football

Say goodbye to the Anzhi dream team. Two years after Suleiman Kerimov (pictured) splashed out millions of dollars – and luxury cars – luring stars like Samuel Eto’o and Roberto Carlos to his native Dagestani football club, the club’s oligarch backer is tightening the purse strings.

Anzhi’s annual budget will be reduced from $180m to $50-70m, while Eto’o and other big-name players will be sold off in an effort to cut costs and improve the club’s competitive standing. Continue reading »

Real Madrid and Barcelona are known for their annual gladiatorial contest for Spanish football supremacy.

Now the two clubs have become pawns in a proxy war among Middle Eastern airlines for global recognition. Continue reading »

As Sir Alex Ferguson steps down after one of the most successful football managerial careers of all time, the numbers machine is kicking into gear – trophies, win-loss records, you name it.

The thing is, Manchester United FC is a statistician’s nightmare. A famous Guiness beer ad from a few years back said that 98 per cent of Man U fans had never been to Old Trafford, the club’s stadium. It’s not clear where that little factoid came from.

But one thing is for sure: in terms of its fans, Man U under Fergie has become one of the world’s leading emerging markets football clubs. Continue reading »

Leonid Fedun, the billionaire deputy chief executive of Lukoil, is considering taking his Spartak football club public in what could be the first ever Russian football IPO.

Investors should not get carried away. Football is not a particularly profitable business and even the most successful clubs tend to live beyond their means. Continue reading »

Football leagues around the globe draw heavily on foreign imports as both players and coaches. But as ambassadors?

In China, where the sport is struggling to escape the taint of match fixing and bribery scandals, the masters of the football world have decided that their best representative is someone who has never played in the country’s league: David Beckham. Continue reading »

Football is far and away the most popular sport in Indonesia and, with the domestic game in a sorry state, clubs from the English Premier League are looking to cash in.

In the latest round, Arsenal have just announced that they will play a friendly match against a national team in July, marking the team’s return to the country after a 31-year absence. Continue reading »

Football bosses are not normally ones to mince their words, but Brazil’s new coach really surpassed himself on Thursday. Luiz Felipe Scolari, or Felipão (Big Phil) as he’s known, has only been in the job a few hours but he’s already managed to spark a national scandal, it seems.

At a press conference to announce his appointment, the former Chelsea manager was asked about the pressure the Brazilian team would be under to win the World Cup on their home turf in 2014. Continue reading »

So, Qatar Airways will appear as the main logo on FC Barcelona’s shirts from next year, replacing the Qatar Foundation.

That means Doha’s state-run carrier will go head-to-head with Dubai’s Emirates, which sponsors Arsenal, and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, which sponsors Manchester City, in yet another battle ground for regional aviation supremacy: football sponsorship. Continue reading »

The debacle at Warsaw’s National stadium – where a Poland-England match had to be scrubbed on Tuesday night because the brand new ground failed to close its roof despite a deluge of rain – tested the talents of Polish and English Facebook and Twitter jokers.

The most popular photo shared online seemed to be a black-and-white one of men in flippers trying to kick a ball, but the football fiasco points to a deeper problem with Polish infrastructure. Continue reading »

Vladimir Putin has been holding forth about what Russia will gain by investing billions of dollars in preparations for the 2018 World Cup. Apart from boosting investment in infrastructure, the football will have a positive impact on the health of the nation by encouraging people to quit smoking and drinking and play sports instead. Or so he says. Continue reading »

With Carlos Slim as their new striker, leading Mexican soccer clubs Pachuca and León are pondering a listing in the stock exchange.

Forget Manchester United’s listing on Wall Street, the two Mexican clubs would be the first  to be floated on the Mexican stock market. Continue reading »

A  top Turkish football club has found a novel way of raising extra revenue.

Forget scarves and shirts, and corporate entertainment, Trabzonspor is building a hydroelectric power station. Continue reading »

In a sport where making profits has taken a back seat to on-pitch results, former French football international Jean-Marc Guillou is bucking the trend.

Players trained at his JMG Academy have contracts at top clubs like Manchester City and Arsenal. And his investors are averaging nominal returns of over €15m – over 200 per cent over a ten year period. And Guillou himself, of course, does well too. But it’s a model that is not without critics. Continue reading »

By Stefan Wagstyl and Roman Olearchyk

The successful staging of the Euro 2012 football tournament helped unify Ukrainians in a surge of well-deserved national pride.

But hopes that the event will help promote political harmony in a fractured country – and boost investor confidence – have been knocked on the head, literally so. Continue reading »

For Poland, co-hosting the European football championships was about getting a PR boost rather than making a big wodge of cash off visiting fans – and that’s the way the tournament seems to have worked out. Continue reading »