Symbolic value

Rangers owner Craig Whyte has come under fire after he allegedly cashed in a piece of Rangers history, shortly before the club entered administration last week.

According to reports, Whyte sold 16 shares in Arsenal to a consortium called Red and White, fronted by Alisher Usmanov.

The shares do have a monetary worth (approximately £230,000 at the current price) but their true value lies in their symbolic importance.

The shares formed a historic link between the two clubs dating back 102 years when Arsenal had financial problems and were helped out by Rangers purchasing 2 shares in the London club. Years later, Arsenal gifted the Scottish side an additional shares 14 in recognition of the earlier support they had received.

Although the monetary value of the shares has increased in recent years, there was a tacit agreement that they formed part of the club’s heritage and should not be sold.

Along came Whyte and 102 years of history goes down the drain.

The full story can be found here.

Mourinho in hot water

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho could be in trouble after referring to match officials as ‘faggots’ prior to his team’s Champions League round of 16 first-leg draw against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.

Mourinho is overheard saying: “Y esos maricones… No dicen con que balon se juega?” That translates to: “And these faggots… don’t say what ball you play with?”

Apparently there were two different colored balls on the field, one orange and one white.

The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) has filed a complaint against the Portuguese boss, and co-president Louise Englefield has urged UEFA to take action against Mourinho.

“Homophobia is unacceptable from anyone in football, much less from one of the game’s most senior figures. We are deeply disappointed that Mr. Mourinho is casually using homophobic terms of abuse in his workplace,” Englefield was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“It is especially sad that these comments have been made during the International Football v Homophobia campaign week.”

Without wishing to excuse Mourinho for his crassness, it’s unlikely he will have been aware that the timing of his remarks was particularly insensitive. And in that, he will not have been alone.

In England, only six Premier League clubs agreed actively to help with the campaign. The 6 signed were: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Fulham, Liverpool, Newcastle Utd and Norwich City.

Petty Porto

Porto are considering a complaint to UEFA against Manchester City fans after they taunted Brazilian striker Hulk with chants of ‘You’re Not Incredible’.

It’s unclear whether Porto objected to the chant because it was offensive Hulk or because it offended anyone with a sense of humour. Either way, Porto communications director Rui Cerqueira, said the club would take action about the ‘improper behaviour’.

Cerqueira said: “We will take this to UEFA. It is improper behaviour. This behaviour may be normal in England but Porto want to contribute to eradicating it from sport.”

The action could well be retaliation for City’s complaint that Porto fans racially abused Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure at the Estadio do Dragao last week.

Goal of the day

Universidad de Chile crushed Argentina’s Godoy Cruz 5-1 in Wednesday’s Libertadores Cup game. Brazilian-born forward Junior Fernandes scored a hat-trick for the Chilean side, but it was his third, set up by a perfectly-weighted pass by Gustavo Lorenzetti that was the highlight of the evening.

Young man’s game?

There’s no substitute for experience, the saying goes, and Inter coach Claudio Ranieri certainly took that message to heart for Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Marseille. In fact, with an average age of 31 years and 331 days, he sent out the oldest team in the history of the competition.

The line-up:
Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio,Samuel, Chivu, Zanetti(c), Cambiasso, Stankovic,
Sneijder, Zarate, Forlan

Quote of the day

“Just stop with your fucking handshake questions. You just keep talking about that handshake, for fuck sake! Who wants to shake hands after such a match?! Are we at a boarding school for girls here or what?”

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness speaks his mind when asked about Franck Ribery’s refusal ro shake hands with coach Jupp Henyckes.


What is it about handshakes? First, Sepp Blatter argued that a handshake after a match was the best way to solve on-pitch racial disputes and then there was the recent Suarez-Evra handshake saga, plus Hoeness handshake-inspired rant and now, Franz Beckenbauer, chairman of the FIFA’s Task Force Football 2014, has recommended players gather in the centre circle after matches to shake hands.

“At full time I think it would be a better image … when leaving the pitch together and not refusing a handshake,” Beckenbauer said. “They should be role models and should behave like role models.”

“That is what we used to do when I was at school,” Beckenbauer said. “I believe one should leave the pitch the same way one has entered the pitch.”

Unless your name is Luis Suarez.

Miss of the day

A scarcely believable miss from Flamego’s Deivid against Vasco da Gama.

Save of the day

Bayern Munich’s 2012 slump continued with a 1-0 Champions League defeat to Basel on Wednesday, although the margin of defeat could have been greater had it not been for a remarkable instinctive save from Manuel Neuer.


Former England and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler appears to have given up hope of the India’s Premier League Soccer (PLS) taking place.

The competition was due to start on February 25, then put off until March 24, before the latest delay caused by problems organising stadiums. No new date has been set for the event to start.

Though organisers insist the tournament has been delayed rather than cancelled, Fowler, one of the veteran ‘stars’ hired to play in it, tweeted that the tournament now appeared unlikely to go ahead.

“Ah well.. India looks like its cancelled, boots are clean and looking for a new place to play,” wrote the 35-year-old, who was sold for $530,000 to the Kolkata franchise at an auction last month.