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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category: Champions League
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For the past ten years, there has been an English team in the UEFA Champions League final eight times and during that time football tickets for English clubs in the competition were one of the most wanted. Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have emerged victorious while Liverpool, Manchester United (twice), Chelsea and Arsenal were defeated in the final. Despite the emergence of Barcelona and Lionel Messi, along with the massive spending of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, the English clubs have held their own in Europe. Until now. The draw for the quarter-finals has been made, and there are no English teams left in the competition. The last time this happened was in the 1995-1996 season. Is this the beginning of a decline or merely a blip?

This is a complex issue because the feats of various teams have to be analysed. Had it not been for a controversial Nani red card, Manchester United would be in the quarter-final draw. They are among the favourites to reach the latter stages for next season’s competition.United have now gone two seasons without a quarter-final appearance, yet they were in the final three seasons ago. Their performances this season, particularly against Real Madrid, demonstrate that the future is bright. The team has plenty of young players and the likes of Rooney and van Persie will ensure competitiveness. As long as Sir Alex Ferguson is their manager, United will always be in the quarter-finals or semi-finals, competing against the best in Europe.

Manchester City are a slightly more curious case. The club is wealthy, and they have some tremendous players, yet they have made no impression in Europe under Roberto Mancini. Two group stage exits are an embarrassing return for a team that boasts the likes of Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Samir Nasri. However, City will be a considerable threat in the next decade. Their spending power is unrivalled, and Sheikh Mansour will not tolerate failure for much longer.

There are rumours that a change of manager is on the horizon at the Etihad. Mancini could be replaced by the likes of Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, Manuel Pellegrini or Jupp Heynckes. A managerial change could give City the impetus they need to excel in Europe.

Chelsea are another club with plenty of wealth yet a great deal of underperformance on the field. Despite their Champions League success last season, the past few years have been unusual for the club. They have not made an impression on the Premier League for quite a while, and the constant managerial merry-go-round has created instability. In addition, the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard are nearing the end of their career and Didier Drogba has moved on, meaning that Chelsea’s core group of players needs reshaping.

Newspaper reports have suggested that Jose Mourinho is ready to return to Stamford Bridge, having made peace with Roman Abramovich. Mourinho knows Chelsea inside out, having achieved considerable success there from 2004-2007. He would have players such as Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar, Fernando Torres, David Luiz and Ramires at his disposal. If Mourinho returns to Chelsea, there is no doubt they will be a Champions League force.

Next season will see either Arsenal or Tottenham in the Champions League. Neither side looks capable of challenging for the trophy and both have a long way to go before they can be considered quarter-finals material.

There is no doubt the English suffered this season, but do not let that hint at a decline. The Manchester clubs and Chelsea will make a massive impression on the Champions League in the next few seasons, of that there is no doubt. Those who are interested can purchase Champions League final match tickets as the final is taking place at Wembley and this is an event that no football fan would want to miss.

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Craven Cottage played hosted to the 2011 UEFA Women’s Champions League final and Ryan Keaney was there to witness Lyon win their first European title.

Olympique Lyonnais exacted revenge on FFC Turbine Potsdam to win the 2011 UEFA Women’s Champions League with goals from Wendie Renard and substitute Lara Dickenmann coming in each half. The two clubs had faced off for the trophy twelve months ago and on that occasion, Potsdam lifted the trophy after a tense 120 minutes and an even twitchier penalty shoot-out.

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It would be a travesty if we discussed our favourite Champions League finals on the podcast without having a look and providing you good people with links to watch these moments in history. So what better way to start your Friday, check out these superb games.

First up  -  Brent Atema picked FC Porto 3 AS Monaco 0 as his favourite final. The Jose Mourinho legacy continues before the move to his beloved Chelsea. Monaco can’t keep the fairytale going.

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Hello..this week on the podcast I was joined by Chris Mayer from 6 pointer, Dave Bevan from the 72.com and Scott Johnston from the footyblog.net. We discuss this week’s four Champions League games. The pod answers how they think Chelsea will be lining up in the future, also answer whether Serie A is going backwards in terms of quality.

In part two, we take a look at our respective leagues of interest Chris (Belgium) Andrew (France) Scott (Scotland) Dave (The Championship) – and we pick out a team, a outstanding player and a young prospect to look out for. And we also pick out the most underrated players from the Premier League this season.

So plenty to look forward to, I hope you enjoy the show.

Oh and forgot to mention it on the show, but this week’s guest predictor is John-Burn Murdoch from the Trequerista site. Good luck John.

(click the big 27 to be taken to the download page  :) )

 

 

 

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The port city of Marseille will be buzzing at the arrival of Manchester United. Going well in the league and some favourable results in the Group Stage: Juliet JacquesGuardian writer and Ligue 1 fan gives you a glimpse of L’OM’s chances.

Olympique de Marseille enter their Champions League last 16 tie against Manchester United returning to form, but afflicted by injuries. Didier Deschamps’ side recovered excellently from a slow start in this competition, a brilliant 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow securing the French champions’ qualification from their group, but then won just one of their next eight Ligue 1 games as their title defence faltered.

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A repeat of last year’s final. Both teams not where they want to be in the league. Chance to put domestic chors to one side and relive the final from May. Secret Interista Gav Stone famed editor of the Les Rosbifs website looks at how the Nerazzurri will fare.

It is a different Inter side who will be up against Bayern Munich this time around in the Champions League, compared to the one who beat The German side in the final last May. In between the Mourinho/Milito masterclass in Madrid and the first leg of this last 16 fixture, the nerazzurri have also been through a soul-sapping stint in the hands of Rafa Benitez, which did the club nor the coach any favours.

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The long shot against the wannabe champions. There is no doubt who the bookies favourite is in this match but let Charlie Anderson, In Bed With Maradona’s Scandanavian expert make you think twice about the Danish side’s chances.

The most predictable thing about FC Copenhagen’s tactics in the Champions League has been their unpredictability. Coach Ståle Solbakken has not so much imposed a style or philosophy on his players as instilled tactical flexibility into them. The Norwegian has meticulously tweaked and shuffled his strategies to suit the circumstances, never afraid to make bold decisions and almost always getting them right.

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An absolutely mouth-watering clash in the Stade Gerland this evening as the Galactico’s of Real Madrid take on the team that got the better of them last season Olympique Lyon. Martin Michelot writer for Ligue 1 Talk is confident of the home sides chances.

At the moment of the draw, Lyon fans wanted to avoid two teams: Barcelona and Real Madrid. The former for all the obvious reasons, and the latter because Real Madrid bears a sense of déjà-vu for Lyon fans. The two teams have played each other 6 times in the past 5 years; Lyon has the bragging rights as Les Gones have never lost against the Madridistas, and dealt the Casa Blanca a serious blow last season by eliminating them at the same stage of the competition. Lyon would eventually exit to the hands of Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

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This week I am joined by Gav Stone and Ethan Dean Richards as we
discuss the four Champions League games this week. Milan v Tottenham,
Valencia v Schalke, Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk and Arsenal v Barcelona.

There is also an interview with Daniel Richardson from Britski Belasli
about the ADO den Haag and the Eredivisie.

Hope you enjoy the pod, comments, suggestions and just general feedback are encouraged. For iTunes of to download go here

Episode 26 – gibfootballshow podcast by gibfootballshow

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