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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Why our predictions panel rates a less than perfect 10

People can be divided into 10 types: those who understand binary and those who don't.

I mention this only because a look down our scores for this week would reveal a great many ones and zeroes, and very few fives.

To recap: in this game, you get a point for predicting the right result from the English football, but make that five if you bag the correct score.

The big winner for us this week was Simon Evans, our man in Miami, who is the new leader after grabbing 14 points, including correct scores on Villa and Bolton.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Hey Diego! Know where you should avoid?

I'm very reluctant to call anyone stupid. What? Yes, I HAVE used that word in 423 blog posts, which just goes to show my restraint.

So here is this story about "soccer legend" Diego Maradona. He checked into a weight-loss clinic in Italy, and finance police promptly seized his earrings to help pay off his back taxes.

from Africa News blog:

Flashlights or a blackout-free soccer bonanza?


South Africa’s power utility Eskom has assured the world it will keep the lights on during the FIFA World Cup next year.

But many wonder if they can trust the assurances after the country’s national grid came to a near standstill last year, forcing mines and smelters to shut and costing the biggest economy in Africa billions of dollars.

from DealZone:

Own goal?

Standard Chartered bucks the trend of banks making a dash from sports sponsorship deals and will pay $130 million to put its name on Liverpool Football Club's shirts for four years from next summer. It is one of the most lucrative deals in soccer history.But AIG, Citi, RBS and Northern Rock offer a stark reminder that big sports deals can be high-profile signals of waste. AIG sponsored Manchester United and RBS and ING pumped millions into Formula One, and Northern Rock was better known to millions as the sponsor of Newcastle F.C. than as a mortgage bank -- until its collapse.Citi raised anger after sticking with a controversial $400 million deal with baseball team the New York Mets. All those banks needed taxpayer rescue funds.Critics say big sports deals can reflect poor corporate governance and misguided priorities. Advisory firm Advisor Perspectives this year said a study of 69 U.S. sports "naming rights" deals showed the performance of the companies buying the rights trailed the S&P 500 index by almost 5 percent over the course of the deal.But it could be a good fit for StanChart, which gets 80 percent of its profits in Asia. Liverpool is a big, iconic name in Asia and English Premier League games are screened into millions of homes each week. The prize for the bank is not the domestic or European fields where Liverpool has enjoyed regular success, but the potential customers in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and across the region.At least there can be few complaints the bank's board is following its heart. Former chairman and CEO Mervyn Davies was a staunch Spurs supporter, current CEO Peter Sands is an avid Arsenal fan and Finance Director Richard Meddings may have struggled to find a global reach with a deal with his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers.

from The Great Debate UK:

What’s a goal (or five) worth?

simon_chadwick-Professor Simon Chadwick, Director, Centre for the International Business of Sport, Coventry, UK. The opinions expressed are his own. -

There is a famous song, composed in the run-up to UEFA Euro 96, in which the Lightening Seeds, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel refer to England’s 30 years of hurt (the period at the time since England won its one and only World Cup).

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Back to the real world: league predictions

Now we've got that pesky international interlude behind us (it'll all end in tears, you know it will) we can get back to the serious business of predicting the scores in the Premier League.

Remember how it works: We, at Reuters Soccer Blog, publish our individual predictions for the weekend Premier League matches here on a Friday. You, laughing snidely at our pathetic efforts, send in yours in the comments section below the post.

from Rosalba O'Brien:

Should we copy Argentina and broadcast football for free?

Argentina's cash-strapped government has just laid out a wad of crisp pesos (600 million a year - about US$155 million - to be precise) to pay for the rights to broadcast Argentine league games for nada on TV .

It's a move that is bound to go down well in the soccer mad nation, but has been roundly criticised for being populist and a waste of state funds.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Predicting the score… you make us look good!

Are you a flip-flopper? A U-turner? A volte-facer? Are you the Brett Favre of football fans? If so, you're in good company, though it's not doing you much good in our predictions league.

Liverpool lost at Spurs and suddenly there were doubts about the strength of the squad, derision at the decision to sell Xabi Alonso and a general feeling the Reds were in decline. They then beat Stoke 4-0 and it was "madness to write them off". Last night, they lost again, 3-1 at home to Aston Villa, and Sky Sports News have been asking if their title challenge is over... And it's still only August 25! Phew!

from Our Take on Your Take:

Drama in the details

Sometimes pictures need to be seen big. This week's picture of soccer fans clashing with police in the Czech Republic is one of those pictures. Click here to see the full size image.

The more you look at this picture the more the details of the scene become visible - from the look of horror on the woman's face to the overturned potted plant. The soccer fan's eyes are what draw you into the frame but it is the details that keep you looking at it.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Why Mourinho is raging at Lippi

Jose Mourinho is no stranger to run-ins with rival club managers, but this week the Portuguese raised his aim and had a swipe at Italian national team boss Marcello Lippi.

The Inter Milan coach had taken exception to Lippi tipping Juventus for this year's Serie A title.
He accused him of lacking respect, arguing a national team coach should be seen to be impartial even if deep down he wants Juve to win (Lippi had two glorious stints at the Turin club split by a dismal, short one at Inter).

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