Posted: 2/12/2016


        I must say that the news of black holes colliding in a galaxy far, far, far away two billion years ago was of absolutely no interest to me when the cost of pork pies, pasties and drinks at Premier League grounds goes up and up.

       The good news is that the walkout of 10,000 fans at Anfield had an immediate response from the absentee owners in Boston,-- a sort of Merseyside tea party !!  The Yankee owners realised what they should have understood earlier, that one of the world's most passionate and LOYAL fans do not suffer fools lightly. The ripple effect is that other Premier League clubs were quick to state that they would not put up prices for the 206/17 season.

        I hardly ever buy food or drink in league grounds, and usually decline offers from visiting friends. The cost of a burger & fries at Wembley Stadium is four times what I paid for a great seat at the 1966 World Cup final. The outrageously incompetent Italian owner of Leeds United, Massimino Cellino put up prices in the Elland Road South Stand, home of passionate chanting and singing fans, by £5.00, to give them a voucher for a pie or a pint, to discourage them from buying cheaper food and drink outside on the streets before kick off.

        A number of clubs are wanting to install safe standing areas as I have experienced at Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena and other German and Austrian clubs. Well, in Elland Roads South Stand EVERYBODY stands up throughout the match.

      The Scottish League pyramid has 8 clubs with artificial turf, partly due to atrocious weather up north, and partly to earn income from other sources than football matches. Another strange complaint is from Glasgow Rangers who play at Alloa Athletic's Indodrill Stadium  this Saturday, which has an artificial pitch. They have narrowed in by NINE METRES, about 30 plus feet. Rangers boss Mark Warburton  is annoyed by this action and tactic.  Alloa's chairman Mike Mulraney claimed that they got the idea from Rangers  30 years ago in 1986 when then manager Graeme Souness tried to nullify the outstanding wing play of visiting Dynamo Kiev by narrowing the Ibrox pitch. The Light Blues won 2-0 to advance in The European Cup.

      Another pet peeve of loyal fans who follow their clubs home and away is the cost of away tickets, particularly at stadiums such as Arsenal's Emirates, AND the fact that Sky Sports change kick off times and even dates, far too near the date after travel arrangements have been paid for. All 20 EPL clubs are considering putting a £30 cap on visiting fans's prices. Already some progressive clubs subsidize away travel either in part or in full. WELL DONE !

      It used to be a rule that clubs were not allowed to change uniforms more than every TWO seasons. Now that is out of the window with many clubs changing THREE  DIFFERENT STRIPS EVERY SEASON under pressure from their kit provider. An Arsenal strip with number and name can cost £120.00 for just one of them. I hate to see famous and historic uniforms changed by visiting clubs when there is NO COLOUR CLASH.. Arsenal, Liverpool and others 'Reds' seem to change even if the team they are visiting have a few players with ruddy cheeks !!!

     LATEST NEW OUT OF FIFA. Jerome Valcke the former Secretary General who was fired on 13th January 2016, has beeb banned for TWELVE YEARS from all football related activities by the Independent Ethics Committee. the 55 year old parisien has been found guilty of selling World Cup tickets privately for gain, abusing the FIFA travel rules by booking private flights for sightseeing and pleasure and not even using available commercial flights, dodgy TV deals and obstructing the investigation.

     In 2006 along with disgraced former CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer he was shamed in district court in New York City for trying to offer VISA the marketing rights for FIFA when Master Card had the rights. That mess cost FIFA $90 million !!!. He was relieved of his duties as Marketing Director and fined $60,000 . He immediately went to work for the Brazilian World Cup committee to prepare their bid for a fee af about $1 million, and reinstated by FIFA less than 18 months later. He managed to get his son Sebastien a plumb job at the Maracana during World Cup 2014.