Premier League worried Brexit will harm league’s global popularity and damage competitive nature

5 Sep

Premier League bosses are becoming increasingly concerned Brexit will seriously impact the league’s competitiveness and global popularity.

The government has been urged to abolish all restrictions on signing foreign players, or risk missing out on some of the best talent in Europe.

The Premier League is worried about the effect of Brexit

An exclusive by The Daily Telegraph has revealed the Premier League fear the next N’Golo Kante would not be granted a work permit after Brexit.

With just over six months until the UK leaves the European Union, the Premier League hierarchy are still waiting for clarification on a number of key issues.

Namely, they want to know if there will be a restriction on signing European players after Brexit and if clubs will have to fill a homegrown-player quota.

There are fears the Football Association will use Brexit as an opportunity to increase the opportunities for young English talent – made more prevalent after Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate bemoaned a lack of English talent at his disposal.

Premier League clubs will not be allowed to sign European players under the age of 18 – like Arsenal did with Fabregas

It has been accepted there it will be almost impossible for clubs to sign European players under the age of 18 like Arsenal did with Hector Bellerin and Cesc Fabregas, or how Manchester United did with Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique.

Their case is supported by statistics proving football should be treated as a special case; the Premier League generates over £3billion in tax for the Treasury and directly employs over 12,000 people.

The main of contention lies in the acquiring of work permits for top players.

According to a study by Harvard data scientist Laurie Shaw, 591 of the 1,022 players signed by top-flight clubs in Premire League history with passports for a country in the EEA would not have qualified for a work permit.

N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez joined Leicester City for relatively low transfer fees and helped the team to a Premier League win in 2016. But Brexit terms may mean they struggle to compete for top-level signings

Shaw’s research shows that less wealthy clubs would suffer the most. Players like Kante and Riyad Mahrez would not have qualified for a work permit according to Shaw.

Most players at clubs such as Leicester City do not feature regularly for top-60 international teams – meaning the competitive balance would skew in favour of far wealthier clubs who can afford to pay bigger transfer fees for players.

John Motson believes lure of overseas riches will see clubs like Manchester United play Premier League games abroad

18 Aug

John Motson has conceded the Premier League could emulate LaLiga by playing a selection of games abroad because of the lure of the huge riches.

It was announced on Friday that LaLiga officials have entered a 15-year deal with American company Relevant to bring soccer to North America.

A billboard in New York City shows former Spurs hero Gareth Bale

As a result, an official LaLiga game could be played on US shores as soon as this season.

For fans of the English game, it invokes memories of the infamous ‘39th game’ proposed by Richard Scudamore during his tenure as Premier League chief.

And while it may not happen soon, Motson believes it is a very real possibility in the future.

He told MatchDay Live on talkSPORT: “If Manchester United were to play, say Tottenham, and decided to play the home game in China and the away game in the United States and those games counted as part of the league programme – well I can just about envisage that.

Manchester United faced Real Madrid at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami in pre-season

“I don’t necessarily think it’s going to happen, I don’t think it’s going to happen in the next couple of seasons maybe, but that’s the kind of reach we’re talking about.

“What you have to remember; most of the Premier League television money is coming from overseas and most of the clubs (the big clubs this is) their commercial income; shirt sales and all that sort of stuff is growing day-by-day in the 200 territories that the Premier League now covers.

“So it would be a PR exercise and a money-making exercise commercially, rather than just necessarily drag all our fans over there.

“But all I’m saying to you today is the LaLiga decision, which sounds to me to be pretty definite, I think it has re-opened the debate.”

Chelsea vs Arsenal: Gunners’ have a miserable recent record at Stamford Bridge plus key match stats for Premier League clash

17 Aug

Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday and the Gunners will be looking to end a barren run of form in west London.

The Blues have won five of the last six home league games against Arsenal, with the exception being the 0-0 draw last season.

Arsenal have not won in the league at Stamford Bridge since Robin Van Persie scored a hat-trick in a 5-3 victory in October 2011

Chelsea vs Arsenal is live on talkSPORT, 5.30pm kick-off.

In fact, both meetings between the two sides at Stamford Bridge last season ended goalless.

Prior to that, the Gunners had not kept a clean sheet there for 12 consecutive games, and they haven’t scored in four of their last five Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.

What are the other key stats?

Arsenal and Chelsea have met 52 times in the Premier League. In the first 26 meetings, Arsenal had a 54 per cent win rate (W14 D9 L3), while Chelsea have won 54 per cent of the last 26 (W14 D7 L5).

Sarri enjoyed a good home record at Napoli

The Gunners have not lost both of their first two games in a season since 1992/93 (vs Norwich and Blackburn).

Maurizio Sarri lost just four of his 57 home league games as Napoli manager. Saturday will be his first home league game in charge of the Blues.

Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud scored in this fixture for Arsenal in February 2017. If he scores for the Blues, he’ll be only the second player to score in this fixture for both sides in the Premier League, after Cesc Fabregas.

Must watch: Chelsea announce Maurizio Sarri deal with amazing video

14 Jul

Chelsea have whet the appetite of their supporters with an exceptional video to announce Maurizio Sarri’s arrival.

The Italian, 59, becomes their latest head coach on a three-year deal after Antonio Conte was sacked on Friday.

New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri

There is plenty of excitement surrounding the news thanks to Sarri’s brilliant tenure at Napoli which saw them become serious title contenders while playing some of the best football in the world.

His style saw him earn plaudits from the likes of Manchester City Pep Guardiola and Chelsea released a video with their announcement which was full of quotes about Sarri’s management.

It’s certain to get fans thrilled about his appointment.

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey reveals he booked a player who asked for it as England prepare to face Belgium

28 Jun

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has revealed he booked a Premier League player who deliberately asked for a yellow card.

The player, who Halsey did not name, wanted to be suspended before a big derby game in 2011 so he could remain fresh.

John Terry speaks to Mark Halsey in 2011

Halsey’s shocking revelation comes just hours before England face Belgium in a crucial World Cup group game where the winner will top the group.

With both sides level on points, goals scored and goal difference, bookings could play an important role in deciding who tops the table.

And when asked if he had ever deliberately booked a player, Halsey was more than happy to divulge.

Speaking to American news channel CNN, he recalled how the player said: “He’s just said ‘listen, look, we’ve got a game Tuesday. If I don’t get cautioned now and get one Tuesday, I’ll miss the big derby on the Saturday.

“So he just asked me if I could show a yellow. And I did actually.
“I said to him, ‘Alright, we’ve got 10 minutes to go, when I give a free-kick against you’ — and I knew I would because he’s that sort of player — ‘just leather the ball 50 yards away and I can caution you for dissent.’
“If you’ve got big games coming up and you’re on four yellow cards, one more means you get suspended. I just said to him, ‘Don’t do nothing stupid.’
“He came up to me at the end of the game and said, ‘Thanks for that Mark.'”
The nation who finishes second in Group G has arguably got an easier run to the semi-final.
A round of 16 tie against Senegal, Colombia or Japan would be followed by a quarter-final clash with either Sweden or Switzerland.

Fenerbahce enter talks with Chelsea over Marco van Ginkel

21 Jun

Fenerbahce have kicked off talks with Chelsea over a deal for Marco van Ginkel.
As talkSPORT told you on Wednesday, the Turkish club are interested in the midfielder.

Van Ginkel has spent the last two and a half years on loan at PSV, scoring 31 times in 64 games

The 25-year-old spent last season on loan at PSV Eindhoven and he impressed with a number of strong performances.
Van Ginkel’s manager for his time at the Dutch club was former midfielder Phillip Cocu, who is now set to takeover at Fenerbahce.
The Turkish giants are in talks with 47-year-old coach and as part of negotiations they have asked him who he wants to sign.

Dutchman Cocu is set to quit PSV for Fenerbahce this summer

And, according to Milliyet, Cocu has pressed so hard for van Ginkel that Fenerbahce are now in talks with Chelsea.
The two clubs have kicked off negotiations and there is hope a deal could be struck quickly.
Chelsea are currently deciding whether to loan van Ginkel out again – or let him leave permanently.

Arsenal and Chelsea set to meet at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for pre-season friendly

13 Jun

Arsenal and Chelsea will meet in a pre-season friendly at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, the Premier League rivals have announced.

A London derby will take place at the 51,700-seater stadium on August 1 as both sides continue preparations for the new season.

Jack Wilshere scored for the Gunners in the game between the pair back in January at the Emirates

The teams are certainly no strangers to one another after meeting five times during the 2017/18 campaign.

The Gunners drew first-blood, following up their FA Cup final win over the Blues by beating them in a penalty shoot-out to lift the Community Shield in August.

Two Premier League draws followed before Arsenal got the better of Chelsea once again, winning their two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final thanks to a 2-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium.

Chelsea also confirmed in the same announcement that they will take on Inter Milan in Nice and Lyon at Stamford Bridge in their other pre-season games.

The history between the London sides is filled with drama and talking points galore

The London rivals are also reportedly locked in a transfer battle, if rumours are to be believed.

Former Barcelona target Jean-Michael Seri is keen to leave Nice for a Premier League side and the Ivory Coast international is reportedly wanted by both Arsenal and Chelsea.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante targeted by new Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel

11 Jun

New Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel is keen to bring Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante to the Stade de France this summer.

According to The Sun, his agent Karim Douis has met with Sporting Director of the French champions Antero Henrique.

Kante is regarded as one of the best midfielders in Europe

Kante, 27, won back-to-back Premier League titles with the Blues and former club Leicester City in 2016 and 2017.

He was voted the PFA Player of the Year in 2017 and continues to impress with his superhuman work rate and tackling ability.

The Frenchman, who moved to Chelsea for £35million, will change agents in December so the deal must be concluded this summer if it is to happen.

Real Madrid are also believed to be interested in Kante, with Casemiro currently unopposed in that role at the Bernabeu.

The Blues have no plans to sell their star midfielder, but with no Champions League football and manager Antonio Conte’s uncertain future, Kante may be tempted by a move away.