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Football News: Review Of The Day 24th March 2020

Review Of The Day 24th March 2020
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Review of the Day



Borussia Dortmund have put all transfer activity on hold until after the coronavirus crisis is finished. Sporting director Michael Zorc said: "There is a huge uncertainty, which has an influence on all clubs. We have to manage the critical situation first."

Czech forward Patrik Schick has revealed that he rejected moves to Everton and Crystal Palace to sign for RB Leipzig on loan from AS Roma instead, last summer. The 24 year old has hinted that he would like a Premier League move though telling "When I left the Czech Republic, my dream was to play in Italy and I achieved that. Now, I feel very attracted to England, to be honest. Leipzig was absolutely the right choice for my career. I had also talked to Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke here in Germany. In England, there were Everton and Crystal Palace, plus Valencia in Spain. I just felt that Leipzig wanted me more, and I was also attracted to the playing style of coach Julian Nagelsmann. I am sure that I made the right choice."


Coronavirus Latest

UEFA have formally decided to postpone European competition finals this year. Both the Champions League final and the Europa League final were scheduled for May but have now been postponed indefinitely.

Spain's La Liga have announce an indefinite suspension of football in the country. A joint La Liga and Spanish football federation (RFEF) statement read: "The Monitoring Commission established by the current RFEF-LaLiga Coordination Agreement agrees the suspension of professional football competitions until the authorities of the Government of Spain and the General Administration of the State consider that they can be resumed without creating any health risk. Both the RFEF and LaLiga wish to express our greatest public gratitude to all those who are dedicating their best efforts to provide essential services to the Spanish people and also share our condolences for all the deceased and a warm embrace from the world of soccer to the many families that are losing loved ones."

Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has said the quartet of Pompey players who tested postive for coronavirus are not displaying symptoms and "feel good". James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Sean Raggett and Haji Mnoga were all revealed to have Covid-19 on Saturday. Jackett told the BBC: "They're good. I spoke to all of them on Monday morning and they all feel good. They don't have any symptoms, which is good news. They need to go through the (self-isolation) process but they're all well."

Heart of Midlothian captain Steven Naismith has agreed to take a 50% pay cut, after the club asked all the players and staff to do so. Naismith said: "My family and I feel that, through a long career, football has been very good to us. Therefore, I personally feel that I can and should accept the 50% reduction in wages. I hope this can contribute in some way to the long-term survival of the club at a challenging time and save jobs, especially those that are the lowest earners and hence those who will be struggling the most at this time. I know every one of my team-mates have unique circumstances with their finances, homes and families. I can assure everyone they are all doing what they can."

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack believes his club are staring at a £5m loss. Cormack said: "Three weeks ago we were in a healthy financial position; free of external debt, with £1.5million in the bank. We had expected income of about £1m from four home league games and the Scottish Cup semi-final and, potentially, £5m in season ticket sales, seasonal hospitality and new shirt sales coming in through mid-July. Our monthly running costs are about £1.2m and it's only prudent to assume that, realistically, there will be no football until July perhaps, at the earliest. It is highly unlikely there will be any player sales in the summer. No club, whatever their size, scale or level of investment, can withstand a total lack of income over a period of anything between three to six months. The board will recommend a course of action to ensure the club's future. This will include asking investors, including myself, to support the plan. We will be facing some tough decisions and we will need everyone to come together and play their part in efforts to make sure the club get through this period."

Cormack also said that he believes there are no Scottish clubs that could survive months of no football: "It's important we all waken up. I've had calls, emails, texts from the great and good of Scottish football thanking me for putting this out. I don't believe there is any club in Scotland - and I mean any club in Scotland - that can survive six-to-nine months of this. And I don't wish to be scaremongering but we are budgeting for this to be fully three-to-six months. What we are doing as a club is collaborating - manager Derek McInnes, the players, myself, captain Joe Lewis, the off-field team - we are all working on this together and we as a team will come up with a solution that ensures the survival of Aberdeen Football Club. That's our goal and that's our plan."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has told Spanish TV that he feels he has fully recovered from coronavirus. Arteta became the first Premier League manager to test positive but has told Spanish TV channel La Sexta he feels much better now. Arteta said: "I got a call from the board of directors after training while I was in my car and they told me the president of Olympiakos had tested positive, and everyone who had been in contact was at risk. I went on to tell them that I wasn't feeling well and that we had a situation because we had lots of players that had been in contact with them. We had a game against Manchester City the next day and obviously we couldn't put lots of people at risk without saying anything. Obviously all those who had been in contact with me had to go into quarantine, and consequently games had to be suspended. It took me three or four days to start feeling better, with more energy, to leave the symptoms behind. I am very well now. I feel that I have recovered."

It is not just in Scotland clubs fear bankruptcy, the president of Saint-Etienne, Bernard Caiazzo has similar worries about French football. Caiazzo said: "I am very, very, very worried for all the clubs. Without state aid, within six months, half of professional clubs will have to file for bankruptcy. The five major leagues have already lost €4 billion and the French league between €500m and €600m. The difference between the general economy and football is the big wages. Partial unemployment is a €6,000 maximum. Not many players earn €6,000. Above that, it is the clubs who have to pay. At present, they have no revenue. Currently, all clubs are losing around €250m per month. We cannot play until the curve is reversed. So, July or August - mid-June at best. There will also be no transfer window. Our neighbours will not have the resources to buy players this summer. However, some Ligue 1 clubs are banking on sales by the end of June. Not to mention the €170m less in TV rights money, as well as a box office shortfall."

Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell has been using the break constructively by spending time calling elderly Norwich supporters who have been affected by the virus outbreak. Cantwell said: "You've got to keep yourself busy. Something I've been doing with the club is calling some of the season ticket holders who are over-80 and I've been having some conversations with them and touching base which I think is important. These are very difficult times, especially for the older generation, who this horrible infection seems to be targeting. It's been refreshing for them to hear me talking to them and interacting with them a little bit and just have a general conservation to check that they're okay and I think it's fantastic that this is something the club have decided we can do to interact. Fifa is great with all the amazing technology for the younger generations but with the older generation a phone call goes a long way, I think."


The Lists Go On

Transfermarkt are really milking this particular vein of 'news' and are now up to 2007's most valuable players, according to their best guesses at the time. This year saw the emergence of one Lionel Messi:
Player's Name - Team - Value in Euros
1. Ronaldinho - Barcelona - 80m
2. Kaka - AC Milan - 70m
3. Lionel Messi - Barcelona - 60m
4. Thierry Henry - Arsenal - 50m
5. Andrii Shevchenko - Chelsea - 46m
6. Ruud van Nistelrooy - Real Madrid - 40.5m
7. Francesco Totti - AS Roma - 40m
8. Frank Lampard - Chelsea - 39.75m
9. Steven Gerrard - Liverpool 38.5m
10. Didier Drogba - Chelsea - 38.5m
11. Samuel Eto'o - Barcelona - 38m
12. Arjen Robben - Chelsea - 36m
13. Wayne Rooney - Manchester United - 36m
14. Fernando Torres - Atletico Madrid - 36m
15. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Inter Milan - 35m
16. Michael Ballack - Chelsea - 35m
17. David Villa - Valencia - 35m
18. Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United - 34m
19. Gianluigi Buffon - Juventus - 33m
20. John Terry - Chelsea - 33m
21. Adriano - Inter Milan - 32m
22. Anderson - Manchester United - 31.5m
23. Xavi - Barcelona - 31m
24. Robinho - Real Madrid - 30.5m
25. Andrea Pirlo - AC Milan - 30m


Footballers Kidnapped

Two Nigerian footballers have been kidnapped while out driving. The Nigerian league is currently suspended and three players, Abia Comets' Benjamin Iluyomade and Enyimba pair Dayo Ojo and Emmanuel James, had been away to Akure. Emmanuel James managed to escape but the other two were taken. An Enyimba statement read: "Enyimba Football Club can announce that midfielder Ekundayo Ojo has been abducted by gunmen along the Benin-Owo expressway. The incident occurred on Sunday, March 22 as the player journeyed to Akure to observe a break following the suspension of the Nigeria Professional Football League amid concerns over the global pandemic, Covid-19. Ojo was in the company of Enyimba teammate Emmanuel James, as well as Benjamin Iluyomade, also a professional footballer. While James escaped the attack, Iluyomade was captured alongside Ojo.
Enyimba FC has since maintained close contact with Ojo's family, as efforts are already in place to ensure the player's release from his abductors. At this time, and considering the sensitivity of the incident, Enyimba Football Club wishes to call on members of the media to refrain from reports or speculations capable of jeopardising the player's safety. Ojo's family also wishes to appeal for privacy while enjoining the general public to pray for the safety and freedom of the player."


Bordeaux Make Change After 16 Years

Girondins Bordeaux have spend 16 years having their kits supplied by Puma but next season (whenever that is) they will be changing over to Adidas in a 1m euros a year deal on a 5 year contract. Adidas added Scottish giants Celtic to their portfolio last week, in what was called Scotland's "biggest kit sponsorship ever".

Written by Tris Burke March 23 2020 20:06:07


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