Kevin, Gianluca and a Bus
I’m doing extra coaching these last couple of weeks and so it’s hard to find a lot of time for my weekly article. So this week it’s snippets from around the world.
King Kevin will be enthroned full time sooner than originally thought by the looks of things. £1 million-a-year with the small print still up for negotiation. He probably has “people” to do these things. For those of you who like to be kept in the know on these matters, that’s about three times what Glenn Goddle got paid, and about equal to the top Premiership salaries. Of course Alex Ferguson is about to “consider” three million per year to stay on at Manchester United. But that’s a whole other matter.
Speaking of salaries, did you know which English Premier team spent the most on their wage bill last year? If you guessed Manchester United – you’re wrong. If you guessed Arsenal – you’re wrong. If you guessed Chelsea – you’re right. Chelsea’s club salary increased by 81% to a whopping 27 million sterling. That’s enough to see the Vancouver 86ers into the next millenium – no not that one, the next one. Liverpool, coming to the end of their worst season in forty years, increased their wage bill by more than 50%. What’s wrong with Liverpool? Perhaps they should consider cutting some of their players back to 20,000 per week. Mind you, Steve Mac Manaman will pick up 60,000 per week by going to Real Madrid next season (did he play this year?) so what can you do? The average increase throughout the league was 40%, not bad.
Amazingly only three Premier teams lost money over the season, so good luck to them. Who are the ships losers? I hear you ask – Wimbledon, Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace. Even the income of the world’s wealthiest club, (you’ve guessed it – Manchester United) smoothed out to 88 million in 1997/8. Although gate receipts and TV revenues rose significantly, their merchandising returns were down, surely a case of them changing their gear once too often.
Nice to hear Gianluca Vialli, Chelsea’s Italian player-manager describe his fellow countrymen as cheats and divers. He should know, he dove with the best of them. Now before you go phoning me up Frank, you know I love Juventus and Italian soccer. It’s just that I wish Inzhagi would stop diving forwards and backwards every time the ball comes near him. I don’t call him El Submarine for nothing. Jeanluke had some other interesting things to say, like how come Chelsea had to bus back from Middlesbrough to London e.t.a. 3 a.m. when any Italian club would have chartered an aircraft. Life can be cruel and tough for a footballer.