Report: Red Bull could purchase Premier League club. Liverpool? Everton?

6 Comments

Rumors are circling about Red Bull being in the market for a Premier League club to add to their growing portfolio of sports teams.

With soccer teams the New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Leipzig, Red Bull Brasil, Red Bull Ghana and Red Bull Salzburg already under their belt and various other sporting entities, reports of further expansion could be true given the company’s aggressive business model in the past.

But, in all seriousness, this report is coming from the Mirror, hardly England’s most believable tabloid… if there is such a thing.

So, let’s get to the facts, apparently a source close to Red Bull believes the energy drink company is actively seeking out investment opportunities in the Premier League, and believes if they acquire or invest heavily in an English club, they’ll have more chance of success of reaching out to a wider audience across Europe and the rest of the world. This is what an apparent ‘insider’ on the deal had to say.

Red Bull want a team to take into the Champions League,”It is the only market they have not reached yet. Ideally this would be in the London area, but both Everton and Liverpool interest them too because it would not take much to get them to that level.

Many have suggested that buying a Championship team and investing heavily to gain promotion to England’s top flight is better, but that doesn’t seem to interest Red Bull. They want to go for a top team rather than wasting money and never clambering out of England’s second-tier, which, let’s face it, is almost a lottery as up to 15 teams each season have a realistic chance of taking the three promotion spots to the PL.

Premier League seems to be the main aim, but would Liverpool or Everton really sell out their prestigious history and brand just for a quick cash solution? I think not. Perhaps the money from Red Bull would buy/pay for the stadium expansion both teams are hoping for. Maybe they’d then be renamed “Red Bull Anfield” or “Red Bull Goodison.”

source:
Could ‘Red Bull Anfield’ or ‘Red Bull Goodison’ be added to Red Bull’s stadium portfolio?

Again, I’m not sure how well that would go down.

Some of the teams in London could be a more viable option, but without a huge influx of cash, can we really see the likes of West Ham, Crystal Palace or anybody else other than Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea making the Champions League anytime soon from England’s capital? I think not. However, if it ever did happen, surely there would be some kind of link up between MLS’ very own Red Bull side, the New York Red Bulls, in terms of player loans and other spin offs. That would be great for RBNY.

Anyway, if Red Bull want to invest in a Premier League team, they may want to buy a Championship team desperate for cash, that would be their best bet. Look at Cardiff City’s Malaysian owner Vincent Tan rebranding the Bluebirds with red kits and Malaysian dragons on the logo. And then there’s Hull City, bought by Egyptian Assem Allam wanting to drop AFC from Hull City’s name and rebrand them as “Hull City Tigers.” Both came up from the Championship last season after struggling financially, and are now lording it in the PL.

Both ownership groups at Hull and Cardiff seem to think a rebrand, in colors and name, is completely fine. Obviously the fans aren’t best pleased, but if the teams are performing well in the PL and the owners are splashing the cash to bring in top players, can the supporters really have too many complaints?

Creating a new image, new logo and new nickname seems to be all the rage amongst PL clubs, so surely teams won’t mind slapping the “Red Bull” brand in front of their team name…

So, which will it be? Red Bull Everton or Red Bull Liverpool?

Russia regains FIFA Council seat after Mutko’s ouster

Getty Images
Leave a comment

GENEVA (AP) Russia has regained its place on the FIFA Council, six months after Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was blocked from re-election.

UEFA member federations on Wednesday elected Alexei Sorokin, CEO of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee, by acclamation as one of their delegates to FIFA’s strategy-setting committee.

The seat, which runs through 2021, was vacant since May when Mutko was formally forced to step down.

Mutko’s candidacy was blocked by FIFA’s then governance committee chairman, Miguel Maduro, because of a conflict of interest with his government work. Maduro, who was ousted by FIFA weeks later, said last week that the world soccer body’s leaders put pressure on him to protect Mutko’s position.

Meeting with British lawmakers, Maduro said he was told that his ruling on Mutko’s eligibility could threaten FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s hold on power and “would be a disaster” for the World Cup.

Sorokin became the eighth of the nine European delegates on the 37-member FIFA Council. The ninth was left vacant in July when long-time Spanish soccer leader Angel Maria Villar resigned as a vice president of FIFA and UEFA after being arrested in a corruption investigation.

Villar was detained along with three other soccer officials, including his son, on charges of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption and falsifying documents.

Interim replacements for Villar were to be confirmed later Wednesday at a meeting of the UEFA executive committee.

Predicting the FIFPro World XI for 2016-17

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the World Players’ Union, FIFPro, releasing the 55 players who received the most votes from over 25,000 professional players from across the globe based on their play in 2016-17, plenty of usual suspects have been selected as the top players on the planet.

But who will make the final XI when it is announced in London on Oct. 23?

[ MORE: FIFPro nominees in full ]

With one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards selected by each professional surveyed, it is quite likely that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will make the team for the 10th straight season. Because, well, they’re Ronaldo and Messi.

Elsewhere there is plenty of debate as to who will make up the defense and midfield and even in goal.

Below I select my XI and I urge you to do the same in the comments section below.

Remember: we can’t always agree on everything but let’s get along…

JPW selects his FIFPro World 11

Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Neymar JR (Paris Saint-Germain)

Karim Benzema signs new contract at Real Madrid

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Karim Benzema has signed a new four-year contract at Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Sargent to Werder Bremen

The French striker, 29, has become the latest star name to commit their future to the two-time reigning European champions with Marcelo, Isco and Dani Carvajal all signing new deals over the past week.

Benzema will now remain at Real until June 30, 2021, with the Frenchman scoring 181 goals in 371 appearances as well as winning two La Liga titles, three European Cups and two Copa del Rey trophies during his time in the Spanish capital.

It is believed this new deal has a release clause of over $1.35 billion as Spanish clubs are now becoming increasingly wary of losing their star players a la Neymar leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite his expulsion from the French national team for over 18 months due to his alleged involvement in a blackmail case involving a sex tape and former teammate Mathieu Valbuena, Benzema has been in fine form for Real since Zinedine Zidane took charge in 2015.

Benzema scored 19 goals in 48 games in all competitions last season and 28 in 36 games the season before that as his hold up play and ability to drift out wide or drop deeper crucial to getting the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Co.

That said, Benzema has scored just once in six appearances this season but Real are obviously happy with what he is producing aside from goals.

With question marks over the future of Bale at the Bernabeu, locking down Benzema shows just how important he is to Zidane’s attacking unit as they seek to seal a third-straight UEFA Champions League title.

FIFA open investigation into Chelsea’s youth transfer policy

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chelsea could be in big trouble.

FIFA have confirmed they’re investigating Chelsea’s youth transfer policy yet again, specifically over the recruitment of foreign players under the age of 18.

What could the punishment be? The worst-case scenario is that Chelsea would be banned from signing any new players across its senior or youth levels but it is believed this situation isn’t as serious as previous investigations involving Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Via the Telegraph, FIFA had the following to say about the investigation: “As the investigation is ongoing, no further comment is possible for the time being.”

Chelsea released a short statement saying: “Chelsea FC complies with all FIFA Statutes and Regulations when recruiting players.”

It will be the third time in eight years that world soccer’s governing body have looked at Chelsea’s youth policy and back in 2009 they were handed a transfer ban for two transfer windows over the signing of French teenager Gael Kakuta from Lens in 2007 but that was later overturned after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was successful.

Chelsea were also investigated last year over the signing of Bertrand Traore after images emerged of him playing for the club as a 16-year-old, before international clearance had arrived.

Spanish clubs Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been found guilty after similar investigations took place with Barca banned from signing players for two transfer windows and the same happening to Atletico who can’t sign any new players until January 2018, while Real Madrid had their ban reduced to one window after an appeal.

In the UK both Liverpool and Manchester City have recently been handed fines and bans for not following rules over recruiting young players domestically.

For foreign players signing for a team in another country there are strict rules in place.

Their family must either be relocating for non soccer reasons to the country where the new club is based, they must live no further than 50km from a national border and the club with which the player wishes to be registered with is within that 50km radius, or if they sign between the age of 16-18 the new club must provide them with housing, access to education and a soccer education.