This time, Meredith was really annoyed. So he started to talk, and eventually all of City’s secrets came out. There was at the time a £4-a-week maximum wage for players, designed primarily to stop clubs assembling all-star squads (for context, the average wage in Great Britain was about £70 a year) but it transpired that City had been flouting it on an epic scale. The FA had suspected as much, parsing the books in 1904 after the club, bankrolled by the newspaper magnate Edward Hulton, assembled a suspiciously good team that came second in the league and won the FA Cup. On that occasion it found some minor problems – banning a few directors and imposing a £250 fine – but no evidence that anyone was being overpaid, and in 1906 they found out why. … [Read more...] about The forgotten story of … Manchester City flouting finance rules in 1906
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However, there is a growing feeling that a man who continues to see the potential in a properly-funded Newcastle has grown weary of the constant battle. With little prospect of the owner, Mike Ashley, off-loading the club he has been trying to sell since October 2017, Benítez may have finally admitted defeat in his Newcastle project. … [Read more...] about No guarantees over my Newcastle United future, says Rafael Benítez
That’s not all United have in mind, either. They’re keen to try and attract the Belle and Sebastian dollar by bringing in New York-born Canadian forward Jonathan David – Canada’s player of the year, don’t you know? – who has 22 goals so far this season for Belgian side Gent. The 20-year-old has already attracted a £5m bid from Porto, which was roundly laughed at. And the Old Trafford scouting tentacles also found their way to Real Sociedad’s win over Valencia last weekend, to have a look-see at all of Ferran Torres, Carlos Soler, Willian José, Martin Ødegaard and Alexander Isak. Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira could be among those making way for what is sounding like being a LOT of new arrivals this summer. … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to offer Kepa plus £25m for Jan Oblak?
Goals are elusive: Ramos, a defender and their penalty taker, is second top scorer. Over the last two months, Karim Benzema has scored just twice, as has Lucas Vázquez. No one else has more than one in that time. Eden Hazard limped off during Saturday’s defeat at Levante. Previously out for 82 days, he lasted just two hours and 20 minutes. Scans showed a crack in his ankle which is likely to see him miss most of the season. This will already be the 21st game he misses – more than in his whole time at Chelsea. … [Read more...] about Invincible Zidane faces ‘hour of truth’ against his old friend Guardiola
That’s not to say that players in the modern era don’t take a plunge to celebrate. If we broaden the question out to include celebrations of victories outside of the FA Cup, we can find a few relatively recent photos. Here’s one of Lille’s Moussa Sow leading a sing-song with teammates (including Eden Hazard), after they claimed the Ligue 1 title with a win at PSG in May 2011. They are fully dressed, mind, so there was no danger of any indecency working its way on to the internet. … [Read more...] about Footballers celebrating in communal baths: a Knowledge special