Posted: 11/27/2018


            If you were not aware, Portugal is England's,  and now Britain's oldest ally, since way back in 1147 AD, and next June both teams, plus Switzerland and The Netherland's will do friendly battle in the north of Portugal in Porto and nearby Guimaraes in the semi-finals of the new NATIONS LEAGUE.

          English crusaders helped King Alfonso l capture Lisbon from the Muslims, and the treaty has been renewed many times including 1373 and the Treaty of Windsor plus 1386, 1643, 1654, 1660, 1661, 1703, 1815, 1899, 1904 qnd 1914. In 1940 in time of war the Bank of Portugal extended unlimited credit to The Bank of England..

         2018 has been a magnicicent year for the Three Lions, and the Lionesses and the younger age teams as well.

        The Nations League has been a success story through the UEFA area with competitive matches,and relegation and promotion battles a big change from unpopular friendlies with mass substitutions.

       Last week I popped over to Belgium for a friendly between Italy and USA in Genk at Cristal Arena which is home to the Blue Smurfs, K.R.C. Genk at their 23,000 capacity home. Maybe a third full, the majority supporting Italy. The Americans had been thrashed at Wembley the previous week and while under pressure for 90 minutes they held out until the 94th minute and last kick of the match when super sub Matteo Politano of Inter Milan scored the only goal. We had front row tickets courtesy of US Soccer as Dave Sarachan bowed out as manager. His opposite number Roberto Mancini had fielded an experimental team but the most famous face on show was possibly the world's top referee at the moment.Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey.

      At home the EFL and Sky offered a £595 million new deal to the 72 clubs, but some are still not satisfied despite a 35% increase in money. 

      Under fire from members, the media and the public is the 37 year reign of Gordon Taylor as CEO of the Professional Players Union. At a salary of £2.4 million, the highest paid trade union boss anywhere, the members of the 111 year old union think its time for a change. His salary is about 25% of the budget. 25 year old Ben Purkiss of Walsall has been backed up in his call for a complete overhaiul.