• pippy posted an update 17 hours, 53 minutes ago

    Should England go to the Football World Cup in Moscow? I’m generally against using sport as a political football (excuse the pun), but this is different as there is a risk to both footballers and fans. It presents the Russians with too many opportunities to be a least difficult, and much worse is possible. I know that if England, Germany and other…[Read more]

    • Sport as it relates to national teams is inherently political.

      I don’t think England should go to the World Cup, no, if sufficient evidence exists to link Russia to the Skripal killing. Ideally there would be some international unity, but I can’t really see that happening.

      I don’t think the players would be at risk, but the fans would from Russi…[Read more]

    • If Britain boycotts the world cup and no one else does, then if will make Britain look isolated not Russia.

      At the moment no other country is likely to boycott the World Cup, especially since the UK is one of the main routes for dirty money leaving Russia, and three premier league teams are owned by Russians with good links to Putin.

      Putin…[Read more]

      • Indeed. If we want to make any substantial impact on Russia then we need to hit them in the wallet, it seems to be the only thing they understand. Quite why major sports tournaments keep going to countries that are f*cked up is beyond my comprehension…unless bribes are involved.

    • I’m assuming that England will only stay for the group stage before returning home to an enraged media, then the hunt for a new manager can begin.

  • Kelly posted an update 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    Arsenal: Wenger has to be sacked!
    Think I heard Martin Keown saying ‘Wenger is like a defeated boxer in the ring where no one is prepared to throw the towel in for him and he keeps going back for more – someone (Chairperson/owners) needs to give him a way out coz he keeps waiting for the ideal way out, which doesn’t happen’.

    Stadium half empty…[Read more]

    • What would you like to see Arsenal become? Trophies need to be bought these days, not earned and it’s a pretty soulless experience supporting a team that spends circa £300M per year to try and compete at the top level. This still doesn’t guarantee success, either.

      • That’s a pretty good assessment. I’m a Manchester United fan. The Fergie years were great, there is no denying that. Made better for having spirited rivals like Arsenal and Liverpool. And of course there were marquee signings but they felt special and fairly rare. One of the pundits on the radio made the point that £30 million nowadays gets you a…[Read more]

        • I agree entirely. And add to that the disgraceful cheating on the pitch, the bullying of the ref when decisions don’t go their way and the ridiculous earnings. Totally soulless at the moment (apart from the Leicester win) and frustrating to watch. It just feels as though the whole sport is without integrity from the top to the bottom which in…[Read more]

      • Last summer Arsenal made profit in the transfer market. I’d like to see them spend some of their massive wealth on players. They’ve bought too many duffers – so need to sort this out (one of the reasons Wenger has to go). And I’d like to see them playing as if they really meant it – bad management a key factor here (another reason Wenger has to…[Read more]

        • Serious question – how is it bad management re: the playing style?
          It’s brilliant what Wigan did (as a United fan you had me cheering from the rafters). But, you’ll not be bank rolling a bid for Messi anytime soon off the back of a good FA Cup run. It almost (could?) prove where the focus lies. There are trophies and there are trophies – unfortunately.

        • Buying trophies is why football is the new wrestling – it’s entertainment but it’s not sport. Just like you sit there in a Bond film routing for 007 to win, but really he always does. The outcomes are predictable. Can’t see why the average person wastes any time, money or effort on professional football. Plenty of good sport available these…[Read more]

      • Here is an example of money in football.

        We have a world cup being held in Quatar. We hear of human rights violations and workers dying on a regular basis. Its basically the land that time forgot.

        We have a top level manager in Pep Guardiola being held up as a shining light for his support of the Barcalona independence fight wearing his…[Read more]

    • As a neutral I’d say Wenger was brilliant when he arrived and did much to singlehandedly transform the culture of the game but now he seems to have run out of steam and should leave with whatever dignity he has left intact. I feel genuine pity for a guy who has outstayed his time and either won’t or can’t acknowledge that. Contrast it with Alex…[Read more]

    • Wonder who they would get to replace him?

    • Arsenal still a quality side and Wenger a top coach, but every now and again a special team comes along and some City fans have been waiting 50 years for this! Arsenal just been unlucky to get them twice in a week when they look to be finding top form.

      Nothing Wenger could have done I don’t think….C’mon City!!

    • You would think, as a spurs fan, I would be happy at seeing what is happening at Arsenal. I’m not though. Because Arsenal, alongside Spurs and Liverpool should be the models of what modern football clubs are built on. Unfortunately, they are now selling their souls to investors who see millionaires as paupers.

      There are hundreds of different…[Read more]

    • Maybe he’s waiting to be sacked so he can use Ron Atkinson’s old line when he got the bullet at Man U. “I leave as I arrived – fired with enthusiasm”

      • Wenger inherited George Graham’s iron-hard defence plus Dennis Bergkamp. Once these essential parts of the team were retired he had no plan for replacing them. Admittedly he bought into the vision of a new stadium which increased the revenue stream but he has been timid in the transfer market. Apart from Shankly, Paisley and Ferguson every manager…[Read more]

        • mel replied 2 weeks ago

          It’s fair to say that Wenger, with the honourable exceptions of Campbell and Kosczelny (sp?) has always come up short on defenders but he followed Bergkamp with

          Thierry Henri, Robert Pires, Manu Petit, Patrick Viera, Freddie Ljundberg, Fabregas

          Hardly unproductive signings

        • Amy replied 2 weeks ago

          I couldn’t have said it better myself!

          As an Arsenal fan of a long-time standing, I crave the defensive toughness and counter-attacking speed of the George Graham teams. I feel very disorientated watching Arsenal these days (unlike when I first followed Arsenal seriously in the late 80s). Wenger did do well for his first decade as manager but ran…[Read more]

    • lilly replied 2 weeks ago

      Wenger should have done the sensible thing in a May .and retired.

      and the owners were much too soft when agreeing to let him carry on.

      Arsene either doesn’t have a retirement vineyard to potter around on ,or he stubbornly believes he can produce another team capable of challenging.

      His players don’t do nearly enough. Welbeck was terrible the…[Read more]

    • Amy replied 2 weeks ago

      No! And here’s why:

      A) Wenger is easily the most interesting manager in the Premier League. Even though he is not really likeable I find myself really liking him. Arguably he presided over the most beautiful football ever played in the UK. He is part of the culture of our football – if we lose him we will miss him.

      B) It would be very unwise to…[Read more]

    • What is strange is how stubborn he is.

      His best team was great, but it was hard. Even the flare players like Bergkamp and Henry had that bit of Devil in them. But their Spine was hard, they went out and won the fight then won the game with great soccer.

      For the last decade there has been no spine, no good keeper, no hard center half, no dominant…[Read more]

      • Kelly replied 2 weeks ago

        The money players earn is often cited, sometimes lazily, as a reason why that fight or spirit has been lost. Back in the day when your profile dictated earnings, a stellar cup run or a winning team was the zenith upon which you got known and got to dictate somewhat, your worth.

        Now even very average players have image rights, boot deals and…[Read more]

  • jess posted an update 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    Boycott the next World Cup in Qatar? So many people have died building the stadiums, let alone the abuse and neglect of workers and their human rights, yet there is little in the way of public commendation.


    • Various folk from arab nations are the only people keeping the rich in footballer rich. They are bankrolling so many clubs, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. So don’t expect to hear anything strongly condemning from the FA etc..

      • Exactly. You get situations where Pep Gaurdiola wears a yellow ribbon in support for jailed Catalonian politicians, which is against FA rules… yet is an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup where far more human rights issues are a problem. Then you look at who pays his salary and it all starts to make sense.

        Has football ever been a beacon of…[Read more]

        • “Has football ever been a beacon of integrity, honesty and morality?”

          Perhaps. A long time ago when footballers went back to their day job on a Monday morning and the only merchandise was a home knitted hat or scarf in appropriate colors.

    • I recall the outcry when Russia was awarded this year’s World Cup, people demanding we (The Home Nations teams) boycott that event. All gone quiet now.

      And the next Winter Olympics in China?

    • Why not go the whole way and advocate boycotting visiting, spending money or generally dealing with the offending countries (it isn’t just Qatar)? Abuse, neglect and death of workers happens across the Gulf, yet I haven’t seen many calls for people to stop having sunny beach holidays in Dubai or to stop climbing in Oman.

    • Why focus on the world cup? This is how the construction industry works in most of the world, so why cherry pick the world cup for your concern instead of all construction?

      • The same could be said for the consumerists of the world in general. Why for example do people have such a Hard-on for taking down Oxfam. Yes, obscene things were done to extremely vulnerable people in the name of charity.

        Oxfam, on the whole try their best to do good in the world, but public opinion went for the jugular. Here we have an…[Read more]

  • strike posted an update 3 weeks ago

    5 medals £28 million spent.. was the winter Olympics worth the money for great Britain?

    • My 50p share has been well spent in keeping me entertained.

    • pippy replied 3 weeks ago

      What is the ‘worth’ of success in international sport of any sort?

      • ella replied 3 weeks ago

        Tends to make people feel better when a member of the tribe does well against the other tribes, aka foreigners.

    • Kelly replied 3 weeks ago

      Isn’t it lottery funded? Therefore thanks to all the gullible fools that paid for lottery tickets, I really enjoyed the games and didn’t pay a penny.

      Joking aside, we only complain that we’re rubbish at everything if we don’t win anything and that we should invest more. We’re not going to compete with serious nations on pluck and great British…[Read more]

    • It seems much cheaper than many other sports e.g. premiership football (and more interesting), the people are not paid masses and inspire whole generations on occasions. If 12.5 million people watched it thats only £2 each. For me the summer olympics are more inspiring than winter, but I think definitely worth it.

    • That money goes into supporting winter sports at different levels. I imagine tens of thousands of people will have benefited from this funding to some extent.

      • In what way? Funding for summer Olympics is very much ring fenced for competitors and then only for those with a realistic chance of being competitive. Unless new facilities have been built which are open to all that £28 million has no legacy.

    • Not really. Basketball is played by more people in inner city’s, the money would be better spent there than on middle class sports for the esoteric few..

      • The ‘whataboutbasketball’ argument in the context of winter Olympic funding has been quite funny.

        • Really?

          I think it’s a fundamental question. If we are spending tax money on sport, do we spend it widely on mass participation to improve the health and wellbeing of a wider population, or do we take the East German approach and focus on high achieving athletes in niche sports, and potential future high achievers for reasons of national pride…[Read more]

        • Not really. That money could be used in inner city areas to promote a grass roots sport which has far more participation than bob sleigh or whizzing down an icey slope on a tea tray.

          It cuts right to the heart of the issue about promoting sport.

        • I don’t think there are any winter sports to roll out to the inner-city masses – maybe ice hockey?

          Otherwise seems a shame to abandon a major international get-together for the sake of £28m – compared to about £20bn we spent hosting the summer olympics.

          Skeleton was good tv

      • If it was spent on Basketball, it would go to the national team and its hangers-on (coaches, managers, physios etc.) rather than grass roots. However those at the top are already exceptionally well paid, as they are performing in the USA and getting megabucks. Do we really want to hand more money to people who are already (or approaching)…[Read more]

        • However I have absolutely no time for spending money on maintaining a small number of middle-class winter sports enthusiasts in the manner in which they’d like to become accustomed.

          And I certainly do not understand why someone born in the USA, who lives in the USA, and only has 1 parent who came from GB but now lives in the USA being funded by…[Read more]

          • I worked with a Winter Olympic sportsman. He spent the winter six months a year living out of the back of a 15 year old van going from event to event. I think his funding covered travel costs, but that was about all.

            • 28+ million pounds – Some cream off a hell of a lot of money. Some people get a good living from what is dished out, but that doesn’t mean everybody does, or even those that deserve/need it do.

              Maybe someone needs to look at who actually gets what. I do know that the number of (questionably needed) people at head office for athletics has…[Read more]

        • @oldgal I think you just about get my point. There are alot of grass roots sports played in the inner city areas of the UK which could seriously be better funded and are played by lots of kids in those areas.Basketball is easily the best example. Lots of kids play it.

          Basket ball s funding in the UK for the Olympics is zero. Basically because the…[Read more]

    • If funding is there to ‘buy’ medals, the Norwegians are 16 times better at it than us …

    • As rule the uk doesn’t have the climate so it has to spend money on it’s winter athletes. The Norwegian budget is half the uks for example. But then generally you can train on your own doorstep there.

  • Kelly posted an update 3 weeks, 5 days ago

    Dear Wigan fans, your manager got wound up (going ballistic in the tunnel at the ref and our manager), Aguero got wound up (lashed out at a fan) and some of your fans were a total and utter disgrace. We did provoke your fans, which was wrong, but the reaction was well bad, and carried one once we moved away – ripping stuff up and throwing it at…[Read more]

    • Success can cause arrogance and with that an almost given right to win a football match.

      They are not familiar with loosing. A shame they have forgotten where they have come from.

    • Guardiola. Classy guy…. If any of the ground staff find his dummy, then it’d only be fair to return it.

    • All of this is true. But let’s not be totally blinded by the giant-killing moment.

      Aguero was on the pitch, on his own, surrounded by Wigan fans who should not have been there, with pretty much no protection. Obviously he was coming in for some abuse, taunting and goading and shouldn’t react, but who was making sure he got safely off the pitch?…[Read more]

      • Great result for Wigan but I imagine there will be some kind of penalty for the pitch invasion, which will take the gloss off a tremendous night for them, especially if City complain their players were put at risk.

    • Absolutely disgusting situation for Aguero to be in. To the point it nearly took away the massive feeling of achievement and what football should be about.

      IMO Wigan should be dealt with in the harshest possible manner as this wasn’t just fans cheering and goading Aguero. He could quite easily be in a hospital bed this morning or worse.

      It…[Read more]

      • You seem to know more about the Aguero incident than the rest of us??? Much more than you could possibly have taken from the television pictures.

        • From the telly pictures I saw he was clearly being jostled and antagonized by 3 or 4 wigan supporters. one of the Man City subs or staff was trying to get Aguero out of the way, but one of the Wigan “fans” was repeatedly getting right in his face.

          I dont believe even opposing supporters would have physically assaulted him but what was evident…[Read more]

    • I think Aguero will get a ban, the game has changed, a decade ago a bit of fan/player contact was nothing but it is more serious now. Remember schmeichel rugby tacking turkish fan and dragging him off the pitch.

      But he also pushed/punched him and then kicked out so I think a 1-3 game ban. His reaction was understandable but doubt the FA will see…[Read more]

  • The biggest thing I hate about men is they want to be in control, or think they should be in control.

    @babe Not all men. You’ve obviously met the tossers

    But let’s be blunt – women don’t help themselves sometimes. You don’t have to accept that treatment.

    And women can be just as demanding, controlling and abusive.

    Be a good person, don’t be an…[Read more]

  • The biggest thing I hate about men is they want to be in control, or think they should be in control.
    For what ever reason they think their opinions have more value than a womens and they only like independent women when what they are doing either enhances or does not effect what they do.
    I know of at least four women I know well, where their male…[Read more]

  • My ex partner told me I emasculate men, I was too capable and too independent. What he meant was he was a failed man, he was am alcoholic, who couldnt get his act together to even do the basic stuff, so I renovated the house, I sorted electrics, I built up the business and I coped easily without him for 18 months while he had a cushy contract…[Read more]

  • I think I consider myself independent. I think my soon to be ex OH always found that a bit difficult to be honest. So maybe it does affect relationships. Sometimes I have been the major earner, at others not – but I do not consider independence to be just a financial thing, more a viewpoint.
    I think I am too old to change though, and to be honest…[Read more]

  • I’m a independent woman which is just how my OH likes it. I think generally that men who don’t like it are probably using the dependence as an ego trip. I could easily manage on my own, but that’s not to say I’d want to. I’m probably the more dominant in the relationship as I’m so much happier about making decisions. OH just prefers not to have…[Read more]

  • I thought a bit about this last night. Both my grandmothers and my mother, through death or divorce were ‘on their own’ for protracted periods of time. My Nan was a widower for longer than she was married.
    So I guess this is what has coloured my outlook somewhat. I grew up around (what I consider to be) very strong, independent women. My own…[Read more]

  • @Jack There’s something inside me which really doesn’t want to believe that, except of course, I do.

    Thinking about this entire thread — would it be true that there is often one side of a relationship which tends to dominate? Would it be wrong that there’s one partner who tends to have the louder voice in the major decisions?

    I’ve been t…[Read more]

  • Years ago (1980’s) I worked with a woman whose husband took all of her salary from her and gave her a small ‘allowance’ back. If that ran out she had to ask him to buy whatever she needed. Quite unbelievable.

  • As a man I respect and like independent women, and for that matter independent men. I like people who are self directed, accountable and responsible.

    I don’t respect or like bolshy, shouty, “me me me “, simpering, narcissistic, vacuous, untruthful, unkind or manipulative women. Same goes for men.

    Man or woman, doesn’t matter. Its what one is as…[Read more]

  • To a certain extent surely it has to be a big generational as roles have changed. It’s not that long ago that your whole life changed just because you got married.

    It’s interesting because I would find it hard to consider someone with no income as indepdent, I suspect that is a bit of black and white thinking but it’s interesting to read that you…[Read more]

  • I’m very sorry about your sister

    I don’t think that being financially dependent has to be a bad thing if both partners go about it the right way. I’ve only been dependent on OH for money for a comparatively short time but I have my own pension and savings etc because this seems like the sensible option. I will be working again soon, all being…

    [Read more]

  • Why is total independence considered the be all and end all? I am certainly not subservient to my OH but I also wouldn’t say that I am independent of him either, what I do affect him and vice versa so we both take the other into consideration when making decision. E.g. In SC’s example above I would be FURIOUS if my OH handed in his resignation…[Read more]

  • @strike I’m very sorry about your sister

    I don’t think that being financially dependent has to be a bad thing if both partners go about it the right way. I’ve only been dependent on OH for money for a comparatively short time but I have my own pension and savings etc because this seems like the sensible option. I will be working again soon, all…[Read more]

  • @strike So sorry about your sister, I hope that all works out OK.

    I agree totally with this post. I have a 63 year old friend who does not know what her husband has put in his will. I find that gobsmacking !

    I’ve also seen women in court, still wearing a black eye, beg us to let the boyfriend who gave them it come home so they can do it again.…[Read more]

  • I’ve seen too many women come unstuck because they’re totally dependent on their husbands income and have no notion of their finances and would struggle to be able to earn a decent income themselves. It means they feel trapped in their relationship when it’s going very wrong or are left with nothing should they split up.

    There’s no way that I’…[Read more]

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