Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MUFC the Dam flag in Red News

Click on the pics to enlarge them.
Giggs will tear you apart again!

The A-league will move forward

By Paul Frederickson

The nail is not yet in the Gold Coast United coffin but the casket has been ordered by the FFA. Whilst the past few months have seen the tensions between Clive Palmer and the FFA simmer the last week has seen them explode. This has culminated in the FFA revoking Mr Palmer's Gold Coast United's football licence. This does not bode well for the future of a national football team on the Gold Coast but this is not the death knell of the A-League.
There is a minority of people on social network forums stating that the latest debacle is the beginning of the end for the A-League. Below is a sample of this line of thought, "Unfortunately this is the start of the end for Football in Australia. And its clear that this was Palmers intentions all along."
Both the AFL and NRL have lost teams in the history of their competition, teams have merged and more teams will meet a similar fate in years to come. The nature of a ultra-competitive sporting market means that the survival of the fittest must be adhered to. If teams cannot garner support and are losing money it cannot always be the fault of the game's administrators, the franchise themselves must take most of the blame for the way they have run their club.

It is not the end of the A-League, but this is another major warning for the FFA as it is very unlikely that Mr Palmer will work away from this mess quietly, court cases must surely await. This could be a costly and negative lesson for the FFA to use both corporate governance and having the right people at the helm of our clubs. Money, and the ability to pay for a licence, should not be the only determining factor in the granting of an A-League licence.
Mr Palmer has stated that he has put $18 million dollars into the Gold Coast club. That is a significant figure regardless of his wealth reserves but he should have completed his research and found that it is very rare that football clubs anywhere in the world are profitable. Investing money does not guarantee success, but investing time in the local community is the most solid foundation that any club can make for a long-term future. Both the Gold Coast Titans and Suns made this a priority in the years preceding their first competitive games. Gold Coast United on the other hand invested in cliched rhetoric and bravado culminating in numerous first year declarations of unfettered success.

The FFA cannot afford to support teams financially but more importantly it cannot afford to be undermined by a key stakeholder, in particular a disgruntled and disrupted owner. Clive Palmer and Ben Buckley may have traded blows but it took the true football lover and veteran of boardroom tussles, Frank Lowy to land the knockout blow, he took back the Gold Coast's A-League licence.
The FFA are far from blameless in this fiasco, they have shown a distinct lack of corporate governance in the awarding of licences and maintenance of licensee obligations. Some of the comments that Clive Palmer made on SBS television's World Game program are extremely valid, no more valid point than owners should have more say about the way their businesses are run.

What may have been forgotten in this tangled mess is that many people will be hurting tonight. Fans face the real fear that their club is forever lost, players will scramble for contracts and dedicated staff may no longer have employment. No one wins from this mess, but the A-League will move on. Australian football cannot afford for it not to.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

By Paul Frederickson
Aston Villa drew but Bayern Munich and my beloved Brisbane Roar both had resounding victories over the weekend. Victories that keep both teams in contention for their respective titles, so overall a fairly happy footballing weekend for yours truly! I hope your weekend brought you some football joy.
Kenny Dalglish has had a difficult time in his return to his beloved Liverpool. That return has got a whole lot better after Liverpool's thrilling penalty shoot-out win over a terrific Cardiff team earlier this morning. King Kenny is now one of only 7 managers in the top flight of English football to win the domestic treble of League title, FA Cup and League Cup. They may have spent too much on Mr Carroll, and had racism issues this season but now they have one more trophy for their impressive collection. Can it spur Liverpool onto a late run for the coveted UEFA Champion's League qualifying spot?
Honorable Mentions: Arsenal's amazing 5-2 win over Tottenham. Ryan Giggs' goal in his 900th Manchester United appearance. Ronaldo's wonder goal for Real Madrid.
No matter how much you may feel that you have been wronged on a football pitch you cannot touch an opponent's head. With his team 3-nil up, Brisbane Roar's Henrique took umbrage to an elbow from Perth Glory's Jacob Burns. A slap to Jacob's face by Henrique had Burns sprawled on the turf. A two match ban has ensued, maybe Henrique should have just pointed to the scoreboard, and Mr Burns it was too late to get a nomination for the Oscars!

The disunity between clubs, owners, the PFA, FFA, fans and the community was summed up by the ironic use of 'Freedom of speech' on the Gold Coast United shirts in their game versus Melbourne Victory over the weekend. Wasn't Miron sacked for using the very concept? Fans were allegedly banned from bringing in protest banners to last Wednesday's game against the Central Coast Mariners as a further blow to freedom of speech and expression. The FFA had banned the use of the non-sanctioned sponsor for the Gold Coast before the game. It appears that everyone is brewing for a fight that can only damage our wonderful game. Once again, won't someone think of the children!

What are your thoughts? What were your weekend's the good, the bad and the downright ugly?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brisbane Roar club culture in one goal

By Paul Frederickson

Many football clubs around the world have a unique identity through their history, culture or results. Some, such as Barcelona have a combination of all three. The A-League clubs are in their infancy but since Ange Postecoglou took over the reins at the Brisbane Roar that has been his mandate, create a 'Brisbane way'. Last night's second goal against Perth Glory encapsulated all things that have captured Australian football fan's imaginations.

For ten minutes after half-time, and leading one-nil away from home, the Brisbane Roar defense were under tremendous pressure from a desperate Perth Glory team. Even under pressure, and with a few close calls, the Roar continued to pass the ball across the back-line, trying to probe the pressing attack and find a safe passage out of their half. This is Ange's way and he has repeatedly stated that he places performances above results.

Goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos received a dangerous back-pass and under Postecoglou's training could not just kick the ball long up field. Under pressure he played a nice ball up the wing to Shane Stefanutto. The full-back, come winger transferred the ball across the goal to Mohamed Adnan. Adnan then quickly transferred the ball to the opposite wing. All the while Perth's players could just watch the ball movement like they were watch a tennis match.

Henrique sprinted down the right wing and provided a beautiful cross that was well controlled by Besart Berisha who quickly turned Bas Van den Brink and put the ball into the back of the Perth net. Not one Perth player touched the ball for the entire passage of play.

These are not just goals, these are moments that develop the identity of a club, its philosophy and why people will watch them even if they follow another team.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

75000 pageviews

Last week MUFC pics reached 75000 pageviews, since the counting started in May 2009. The top five of countries from which the visitors came is: 1. UK 2. Holland 3. USA 4. Malaysia 5. Ireland Thanks everyone for visiting the site!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly

By Paul Frederickson

Following football is one of the greatest gifts that I have ever received. Sometimes that gift is like opening up a packet of socks on Christmas morning, the present promised so much but delivered little. On other times the gift brings you those games that have everything you could hope for. My heart is still recovering from the tension of a great A-League game between my team, the Brisbane Roar and the competition's most followed team, Melbourne Victory on Saturday night. When the final whistle blew I had a strange mix of elation and relief as we held on for a vital three points, winning 3-2. I hope that your team did not cause you too many heart issues this weekend! Now to this weekend's good, the bad and the downright ugly.
Trailling by 10 points in La Liga to bitter rivals Real Madrid, Barcelona are by their lofty standards having a terrible season. Not so their talisman number 10, Lionel Messi. Twenty-seven goals in all competition games, forty-two thus far, is a tremendous effort and is only one dynamic in his incredible contribution to his football team. This has been no better illustrated than in Barcelona's 5-1 win over third placed Valencia earlier this morning. Four goals and an assist is an incredible return for the world player of the year. If you do not like the sublime fourth goal then you are a very hard task master indeed!

You dream of playing in an epic FA Cup match and you are given the chance playing against the historically mighty Liverpool FC. Your team scores 4 goals and somehow the dream is a nightmare as three of those goals are own goals. Even worse, you are credited with two of the own goals. Brighton's Liam Birdcutt will definitely not nominate red as his favorite color in my opinion after Brighton's 6-1 loss to Liverpool in the 5th round tie against Liverpool.

Owning a football club is often more a labour of love than a profitable venture. Many football clubs around the world have encountered financial and competitive problems throughout their history, so it would be vital that the owner loves the game. There is a whole plethora of dilemmas that this article could write about Gold Coast United but I will leave them up to their owner, Clive Palmer to best sum up his alleged feelings about his own club, the competition and the people who run the game (1).

I don't even like the game," he told The Sunday Mail.
"I think it's a hopeless game. Rugby league's a much better game."

"That's the reality of it. They can say what they like ... the A-League's a joke. I don't think I'll ever talk to Ben again in my life, to be honest."

What do you think? What were your weekend's the good, the bad, and the downright ugly?

(1) Monteverde, Marco, "Clive Palmer slams football, refuses to guarantee future of Gold Coast United", Brisbane Courier Mail, February 19, 2012.

AFC Ajax-Manchester United FC 0-2. 16-02-2012 (Europa League/UEFA Cup)

If ever they're playing in your town..

YSB*YSB*YSB Red matchday experiences: Bob Marley tune at half time in the ground - immense. Having a blade pulled on us in a bar by an Ajax loon with a broken nose who was only trying to make friends. "Do you know who this knife is for?" he asked brandishing it like Crocodile Dundee. "feyenoord and liverpool." Edgy.