Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Should fans have the right to buy into their clubs?

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SOCCER-SPAIN/BARCELONA-PRESIDENTInteresting story in the Guardian this morning, saying Britain’s Labour government, if re-elected, are ready to unleash plans to give fans the right to buy their clubs when they come up for sale, and to insist that current club owners give up a stake as high as 25 percent to their supporters.

If we can leave the politics aside (there is an election on the way, and the opposition Conservatives have said acting now, after 13 years in power, makes it a pre-vote gimmick) do you think this is a good idea?

It comes after the high-profile Liverpool campaign to get 100,000 fans of the club to raise 500 million pounds in a “Barcelona style” member share scheme, and more recently the Red Knights proposal of a buy-out of Manchester United from a smaller group of wealthy individuals. 

This latest proposal,as reported, seems to be acceptanace that football is not just a business, and would presumably make club ownership less attractive for anyone wanting to get involved just to make a profit.

Sun, money, good football … who wouldn’t fancy Spain?

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SOCCER-GERMANY/Franck Ribery will likely choose Spain if he decides to leave Bayern Munich, we learned from a Sport Bild interview this morning, and I guess few people reading another of today’s big football stories, this time in France Football, would blame him.

While the Frenchman highlights the nice weather as the motivating factor behind his “tendency” towards Spain, others in his position might be swayed by the following list of the game’s top earning footballers:

Sevilla training ground highlights disparity in La Liga resources

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/Seeing Sevilla’s rather dilapidated training ground for the first time in the beautiful Andalusian sunshine on Monday morning really brought home the gulf in resources compared with La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Currently fourth in the domestic league, a whopping 21 points behind leaders Real and second-placed Barca, Sevilla are the only other Spanish side still alive in this season’s Champions League but their Ciudad Deportiva José Ramón Cisneros Palacios is a world away from both the Madrid club’s enormous, state-of-the-art Ciudad Real Madrid out near Barajas airport and Barca’s gleaming Ciutat esportiva Joan Gamper.

A quarter of a billion euros doesn’t get you much these days…

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SOCCER/Uncomfortable questions are being asked about Real Madrid’s policy of forking out a quarter of a billion euros on players following their shock elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Olympique Lyon on Wednesday.

Florentino Perez returned for a second term as president pledging to end Real’s five-year run of failure in Europe’s elite club competition but the nine-times European champions’ dream of a 10th triumph in May’s final at their Bernabeu stadium was shattered by the French side.

Is Guardiola losing his Midas Touch?

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SOCCER-SPAIN/It was always going to be difficult for Pep Guardiola to repeat last year’s astonishing achievements when Barcelona swept up six trophies.

Since adding the Club World Cup to their haul in December, they have started to look vulnerable, and, more recently, jaded.

Spanish masters riding high in the money league

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SOCCER-SPAIN/Deloitte’s latest survey of the world’s richest soccer clubs, entitled “Spanish Masters”, highlights how the dominance enjoyed by the top two, Real Madrid and Barcelona, largely depends on them raking in around half the available income from La Liga broadcast rights.

A glance at the current league table in Spain shows how this affects the domestic league, with champions Barca leading on 61 points and Real second on 59, 13 ahead of third-placed Valencia with 24 out of 38 matches played.

From the Bernabeu to the Galpharm Stadium

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPAs I huddled deeper into my jacket at the Galpharm Stadium on Saturday, watching Huddersfield Town play local rivals Leeds United, I regretted having made scoffing remarks about the overhead heaters in the stands at the Bernabeu.

I’m lucky to be able to visit Real Madrid’s iconic arena regularly through my work, reporting on La Liga stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Is Spanish football more polarised than ever?

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SOCCER-SPAIN/BARCELONA-PRESIDENTReal Madrid and Barcelona dominate European football in terms of economic might and sporting success, a study of the continent’s five major leagues has shown.

But are the Spanish giants sucking the life out of La Liga in pursuit of short-term profits and at the expense of their long term competitiveness on the football field?

Are Henry’s days at Barcelona numbered?

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/Thierry Henry has cut a forlorn figure sitting on the bench during Barcelona’s last three La Liga matches, raising questions over the French striker’s future in Spain.

The 32-year-old struggled in his first year at the Nou Camp but was a key figure in their treble-winning campaign last season scoring 26 goals in all competitions.

Doctor Cristiano and Mister Ronaldo

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SOCCER-SPAIN/The best and the worst of Cristiano Ronaldo were again on display in Sunday’s 2-0 La Liga win over Malaga, and his sending off for violent conduct has prompted fierce debate over what some in Spain are calling his “Jekyll and Hyde” character.

The Portuguese forward netted a superb first-half double to put Real Madrid in command at the Bernabeu but his night turned from glory to shame when he was dismissed for lashing out at Patrick Mtiliga and breaking the defender’s nose.

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