Thursday, 26 February 2009

Football Filtered #3

Here's an extract from my latest guest blog over at Football Filter:

Welcome to our latest look at what’s been passing through the football filter this week.

The Champions league returned and some intriguing ties involving English clubs filled up most of the back pages. Jose was back and as vocal as ever despite being held to a 0-0 draw with Man United at the San Siro. THE MIRROR reported that Mourinho is confident his side can go through and repeat his heroics of 2004 when his Porto side knocked United out of the Champions League en route to lifting the trophy.

There was chaos at the bookies on Wednesday as the odds on Rafa Benitez walking out on Liverpool shortened dramatically, with bookmakers William Hill suspending betting on the Spaniard’s departure after a flurry of high bets. The timing, with Benitez and Liverpool in Madrid about to play his boyhood team Real, seemed all too convenient and THE MIRROR suspected there is more to this story than just hot air.

FIFA’s controversial 6+5 rule reared it’s head again as a Independent study by the Institute for European Affairs ruled that the 6+5 idea - which would mean at least six starting players in a team would have to be eligible for that team’s home nation - was not illegal and doesn’t restrict the free movement of workers. This could have as great an impact on the game as the Bosman ruling did 1995. THE INDEPENDENT runs the rule over the possible ramifications.

THE SPOILER reports Arsenal have defied the credit crunch by recording an operating profit of £24.5 million before tax. But the article also reveals the Gunners’ apparent reliance Champions League money to support their business structure. With Arsene Wenger’s side currently in fifth place it would be interesting to....

To read the rest of my guest blog please click here.

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