because of the competition we have decided not to include him in this squad.”

Kyle Walker in unlikely to feature in Wednesday night’s game, while Caulker, Andros Townsend, John Ruddy and Adam Lallana all missed training on Monday morning, a decision on those four won’t be taken until Wednesday.

For the Danes’ Toulouse striker Martin Braithwaite picked up a knock in his side’s 2-0 win over Nice and it has been confirmed he will miss out. Another player who could be absent is Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen, it is suggested he won’t play unless he is 100% fit.

England will start as favourites to win Wednesday night’s game; this is not a World Cup preparation match for Morten Olsen’s side as they missed out on the play-offs despite finishing as Group B runners-up. Denmark will be hoping to perhaps pick up some momentum before the qualification process for the 2016 European Championships gets underway.

The last time the two sides met, England beat the Danes 2-1 away from home, coming back from a goal down in Copenhagen. Daniel Agger gave the home side the lead after eight minutes but Darren Bent and Ashley Young struck back to give England the friendly victory.

Probable Line-Ups

ENGLAND: Foster – Johnson, Cahill, Smalling, Baines – Lampard, Wilshere, Henderson – Sterling, Welbeck, Sturridge

DENMARK: Schmeichel  - Jacobsen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Agger  - Kvist, Sloth, Eriksen – Kusk, Bendtner, Krohn-Dehli

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category: France
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AC Amiens coach Azouz Hamdane will be sick of the sight of Lille come Sunday afternoon. At the end of November they travelled north to take on local side Villeneuve d’Ascq Metropole in the last round of the cup, the game went to extra-time and then was suspended due to fog.

Eventually it was restarted and the away side edged a 2-1 victory.

It was a cold and horrible night, not one for the neutral, with the crowd not able to see VAM’s late equaliser until it hit the back of the net. ACA had been found off the pace that evening and the trend continued the next weekend when they again had to make the trip to Lille, this time to take on LOSC’s CFA side at the same Stade Annexe, next door to the old Stade Lille Metropole.

This time it would end in defeat as Hamdane’s side would lose out to a Nicolas Perez 50th minute penalty. To put things into perspective, Lille II sit top of CFA Group A with 39 points and only one defeat. Amiens are 8th out of 16 teams on 30 points, five wins and six defeats. The odds are firmly stacked against the fourth tier side, and there is no way they should be able to overcome Ligue 1’s third place team, but this is the Coupe de France, so anything can happen. We spoke to Samantha Craig from Freebetking.co.uk who stated “Sky Bet are going 2/13 about the away side and if you are having a bet it looks like a decent wager to boost any accumulators as Lille are almost nailed on to win, if the handicap betting is available Lille -2 looks a sure bet”.

Amiens’ goal threat will come from forward Mohamed Tagaye and midfielder Mickael Despois de Folleville, as both have four goals each this season, over 70% of the total amount of goals Amiens have managed in total. Another player to watch is exciting midfielder creator Rayane Aabid.

Aabid was born in Lille’s Pont-de-Bois area, minutes away from the Stade Lille Metropole ground that LOSC called home for seven years. The area has a heavy North-African influence, and Aabid’s family hail from Morocco; ata young age, as well as playing for Villeneuve d’Ascq’s U15 side, he helped his father in the popular Wazemmes market on the weekend.

LOSC showed an interest in young Aabid, and after a spell at Armentieres in the Division d’Honneur, he now has a chance to show LOSC what they missed out on. What a fairy-tale story it would be if the 21-year-old could stun the Ligue 1 side, although he would probably have to hide his face for a while when he returned back to his home in Lille. All worth the the price of fame though.

This Sunday it is Amiens turn to play host to the northern club; the game will be played at the Stade de la Licorne, home of the town’s bigger side, Amiens SC. This was the venue last year for their first-ever appearance in this stage of the cup, when they were beaten by Evian on penalties after conceding an injury-time equaliser. Expect a hostile crowd of 12,000 locals to descend and give minnows AC a rousing partisan home support. The short journey will see LOSC bring a fair number of away fans which should make for an excellent atmosphere. The last time Lille came to Amiens was at the end of last season, the game finished 4-1 to the away side…and that was the second string. It is looking very much like Mission Impossible for les Bleus et Blanc, but isn’t that what the Coupe de France is all about?

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category: France
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French side Lille travel to Bordeaux on Sunday afternoon, currently in second place in Ligue 1 and on a run of form that can only be described as magnificent. Their 92nd minute winner at home against Marseille made it 11 consecutive clean sheets for Les Dogues and their 14th of the season overall. A fantastic return after only 16 games. The secret behind this has of course been their defence. New coach René Girard has come into the side and taken an unlikely group of defenders, and turned them into the best defence in Europe. Not bad for a coach who had to convince the supporters at the start of the season that he was the right man for the job. Only one point behind Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the league, now the supporters are starting to believe something special is happening this would be 10 times bigger than their 2011 title campaign if they could pull it off.

René Girard led Montpellier unexpectedly to the 2011/12 Le Championnat, beating off the mega-riches of PSG to win La Paillade’s first ever Ligue 1 crown. Now he is using the same approach to construct a tough, well organised, well-disciplined Lille side. At Montpellier he was praised for his attacking players – Olivier Giroud, Younes Belhanda – but it was the defence that was the catalyst. The back four rarely changed the experience of Vitorino Hilton, the youth of Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa, and the energy and drive of full-backs Henri Bedimo and Garry Bocaly.

Now he is following the same pattern at his new club. Danish defender Simon Kjaer joined from Wolfsburg and he provides the energy and spark in the centre, paired with the excellent and vastly experienced Marko Basa, these two have clicked almost instantaneously. Franck Beria is the only member of the title winning defence left, he has returned to his natural right-back role, still eager to get forward, but provides that extra defensive cover. The left-back slot was meant to be a problem position. Promising youngster Lucas Digne moved to PSG for €15 million in the summer, Lille’s only true left-back, Pape Souare, had spent the previous season on loan at Reims, and although he did ok, he wasn’t regarded as anything special. How times have changed. Souare has been one of the revelations of the season so far. He has speed, strength and a determination to get forward, like so many of today’s modern-day full-backs, but he is also excellent in defence.

Never one to shy away from a tackle, Souare is full-bloodied, committed and an overall excellent defender. He has a wonderful aerial presence in and around the box, that has led to the Senegalese international scoring three goals so far this season, two of them match winners, against Montpellier and Toulouse. Souare has stepped up and made claim to the left-back role and made it his own, claim your football betting coupon, and perhaps you can be as successful as Pape Souare has this season. There was even a recent story linking his with a move to Manchester United. It is a little too soon for that kind of talk, but people are starting to sit up and take notice.

The real star of the defence though, has been Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. Signed 2 years ago by then coach Rudi Garcia, it was determined that Enyeama wasn’t as good as the #1 Mickael Landreau, so he was loaned out to Israeli side Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Landreau left midway from the season, Former Brest goalkeeper Steeve Elana was made the number 1 and Enyeama stayed in Israel. With Girard in charge that all changed, there was open competition for the #1 jersey and Enyeama started the season between the sticks. Little did anyone know what was about to happen. After conceding a goal to Nice on the stroke of half-time on the 15th of September, Enyeama would spend the next 1035 minutes unbeaten. This included trips to Lyon, Montpellier and Nantes, and the visits of Monaco, Toulouse and Marseille. The all –time French football record is 1176 minutes without conceding, held by Gaëtan Huard of Bordeaux back in 1992-93. Enyeama will have to see off Bordeaux on Sunday, and then keep a clean sheet for over 50 minutes vs. Bastia to break the record.

If Enyeama can break the record, and Lille goes on to win both games, it sets up a very exciting trip to Paris just before the Winter break. A win in the capital would potentially see Lille crowned autumn champions, then you would have to consider them favourites to go on a life the real thing. Unthinkable when René Girard took over this summer.

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category: England
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The footballing hard men – ‘Bite Yer Legs’, ‘Chopper’, ‘The Beast of (Insert foreign club name here)’ – lost relics from an age when players got the bus home after a game, opened pubs within seconds of their retirement and smoked fags with impunity.

They’d make up for any technical deficiencies they might have possessed by doing more raking than Titchmarsh, more tripping than a Grateful Dead concert, more mental and physical anguish than an evening spent watching Peter Andre: My Life on ITV2.

They’d get their retaliation in early, put the reducer on their victim and then receive a mild lecture from the referee before being released back into the footballing community to continue their wicked ways.

These days, it’s almost laughably easy to get sent off. And even if the referee misses a particularly nasty foul at the time, there’s always the spectre of retrospective action hanging over the dirtier player.

So the following list in no way refers to the players’ machismo or inherent hardness. It just means they’re extra specially good at getting caught, which is why they’ve made it onto the bookies list of contenders for the worst disciplined player.

Here’s a few from that list to admire/despise/pity/bet on:

 

Lucas Leiva

Brazil – cue stereotypical montages of street games, beach games, girls in thongs and Pele, all to the strains of some hip-wiggling Samba soundtrack.

Brazilian international Lucas – cue atypical montage of mis-timed Liverpool lunges, extra time fights with angry Paraguayans and a straight red in the 2008 Olympic semi-final, all to the strains of some mind-melting death metal melange.

Liverpool might be one of the prettier passing sides in the Premiership, but their first-choice defensive midfielder is never frightened to get ugly to aid Brendan Rodgers’ attempts at the beautiful game. And he’s not Joe Allen, so he’s going to get lots of games for Liverpool this season.

 

Gary Medel

Gary who now?

He might not be a household name just yet, but Cardiff’s midfield enforcer has the whole season ahead of him to change all that. Gary Alexis Medel Soto is his full name and he’s from Chile. Gary is not your typical Chilean name and it turns out he’s named after Gary Lineker.

Oh the irony. Our big-eared national footballing/crisp-flogging treasure was famed for his exemplary disciplinary record.  Gary Alexis Medel Soto is not. He’s known back home as ‘the Chilean Gattuso’ because, and I quote, ‘of his strong performance and short temper’.

If Cardiff are going to survive in the Premiership this season, they’re going to have to fight for every point. Expect Gary to be at the head of the fighty queue.

 

Cheik Tiote

The physically imposing and hard tackling midfielder is a rarity in the Newcastle first team – he’s not French. Instead, he’s from The Ivory Coast, which is an old French colony so that’s just about acceptable. Alas, that’s about all that many consider acceptable about Tiote. Especially referees.

Tiote picked up an impressive 14 yellow cards in his first season on The Toon. After two seasons, he’d managed 25 cautions in 50 appearances. That’s a yellow card every two games for the more mathematically challenged among you. In early 2011, Tiote signed a six and a half year deal to stay at Newcastle. That should keep the men in black busy for a long while yet.

 

Lee Cattermole

Not so far away resides Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole – a player once so highly rated that even Arsene Wenger was willing to overlook the fact that he wasn’t foreign and think about signing him.

He’s still at Sunderland, but started at Middlesbrough, making his debut in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle that prompted his then manager Steve McClaren to declare: “When we needed people to stand up and be counted, it took a 17-year-old to bring everyone together.”

As any fool knows, when a football manager talks about people ‘standing up and being counted’, it means people ‘standing up and kicking other people over.’ To date, Cattermole has stood up through 215 appearances and been counted for 69 yellow and 7 red cards.

And now that Paolo Di Canio, who seemed to hate Cattermole, has left the building, he should be practising his dark arts at The Stadium of Light rather more often again.

 

Branislav Ivanovic

Bit of an outside punt, this one.

But…

He’s one of the few players Jose Mourinho picks without having to think about it or discuss it with his adoring media. So he’ll get games this season. Lots of games. He’s spent six seasons at Stamford Bridge learning at the feet of the Voldemort of defenders – John Terry.

And Frank Lampard has described him thus: “You only have to look at him to see what a beast he is…he is a man you want on your side.” “A man you want on your side’ is usually translated from football into English as ‘I want him on my side so he can kick the opposition, not me”.

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The world of football betting is a fast growing reality and it is becoming little by little more known and progressively even more people are becoming interested in it.

Nowadays there are thousands of operators which have created their website where everybody, above age 18, can create a personal account and start to bet online or to play with games such as poker, other card games or casino games, such as slot machines.

The originality of these websites stands in the fact that they offer thousands of matches to bet on, even in real time time, and with scores that are costantly updated. Besides members of these websites can obtain some interesting bonus for their betting, for example through the Stan James promo code : BETJAMES.

We can also mention here one of the most important and prestigious operators of betting and games, William Hill, which was founded in 1934 and which was also the first operator in the worlds that created an online platform for betting in 1998. Still nowadays people can count on the reliability and great variety of bets and games offered by this website.

Football is, at least in Europe, the most common sport for betting, but most of the betting operators also deal with other sports like tennis, horse races and hockey, so also people who do not like football but are keen on other sports, can participate by becoming members of the website, start playing and have fun.  And of course the best part of it is the concrete possibility to win huge amounts of money, this is mainly what increases among people their passion for betting.

 

 

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Since FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup nearly 2 years ago there has been increasing pressure on the body to rethink their decision. With the tournament still 9 years away, the football world is throwing a tantrum and it seems that some of FIFA’s members are becoming more outspoken about their disapproval of the tiny Gulf state as host.

When Blatter made the announcement in Zurich the jubilation of the Qatar bid team who had travelled to Switzerland was similar to that of a jackpot winner at iPadcasino.com.au. The rest of the massive conference hall was silent for a moment before voicing their shock and exasperation at the decision, but it seemed that there was no going back. However, now it seems there are more rumblings about the suitability of the event in a location that has a blistering hot summer totally unsuited to the sport.

FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger has waded into the fray, calling the Qatar World Cup a blatant mistake. He says that even moving the date of the cup wouldn’t be ideal as although it may help players avoid the searing summer heat it would seriously affect the European Leagues. Sepp Blatter proposed the switch of the tournament to the cooler months, saying that the World Cup is a party for the people and although you can cool stadiums down, you cannot cool down a whole country. The summer heat regularly tops 100 degrees and should never have been considered a viable option for the cup in the first place. Blatter’s proposal was met with disdain and Zwanziger insists the event should be given to someone else.

Other high profile figures have also recently expressed their opposition over the tournament being hosted by Qatar, with UEFA President Michael Platini saying it was impossible to play football in Qatar and another member of the FIFA Executive Committee, Franz Beckenbauer being adamant about providing an alternative solution. CEO of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore has also expressed his unhappiness, saying that the change of event date would disrupt the league and that summer is the right time, with good reason.

There is no doubt that a cloud hangs over the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and  the decision that looked set in stone might now be crumbling.

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There is something going on in the French Ligue 1, which has previously received less attention in comparison to other top European football leagues.

Paris Saint-Germain for instance has just spent €64 million to buy Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. This is the highest amount that has ever been payed for a transfer within the French League. Thanks to its rich Qatari owner PSG has made it from finishing 16th in 2008 to win Ligue 1 this year. No doubt that money had a significant impact on this outcome. This high-buying definitely increases the reputation of the French football league on the one side but on the other side clubs like Marseille or Nice will have problems to compete. We can wait in suspense for their performance next season and use the free Unibet promotional code.

However there is another club that draws the attention of the media lately – it’s AS Monaco. Owned by Dmitry Rybolovlev, a rich Russian businessmen, the club is going for top players this transfer window. Despite strong interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid Rybolovlev managed to get the Columbian striker Radamel Falcao for over £50 million. Altogether the Russian billionaire has already spent £100 million to reach his goal to build a new football empire and has also signed other players like Ricardo Carvalho, Jeremy Toulalan and the Porto duo Joao Moutinho and James Rodrigue.. Taking into account these facts AS Monaco might be an equal competitor of Paris Saint-Germain next season.

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