HOORAY.!...RONSBLOG IS BACK after a break on tour in Bavaria and Upper Austria. We went to see a VERY EARLY Champions League match at RED BULL SALZBURG v FK LIEPAJA of Latvia, 2nd qualififying round, first leg. What a fun evening for the home fans, many were children paying only 4 Euros. Great music, free programmes, free cardboard 'clappers' and continuous chanting and flag waving from the home 'ultras'.and a great stadium where I watched 2008 European Championships and have been back many times for Austrian Bundesliga matches.
Oscar Garcia ex Brighton and Watford is the manager and his club have to go by the name of SC Salzburg and modify their club crest under UEFA rules. Credit to visiting manager Viktors Dobrecovs who had his team, particularly the defence, very well organized and held out until late in the match for a creditable 1-0 defeat. They lost the home leg earlier this week 2-0 and the tie 3-0.
WELL, The Three Lions have yet another manager-BIG SAM ALLARDYCE- the twelth since Sir Alf Ramsey and the 1966 World Champions. A not very well educated lad from Dudley in the Midlands who has been a leader in off the field technology. "I take great satisfication in the way I've managed to evolve . I've changed styles, changed methods and always had an open mind, always been prepared to listen". A very down to earth guy...don't call him ALLERDICI.! He is very English.
The Football Association have wasted millions on high priced names such as Sven Goran Eriksson, Fabio Capello, Kevin Keegan, Roy Hodgson and have picked an Englishman who despite not coaching or winning big titles, is as savvy as any coach. Won with Limerick, Bolton Wanderers, Notts County and kept Sunderland in the Premier League by beating Everton 3-0.
Last night, 20 minutes from Victoria Park, Hartlepool for a pre season friendly his players on the team bus learned that they woould be losing their boss to the job that he had always coveted. As he got off the bus with his Louis Vuitton wash bag and went to sit in the cramped dugout the world was watching. In 1983 he played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the old NASL and learned about new ideas. At half time last night Sam left to dugout and never returned and Sunderland lost their fourth coach in thre years.
My biggest negative was about a decade ago when he was closely linked to a well known players agent and tried to get a kick back via his son Craig Allardyce, now only 41 who played only 30 matches in 11 seasons. Allardyce was forced out of the agency business by public pressure. Sam threatened to sue various newspapers but never did.
Instead of preparing Sunderland for a vist to New York Stadium and Rotherham United on Saturday his thoughts must be on Slovenia away on September 4th and home to Malta four days later. Unlike Hodgson, who refused to headquarter at St. Georges Park, Sam will enjoy such a place with its technical aspects and performance centre.
New FIFA President Gianni Infantino, a Swiss-Italian national, is in trouble with his 'interference' in UEFA affairs and his FIFA expenses, such as renting a private jet for his family to visit The Pope at The Vatican and getting rid of FIFA employees, inflating expenses and demanding a bigger salary.. He will soon learn if he is to be formally investigated for breaking ethics rules. He could face a ban after only five months in the job.
For some reason he recently hired Kjetil Siem the controversial Norwegian F.A. General Manager, who was in that role for 4 years after being a journalist, Director of Valerenga and CEO of the South African Premier League. Critics say his NFF salary was too high and he padded expense acoounts and rarely produced receipts. Both Siem and Infantino have promoted the canditature of Slovenian F.A.'s young President Aleksander Ceferin , a rising star.to be the next UEFA President, over Dutch FA President Michel van Praag and the thoroughly disreputable Spaniard UEFA and FIFA V.P. Angel Maria Villar.
Infantino has also been criticized for hiring former UN employee Fatima Samoura as the new FIFA General Secretary, who was soon at odds with some FIFA heads of departments. The elections will take place in Athens on September 14th with 55 member associations eligible to vote. An 11 page FIFA internal memo has been handed to the ethics committee concerning Infantino and he will soon learn his fate or be cleared.
Chesterfield FC -The Spireites (note the crooked church spire as you pass nearby on the train), have been in trouble this week about a club 'raffle' which turned into a farce. It cost £20 to enter with the winners getting to join the first team on a pre-seson tour of Hungary. Evidently they only sold half a dozen tickets so Kevin Fitzgerald, head of the commercial department,' invented' a non existent winner from Kent.who it was stated could not go to Hungary because of illness! Fitzgerald lost his job on Monday.
I have been more concerned with their youth academy. They have placed full page adverisements in 'World Soccer' which has subscribers world wide, Chief Executive Chris Turner, a former half decent goalkeeper with Manchester United, Sunderland, Sheffield wednesday and more, and a manager of Hartlepool United. Sheffield Wednesday(who he tried to purchase for £15 million,Stockport County. Leyton Orient,.
Turner and Liam Sutcliffe have formed a LCC to run the youth academy and attract young,sometimes gullible young players and their parents from overseas at, in my humble opinion, inflated prices. Not sure if just these two or CFC will benefit financially. They are not the only ones offering such pricey services, whereas if you go to Scandinavia, Germany etc such charges are minimal or non existent.
I used to enjoy their old stadium, Saltergate, which, if you watched THE DAMNED UNITED, was used for variuos stadiums including Leeds United, Derby County and Nottingham Forest. I hope that the Spireites can get over these sordid problems.