TFN’s Piers Barber takes a look at the wacky world of football sponsorships…
Thanks to Liverpool’s multi-million pound deal with Dunkin’ Donuts, staff at Anfield can now look forward to regularly indulging in the company’s finest baked goods, as well as the brand’s rather pitiful attempts at brewing coffee and tea.
Yet Liverpool is far from the first side to involve themselves in a wonderfully weird and out of context sponsorship deal. Here are some of the typical ways that the strange world of global capitalism has involved itself in the Beautiful Game… Continue reading
Piers Barber returns with five resolutions to improve English football for 2014. Do you have any more suggestions?
1. Don’t go out of the World Cup with a whimper
We already know one thing for sure about 2014: England aren’t going to win the World Cup. Even if our national team did possess a higher calibre of player, the odds are completely stacked against European teams at this year’s tournament in Brazil. At the same time, there is no point in going out to South America only to limply make up the numbers. This year it would be fantastic to watch England approach the tournament with attacking ambition and character, and to see some of their more competent flair players really given a chance to express themselves on the international stage. England’s recent tournament exists, after all, have been embarrassing – a return of the heroic defeat would be highly welcome. Continue reading
Piers Barber defends the League Cup and reminds us of the competition’s best ever games…
The poor old League Cup. Everyone’s least favourite English football competition has been on the receiving end of all sorts of abuse in recent years, consistently blamed for causing pesky fixture congestion and derided for only featuring the reserve squads of the nation’s leading teams.
Yet the tournament, which was founded (for some reason or another) in 1960, has far more to offer than this conventional ‘narrative’ tends to suggest. In fact, in recent years it has arguable staged far more entertaining and attacking fixtures than much of what the FA Cup, it’s older and more respected sibling, has had to offer. It’s also repeatedly proved vital to kick-starting a manager’s tenure or getting one out of a barren spell – just ask Jose Mourinho or Sir Alex Ferguson. And, as Birmingham City and Swansea City have proved in recent years, it can bring glory to supporters normally unaccustomed to winning anything.
So in honour of this weird and wonderful trophy, here are some of the best games the competition has hosted in recent years. Warning: very bad defending features throughout. Continue reading
Struggling for gift ideas this Christmas? Well here’s a warning of what not to buy from Piers Barber…
In the lead up to December’s big, fat, festive day of retail reckoning, the football Money Making Machine well and truly kicks into full gear, churning out a multitude of overpriced souvenirs and tacky stocking fillers for all varieties of super-fan.
Here this year’s best examples of cringe-worthy football capitalism: Continue reading