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Football Thread 2019/2020

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On 23/03/2020 at 19:46, Timmo said:

 

Have they done the third Steve Bruce book yet? The first two podcasts were amazing.

 

On 23/03/2020 at 20:07, Stoppy2000 said:

Yeah they did it a while back. I must've listened to the Steve Bruce episodes at least 5 times each. Amazing stuff. 

 

Can I humbly suggest listening to The Reducer's reviews of them? They were the guys who discovered the books years ago and I'm making it my life's mission to point people in the direction  of their superior podcast. 

 

https://art19.com/shows/the-reducer-test-series

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14 minutes ago, Art Vandelay said:

 

 

Can I humbly suggest listening to The Reducer's reviews of them? They were the guys who discovered the books years ago and I'm making it my life's mission to point people in the direction  of their superior podcast. 

 

https://art19.com/shows/the-reducer-test-series

 

Absolutely, I'll give them a listen.

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You're a good egg, Timmo. The Irish one is the guy who hit internet stardom when he recounted his tale of taking ketamine and meeting the Irish President.

 

Their review of the England team's song 'Cinnamon Stick' is amazing too.

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Nostalgia overload for people of a certain age

 

 

I had a few of these cards, never had the album but the Pro Set logo itself is giving me flashbacks,

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13 hours ago, Art Vandelay said:

 

 

Can I humbly suggest listening to The Reducer's reviews of them? They were the guys who discovered the books years ago and I'm making it my life's mission to point people in the direction  of their superior podcast. 

 

https://art19.com/shows/the-reducer-test-series

Listened to the first Steve Bruce one. It's good but I don't think it's superior. Just didn't find it as funny. 

Still it's given me something new to listen to during these dark times! 

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Nonleague season has been expunged. No promotions or relegations. 

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That will only happen in the Premier League if all of the other leagues in UEFA do the same thing otherwise they’ll fall out of sync. I still expect them to finish the season.

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Ornstein article on The Athletic today about the feelings toward restarting the Premier League (spoiler for length)

 

Spoiler

A number of Premier League clubs want to end the current season with immediate effect and replay it in full once it is deemed safe to do so — even if that means Liverpool being denied a first title in 30 years.

One senior figure told The Athletic it is morally wrong for football to even be discussing playing behind closed doors while the coronavirus crisis is at its peak.

“You look at the people sitting around the Premier League table by Skype; their egos cannot sustain a mirror being held up to them,” they said. “The fact is they are not as important as a Tesco delivery driver at this time. We run a game. No more, no less. There is no place for sport at the moment.”

At a meeting of all 20 top-flight teams last week, there was a “100 per cent” commitment to completing the 2019-20 campaign whatever that may take, including the prospect of staging matches behind closed doors, and the idea of declaring it “null and void” was off the table. That was largely motivated by the possibility of having to pay back £762 million in broadcast revenue which has already been distributed, in addition to issues around competitive integrity.

But privately, some clubs have developed strong reservations about resuming football during the coronavirus crisis and are leaning towards the season being re-run regardless of the consequences.

This was a view initially raised by West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady on March 14 and in the subsequent Premier League video call, she and Brighton & Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber sounded a note of caution on the realities of finishing the matches, though there were no dissenting voices.

Yet behind the scenes, it appears there are more who do not share the collective message, with the chairman of another club telling The Athletic he finds the existing position “insulting”. Any decision on what comes next needs 14 of the 20 clubs to agree in a vote.

Despite European football’s governing body UEFA stating its aim of concluding all domestic and European club competitions by June 30, as things stand, the men’s and women’s seasons in England have been “extended indefinitely” with fixtures recommencing “no earlier than April 30”.

One chairman is furious that the sport is even considering a return in the midst of such societal turmoil, describing it as “embarrassing” and adding: “What we are doing is wrong.”

Several teams are said to be of the opinion that April 30 should not be viewed as a chance to play, rather to buy time for the authorities to negotiate with broadcasters over the size of any rebate.

The next Premier League shareholders meeting is scheduled for April 3 and one high-ranking club official said: “I’m hoping the situation changes by then but unfortunately, the world is changing and it’s changing for the worse every day.

“It’s absolutely clear what is going to happen. It’s a worldwide pandemic. You just start (the Premier League season) again and there are very few losers. Liverpool, I know. But in the grand scheme of things, honestly, it really doesn’t matter. You’ve just got to start again.

“This (COVID-19) is going to get worse here (in Britain), so it’s not about players returning to training. If we all stay at home and self-isolate for the next two, three months, we’re going to get through this quite simply. But even then, there’s going to be a period of slow reintegration into normality, otherwise the virus will spike again. So, if we’re lucky, the new season will start in September.

“If they want to say, ‘This season is over and it will be recommencing with the final nine games being played out in September’, fantastic. But if that’s not feasible. Just end this league with whatever consequences that has. End it and say the new league will start in September.

“We look like petulant, ridiculous children now. I passionately believe what we’re doing is wrong. And I would like to think my colleagues now believe that as well, that the world has changed. It’s a scary place at the moment and we’ve got to treat it seriously.”

Professional Footballers’ Association deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes told The Athletic earlier this week that an initial reluctance among players he is speaking to over staging matches in empty stadiums has started to shift because they realise there may be no other option.

This concept is opposed by one chairman, who said: “How can you play a contact sport that could result in injury and a highly-paid, highly-privileged individual having to go to hospital to be fixed, placing an even greater burden on the hospital system at a time when the virus is escalating? I just find it so insulting that we’re even talking this way; it’s just not important.

“If we start playing behind closed doors, can you guarantee you’re not going to have thousands of people turning up outside (the stadiums)? It’s absurd. Forget the practicalities of it. I just find the whole proposition insulting. That people are on ventilators dying and yet we’re playing a game. I’m baffled by it. Even in good times, what we do is full of self-importance. It’s just a game of football.”

With Liverpool 25 points above second-placed Manchester City and two wins from securing the Premier League trophy, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United perceived to be overachieving in sixth and seventh respectively, and Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion in the Championship’s automatic promotion places, such views will not be universal.

But one club director feels football has its priorities wrong: “The position we’re taking is ridiculous. There are such bigger issues to deal with yet every question is, ‘Will Liverpool be champions?’.

“It really just doesn’t matter. In world history, this will be recorded as a very challenging time. There is a place for football and entertainment but that’s in a time when there are no troubles and there are no major issues that need to be dealt with.

“At a recent meeting, one club said, ‘Listen, I’m going to let my players go on holiday but if they get stuck because the situation changes, do you think the government will send private planes over to get them so they can play football?’. This is how disconnected and ludicrous they are.”

 

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Crikey, if sport doesn’t start at all until September it’s going to take some getting used to. I wonder if the government would prop things up long enough for me to still have a job by then. 

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17 hours ago, tbb said:

Nonleague season has been expunged. No promotions or relegations. 

 

Only below the National League - that's still an ongoing decision.

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Dunno if this has been suggested or not but it seems to me the thing to do right now would just be to use the Qatar World Cup as a buffer.  Domestic football stops in December 2022 for a month anyway, is there any way that can be used as an end point for all the current disruption?  I guess you've then got a period of a few months (January/February to May depending on winter breaks but everything goes back to the traditional calendar in summer 2023?

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On 25/03/2020 at 19:51, ryodi said:

Nostalgia overload for people of a certain age

 

 

I had a few of these cards, never had the album but the Pro Set logo itself is giving me flashbacks,

 

I think I still have some somewhere, probably from that year.

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2 hours ago, Naysonymous said:

Dunno if this has been suggested or not but it seems to me the thing to do right now would just be to use the Qatar World Cup as a buffer.  Domestic football stops in December 2022 for a month anyway, is there any way that can be used as an end point for all the current disruption?  I guess you've then got a period of a few months (January/February to May depending on winter breaks but everything goes back to the traditional calendar in summer 2023?


That would be logical. Although with most of the non-League resetting, England’s football pyramid will be out of sync if the league clubs resume this season and delay the next, which already creates a scheduling disruption for the next FA Cup.

 

Suspect the next meeting will lead to more calls to reset, especially if only a 14 club vote is needed. I’d guess the only top-flight clubs not in favour of a reset will be Liverpool, Leicester, Sheffield United and Wolves.

 

A rebate on TV money is an interesting angle that might delay a decision though. Repaying / losing hundreds of millions will set pretty much all the top-flight sides back if such an outcome has to be reached.

 

In any case I’d be very surprised if there’s much domestic football - or sport - before June with no international or intercontinental competition until much later. And even that feels incredibly optimistic.

 

We’ll all be into underground Speedball by then anyway.

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There are countries out there China, Japan, Singapore etc which are in a much better position in terms of containing their Covid outbreaks than Europe.  Wonder how feasible it would be to finish at least the PL for example over there.  They definitely have fan bases out there, so in some sense it could help to grow the game.

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Yes. And we'd definitely get it back in England full time once a precedent has been set for playing games overseas.  

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On 27/03/2020 at 14:17, Naysonymous said:

Yes. And we'd definitely get it back in England full time once a precedent has been set for playing games overseas.  

 

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.

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If you have to start again In September, I don’t know what why you won’t have to start the season rathe than just finish it.  The season after would have been screwed anyway.

 

btw.  the Athletic must be pretty screwed too.  It’s one hell of a year to be launching a paid subscription sport news service.

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2 hours ago, Waggo said:

 

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

 

Thin end of the wedge. A small number of wealthy people have been pushing for it for years anyway and once it's in, hands will be shook, deals will be done, it will be called a "huge success" and that's it, overseas Premier League football forever.  

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Speaking of The Athletic, I saw a piece which brought home the folly of playing behind closed doors.

 

The relevant bit

 

Quote

“As a numbers guy here, you have 30 teams (in the NBA), you have 15 players per team, so let’s say you have 450 players plus another 450 people required to assist you in terms of putting things together as far as filming the games, or refereeing the games, or coaching them, or what have you,” Sheehan said. “Maybe you’re talking about 1,000 people to continue to run the games. Out of those 1,000 people, the 450 players are going to be among the 450 most fit people on the planet. And they can probably go through and play. After doing this a couple weeks, probably all would be in contact with the virus, all of them exposed, and my expectation is the overwhelming majority of them wouldn’t be sick, and wouldn’t have a problem. They’re in a good age group and they’re top of the line healthy. If I had to put a mortality rate on them, it would be pretty close to zero.

 

“The other 450 or 500 people that would be a part of the games, whether it’s the referees or it’s the support staff or something like that, don’t fit that category. Out of those 500 people, five are dead (based on a 1 percent mortality rate for people who contract the virus in general).

 

“You want to play the games? That’s the question that we face all the way through.”

 

Previously I was thinking it might be alright to maybe play behind closed doors, but those numbers make it pretty stark.

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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. 

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On 27/03/2020 at 13:58, Waggo said:

There are countries out there China, Japan, Singapore etc which are in a much better position in terms of containing their Covid outbreaks than Europe.  Wonder how feasible it would be to finish at least the PL for example over there.  They definitely have fan bases out there, so in some sense it could help to grow the game.

 

I'm not having a go at you, but the thought of footballers being flown out to Asia in order to finish off a football league, while thousands of people die every day or even if it's past the peak, the world still faces another pandemic over the next 18 months with another surge in deaths, is pretty sickening and I don't know what message that sends out to people.

 

Oh wait. It sends out a message that it's OK to fly around the world, even in the middle of a pandemic, as long as your rich. Doesn't matter if you'll infect other people, like other members of your family and completely go against the whole principle of social distancing.

 

But then that's why it's also incredibly fucking stupid to even consider playing football behind closed doors while a quarter of the world is in lockdown. 

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I think they should just say that once it is possible to play football in front of fans again then they will finish this season and how the following season works will be determined nearer that time.

 

Cancelling this season almost assumes they can start next season normally which seems unlikely at they moment so you risk writing off a season that has nearly finished and not being able to have an proper 20/21 season so at least keep the current season alive even if it has to be finished a long way from now.

 

Forget closed doors as well - obviously the main reason is that’s it irresponsible, but as much as Tv dominates these days - does anyone really want to watch their team go up or down or win a cup game/derby game, etc sat in their own house watching each game play out in silence?

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I think if they can complete it at some point over the summer then they probably should - maybe behind closed doors, maybe with some kind of restricted crowd - but otherwise just sack it off, because it's not even meaningfully the same season if it gets much later.

 

Playing in anything less than the normal atmosphere will be odd but I think most fans would prefer something to watch, once it can be done safely. It seems like, even when restrictions begin to be lifted, mass gatherings on this scale are a long way off. (Though, given how late they were stopped in the first place, who knows...)

 

As a Liverpool fan, cancellation is obviously not what I want, but we're now forever going to have the world's biggest asterisk next to this season if we win it anyway, so I'm not sure how much it really matters.

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BBC have got the World Cup 2018 review on Iplayer.

 

Well worth a watch for a football fix that is removed enough from current situation and such a brilliant tournament (until the semi final of course ;-).

 

Although I still wince at the ending of Belgium/Japan.

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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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