I can't see any downside to this -- City will learn more about the way the US manage their sports franchises from playing aspects to, more excitingly, their marketing approach, and of course the Yankees will get an insight into areas that currently allude them: in-stadium atmosphere, international reach, etc.
Admittedly you'd expect baseball to have a more natural tie up with cricket, but as a brand the Yankees are possibly as big as you can get in US sport - they have an incredibly rich history and are based in one of the most exciting cities in the world.
I'll be interested to see how they staff up the new franchise -- you can almost hear the major sports administrators jockeying for position!
There could still be room for Beckham - the next headline could be Beckham heads up another new MLS franchise, not with his own money of course, but as the front man for an ogliarch or similar.
Champions League qualification and fourth place finish as achievement for Arsenal is only a business feat. I find it quite ridiculous that they should be celebrating so much when they really should be competing on equal footing with Manchester United and Manchester city.
The problem lies squarely in the poor scouting that tends to go at serious variance with what we have come to expect from Wenger and his technical staff. They just have not been able to acquire players that will produce the kind of magic as we saw with Christian Benteke at Aston Villa, Phillipe Coutinho at Liverpool and especially Michu at Swansea.
This was always their hallmark, and while they may have done good business with all the recent transfers of high-profile talent like Song, and particularly Van Persie. They need to be buying quality
A lot of factors contributed to Beckham's market value and it will be difficult to match it.
I started a debate on twitter yesterday with a tricky question -Is Beckham the most popular football player ever?
The responses came in thick and fast with so many claiming Pele and Maradonna, Zidane and Ronaldinho but just so I don't digress, it boils down to David's unique selling point which is his marriage to Posh, and the fact he was an effective and highly competitive player if not exactly as gifted as the Icons mentioned earlier.
Two hallmarks of his game was his ability to accurately pick out his man with his crossing ability and his dramatic free-kicks, add that famous goal against Wimbledon in 1996 from the halfway mark.
Then, there is the red card at France 98, and the aftermath...his bust up and boot in the eye incident with Fergie...
His well oiled marketing machine turned every thing He did on and off the field into a media event...and He just doesn't speak English, he is English.
Jack Wilshere probably needs to move away from Arsenal to achieve attract sponsorship. Becks had the benefit of Manchester United's imperial reign to thank, 6 premier League titles, Uefa Champions League title won on a famous injury time goal off a Beckham corner...
It takes much more than talent, and even getting married to a famous pop diva has not charmed either Pique/Shakira or Ashley/Cheryl Cole into global style icons..
Who do I think?
There will never be another Pele or Maradonna...Becks is a tough act to follow...maybe someone still waiting in the wings unless either Ronaldo or Messi wins the next world cup but again, none is as graceful as Beckham, who didn't need to win that to attain his crossover appeal
Perhaps interesting to note that the Premier League's website has Stoke down for eight live broadcasts (including the Spurs game on May 12th) and Norwich in last with seven live matches
Okay, cards on the table, I am a Millwall fan and season ticketholder - take my comments as you see fit, because "No one likes us, we don't care".
I was at Wembley. I've been to every home match this season and some away. I know that we attract a certain element more than some clubs, but we are not alone in that, just perhaps more plentiful in numbers. We also attract many decent people who have been appalled by the scenes at Wembley, but equally appalled by the treatment we have received subsequently, not only from the media, but also colleagues and acquaintances. If only I had a pound for every time I've been asked "were you involved in the trouble?"
Even Sam's balanced comments focus on Wembley rather than Newcastle, where the level of violence was far higher, just not in our national stadium and not in front of a global TV audience. The scenes of fans fighting were the product of society, not football, and are replayed every Friday and Saturday night in High Streets up and down the UK. The combination of too much drink and too much cocaine is all too common. All those substances were no doubt being imbibed outside the stadium, but the manner in which it was allowed to go on inside Wembley was shocking. What passed as security was frankly laughable and contributed greatly to the problem.
Speaking to people and reading accounts on websites, it is quite clear that what started as a minor disagreement of the type that is usually quickly dealt with by stewards or police was allowed to simmer, indeed boil over, for half an hour before a woefully inadequate number of police tried to step in. Innocent.... okay, perhaps not quite so innocent, this is Millwall..... people were sucked into the initial flashpoint seeking to either stop the trouble or protect their families, but this being Millwall perhaps, the resistance of the original protagonists provoked more than a few retaliatory punches. Have no doubt that a number of those being arrested now were not the lager & coke-fuelled monsters, but middle-aged men whose lives now face ruin, simply for trying to protect their own.
We can point to the kick-off time, but a couple of hours extra drinking probably made little difference. The real problem is with the inadequate stewarding and policing at Wembley, not only in reacting to incidents, but also in restricting entry and controlling the excesses on the concourses. The over-reliance of the 'catch it on video and deal with it later' in the policing of football in this country is perhaps the major problem.
One final thing. Do not confuse this type of "hooliganism" with the natural disposition of what Sam so quaintly calls "certain fan groups". The real 'chaps' conduct their business well away from the eyes of the police, CCTV and the stadium and do not involve anyone other than like-minded individuals.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how Wembley adapts to Millwall when we next visit our second home!
I've just blogged about this - http://wp.me/p37A88-1Q - yes parachute payments are a necessary evil (or just a necessity) but their value, and more importantly, the comparison of value to the club solidarity payment shared by the rest of the Football League clubs, serves to support the ever-growing divide of the haves and have-nots in football. The FAPL haven'et yet confirmed the increments and have yet to make an announcement about the solidarity payment, so maybe our collective views will be appeased when they do that - you have to believe the FAPL know what they're doing, they've had 21 years at it!
Sunderland as a city and Sunderland the football club are both very working class by nature and proud of it. Sunderland is probably the poorest city in the country and life is sometimes a struggle for those living there. Once the largest shipbuilder in the world, all heavy industry died leaving an employment black spot, although the arrival of Nissan in the region has helped to overcome such a huge downturn in the local economy.
The traditions and beliefs passed on from the shipbuilders and miners of yesteryear has been one of supporting one another and helping every other through adversity. Sunderland played a major part in the fight against fascism in WW2 - it was the eighth most bombed city in the country.
Those who espouse tolerance would be hypocritical to pre-judge and deny someone the right to earn a living. I think that Sunderland fans and local citizens will judge Mr. Di Canio by his on- field achievements and by his off field behaviour. They will be quick to call him if either is unacceptable.
The reputation of Sunderland AFC cannot be fundamentally changed by one man. SAFC has been around for 135 years and is looking good for many more. PDC will ultimately be a small footnote in the club's history.
And is anybody who was involved in the planning many years ago going to admit "we were wrong, we should have built it with football in mind"? Everyone in the industry knew there was no way athletics -- as a great a sport as it is -- could sustain the Olympic Stadium post-2012.
The Premier League is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. PL parachute payments exist to help relegated clubs survive as the financial difference between the PL and the FL is unbelievable. I can't think of any other industry where you might lose the majority of your income overnight and therefore parachute payments after relegation are essential. In the past the PL has always specified how money handed to the FL will be spent, otherwise they will not give it. I don't expect this time to be any different.
If the figure of £175m every 2 years is to believed, there are few European clubs who would reject this proposal as at a stoke, it would enable most clubs to comply completely with FFP.
The main barrier would be regulatory approval. Any European club wishing to play abroad must first receive permission from their home FA. This will not be granted if either UEFA or FIFA were to raise objections.
However, Qatar has already demonstrated its ability to "persuade" key figures within UEFA and FIFA to support it in the most unlikely of circumstances, so it would be no surprise if its unique style of "cheque-book diplomacy" were to triumph once again.
An additional benefit to the Qataris would be the influence they would gain with clubs at local level either to demonstrate the practicality of playing the World Cup in summer months, or alternatively of gaining grass roots support within national leagues to move the tournament to the winter.
@Karl If they are relying on Chinese football officials (i.e. Chinese government officials) to improve the state of the game, then god help Chinese football fans ;) Fortunately, there are some other initiatives that may help, but these take years and everyone always demands instant results.
To return to the original question, I can't see this ending badly per se like Drogba/Anelka - Beckham is too classy for that - but it will be a long, long time before we know if his presence has had any lasting effect.
Steve, agreed on the transfer activity and you rightly point out the Carroll/Torres money was one situation. Aquilani was a poor one as it worked out and the manager paid with his job eventually - Henderson and Downing were different, too much money spent as opposed to poor transfers and Commolli paid with his job (as did Dalglish). There's no doubt lack of CL is hurting however that would be the same if a new stadium came along, worse in many respects as the debt would be greater due to construction costs.
The simple maths is £150m for 15,000 new seats plus boxes and hospitality or circa £400m for 15,000 new seats plus boxes and hospitality everywhere - a new stadium does not bring 60,000 new seats, only 15,000. Without wishing to start another debate the decrease in importance of the FA Cup is down to the riches on offer in the CL (clubs will start having to list 4th place on the Honours Board as it seems more important than trophies) and the Premier League for clubs coming up from the Championship.
Nice piece of media speculation.
Either the rumour is true, in which case MU will be able to spread a feel-good factor among its fans just before it starts the promotion of season tickets for 2013/14...
or it's false. In which case, the story may destabilise Real Madrid's best player just before the ECL return match at Old Trafford.
Whatever the outcome I think it was a Ferrari that Ronaldo crashed into the tunnel at Manchester airport rather than an Astra.
The lists all seem to be quite similar with people opting for a few differing players. Beckham can't be overlooked as being the most successful commercial influential player of all time, so would have to be number one in this debate. Second, in my own opinion would have to be Cristiano Ronaldo, bringing the glitz and glamour to the current Real Madrid team, with CR7 being instantly recognisable around the globe, must be a clubs dream to have such a player on their books. Third and fourth would be the Brazilian Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, joining the "Galacticos" era of Real Madrid, all players in the team were commercially valuable, but these were the two who I believe to be the most commercially valuable. Fifth like Sams would be Park Ji sung, who not only helped Manchester United on the pitch, but it was well reported that he helped them enormously in Asia off the field.
The difficulty that I have with this is getting my brain around what the proposals actually mean. And complicated regulations are difficult are not very satisfactory.
The whole Financial Fair Play movement has, for me, always been slightly unsatisfactory because those involved are trying to achieve different things through the one mechanism. Some are using the FFP mechanism to try to curb the high spending of the clubs with super-rich owners whilst others are hoping to use FFP regulations to secure financial stability at clubs eg. to avoid another Portsmouth FC.
The new rules which have been agreed by the Premier League clubs are not that clear. They are definitely an attempt to constrain wage spending but do not constitute a cap of wages - clubs can spend more on wages if it comes from an increase in commercial income. This seems to favour the biggest clubs at the top of the Premier League but they also have to keep within the UEFA FFP rules to ensure that they continue to compete for European competitions. Life gets tricky for them and they will now need to now rely on their accountants to ensure that they stay on the right side of the various regulations.
I'm not a fan of restrictions that limit clubs to current levels of spending (plus a bit) because it seems to ensure that the big clubs stay big and the rest scramble around somewhere below that. In other industries owners get the opportunity to invest in the business to try to achieve greater success but this is now difficult in football under these regulations. To me the biggest problem is a club spending money that it doesn't have and therefore the new regulation that stipulates that losses must be secured against fresh equity funding from the owners, is welcomed.
I am attracted by the idea behind the so-called EU proposed "Luxury Tax" whereby clubs that spend over a certain amount on players' transfer fees would have to make an additional payment to a central pool to be distributed to the other clubs. This is simple and easy to understand and has the double impact of reducing the incentive to spend "big" and ensuring competitiveness by spreading money around amongst members clubs. I would be possible to adopt similar tactics regarding wages as well. I would be particularly supportive if such a regulation was introduced in relation to agents fees.
Credit should go to the football authorities for attempting to regulate the industry and I expect that there will need to be several more amendments before these regulations achieve what everyone hopes that they will.
There is little doubt that the deals mentioned from companies with very close links to the clubs' owners. As to the commercial viability of the Etihad/City offer, I recall the comment by Arsne Wenger when told of the £400m value:
"What did the unsuccessful tender bidder offer for these rights?"
Fortunately/unfortunately the only thing that matters to most football clubs is their results so if Balotelli is performing well, scoring goals, and making a difference on the field at AC Milan then he'll have a hugely positive impact on the commercial success of the Club. The huge media circus that follows him is going to contribute to that with everyone benefitting from the airtime and column inches he'll generate, assuming that he doesnt cross the line with his perceived bad boy behaviour. If he does that, then it'll be down to the manager to figure out how to deal with him.....and then it will be a case of the strongest winning.