Archive for November 30th, 2007

Euro 2008 Players to be… TAXED?

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Now here’s a news that is as short as it is funny (except to those directly involved).

Euro 2008 organisers have resolved an argument with tax authorities in Switzerland, by agreeing that players involved in the tournament should be taxed at source. In a statement released on Friday, the organisers said players would be taxed a flat rate of 20% on any prize money passed on to them by their national associations. The rule will not be applied to coaches, association officials or other non-playing delegates.

European soccer body UEFA had argued that the players should only pay taxes in their home countries, while the Swiss authorities had called for taxes to be levied locally at rates set by the individual host cantons. Under the agreement, UEFA will now withhold part of the prize money awarded to the various associations, who will then have to provide details on the payouts given to each player before receiving any money left over.

The flat rate tax will be applied to all players whether they play their matches in Switzerland or in co-hosting Austria. The statement did not say whether players would still be expected to pay additional tax back home, or if they would pay more tax in total as a result of the agreement. Organizers said the deal would involve an estimated total taxation of between 4 and 8 million Swiss francs ($3.6-7.1m dollars, or €2.4-4.8m Euros).

I guess all that is left for the players to do is emigrate to Patagonia, like Florent Pagny (sorry, I guess only French people will get that one).

England Manager Job: Opinions Wanted

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Picking the next England coach is becoming quite the delicate affair (duh). So delicate in fact that the English Football Association are calling upon “expert opinions”, to avoid making the same mistakes again (read: Steve McLaren and missing out on qualifying for Euro 2008). So, it seems that FA chief Brian Barwick will consult a host of leading figures in the game, in his search for a “world-class manager” for the Three Lions.

Or, the “12 Wise Men” as has tagged them.

Here’s the consultant list:

  • England captain John Terry
  • Wales boss John Toshack
  • UEFA chief Michel Platini
  • German legend Franz Beckenbauer
  • Managerial legend Roy Hodgson
  • England midfielder Steven Gerrard
  • Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger
  • England legend Sir Bobby Charlton
  • England legend Sir Bobby Robson
  • Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson
  • Formed England manager Glenn Hoddle
  • Formed England manager Graham Taylor

Barwick said that he is not working to a deadline because “England’s next competitive match is months away“, hence “it is more important to get the best man for the job“.

The FA insists no shortlist has yet been drawn up, but former Chelsea boss José Mourinho is the current favourite for the job.   

Sven Göran Eriksson, age 59Ex-England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, now in charge of Manchester City, said he could understand the clamour for Mourinho but warned he would be taking on “the biggest job in football”. “Mourinho has already shown that he is big with Porto and with Chelsea, so if he has been winning trophies for them, he can do it with England as well“, said the Swede to BBC Sport

But to be the England manager you must win every game, not do anything in your private life and hopefully not earn too much money” added Eriksson. ”They are the only qualities you need and if you have those, you are perfect. (…) I don’t want to say that I am supporting Mourinho, because I support everyone and it is not my job. But the biggest football job in Europe and in the world is to be the England manager. The Champions League is big and it is fantastic, but to compare it to the World Cup? No chance. The World Cup is, and will be forever, the number one.”

UEFA Cup Group Stage, Day 3 – Fiorentina Manage Only a draw to AEK Athens, but Remain Top of Group C

Friday, November 30th, 2007

UEFA CupFor Fiorentina’s 100th match in European competition, the Viola supporters would have probably wished for a happier atmosphere. The collective hearts still heavy over the recent loss of Manuela Prandelli, the team was nonetheless at in the Olympic Stadium of Athens, ready to battle it out with a fierce (on home ground at least) Greek team and a pretty rough field. Needless to say, Cesare Prandelli was taking a leave of absence and was replaced by vice-coach Gabriele Pin.

UEFA Cup Group Stage, Day 3 - AEK Athens 1-1 Fiorentina

Everyone wanted to see Bobo Vieri, and instead everyone found Osvaldo. The usual Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, selfish and generous at the same time, because that Fiorentina left wing of his was both a dream and a nightmare for the Greek opponents: a nightmare because of Osvaldo’s constant percussions, a dream because of the decisively no-day of Federico Balzaretti tonight (and associated lack of Osvaldo’s support). In any case, final conclusions aside, the match begun quite on the exciting pace, especially for Fiorentina who went forward with all guns blazing, creating most of the chances of the first 30 minutes.

Eventually, the Viola broke through and took the lead in the 29th minute, and all it took were 5 passes. What’s so special about that, you may ask? Well, those 5 passes were all the ball needed to travel from one end of the field to the other, litterally: from Montolivo to Liverani, back to Montolivo, executing a through pass for Vieri. Bobo immediately set up Osvaldo, who dribbled his marker and armed a low accurate shot into the bottom corner. 1-0 Fiorentina.

The Viola’s lead didn’t last very long though, because less than 5 minutes later the Greek hosts were level: from Manu to Dellas, through to the left for Julio Cesar (not the Inter keeper). Balzaretti got in the way of the cross, and unfortunately deflected into his own net with Sebastien Frey helpless. 1-1.

From then on, both teams redefined the notion of “battling it out”, especially because the field was in absolutely horrible conditions, making each pass and each control of the ball very very hard to execute. Fabio Liverani was litterally under an all-out-marking spell, reducing his moving space to virtually zero, but managed to nonetheless to take a few stabs at the net, especially in the 2nd half. The one having a real ball though was Zdravko Kuzmanovic, attempting his long-range shot on more than one occasion (wide). Osvaldo had another chance to make it two with a close-range header, but found the intervention of the Greek keeper ready.

Eventually, it ended as it all started: on a tied game. All in all, not too bad a result given that the leadership of Group C is still intact. Speaking of Group C, the other match of the day between Elfsborg and Mladá Boleslav ended 3-1 for the Czech team. After today’s results (Villareal was on break) the group rankings are now the following: Fiorentina 5 pts. (3 GP), Villareal 3 (2), Mlada 3 (2), AEK Athens 2 (2), Elfsborg 1 (3). Fiorentina’s immediate next match will be against Inter on Sunday, and the Viola will undoubtedly be expecting much much harder opposition..

 AEK Athens FC
[Match Highlights]
 ACF Fiorentina
GOALSCORERS: 29′ Osvaldo, 34′ Balzaretti (o.g.)
AEK ATHENS (4-5-1): Moretto – Ramos Silva, Papastathopoulos, Dellas, Arruabarrena – Manu, Tozser, N’saliva (71’ Kafes), Julio Cesar (81’ Pappas) – Kone (55’ Manduca) – Blanco. (bench: Macho, Zikos, Azcarate, Bourbos). Coach: Serra Ferrer
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Frey – Balzaretti, Dainelli, Kroldrup, Pasqual – Kuzmanovic (81’ Gobbi), Liverani, Montolivo – Jorgensen, Vieri (86’ Pazzini), Osvaldo. (bench: Lupatelli, Gamberini, Vanden Borre, Donadel, Semioli). Coach: Prandelli (substituted by Pin)