Category Archives: Sports

Links o' the day 13/11/08

Pic of the day, click for link to source. Close contender here.

Top comment on the Chelsea striker and renowned diver Didier Drogba throwing a coin into the stand: “To be fair … It was probably a simulated throw”.

Resort for the super-rich goes bankrupt.

Best headline on post-US election coverage: You’ll still need an oak stake to kill the GOP.

Why? Why would you do this?

I can understand (but, as I’m sure you can understand, not condone) the actions of the frustrated people in this story:

‘Dear investors, thanks for trusting us and depositing your money,’ read a note posted on the door of a company in the southwestern province of Cauca after its owners disappeared.

‘Now, for being stupid and believing in financial witchcraft, you will have to work for your money’, it said, prompting depositors to storm the building, wreck the companys offices and loot its computer equipment and furniture.

Links o' the day, 3/10/08

Sarah Winterburn wonders why Roy Keane is immune from criticism despite spending £30m on players and still being mid-table.

Rick O’Shea has links to 10 divinely designed churches.

Get your hands on a piece of dictatorial luxury: Saddam’s rocket-launching yacht is for sale.

It’s going to take over from Vista and you know Microsoft is going to give it a major push, so best take a look at Windows 7’s features (with video). And don’t forget Windows Azure.

It seems like a trivial quibble, but boot times are just too long in a world accustomed to instant gratification.

Tell Paulo what you think the world will be like in 12 months’ time.

I’m rapidly running out of energy.

Doom, gloom and surprising optimism

The shedding of thousands of jobs by the likes of American Express, Electronic Arts and Motorola is symptomatic of something much more worrying, according to Douglas A McIntyre.

If a recession is measured by the rapidity and breadth of job loss across huge parts of the economy, the current downturn will be unusually vicious. Even highly profitable firms are resorting to firings relatively early in what is almost certain to be  an extremely difficult cycle which could last for several quarters.

It’s regular practice for a company in a downturn to start laying off staff; this would happen if profits had fallen slightly, so you can imagine how much more drastic it could be in a recession.

What the layoff news is showing now, in what is probably the second quarter of a recession which could last for six or seven, is that large corporations believe that their revenues will get much worse and that the chance for improvement is further into the future than most companies believe that they can reasonably gaze.

With each job that is lost at a company that is doing relatively well, the probable depth of the downturn gets worse. Many of the cuts being announced now are based more on confusion and fear than on reason.

Fear indeed: Electronic Arts has revenues of $5bn and is still cutting employee numbers by 6% (admittedly I’ve since realised it made a loss of about $300m)

Meanwhile, those at the upper echelons of soccer see nothing but success in the future.

Manchester United chief executive David Gill is not convinced the credit crunch will have the catastrophic effect many pundits fear… with a new Premier League TV deal about to be negotiated, Gill feels the enduring popularity of the nation’s number one sport can take the edge off whatever impact is eventually felt.

In fairness to Gill, he does recognise that the recession will have some sort of an impact (just look at West Ham, whose owner was a banking magnate in Iceland – we all know how that turned out). However, he is confident that the Manchester United brand will pull through.

I understand where he’s coming from but I think he could be more cautious. He may be trying to promote the brand, and that’s fine, but the collapse of ITV Digital shows that signing a contract to spend hundreds of millions – and billions in the case of the Premiership – to broadcast soccer does not necessarily mean that the money will come through. Like all good businesses, Man Utd are looking to other revenue streams, such as deals in Saudi and Switzerland. But only a few clubs are this fortunate. The soccer television bubble could be the next to burst.

The beautiful game and the worst team in the world

East Timor have picked up their first point in international soccer with a 2-2 draw against Cambodia, six years after the side first took to the field.

“It was the first game we didn’t lose — we’re all very proud,” said long-serving, long-suffering coach Pedro Almeida, a motorcycle mechanic in the country’s sleepy capital Dili.

“We are not happy with our world ranking [bottom of the FIFA rankings] and we are hoping our players will continue to improve,” he told Reuters.

I love these little odd stories. You tend to forget about the smattering of tiny teams in Asia, and it’s nice that East Timor has something (albeit something very small) to celebrate.

Er, that's what everybody's been saying for months

Either he was playingt he good soldier while under contract, or Juande Ramos was a bit slow on the uptake:

Former Tottenham manager Juande Ramos admits the departures of Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov were major factors in Spurs’ troubled start to the season

“[T]he departures of Robbie Keane and Berbatov, important players in the team for their technical and human qualities and their scoring abilities, was too hard a blow for the squad.”