Cultured Football #126
777 Issues for Everton. Dual Delights of Bedfont FC. Dilemma for Lewes. Do Chelsea's Owners Like Fans? Transfer Lingo Explained.
This is Cultured Football, where the best football writing of the past seven days is carefully selected, just for you.
By Philippe Auclair and Paul Brown for Josimar
Search for recent stories about Everton and you will undoubtedly find a fair few which contain the word ‘mismanagement’ in the title. Years of lack of patience and bad spending have caught up with them, making them vulnerable to vultures looking for a ‘good deal’. Hence 777 Partners, who seem set to invest big money in Everton. Yet they are no knights in shining armour, as the increasing problems some of their clubs are facing - including the once Belgian great of Standard Liege - foreshow. How are funds like this allowed to own football clubs?
Bonus Pick: Not to get you too depressed but…“Qnet, an official partner of Manchester City since 2014, has been implicated in human trafficking investigations, and faces ongoing allegations that it is a Ponzi scheme which contributes to suicide and financial ruin.” Essential investigative journalism.
By Dominic Bliss and Stuart Tree for Terrace Edition
“It's probably fair to say the crossover on the Venn Diagram of plane spotters and groundhoppers is not insignificant.” So begins the delightful piece about Bedfont FC that is as far removed from the hysteria of the transfer window as you could possibly be. Delightful.
Over recent years, Lewes FC have been put forward as a club that does things the right way, including putting the teams of either gender on equal footing. Recent news that an investment group is looking to take over the women’s side, however, has led those running the club - and its fans - to face an existential conundrum.
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By Barney Ronay for The Guardian
As Keiran Maguire shared on Twitter "Boehly & Co spent £49,750,000 on Graviskaia & Bruce Buck bonuses for their part in transferring ownership but stopped £250k a year subsidy for away coaches used by lifelong Chelsea fans. Will take 199 years of subsidy to match the director bonus." Chelsea’s new ownership are clearly heavily invested in the club but did they really think that helping fans travel to away trips was the one cost they shut cut back on?
By Tor-Kristian Karlsen for ESPN
All the terms that are bandied about during the transfer window which you’ve either always been afraid (or uninterested) to ask what they truly mean. Including why Chelsea are dishing out eight year contracts.
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Last Week’s Most Read: The Evolution of the Ball-Playing Goalkeeper
By Ryan Benson for The Analyst
Football is constantly evolving, and one of the most significant changes of the past decades has been in the role of the goalkeeper. No longer is it enough for a goalkeeper to be a good shot-stopper; they need to be good with the ball at their feet to add to their team's play. An evolution that was kick-started by the elimination of the back-pass rule more than three decades back is now reflected by clubs looking for some very specific traits.
Bonus pick: Is it possible to determine a goalkeeper's performance by looking at their statistics or are these contaminated by their team performance? In other words, how easily can you tell if a goalkeeper is good or bad rather than one who is simply playing in a good (or bad) team?