Manchester United Vs the Rest of Us
Today Wednesday 27th of May 2009 will be the day of European Champions league final and the different sets of fans are eagerly waiting for the classic encounter between Barcelona and Manchester United. Although it is a week day, I guess very few men in particular will miss this one. First let clear the air, it was a tragic time for football fans in Kenya after Arsenal fan committed suicide following the defeat of Arsenal by Manchester United in Champions league semi-final. I hope Kenyans will control their emotions when the teams they are supporting losses out. In any competition someone has to win and that essentially means the opponent ends on the loosing side. For the love of the game all should stay alive to watch the future matches like next season games, the first world cup to be hosted in Africa and next year champions league final. Somehow fans are called fans because they are fanatics, but i would say the good people should avoid that insulting label from sticking on them. It is just but a GAME
Back to the real deal although the most followed team in Kenya is Arsenal according to recent survey , no Arsenal fan will miss this match. Reason being an old adage that enemy of your enemy is your friend. This how a friend of mine Mr. Victor Omwanda put it on his facebook status after Arsenal lost to Manchester United in semi-final “U?fa Finals: Man U vs Thiery Henry & Hleb; Malipo ni hapa hapa duniani!” For those who follow football know that Henry is a legend among Arsenal fans and although he moved to Barcelona they still love him and it would be like a personal favour for Arsenal fans if he helps Barcelona defeat Manchester United. But the bigger shocker of them all is when i read an article by John Nicholoson in Football365.com, “From all the emails I get, and all the opinions I read, it would certainly appear the majority of Britain actually wants United to lose, or at least sizeable minority” So it is not just Kenyan Arsenal fans alone even the British…lol.
Messi Vs Ronaldo
Currently the debate going on in the world of football is who is the best player in the world between Ronaldo and Messi. Ronaldo is the reigning European and FIFA World Player but many are convinced that the best player in the world should be Messi. According to a blog at bestplayerintheworld.com tracks the media mentions: Messi leads with 41, while Gerrard and Ronaldo are tied with 11.
Ronaldo come out as arrogant and a drama queen..ok, should it be drama queen or king. Owing to the fact that a blogger was told in Rome by taxi driver that United can’t win because Ronaldo plays like a girl, am confused on which one to pick. On this context Messi is very humble and in most cases come out a shy person.
While Roonaldo once declared, “I am the first, second and third-best player in the world,” Messi let all his talking be on the pitch and with the ball on his feet, you would appreciate that he is genius of self-expression, a display of tricks and techniques like words in a well organized orchestra.
Football and the Business aspect
The football business is huge, attractive and there seems to be no limit to its growth, a fact confirmed by 12th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League, which profiles the largest clubs in the world?s most popular sport. In terms of financial performance in the season 2007/08 as measured by the Deloitte Football Money League (EPL), Real Madrid leads the pack with ?365.8 million followed by Manchester United at ?324.8 million. Spanish league champions Barcelona was third with ?308.8 million. So this year Champions league final pit two money bags with United having a slight advantage over their rivals. May be for a long time you been wondering why billionaires are rushing to buy or invest in the soccer famous clubs like Machester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and the list continues. The modern game today is as much about trickery on the picth and the passion of the fans on the stands, as it is about money in the board rooms. The simple reason is that in terms of business, football clubs specifically the European clubs are not just clubs, they have become global brands with huge following around the world. So what lessons can the local clubs like Gor Mahia, AFC Leorpard which actually have massive local following in their winning days draw from the European clubs?
The rich clubs in Europe draw their income from
1.Ticket sales, we have relatively small stadiums and some teams actually play on an open field but with good management and proper coaching Kenyan fans can be drawn back to the local stadiums. Some media houses have done a great job trying to push for the fans to attend the local matches and in this front Kiss Fm and Radio Jambo have done fantastic job. Through the support of the fans the clubs would be able to generate enough funds for their sustenability. Majority of Kenyans would not mind paying ksh.100 to watch a football match as seen every weekend in the bars where they have to pay far much larger amount than that buying drinks.
2.Merchandising: Just walk around town after Arsenal Vs Manchester United game and you appreciate the love people have for these teams. I sincerely believe the same love can be tapped for the local teams enabling people to buy t-shits for the local teams like Mathere United. It is all in the mind and since we have seen how much the Kenyans love their national team, it easy to convince them to love with the same intensity the local teams. I mean it is simple you want the national team to do well you have to support the clubs where the national coach picks players from.
3. Broadcasting contracts. There is huge amount involved here, and Kenya is lucky enough that Supersport not rogue GTV had clinched the broadcasting rights for our premier league. The other day i watched with dismay as an official of AFC Leopards argue with such gusto that they would forgo the sponsorship money from Supersport by playing the match scheduled for Kasarani in Nyayo Stadium. Anyway i did not get the basis of his argument but i out rightly thought it was a bit stupid to do so, owing to the fact that AFC is facing relegation.
4. Transfer Revenue. With well organized system players tranfers is agoldmine for clubs. The rich clubs pay huge sums of money for players, and since they looking everywhere for the talents it is not far off the mark to say that Kenya can provide the world football with best talents. Just take a look at the way Danis Oliech plays and you will appreciate that if only national team would be doing well, he would probably be playing in the English Premier League.
5. Corporate sponsorship. Corporate sponsors like to see their potential clients somewhere before they can make themsleves available. The fact that there are very few fans attending local matches mean that corpoarte sponsor would definitely stay a way. But that could change in a matter of a second if they realize that people fill the stadiums to watch the matches. Then there is the little matter of Nyayo Stadium a.k.a Cocacola stadium saga. Name sentimental vs the money, which one would you take if you are the one given the choice. I mean if changing the name of the stadium is that easy why don’t you just leave the Cocacala company to feel good calling it whatever name they wish and once the duration of their contract ends we revert back to our very famous Nyayo. I heard it is around three years …what the heck Professor, take the money and run!
5. Continental competition. I have no fact about how much the Africa champion league winners and second placed get but take a look at English Champions league clubs revenue last year, Winners Manchester United netted ?33.9 million, runners-up Chelsea ?28.7 million, Liverpool ?21.1 million and Arsenal ?18.3 million.