Le FabLab ECE Makers intègre le réseau mondial des FabLabs

Date: 13/10/2016

Après un an d’existence, le FabLab ECE Makers intègre le réseau mondial des FabLabs géré par la FabFoundation.

Lancé depuis plus d’un an, le FabLab ECE Makers est un atelier de fabrication ouvert aux étudiants, aux start-ups et aux entreprises partenaires dans le cadre de projets d’innovation en collaboration. Depuis son lancement, des dizaines de projets ont pu se concrétiser en son lieu grâce aux nombreux outils et à l’expertise mise à disposition.

Le FabLab ECE Makers partagent avec les autres FabLabs l’objectif de démocratiser l’accès aux outils et machines pour permettre les inventions et les expressions personnelles. C’est ce qui lui a permis d’intégrer un réseau mondial d’environ 1000 FabLabs, géré par la FabFoundation, une organisation formée en 2009 à l’issue du programme FabLab du centre de recherche Bits&Atoms du MIT.

Le FabLab ECE Makers figure aujourd’hui parmi les 128 FabLabs français de ce réseau, faisant de la France le deuxième pays au monde en matière de FabLabs derrière les Etats-Unis.

 

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I have to agree the decline of British talent in British teams is very sad.<br> <br> The teams have virtually turned into franchises. Manchester United, Arsenal, or Chelsea could move anywhere in the world without a net loss of fanbase.<br> <br> There is simply very little connecting them to the local community anymore.<br> <br> <br> <br> The players are nearly all foreign, they live miles out of town and simply get the team bus in every <br> <br> other week to a stadium that happens to be in a certain urban environment.<br> <br> It baffles me why fans are so tribal. FrankTruth, England.<br> <br> <br> <br> Last week, I was staying at my usual hotel in Liverpool which is also the one the club uses on matchdays.<br> <br> This was before Jurgen Klopp's first game at Anfield, against Rubin Kazan. The <br> <br> coach was waiting to take them to the game and barriers had been erected outside to keep the fans back.<br> <br> There were 19 of them, of which only four could have been locals, unless they had walked up from <br> <br> Chinatown. To me, that summed up what our teams have become.<br> <br> They are global enterprises now and, as Frank says, could quite <br> <br> literally come from anywhere. <br> <br> <br> <br> In the capital, West Ham are about to move to the Olympic Stadium and have redesigned their badge <br> <br> to a cleaner, simpler style with crossed Hammers and the bold assertion 'West Ham - London'.<br> <br> So now a lot of other clubs are trying to claim ownership of London, too.<br> <br> At just about every ground in the capital now they play that old cliche, London Calling,<br> <br> by The Clash before matches. Great song, mind you, but it's too late. <br> <br> <br> <br> Arsenal are perceived as a French club - the way Ray Davies of The <br> <br> Kinks once said he always saw the Rolling Stones as French, because <br> <br> that's where they seemed to spend all their time - while Chelsea, <br> <br> who are as good as in central London, have spent too long playing up to their Russian ownership pre-match.<br> <br> Even the carefully staged flags around Stamford Bridge try to highlight their global fanbase. <br> <br> <br> <br> Mick Jagger (left), Keith Richards and the rest of the Rolling Stones recorded <br> <br> much of Exile On Main Street in the south of France - this picture of the pair was <br> <br> taken in 1971 at Richards' rented villa, Nellcote, near Nice <br> <br> <br> <br> It's the same at Manchester United, and will increasingly <br> <br> become so at Liverpool. Go on the stadium tours. You rarely hear an English voice.<br> <br> And I don't even intend this as criticism. It's just an observation and <br> <br> the way our football has developed. If anything, when you see what has happened to Wentworth Golf Club, the foreign owners of English football <br> <br> clubs have been rather benign. <br> <br> <br> <br> Many have invested heavily, built good facilities and improved the standard of <br> <br> football. Yet my point in the column I wrote on October 21, is that this comes at a <br> <br> cost. English football fans no longer feel that ownership, that association with the <br> <br> game in this country, which is why they often delight when our <br> <br> clubs lose in Europe. <br> <br> <br> <br> It goes beyond traditional rivalry. I wrote about the days when Howard Kendall managed <br> <br> Everton and how, back then, we felt English clubs were representing us.<br> <br> That connection has gone. But I was bemoaning the passing of an era in English football, rather than simply condemning the <br> <br> modern game. <br> <br> <br> <br> Maybe we should have been more careful about the composition of our <br> <br> teams as the Premier League grew stronger and the <br> <br> clubs had the financial clout to shop in foreign markets, but then I'm no fan of home <br> <br> grown quotas for players either. It's the middle ground we have lost.<br> <br> The compromise of being a modern, international club <br> <br> with a maintained local identity, such as Bayern Munich <br> <br> or Barcelona. <br> <br> <br> <br> It's a big subject, with lots of strands. Fortunately, we've <br> <br> got room for that here. And room for this, too, for those feeling nostalgic.<br> <br> I love the way they understood the defiance of it.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <i><u>Oil money killed this league. ManUtdDefender4Life, United Kingdom.</u></i><br> <br> <br> <br> Oh, don't talk wet. It's the opposite, actually. Oil money made this league.<br> <br> Take away Chelsea and Manchester City and it would <br> <br> have descended into a dull two-team contest between Manchester United <br> <br> and Arsenal, like the battle between Real Madrid and <br> <br> Barcelona that La Liga comes down to most years.<br> <br> <br> <br> The Premier League has its faults but at least each season we start off thinking four, maybe as many as six, teams could potentially <br> <br> win it. Germany would love that uncertainty and Spain, too.<br> <br> Considering Arsenal fell away while they were financing their stadium move, without the oil money as you call it,<br> <br> Manchester United would have become our Olympiacos. You may have enjoyed that, because you cannot see beyond the end of your little red nose, but for the rest of us - and the <br> <br> world - it would have been a turn-off. The Premier League would be as good as done by now, without that <br> <br> new investment. And why is oil money so bad? Forbes estimate the Glazer family <br> <br> fortune at around £3billion. The bulk of their wealth <br> <br> was made by First Allied Corporation which, as of 2013, owned <br> <br> 6.7million square feet of commercial space across 20 American states.<br> <br> In other words, the Glazers made their money feeding <br> <br> consumerism, globalisation and America's addiction to shopping mall culture.<br> <br> <br> <br> But, hey - at least they're not in oil, eh?<br> <br> <br> <br> Welcome to modern football. Parts of your article were OK but you were way off the mark in other places - such as fans not <br> <br> getting behind England's other teams in Europe. Just ask Barcelona <br> <br> fans if they are supporting Real Madrid and vice versa.<br> <br> <br> <br> Cheapskate, Stockport.<br> <br> <br> <br> <u><strong>I think you'll find there's a civil war in the middle of that one, mate.</strong></u><br> <br> <br> <br> <i><u>RELATED ARTICLES</u></i><br> <br> Previous<br> <br> <br> <br> 1<br> <br> Next<br> <br> <br> <br> In any other business, Chelsea's suffering boss Jose...<br> <br> <br> <br> Football all over the country will suffer if we hound out...<br> <br> English football is missing the belonging, identity and...<br> <br> UEFA show they are divorced from reality by charging Man...<br> <br> <br> <br> Share this article<br> <br> Share 116 shares <br> <br> The nationality of our teams doesn't matter.<br> <br> <br> <br> I don't stop visiting the doctor because he isn't English too.<br> <br> QueSera, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> Really? This old one? Well, if we must. You may remember the Plastic Brit debate from before the 2012 London Olympics.<br> <br> It concerned the number of athletes from abroad that were conveniently seeking to compete beneath the British banner.<br> <br> <br> <br> Among them was the triple jumper Yamile Aldama.<br> <br> Born in Cuba, she lived in Britain, but tired of waiting for national <br> <br> clearance so became Sudanese for many years.<br> <br> Then, as 2012 approached - well, what do you know <br> <br> - she wanted to become British at last. I think the practice of opportunistically changing nationalities is wrong <br> <br> and cheapens international competition. I wrote this on many occasions,<br> <br> highlighting the practice in many sports. Aldama, now furnished with a column in The <br> <br> Guardian - I checked and they offered no equivalent showcase to athletes from Cuba or Sudan during the London Games - replied <br> <br> using the medical argument. 'Imagine if I was one <br> <br> of the top ten heart surgeons in the world,' she wrote,<br> <br> 'better than anyone in Britain - would these same people be happy for me to operate on their children? Or would <br> <br> they insist on a British surgeon who is not as good?' So that is, basically, your argument, <br> <br> Que Sera. And this was my response, published July 23, <br> <br> 2012.<br> <br> <br> <br> 'Well, I can certainly answer that one. The doctor that <br> <br> identified the heart defect in my son Robert was, I believe, British-Asian. We didn't discuss <br> <br> his specific ancestry because when they think a three-day-old boy <br> <br> has been born with its four chambers reversed, where we all come from is less important than where this baby may be going.<br> <br> The paediatric specialist who then identified the condition correctly as acute pulmonary stenosis - the pulmonary valve that transfers <br> <br> blood to the lungs was more than 90 per cent closed - was Dr Hla.<br> <br> Top man Dr Hla. I think he is from the Far East, but again we have never pinpointed locations as it doesn't seem vital.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> As for the surgeon who performed a balloon dilation on Robert's valve at five days old - and <br> <br> then again after three months allowing him to live a healthy, happy <br> <br> and sporty life - that was Professor Andrew Redington. <br> <br> He is British but works in Toronto now. I doubt if they call him a Plastic Canadian, though: <br> <br> because heart surgery is not a competitive international sport.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Once Professor Redington had finished operating on Robert, he did not wrap himself in a Union Jack and <br> <br> do a lap of the theatre for patriotic onlookers.<br> <br> He probably doesn't do that with the Maple Leaf at the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, either.<br> <br> He did not get a newspaper column on the back of <br> <br> competing for Britain and his public profile has never <br> <br> been defined by representing his country at surgery.<br> <br> One might say his nationality, like that of Dr Hla, is entirely irrelevant to his job.<br> <br> This makes him different to international athletes and to even draw the comparison is, frankly, ludicrous.<br> <br> <br> <br> The Plastic Brit debate is sport specific. Aldama needs to get that shoulder fixed <br> <br> before glibly appropriating the complex world of paediatric cardiology.'<br> <br> <br> <br> So your doctor isn't diagnosing viruses competitively, and isn't representing the nation in his <br> <br> field. His competence is important, not his nationality.<br> <br> But in sport, certainly international events, it is where you're from, as well as where you're at.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Manchester United left Moscow with a hard-earned Champions League point last week but <br> <br> supporters of other Premier League clubs won't have been rushing to <br> <br> congratulate them on their return to Blighty<br> <br> <br> <br> Football today is as tribal as it has ever been, but this tribalism is not based on any objective parameter.<br> <br> Media today means that the success of others is difficult to ignore, so satisfaction can be found in the failure of those opposed, which happens more often. Look <br> <br> how angry the people who comment on these pages, and the journalists, were when Chelsea won the Champions League <br> <br> and the Premier League and how happy they are now that this team has hit a bad patch.<br> <br> If I am never to see Reading win anything, at least I can celebrate when Chelsea <br> <br> doesn't. Decorum, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> If that's how you feel, fair enough, but it's not for me.<br> <br> Equally, what difference have Chelsea ever made to Reading?<br> <br> Is that grudge still about Jose Mourinho's comments when Petr <br> <br> Cech was injured? That was more than nine years ago <br> <br> now. Surely something of note has happened in Reading since then?<br> <br> <br> <br> Pity you didn't start berating the Premier League in 1992 when it all started, Martin. Not <br> <br> now when the horse has bolted. Phil G, Greater Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Yes, because my lone voice would have stopped the league in its <br> <br> tracks. Anyway, Phil, you miss my point if you think this was an attack on the Premier League.<br> <br> Mainly, it was a wistful reaction to a time passed, thinking back <br> <br> to how our game was and what we have lost. I don't think anyone envisaged the Premier League turning out like this and I don't hold any one group responsible - owners, players, administrators - for its flaws.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> The solution is simple. Lower the price of tickets and you will attract more passionate fans.<br> <br> We should take a leaf out Germany's book. Pyramid of Plutus, Cambridge.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Yes, because with the ongoing scandal around Wolfsburg owners Volkswagen, <br> <br> Uli Hoeness's tax arrangements, that 2006 World Cup bid, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and his watches from <br> <br> Qatar and Franz Beckenbauer, we should all be looking up to the fine levels of governance in German football right now.<br> <br> <br> <br> They do cheaper tickets. And that's wonderful.<br> <br> But it's one area.<br> <br> <br> <br> English football fans not cheering on Manchester United in 1999 had nothing to do <br> <br> with not connecting with United as an English club. We had 11 British or Irish players in the 18-man squad for the final and two more <br> <br> suspended in Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. It was pure club <br> <br> and fan rivalry, and that same reason applies today.<br> <br> Jim Harcourt, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> I don't think this is purely about the players, the foreign influx <br> <br> is a contributing factor, but no more. I think by 1999 United's domination of <br> <br> English football had begun to take hold. They were the first of the <br> <br> modern elite, the first globalised English club, <br> <br> and that was resented. And by the way, while you are right in saying <br> <br> 11 of United's squad were British or Irish - an incredible number in the current climate - only six of that group <br> <br> started. Bayern Munich's 18-man squad had <br> <br> 15 Germans, and 10 started.<br> <br> <br> <br> Foreign managers buy players with whom they can communicate.<br> <br> <br> <br> Things will only get worse and it's no good the Football Association saying clubs must have more British players in the <br> <br> squads, if they spend it in the reserves or on the <br> <br> bench. They have got to insist on 50 per cent in the team.<br> <br> Barrie Flaherty, Birmingham.<br> <br> <br> <br> People like what is familiar, Barrie. That is why it <br> <br> has always struck me as ironic that anyone who questions the influx of foreign coaches here <br> <br> - particularly with regard to the national team <br> <br> - is immediately dismissed as a Little Englander.<br> <br> Yet Arsene Wenger turning Arsenal into a French enclave, <br> <br> or Rafa Benitez bringing in many Spanish speakers at Liverpool, is not seen as nationalistic at all.<br> <br> I do think the understandable desire by foreign coaches to have their own men around them is a problem for young English players, but would <br> <br> stop short at advocating quotas, and certainly not as <br> <br> high as half the team. That could be a free pass for mediocrity.<br> <br> We need to solve this by raising our standards, not <br> <br> lowering those of others.<br> <br> <br> <br> The resentment of European football by Manchester City fans is part of them <br> <br> not being big enough to dream. They can't make up their minds if they prefer the <br> <br> past, the present or the future. The Right Back, Glossop.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I think City fans are certainly big enough to dream,<br> <br> TRB. Their resentment comes from UEFA and a cabal of elite clubs finding fresh ways <br> <br> to try to trample on those dreams each season. And is that a cue for a song?<br> <br> Sure is. Ignore the shonky lyrics. George Clinton would be proud <br> <br> of the bottom on this.<br> <br> <br> <br> I stand in the pub on Champions League nights shouting 'Come on, England' at the TV and then explaining <br> <br> to the Irish that they are supporting England's representatives, so are therefore supporting England.<br> <br> <br> <br> This doesn't go down too well with vast majority but makes me chuckle.<br> <br> Dubdub, Dublin.<br> <br> <br> <br> Adopts voice of character from Father Ted:<br> <br> I imagine you'll be drinking a fair amount of spit over the course of that evening, Father, if you don't mind me <br> <br> saying so.<br> <br> <br> <br> I supported Celtic in 1967 and Manchester United in 1968.<br> <br> I was delighted for Nottingham Forest and also Aston Villa when they won the old European Cup.<br> <br> I always wanted Arsenal to lose, but that is our local rivalry.<br> <br> Now I do also get some satisfaction in seeing Chelsea, Manchester City <br> <br> and Manchester United defeated in Europe.<br> <br> A bit of that is the fact that Chelsea and Manchester City have been lucky enough to <br> <br> win the lottery with Roman Abramovich and Sheik Mansour - although if we had a sugar daddy, I <br> <br> would not complain - but I also enjoy United losing simply because they <br> <br> have won so much and their fans are so arrogant.<br> <br> <br> <br> JFD, Dartford.<br> <br> <br> <br> As a Sunderland supporter I have no direct interest in Europe.<br> <br> <br> <br> I must admit, though, the arrogance of some fans of <br> <br> the top English clubs just encourages people <br> <br> to want them to fail. As for Everton, in my opinion they are by far the best <br> <br> away fans at our place - they never shut up and it's <br> <br> a great atmosphere. Great King Rat, Sunderland.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Essentially it boils down to this: Chelsea and Manchester City are not football clubs, they are rich men's playthings.<br> <br> <br> <br> Manchester United are not a football club, they are a franchise and a business, <br> <br> with glory supporter fans who have never been to a game. They don't represent a nation, just themselves.<br> <br> Why would anyone, apart from their glory-hunting fans want them <br> <br> to do well? A club like Everton could never sustain success now - they have a one-year window before any player who <br> <br> is half decent is picked up by someone richer. Look at Tottenham, they were on the verge of something good but couldn't keep Gareth Bale or Luka Modric.<br> <br> Star Lord, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> Fair play, nothing against your club, Star Lord, but you have to admit that each year <br> <br> you get into the Champions League having not won the Premier League is <br> <br> a joke really. The result being that you coin in a <br> <br> few hundred million and are then able to offer inflated wages and Champions <br> <br> League football to players from unfashionable clubs who might <br> <br> not otherwise have considered leaving. When you have won the league in the past I would <br> <br> happily support Arsenal in Europe, but I cannot sit and do that <br> <br> when they've finished second, third or fourth. New Forest <br> <br> Stu, United Kingdom.<br> <br> <br> <br> Four posters, four different reasons for wishing English clubs to fail but all come back to the same <br> <br> emotional roots: alienation, elitism, arrogance,<br> <br> a sense that the most successful in the English game are distanced from the rest.<br> <br> I'm not saying I know the answer, I'm not saying there is an answer.<br> <br> <br> <br> But sad, isn't it?<br> <br> <br> <br> Arsenal's attendance record in the Champions League is impressive <br> <br> - so was their win over Bayern last week<br> <br> <br> <br> Isn't it about time that UEFA rebranded and renamed the Champions <br> <br> League? It's not even a true league and Arsenal have been in it <br> <br> for 17 years having last won the title in 2004. They should call it what it is: The <br> <br> Closed Shop European Cup for the Elite Few. Tedmac, Accrington.<br> <br> <br> <br> <i><u>I take it you're not in marketing.</u></i><br> <br> <br> <br> What about Liverpool, Newcastle, Everton and Tottenham, who have <br> <br> all played in the competition since UEFA changed the format and <br> <br> name, despite none having been national champions in that time period?<br> <br> Non-smoking Gun, West Cornwall.<br> <br> <br> <br> I'm sure you can see the difference between Arsenal's <br> <br> entry through the best part of two complete decades, and the other <br> <br> clubs you listed. Everton played Villarreal in the qualifying round in 2005, Tottenham have been in once and Newcastle were <br> <br> last involved in a qualifying-round game against <br> <br> Partizan Belgrade 12 years ago.<br> <br> <br> <br> When it comes to the Champions League, I love watching all Premier <br> <br> League sides win. It reflects well on our league and on England.<br> <br> Cyper8, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> On March 11, 2008, Liverpool beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the San Siro stadium in a second round, second leg, Champions <br> <br> League game. The win meant all four of the eight English teams in the competition had made the quarter-finals.<br> <br> Liverpool's game had been put back to avoid clashing with Arsenal's visit <br> <br> to AC Milan, which ended in a 2-0 win. Manchester United knocked out Lyon, Chelsea <br> <br> did for Olympiacos. The Liverpool fans were kept back at the final whistle and began chanting.<br> <br> <br> <br> I thought they were singing, 'England', because of this outstanding achievement.<br> <br> It turned out to be 'Inter' - in appreciation of the host club <br> <br> showing some archive Liverpool footage on the <br> <br> big screen to keep them amused. The next day, The Times message board was alight.<br> <br> How could I make that mistake? Didn't I know Liverpool fans hate England?<br> <br> They would never show kinship with other English clubs.<br> <br> They're Scouse, not English. I get that now. I still found the anger in that reaction mystifying, <br> <br> though. Here was a fantastic achievement for English <br> <br> club teams and if the Liverpool fans had recognised it, as I <br> <br> mistakenly thought they did, it would have shown an awareness of a bigger picture.<br> <br> I think we're getting smaller, and so is our game. I'm not saying Borussia Dortmund fans cheer on Bayern Munich, or vice versa, but there does seem <br> <br> to be a genuine pride if the Bundesliga is admired and doing well.<br> <br> We've lost that. We no longer look further than the end of our road.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Football in England has become about big business and television sales.<br> <br> You can thank the second-rate English legend, David Beckham, in part for that.<br> <br> His brand approach to football overtook real performance and left it in the dust.<br> <br> The rest have followed. Money is the game and English football is the sick man of Europe.<br> <br> It may be over for England and the Premiership in a <br> <br> few years or they may form a coalition with the equally second-rate MLS,<br> <br> who use the same approach. Those are the unpleasant facts.<br> <br> Scottyrocks9, Port of Spain.<br> <br> <br> <br> Actually, Scott, they're not facts, they're your half-baked opinions and not ones I share.<br> <br> Beckham wasn't second rate. He was an outstanding footballer and could quite easily have been player of the year the season Manchester United won the Treble.<br> <br> The idea of individual brands and corporate brands <br> <br> are very different and to say that clubs followed Beckham into <br> <br> the marketplace is ridiculous. Our clubs copied the <br> <br> branding strategies used by American franchises such <br> <br> as the New York Yankees, while Beckham took his lead from <br> <br> the world of entertainment in which his wife worked. As for sick man England,<br> <br> the other leagues in Europe would love to match the financial success of the Premier League.<br> <br> <br> <br> Indeed, they lobbied UEFA to change the financial fair play rules because they knew they could not <br> <br> compete otherwise. <br> <br> <br> <br> It might be parochial but I would rather win the Premier League than the Champions League any day <br> <br> of the week. It might be different if, say, West Ham <br> <br> and Everton were in the Champions League with us, but there's nothing <br> <br> for us to like about Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.<br> <br> <br> <br> The CEOs of the first three were caught on Arsenal-headed notepaper imploring UEFA to do something about us; David Gill, red to his core, was appointed by UEFA to <br> <br> impose the bent charade that was FFP, going through our accounts <br> <br> with a fine toothcomb, and we've endured regular sermons from Arsene Wenger <br> <br> and Liverpool owner John W. Henry. Chelsea, meanwhile, are <br> <br> managed by the most loathsome hypocrite in world football. I pretty much detest all of them, <br> <br> and doubtless fuelled by the amount of nouveau riche, dirty oil money, click-bait articles <br> <br> served up by the press on an almost daily basis for the last seven years - coupled with the fact that we hurt them financially <br> <br> - they hate us too. It's hard to switch that off. Johnny B, Exeter.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I understand that, Johnny. One of the problems is that clubs <br> <br> - and therefore fans - no longer feel kinship. When I hear Jose Mourinho lecturing on FFP, now that Chelsea have decided <br> <br> to play by its rules, I am just open-mouthed at the sheer effrontery.<br> <br> Similarly, United and Arsenal fans who believe that just because their clubs <br> <br> were biggest at one moment in time - when the privilege and advantage of being in that position became <br> <br> greater than ever before - no rival should get the opportunity to challenge them.<br> <br> I understand the bitterness felt by City fans, really I do.<br> <br> The sense of entitlement within the established elite is quite staggering.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> The clubs in the Champions League are seen as the arrogant elite.<br> <br> <br> <br> If Everton or Southampton made it, then other supporters <br> <br> would get behind them. Yet how can Southampton fans cheer on Liverpool when they <br> <br> see their old favourites now playing for them? <br> <br> Steviejay99, Colchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> All valid points, Stevie. I know people who felt differently about Tottenham when they were in there, because <br> <br> they were seen as elite outsiders, and had a more traditional English coach in Harry Redknapp.<br> <br> Fulham in the Europa League the same - new faces, and managed by Roy Hodgson.<br> <br> <br> <br> I'm not sure all football fans feel this way about rival <br> <br> clubs. A lot of the hatred is fuelled by websites like this one and,<br> <br> in Manchester, the Manchester Evening News. I have loads of mates from school and work <br> <br> that are United fans and there's always been a healthy banter between both sets in our social <br> <br> group. It's not until you come on websites like this and read some of the comments from rival fans that you really <br> <br> start to dislike them. Most reds have mates who are <br> <br> blues, most blues have mates that are reds, and in real life we all get on. Iglooeaters, <br> <br> Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> Another fair point. It is sometimes easy, working in the media, to see <br> <br> the comment boards as representative of the people.<br> <br> <br> <br> Labour thought they had won an election that way <br> <br> in May. They looked set fair, on Twitter.<br> <br> <br> <br> Better late than never, I suppose, Martin but you and <br> <br> your fellow stenographers must share some of the blame for the loss <br> <br> of a British football identity with your slavish devotion to the Premier League and its chief executive Richard Scudamore.<br> <br> Fountain Of Youth, Northallerton.<br> <br> <br> <br> I have long thought Scudamore the sharpest football administrator,<br> <br> but that is not the same as slavish devotion. Equally, I cover Premier League football in the way that my predecessors covered <br> <br> the old Division One. You go with the big games and the big clubs because they provide the main talking points <br> <br> and topics of interest. But I'm a columnist, too, so I cover a wide range of subjects and a variety <br> <br> of sports. The Rugby World Cup makes this an exceptional <br> <br> month, but so far this month the column has also included items on Everton, Leeds <br> <br> United, Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers, Aston Villa, Charlton Athletic and <br> <br> Sunderland, and sports from cricket to horse racing and figure <br> <br> skating. I think English newspapers do try to provide variation in the coverage, but with the growth of online coverage whether that continues is up to the reader.<br> <br> As the influence of online grows, the new agenda will increasingly be dictated by page impressions and a global, rather than merely domestic, marketplace.<br> <br> On the night that both Manchester clubs played <br> <br> in the Champions League last week, there was a very good chance that the biggest match online was going to <br> <br> be Real Madrid versus Paris Saint-Germain. A goalless draw saw <br> <br> to that, but you have to understand that the web dances to a different tune than the newspaper.<br> <br> <br> <br> Every time a media executive puts up a story about Leeds United <br> <br> or Sunderland because he thinks it is important and newsworthy, he is fighting the <br> <br> market - because if we only obeyed the numbers your club would be losing out to Real Madrid as often as Manchester United.<br> <br> Worrying, isn't it?<br> <br> <br> <br> One reader, a Man City fan, rates a Premier League title <br> <br> triumph much higher than being European champions<br> <br> <br> <br> For me, as a Manchester City fan, the Premier <br> <br> League is more important than the Champions League.<br> <br> <br> <br> Obviously I'd love to win both but if a European victory meant not winning the Premier League then count <br> <br> me out. You can fluke a Champions League win, like Porto, Manchester United and Chelsea, but the best team always wins the <br> <br> league. I'd rather go out in the group stage if it meant <br> <br> wearing those gold Premier League badges next season. Balo Jelli, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Manchester United's record when we won in 1999. P13, W6, D7,<br> <br> L0, F31, A16. Teams faced: Lodz, Barcelona, Brondby, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich again. Lucky?<br> <br> <br> <br> Really? As for your gold badges, it will be fine, if you don't win the league this year, you can always design a new badge <br> <br> with four gold stars on it anyway. Numpty. Evoofsale, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Led with the chin a bit didn't you there, BJ?<br> <br> Surely you must know the big debate around the proposed redesign of <br> <br> the Manchester City badge right now, and how the gold stars aren't <br> <br> actually linked to titles won. As for fluking Champions League victories, yes,<br> <br> it is a cup competition but any run that involves Real <br> <br> Madrid, Marseille, Partizan Belgrade, Manchester United, Lyon, Deportivo La Coruna and Monaco (W7 D5 L1) as Porto's <br> <br> did in 2003-04, or Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia, Genk, Napoli,<br> <br> Benfica, Barcelona and Bayern Munich (W7 D4 L2) as Chelsea's did in 2011-12, cannot be <br> <br> put down to luck.<br> <br> <br> <br> I was shocked when I read that Howard Kendall was the last English manager to <br> <br> win a European trophy - that was 30 years ago.<br> <br> What a sad reflection on the state of the game in this country.<br> <br> Will English football ever recover to the point where clubs are owned by local businessmen, managed by Englishmen and have players that represent the <br> <br> local area? Ray, Cheshire.<br> <br> <br> <br> No.<br> <br> <br> <br> The irony being that Martin is a great supporter of foreign investment.<br> <br> We may have the best league and it may attract the most attention from the rest of the world but <br> <br> what is behind it all? Not a lot really. We have the same cartel of <br> <br> clubs at the top which is just boring and teams with no identity <br> <br> full of players looking to fill their boots financially.<br> <br> <br> <br> Richard, Northamptonshire.<br> <br> <br> <br> I don't think this is about foreign investment, <br> <br> Richard. I don't see foreign investors as the problem, some of them are excellent owners and better than some British custodians.<br> <br> <br> <br> As I said, there are a variety of factors at play here and just to put it all at the door of overseas owners is false.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Anybody under 45 won't understand how fans used to get behind all the English and Scottish teams when they played in Europe.<br> <br> I remember some great nights watching it. If I ever hear <br> <br> that midweek Grandstand theme it brings back all the memories.<br> <br> Intereverything, Chesterfield.<br> <br> <br> <br> Not enough, obviously. In midweek, it wasn't called Grandstand - it was <br> <br> Sportsnight. The music was by Tony Hatch. When I wrote about <br> <br> it here in 2013, Tony Hatch - yes, the Tony Hatch - got in touch <br> <br> from Mahon in Spain to thank me. Made my day, that did.<br> <br> The same won't happen with Edwin Astley, who wrote the <br> <br> brilliant theme tune for The Saint, because he passed on close to 20 years ago.<br> <br> But we're still talking cultural significance here, so you're getting it anyway.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> It would be interesting to ask the fans of continental clubs which <br> <br> Premier League team they would most want to avoid <br> <br> in the early rounds. I'd bet the highest percentage would say Manchester City.<br> <br> <br> <br> City were judged as having not progressed last year because Barcelona knocked us out.<br> <br> Nonsense, Barcelona were probably the best club side in the <br> <br> world. How can those matches possibly be a measure of how far we've come?<br> <br> Barry64, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> And so it begins. That creep towards the arrogance that <br> <br> City fans claim to despise in others. Maybe it just comes with success.<br> <br> Barry, the reason City's progress was doubted last season was <br> <br> that you got absolutely played off the park by Barcelona - again - and only ended up facing them because you <br> <br> came second in your group. Again. Oh, and eight points and a +1 <br> <br> goal difference would have got your knocked out of five of the <br> <br> eight qualifying groups, so you were a little fortunate to even get that far, too.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> The Champions League is now just European team versus European team.<br> <br> That isn't how it's supposed to be. It should be <br> <br> an English team, with mainly England players, against, <br> <br> for instance, an Italian equivalent. Kido44, <br> <br> Birmingham.<br> <br> <br> <br> I agree. When Bayern Munich play Sevilla, say, it still feels like a clash of philosophies.<br> <br> With our clubs it feels like a battle of the brands.<br> <br> <br> <br> The English clubs that represent us in Europe have nothing in common with the average football supporter.<br> <br> Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea are all foreign owned and managed and the great majority <br> <br> of their players are from overseas. Perhaps if they didn't have such a monopoly on the Champions League spots there would be wider appeal.<br> <br> I don't mind if our places went down to three or even two.<br> <br> Bill, United Kingdom.<br> <br> <br> <br> My father owns a poultry stall so for several decades now has <br> <br> been engaged in a weekly battle with the supermarkets. When he hears of price wars <br> <br> or that Tesco profits are taking a battering after being undercut <br> <br> by Aldi and Lidl he almost falls off his chair laughing.<br> <br> No doubt supporters of clubs outside the elite feel <br> <br> the same way at the thought of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City <br> <br> scratching each others eyes out over three Champions League places.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Football support has always been very partisan. I fear that your whole piece <br> <br> is just an excuse for a sentimental salute to the late <br> <br> Howard Kendall. Spantrekker, Spain.<br> <br> <br> <br> No, if I had wanted to do one of those I could have written it.<br> <br> It would have been justified, after all.<br> <br> <br> <br> Nobody wants fake clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea to succeed because they haven't earned the right to be there.<br> <br> The wealth of clubs and the knock-on success should be based on a club growing its fan base and being well run. These fake clubs <br> <br> have no Identity. Geoffmd7, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> What right? The cosy elite that existed before Abramovich pitched <br> <br> up at Chelsea were being cemented in place by a moment in time.<br> <br> Freeze the frame 20 years earlier and Manchester United and <br> <br> Arsenal would have been also-rans. Football evolves, teams and strong clubs come and go - <br> <br> the crime is wanting that to stop.<br> <br> <br> <br> If you're not a top-five elite club the Champions League is of no importance whatsoever.<br> <br> <br> <br> Why would I support or even bother to watch when my team is on the verge of another season struggling to stay in the Premier League.<br> <br> There was a time when you could be relegated and bounce back.<br> <br> Aston Villa were champions of England in 1981, of Europe in 1982, were relegated in 1987, promoted in 1988 and runners-up again in 1990.<br> <br> This time if we go down we'll face virtual <br> <br> financial ruin. The game has been ruined by money.<br> <br> The Facehead, Newquay.<br> <br> <br> <br> The fluidity that made football interesting has gone. So Villa still have the downside of relegation - and ruination - but not <br> <br> the upside of a tilt at winning the league or becoming <br> <br> champions of Europe. That explains much of the dissatisfaction. Having said this, I <br> <br> cannot understand why as a fan you wouldn't watch the Champions League.<br> <br> Leave aside any partisan emotions, the football is <br> <br> quite wonderful at times.<br> <br> <br> <br> For younger readers, that's Peter Withe scoring a European Cup-winning <br> <br> goal for Aston Villa against the mighty Bayern Munich back in 1982.<br> <br> Villa were relegated and promoted again within a few years <br> <br> <br> <br> I have said this several times, not just about the supporters but also the newspaper - I think the hate culture has <br> <br> gone over the top. It just seems to be about weekly bragging rights for most of these fans.<br> <br> <br> <br> I was even watching an England game in the pub the other day and an England fan was booing some players because <br> <br> they played for a rival team. What a stupid mentality. Rollins H, Cardiff.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I still think the old-fashioned way about English clubs in Europe, but then I support Barnsley so I've got <br> <br> no top four axe to grind. It's why I still love England, because they're all my players <br> <br> when they're in that white shirt and I don't get the chance to see really good footballers playing for <br> <br> me very often. I don't see Wayne Rooney as a Manchester United player that <br> <br> I have to hate to prove my loyalty to Liverpool <br> <br> or Chelsea, and I cheered Steven Gerrard on in Istanbul because he was an English player leading an English team on a <br> <br> foreign field. Bill, Barnsley.<br> <br> <br> <br> Common sense as ever from Bill - and I'm with Mr Rollins, too.<br> <br> I've been writing for many years that football fans are increasingly defined by who they hate.<br> <br> Although some, of course, are simply deluded…<br> <br> <br> <br> Please stop lumping Arsenal in with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea when you talk about expensively <br> <br> assembled elites. Arsenal, save for a couple of big signings, <br> <br> were put together on a budget more akin to Stoke City.<br> <br> Paul1973, Chelmsford.<br> <br> <br> <br> <b>Stoke City Council, maybe. Here's Benjy, with some numbers.</b><br> <br> <br> <br> Alexis Sanchez £40m, Mesut Ozil £40m, Theo Walcott £10m, Santi Cazorla £20m, <br> <br> Gabriel £11m, Olivier Giroud £12m, Calum Chambers £16m,<br> <br> Danny Welbeck £16m, Mathieu Debuchy £12m, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain £12m, Mikel Arteta <br> <br> £10m, Per Mertesacker £10m, Laurent Koscielny £10m….<br> <br> Benjaldinho, Plymouth.<br> <br> <br> <br> I know there are various versions of these figures <br> <br> out there - Cazorla nearer £16m than £20m for instance - but Benji's certainly in the ball park and,<br> <br> on some, like Ozil he might even be under because I think the figure was £42.4m.<br> <br> And no, it isn't completely up there with Manchester City's outlay, but Paul <br> <br> from Chelmsford didn't compare Arsenal's budget to City - he compared <br> <br> it to Stoke. And as Stoke's record signing is £12m, and Arsenal paid <br> <br> 25 per cent more than that for reserve defender Chambers, that argument is rubbish.<br> <br> Arsenal still have an expensively assembled elite squad.<br> <br> Just not quite as expensively assembled as Manchester City's.<br> <br> The budget for Stoke City Council, by the <br> <br> way, is around the £200m mark.<br> <br> <br> <br> Another reason we want our fellow sides to fail is <br> <br> the fact that the Champions League has become <br> <br> so big that if your rivals win it, their revenue and transfer pulling power increases, making it harder to compete and gain ground.<br> <br> Cartz, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> Another good point. Here's how that works in another trade.<br> <br> <br> <br> One national newspaper - not this one - has started publishing daily internal league tables <br> <br> of how many online hits each writer gets. The writers all receive them, by <br> <br> e-mail, presumably as an incentive to write more clickable <br> <br> copy. The result - some writers have stopped tweeting links to pieces written by their colleagues.<br> <br> Why help drive that traffic, runs the argument, if it <br> <br> puts him up the table ahead of me? The day UEFA introduced FFP every million earned was one up <br> <br> over a rival club; so naturally there is less communal spirit.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Perhaps it's also because, now, there are four English teams in the Champions League and several more in the Europa League.<br> <br> So there's no English club as such, and no us against them.<br> <br> I was in Kas in Turkey in 1989 when Galatasaray were playing in Europe.<br> <br> The whole town stopped to watch the match because a <br> <br> Turkish team was playing, and then launched into a massive party when they won. Everyone was on the streets celebrating.<br> <br> They weren't normally Galatasaray fans, but it was us against them.<br> <br> Stephen, Canberra.<br> <br> <br> <br> I can see that, Stephen, and it's certainly a factor. Yet nothing <br> <br> changes when all the English clubs, bar one, are out. I didn't notice any change in attitude last season when only Chelsea remained in the <br> <br> Champions League, or in the years when an English team <br> <br> has reached a final. The hatred is now too ingrained.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I welcome most of the foreign players in the Premier League but at the same time wish I could see <br> <br> more homegrown English players. Amarka, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> <u>That's how I feel, Amarka. Confusing isn't it?</u><br> <br> <br> <br> Let's not be kidded, Arsenal's squad, with Mesut Ozil (right) at a touch above £42m, did not come cheap<br> <br> <br> <br> <b>Manchester United's star-studded squad couldn't find <br> <br> a way past Middlesbrough in the League Cup</b><br> <br> <br> <br> 'A free pass to the best football matches in the country.<br> <br> <br> <br> They were always in the north, in those days.' They still are in the <br> <br> north, Martin. Ganicus Capua, Accra.<br> <br> <br> <br> <b>Well, yes, they are to you. You're in Ghana.</b><br> <br> <br> <br> I do agree with much of what you're saying, but you lost me when you made the <br> <br> claim that Bayern, at the very core, is still a <br> <br> German club. Under Pep Guardiola they field a team in the Bundesliga that features three German players at <br> <br> times. No media outlet criticises but the fans resent <br> <br> it, and rightly so. This is one of the reasons Guardiola won't be missed when he leaves;<br> <br> not if. Mario, Koblenz.<br> <br> <br> <br> I think what has happened, Mario, is that over here we <br> <br> are so brainwashed about the wonderful Bundesliga that when cracks appear <br> <br> we are almost conditioned not to notice. I was at the Arsenal <br> <br> match last week and, you are right, Munich had four German starters in their team.<br> <br> Did I mention that, however? No, because Arsenal only had two Britons so Munich's make-up still seems to carry a greater local connection. But <br> <br> considering they had 10 German starters in the 1999 Champions League final, it is clear times have changed <br> <br> under Pep.<br> <br> <br> <br> What Mr Samuel has failed to take into account is that Premier League teams are watched <br> <br> live every week by more overseas supporters than English ones.<br> <br> Sir Cecil, San Francisco.<br> <br> <br> <br> And what you have failed to take into account is that we don't care whether you watch <br> <br> or not, no more than a New York Mets fan is greatly bothered whether <br> <br> I tune into the World Series. I'm sure the money men are very pleased <br> <br> with all that lovely lolly, but having no impact on the atmosphere in the ground, to us it's inconsequential.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> It seems like teams will sign any Brazilian they can get their hands on. All Brazilians <br> <br> aren't Kaka. Mike1960, Plymouth.<br> <br> <br> <br> <b>The ones I saw getting beat 7-1 by Germany were, Mike.<br> <br> They were complete Kaka.</b><br> <br> <br> <br> You guys keep blaming everything on foreigners.<br> <br> <br> <br> It has nothing to do with your own people not being good <br> <br> enough, or driven enough, or overpaid so they lack determination. No, <br> <br> it's the foreign managers and players. Real Truth, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> Nothing was blamed on foreign players and managers in my column, because there was <br> <br> no blame apportioned. I was writing about a change that has taken place in English football over three decades, what has been gained, and <br> <br> what has been lost. There was no moustache-twirling villain.<br> <br> <br> <br> The rivalry in football is something I both love and despise.<br> <br> Rivalry has turned into tribalism. I remember, <br> <br> not so long ago, when my team, Burnley, lost to Blackburn and <br> <br> a handful of our moronic fans trashed the town centre.<br> <br> We were playing at home. Some people need to take a step back and <br> <br> realise it's just a game. UpNorth, Lancashire.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <b>There's a phrase for that. Something to do with doorsteps.</b><br> <br> <br> <br> Be grateful that every week you get to see Sergio Aguero, Sanchez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ozil,<br> <br> David Silva and Philippe Coutinho. English players expect everything to <br> <br> be handed to them. Grey Mosquito, Leicester.<br> <br> <br> <br> We are grateful for them, Mos. We're also grateful for <br> <br> the better players at the lower rated clubs, such as Dimitri Payet at West Ham.<br> <br> But there are also imported players who many fans look at while wondering how bad <br> <br> the young local lads must be. Look at Aston Villa,<br> <br> Sunderland or Newcastle. Have we stopped producing footballers in Birmingham and the North East; or have <br> <br> we just stopped looking? The top scorer in the Premier League came <br> <br> out of Fleetwood Town and plays for Leicester.<br> <br> Yet why is Jamie Vardy now the exception. The great Liverpool teams <br> <br> were built on 10 lads like him.<br> <br> <br> <br> Martin, no way did you live in a rented flat in Prestwich.<br> <br> Whereabouts? You should come back for a pint. Mundo13, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I lived in the flats on the corner of St Ann's Road, quite near the <br> <br> Red Lion pub where The Fall filmed the video for Wings.<br> <br> We nearly blew the place up because we left the immersion heater <br> <br> on while me and the missus went off to see Gil-Scott Heron at The Hacienda, and it <br> <br> had no safety shut-off mechanism. The thing was bouncing off the walls when we came back and we had to turn all <br> <br> the taps on and fill the flat with steam. Anyway, I remember Gil was playing <br> <br> this anti-drugs song called Angel Dust and then had to leave the stage temporarily because some of the band were too out of <br> <br> it to function. I think that's called irony. They sound as if they <br> <br> got it together more on this version though. Until next time.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <u><strong>RELATED ARTICLES</strong></u><br> <br> Previous<br> <br> <br> <br> 1<br> <br> Next<br> <br> <br> <br> In any other business, Chelsea's suffering boss Jose...<br> <br> Football all over the country will suffer if we hound out...<br> <br> English football is missing the belonging, identity and...<br> <br> UEFA show they are divorced from reality by charging Man...<br> <br> <br> <br> Share this article<br> <br> Share 116 shares  <br> <br> <br> <br>  <br> <br> <br> <br> My web page - <a href="http://joleen.cutlack@k.a.ren.millens.tore.sa.l.e@f.a.br.i.c.at.e.b.j.xy.l@irritatingfifthsimp.listichol.e.e@l.u.c.ykongwang.qu.nxunyangongy.u@hu.fe.ng.k.Ua.ngniu.bi..uk41@Www.Zanele@silvia.woodw.o.r.t.h@j.Dpdhegcibppko@(...)a.langton@Sus.ta.i.n.j.ex.k@fen.Gku.an.gx.r.ku.ai8.xn%14.xn%14.u.k@Meli.S.a.Ri.c.h4223@e.xultan.tacoustic.sfat.lettuceerz@fault.ybeamdulltnderwearertwe.s.e@p.laus.i.bleljh@r.eces.si.v.e.x.g.z@leanna.langton@A.S.Fytghw.Syghsfgvbszdfgvdfgh.Bdv@Constance.H.Ar.R.In.Gto.N.9272.8@P.L.A.U.Sible.L.J.H@I.N.T.E.Rloca.L.Qs.J.Y@trsfcdhf.hfhjf.hdasgsdfhdshshfsh@hu.fe.ng.k.ua.ngniu.bi..uk41@Www.Zanele@silvia.woodw.o.r.t.h@Shasta.ernest@ba.tt.le9.578@jxd.1.4.7m.nb.v.3.6.9.cx.z.951.4@Ex.p.lo.si.v.edhq.g@silvia.woodw.o.r.t.h@r.eces.si.v.e.x.G.z@leanna.Langton@blank.e.tu.y.z.s@m.i.scbarne.s.w@e.xped.it.io.n.eg.d.g@burton.rene@e.xped.it.io.n.eg.d.g@burton.rene@Gal.EHi.Nt.on78.8.27@dfu.s.m.f.h.u8.645v.nb@WWW.EMEKAOLISA@carlton.theis@silvia.woodw.o.r.t.h@s.jd.u.eh.yds.g.524.87.59.68.4@Sus.ta.i.n.j.ex.k@www.mondaymorninginspiration@c.apa.ci.t.y.sdaq@ecosvit.org/shop/info.php?a%5B%5D=%3Ca+href%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2FWww.myhotelexperience.co.uk%2Flistings%2Fthe-snooty-fox-accommodation-review%2F%3Echeap+hotels+for+Parklife%3C%2Fa%3E">Manchester Hotel Manchester</a>

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I have to agree the decline of British talent in British teams <br> <br> is very sad. The teams have virtually turned into franchises.<br> <br> <br> <br> Manchester United, Arsenal, or Chelsea could move anywhere in the <br> <br> world without a net loss of fanbase. There <br> <br> is simply very little connecting them to the local community anymore.<br> <br> <br> <br> The players are nearly all foreign, they live miles out of town and simply <br> <br> get the team bus in every other week to a stadium that happens to be in a certain urban environment.<br> <br> <br> <br> It baffles me why fans are so tribal. FrankTruth, England.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Last week, I was staying at my usual hotel <br> <br> in Liverpool which is also the one the club uses on matchdays.<br> <br> This was before Jurgen Klopp's first game at Anfield, <br> <br> against Rubin Kazan. The coach was waiting to take them to <br> <br> the game and barriers had been erected outside to keep the fans back.<br> <br> There were 19 of them, of which only four could have been locals, unless they had walked up <br> <br> from Chinatown. To me, that summed up what our teams have become.<br> <br> They are global enterprises now and, as Frank says, could quite literally come from anywhere. <br> <br> <br> <br> In the capital, West Ham are about to move to the Olympic Stadium and have redesigned their badge to a cleaner, simpler style with <br> <br> crossed Hammers and the bold assertion 'West Ham - London'.<br> <br> <br> <br> So now a lot of other clubs are trying to claim ownership of London, too.<br> <br> At just about every ground in the capital now they play that old cliche, London Calling,<br> <br> by The Clash before matches. Great song, mind you, but it's too late. <br> <br> <br> <br> Arsenal are perceived as a French club - the way Ray Davies of The Kinks once said he always saw the Rolling Stones as French, because that's where they seemed to <br> <br> spend all their time - while Chelsea, who are as good as in central London, have spent too long <br> <br> playing up to their Russian ownership pre-match. Even the carefully staged flags around Stamford <br> <br> Bridge try to highlight their global fanbase. <br> <br> <br> <br> Mick Jagger (left), Keith Richards and the rest of the Rolling Stones <br> <br> recorded much of Exile On Main Street in the south of France - this picture of the pair <br> <br> was taken in 1971 at Richards' rented villa, Nellcote, near <br> <br> Nice <br> <br> <br> <br> It's the same at Manchester United, and will increasingly become so at Liverpool.<br> <br> Go on the stadium tours. You rarely hear an English voice.<br> <br> And I don't even intend this as criticism. It's just <br> <br> an observation and the way our football has developed.<br> <br> <br> <br> If anything, when you see what has happened to Wentworth Golf Club, the foreign owners of English football clubs have been rather <br> <br> benign. <br> <br> <br> <br> Many have invested heavily, built good facilities and improved the standard <br> <br> of football. Yet my point in the column I wrote on October <br> <br> 21, is that this comes at a cost. English football fans <br> <br> no longer feel that ownership, that association with the game in this country, which is why they often delight when our <br> <br> clubs lose in Europe. <br> <br> <br> <br> It goes beyond traditional rivalry. I wrote about <br> <br> the days when Howard Kendall managed Everton and how, back <br> <br> then, we felt English clubs were representing us. That connection has gone.<br> <br> But I was bemoaning the passing of an era in English football, rather than simply condemning the modern game. <br> <br> <br> <br> Maybe we should have been more careful about the composition of our teams as the Premier League grew stronger and the clubs had the financial clout to <br> <br> shop in foreign markets, but then I'm no fan of home grown quotas for players either.<br> <br> <br> <br> It's the middle ground we have lost. The compromise of being <br> <br> a modern, international club with a maintained local identity, such as Bayern Munich or Barcelona. <br> <br> <br> <br> It's a big subject, with lots of strands. Fortunately, we've got room for that here.<br> <br> And room for this, too, for those feeling nostalgic.<br> <br> I love the way they understood the defiance of it.<br> <br> <br> <br> Oil money killed this league. ManUtdDefender4Life, United Kingdom.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Oh, don't talk wet. It's the opposite, actually. Oil money made this league.<br> <br> Take away Chelsea and Manchester City and it would have descended into a dull two-team contest between Manchester United and Arsenal, like the battle between Real Madrid and Barcelona that La Liga comes down to most years.<br> <br> <br> <br> The Premier League has its faults but at least each season we start off <br> <br> thinking four, maybe as many as six, teams could potentially win it.<br> <br> Germany would love that uncertainty and Spain, too.<br> <br> Considering Arsenal fell away while they were financing their stadium move, without the oil money <br> <br> as you call it, Manchester United would have become our Olympiacos.<br> <br> <br> <br> You may have enjoyed that, because you cannot see beyond the end of your little red <br> <br> nose, but for the rest of us - and the world - it would have been a turn-off.<br> <br> The Premier League would be as good as done by now, without <br> <br> that new investment. And why is oil money so bad?<br> <br> Forbes estimate the Glazer family fortune at around £3billion. The bulk of their wealth was <br> <br> made by First Allied Corporation which, as of 2013, owned 6.7million square feet of commercial space across 20 American states.<br> <br> In other words, the Glazers made their money feeding consumerism,<br> <br> globalisation and America's addiction to shopping mall culture.<br> <br> But, hey - at least they're not in oil, eh?<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Welcome to modern football. Parts of your article were OK but you were way off the mark <br> <br> in other places - such as fans not getting behind <br> <br> England's other teams in Europe. Just ask Barcelona fans if they are supporting <br> <br> Real Madrid and vice versa. Cheapskate, Stockport.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I think you'll find there's a civil war in the middle of that one,<br> <br> mate.<br> <br> <br> <br> RELATED ARTICLES<br> <br> Previous<br> <br> <br> <br> 1<br> <br> Next<br> <br> <br> <br> In any other business, Chelsea's suffering boss Jose...<br> <br> <br> <br> Football all over the country will suffer if we hound out...<br> <br> <br> <br> English football is missing the belonging, identity and...<br> <br> UEFA show they are divorced from reality by charging Man...<br> <br> <br> <br> Share this article<br> <br> Share 116 shares <br> <br> The nationality of our teams doesn't matter. I don't stop visiting the doctor because he isn't English too.<br> <br> QueSera, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> Really? This old one? Well, if we must. You may remember the Plastic Brit debate from before the <br> <br> 2012 London Olympics. It concerned the number of athletes from abroad that were conveniently seeking to compete beneath the British banner.<br> <br> <br> <br> Among them was the triple jumper Yamile Aldama. Born in Cuba, she lived in Britain, but tired <br> <br> of waiting for national clearance so became Sudanese for many years.<br> <br> Then, as 2012 approached - well, what do you <br> <br> know - she wanted to become British at last.<br> <br> I think the practice of opportunistically changing nationalities is wrong and cheapens <br> <br> international competition. I wrote this on many occasions, highlighting <br> <br> the practice in many sports. Aldama, now furnished with a column in The <br> <br> Guardian - I checked and they offered no equivalent showcase <br> <br> to athletes from Cuba or Sudan during the London Games - replied <br> <br> using the medical argument. 'Imagine if I was one of the top ten heart surgeons in the world,' she wrote, 'better than anyone in Britain - would <br> <br> these same people be happy for me to operate on their <br> <br> children? Or would they insist on a British surgeon who is not as good?' <br> <br> So that is, basically, your argument, Que Sera. And this was my response, <br> <br> published July 23, 2012.<br> <br> <br> <br> 'Well, I can certainly answer that one. The doctor that identified the heart defect in my son Robert was, I believe, British-Asian. We didn't discuss his specific ancestry because when they think a three-day-old boy has been born with its four chambers reversed, where we <br> <br> all come from is less important than where this baby may be going.<br> <br> <br> <br> The paediatric specialist who then identified the condition correctly <br> <br> as acute pulmonary stenosis - the pulmonary valve that transfers blood to the lungs was more than 90 per cent closed - was <br> <br> Dr Hla. Top man Dr Hla. I think he is from the Far East, but again we <br> <br> have never pinpointed locations as it doesn't seem vital.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> As for the surgeon who performed a balloon dilation on Robert's valve at five days old <br> <br> - and then again after three months allowing him to live <br> <br> a healthy, happy and sporty life - that was Professor Andrew Redington. He is <br> <br> British but works in Toronto now. I doubt if they call him <br> <br> a Plastic Canadian, though: because heart surgery is <br> <br> not a competitive international sport.<br> <br> <br> <br> Once Professor Redington had finished operating on Robert, he did not wrap <br> <br> himself in a Union Jack and do a lap of the theatre for patriotic onlookers.<br> <br> He probably doesn't do that with the Maple Leaf at the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, either.<br> <br> He did not get a newspaper column on the back of competing for Britain and his public profile has never <br> <br> been defined by representing his country at surgery. One might say his nationality, like <br> <br> that of Dr Hla, is entirely irrelevant to his job.<br> <br> This makes him different to international athletes and to even draw the comparison is, frankly, <br> <br> ludicrous. The Plastic Brit debate is sport specific.<br> <br> Aldama needs to get that shoulder fixed before <br> <br> glibly appropriating the complex world of paediatric cardiology.'<br> <br> <br> <br> So your doctor isn't diagnosing viruses competitively, and isn't representing the <br> <br> nation in his field. His competence is important, not <br> <br> his nationality. But in sport, certainly international events, it is where you're from, as <br> <br> well as where you're at.<br> <br> <br> <br> Manchester United left Moscow with a hard-earned Champions League point last week but supporters of other <br> <br> Premier League clubs won't have been rushing to congratulate them on their return to Blighty<br> <br> <br> <br> Football today is as tribal as it has ever been, but this <br> <br> tribalism is not based on any objective parameter. Media today means that the success of <br> <br> others is difficult to ignore, so satisfaction can be found in the <br> <br> failure of those opposed, which happens more often. Look how angry the people <br> <br> who comment on these pages, and the journalists, were when Chelsea <br> <br> won the Champions League and the Premier League and <br> <br> how happy they are now that this team has hit a bad patch. If I <br> <br> am never to see Reading win anything, at least I can celebrate when Chelsea doesn't.<br> <br> Decorum, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> If that's how you feel, fair enough, but it's not for me.<br> <br> Equally, what difference have Chelsea ever made to Reading?<br> <br> <br> <br> Is that grudge still about Jose Mourinho's comments when Petr Cech was injured?<br> <br> That was more than nine years ago now. Surely something of note has happened in Reading since then?<br> <br> <br> <br> Pity you didn't start berating the Premier League in 1992 when it all started, Martin. <br> <br> Not now when the horse has bolted. Phil G, Greater Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Yes, because my lone voice would have stopped the league in its tracks.<br> <br> <br> <br> Anyway, Phil, you miss my point if you think this was an attack <br> <br> on the Premier League. Mainly, it was a wistful reaction to <br> <br> a time passed, thinking back to how our game was and what we have lost.<br> <br> I don't think anyone envisaged the Premier League turning out like <br> <br> this and I don't hold any one group responsible - owners, players,<br> <br> administrators - for its flaws.<br> <br> <br> <br> The solution is simple. Lower the price of tickets and you will attract more passionate fans.<br> <br> <br> <br> We should take a leaf out Germany's book. Pyramid of Plutus, Cambridge.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Yes, because with the ongoing scandal around Wolfsburg owners Volkswagen, Uli <br> <br> Hoeness's tax arrangements, that 2006 World Cup bid,<br> <br> Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and his watches from Qatar and Franz <br> <br> Beckenbauer, we should all be looking up to the fine levels <br> <br> of governance in German football right now. They do cheaper tickets.<br> <br> And that's wonderful. But it's one area.<br> <br> <br> <br> English football fans not cheering on Manchester United in 1999 had nothing to do with not connecting with United as an English club.<br> <br> We had 11 British or Irish players in the 18-man squad for the final and two more <br> <br> suspended in Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. It was pure <br> <br> club and fan rivalry, and that same reason applies today.<br> <br> Jim Harcourt, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> I don't think this is purely about the players, the foreign influx is a <br> <br> contributing factor, but no more. I think by 1999 United's <br> <br> domination of English football had begun to take hold.<br> <br> They were the first of the modern elite, the first globalised English club, and that was resented.<br> <br> And by the way, while you are right in saying 11 of United's squad were British or Irish - an incredible number in the <br> <br> current climate - only six of that group started.<br> <br> Bayern Munich's 18-man squad had 15 Germans, and 10 started.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Foreign managers buy players with whom they can communicate.<br> <br> <br> <br> Things will only get worse and it's no good the Football Association saying <br> <br> clubs must have more British players in the squads, if they spend it in the reserves <br> <br> or on the bench. They have got to insist on 50 per cent in the team.<br> <br> <br> <br> Barrie Flaherty, Birmingham.<br> <br> <br> <br> People like what is familiar, Barrie. That is why it has always struck me as ironic that anyone who questions <br> <br> the influx of foreign coaches here - particularly with regard to the national <br> <br> team - is immediately dismissed as a Little Englander.<br> <br> Yet Arsene Wenger turning Arsenal into a French enclave, or Rafa Benitez bringing in many Spanish speakers at Liverpool, is <br> <br> not seen as nationalistic at all. I do think the <br> <br> understandable desire by foreign coaches to have their own men around them is <br> <br> a problem for young English players, but would stop short at <br> <br> advocating quotas, and certainly not as high as half the team.<br> <br> That could be a free pass for mediocrity.<br> <br> We need to solve this by raising our standards, not lowering <br> <br> those of others.<br> <br> <br> <br> The resentment of European football by Manchester City fans is part of them not being big enough to dream.<br> <br> They can't make up their minds if they prefer the past, the present or the future.<br> <br> The Right Back, Glossop.<br> <br> <br> <br> I think City fans are certainly big enough to dream, TRB. Their resentment comes from UEFA and a cabal of elite clubs finding fresh ways to try to trample on those dreams <br> <br> each season. And is that a cue for a song? Sure is.<br> <br> Ignore the shonky lyrics. George Clinton would be proud of the bottom on this.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I stand in the pub on Champions League nights shouting 'Come on, England' at the TV <br> <br> and then explaining to the Irish that they are supporting England's representatives, so are therefore supporting <br> <br> England. This doesn't go down too well with vast majority but makes me chuckle.<br> <br> Dubdub, Dublin.<br> <br> <br> <br> Adopts voice of character from Father Ted: I imagine you'll be drinking a fair amount of spit over the course of that <br> <br> evening, Father, if you don't mind me saying so.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I supported Celtic in 1967 and Manchester United in 1968.<br> <br> I was delighted for Nottingham Forest and also Aston Villa when they won the old European Cup.<br> <br> I always wanted Arsenal to lose, but that is our local rivalry.<br> <br> Now I do also get some satisfaction in seeing Chelsea, Manchester City <br> <br> and Manchester United defeated in Europe. A bit of that is <br> <br> the fact that Chelsea and Manchester City have been lucky enough to win the lottery with Roman Abramovich and Sheik Mansour <br> <br> - although if we had a sugar daddy, I would not complain - but I also enjoy <br> <br> United losing simply because they have won so much and their fans are so arrogant.<br> <br> <br> <br> JFD, Dartford.<br> <br> <br> <br> As a Sunderland supporter I have no direct interest in Europe.<br> <br> I must admit, though, the arrogance of some fans of the top English clubs just encourages people to want <br> <br> them to fail. As for Everton, in my opinion they are by far the <br> <br> best away fans at our place - they never shut up and it's a great atmosphere.<br> <br> Great King Rat, Sunderland.<br> <br> <br> <br> Essentially it boils down to this: Chelsea and Manchester City are not football clubs, <br> <br> they are rich men's playthings. Manchester United are <br> <br> not a football club, they are a franchise and a business, with glory supporter fans <br> <br> who have never been to a game. They don't represent a <br> <br> nation, just themselves. Why would anyone, apart from their glory-hunting fans want <br> <br> them to do well? A club like Everton could never sustain success now - <br> <br> they have a one-year window before any player who is half decent is picked up by <br> <br> someone richer. Look at Tottenham, they were on the verge of something good but couldn't keep Gareth <br> <br> Bale or Luka Modric. Star Lord, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> Fair play, nothing against your club, Star Lord, but you have to admit that each year you get into the Champions League having not won the Premier League is a joke really.<br> <br> The result being that you coin in a few hundred million and are <br> <br> then able to offer inflated wages and Champions League football <br> <br> to players from unfashionable clubs who might not otherwise have considered leaving.<br> <br> When you have won the league in the past I would happily support Arsenal in Europe, but <br> <br> I cannot sit and do that when they've finished second, third or fourth.<br> <br> New Forest Stu, United Kingdom.<br> <br> <br> <br> Four posters, four different reasons for wishing English clubs to <br> <br> fail but all come back to the same emotional roots:<br> <br> alienation, elitism, arrogance, a sense that the <br> <br> most successful in the English game are distanced from the rest.<br> <br> I'm not saying I know the answer, I'm not saying there is an answer.<br> <br> But sad, isn't it?<br> <br> <br> <br> Arsenal's attendance record in the Champions League is impressive - so <br> <br> was their win over Bayern last week<br> <br> <br> <br> Isn't it about time that UEFA rebranded and renamed the Champions <br> <br> League? It's not even a true league and Arsenal have been in it for <br> <br> 17 years having last won the title in 2004. They should call it what it is:<br> <br> The Closed Shop European Cup for the Elite Few. Tedmac, Accrington.<br> <br> <br> <br> I take it you're not in marketing.<br> <br> <br> <br> What about Liverpool, Newcastle, Everton and Tottenham,<br> <br> who have all played in the competition since <br> <br> UEFA changed the format and name, despite none having been national champions <br> <br> in that time period? Non-smoking Gun, West Cornwall.<br> <br> <br> <br> I'm sure you can see the difference between Arsenal's entry <br> <br> through the best part of two complete decades, and the other clubs you listed.<br> <br> Everton played Villarreal in the qualifying round in 2005, Tottenham have been in once <br> <br> and Newcastle were last involved in a qualifying-round game against Partizan Belgrade <br> <br> 12 years ago.<br> <br> <br> <br> When it comes to the Champions League, I love watching all Premier League <br> <br> sides win. It reflects well on our league and on England.<br> <br> Cyper8, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> On March 11, 2008, Liverpool beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the San Siro <br> <br> stadium in a second round, second leg, Champions League game.<br> <br> <br> <br> The win meant all four of the eight English teams in the competition had <br> <br> made the quarter-finals. Liverpool's game had been put back to avoid clashing with Arsenal's visit to AC Milan, which ended in a 2-0 win. Manchester United knocked out Lyon, Chelsea did for Olympiacos.<br> <br> The Liverpool fans were kept back at the final whistle and began chanting.<br> <br> I thought they were singing, 'England', because of this outstanding achievement.<br> <br> It turned out to be 'Inter' - in appreciation of the host club showing some archive Liverpool footage on the big screen to keep them amused.<br> <br> <br> <br> The next day, The Times message board was alight.<br> <br> How could I make that mistake? Didn't I know Liverpool fans hate <br> <br> England? They would never show kinship with other English clubs.<br> <br> They're Scouse, not English. I get that <br> <br> now. I still found the anger in that reaction mystifying, <br> <br> though. Here was a fantastic achievement for English club <br> <br> teams and if the Liverpool fans had recognised it, as I mistakenly thought they did, it would have shown an awareness of a bigger picture.<br> <br> I think we're getting smaller, and so is our game. I'm not saying Borussia Dortmund fans cheer on Bayern Munich, or vice <br> <br> versa, but there does seem to be a genuine pride if the Bundesliga is admired and doing well.<br> <br> We've lost that. We no longer look further than the end of our road.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Football in England has become about big business and television sales.<br> <br> <br> <br> You can thank the second-rate English legend, David Beckham, in part for that.<br> <br> <br> <br> His brand approach to football overtook real performance and left it in the dust.<br> <br> The rest have followed. Money is the game <br> <br> and English football is the sick man of Europe.<br> <br> It may be over for England and the Premiership in a few years or <br> <br> they may form a coalition with the equally second-rate MLS, who <br> <br> use the same approach. Those are the unpleasant <br> <br> facts. Scottyrocks9, Port of Spain.<br> <br> <br> <br> Actually, Scott, they're not facts, they're your half-baked opinions and not ones <br> <br> I share. Beckham wasn't second rate. He was an outstanding footballer and could quite easily have been player of the year the <br> <br> season Manchester United won the Treble. The idea of individual brands and corporate <br> <br> brands are very different and to say that clubs followed Beckham into the marketplace is ridiculous.<br> <br> Our clubs copied the branding strategies used by American franchises such as <br> <br> the New York Yankees, while Beckham took his lead from the world of entertainment in which his wife worked.<br> <br> As for sick man England, the other leagues in Europe would love to match the <br> <br> financial success of the Premier League. Indeed, they lobbied UEFA to change the financial fair play rules because they knew they could not compete otherwise. <br> <br> <br> <br> It might be parochial but I would rather win the Premier <br> <br> League than the Champions League any day of the week.<br> <br> It might be different if, say, West Ham and Everton were in the Champions League with <br> <br> us, but there's nothing for us to like about Manchester United, <br> <br> Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. The CEOs of the first three were caught on Arsenal-headed notepaper imploring UEFA to do something <br> <br> about us; David Gill, red to his core, was appointed by <br> <br> UEFA to impose the bent charade that was FFP, <br> <br> going through our accounts with a fine toothcomb, and we've endured regular sermons from Arsene Wenger and Liverpool owner John W.<br> <br> Henry. Chelsea, meanwhile, are managed by the most loathsome hypocrite in world football.<br> <br> I pretty much detest all of them, and doubtless fuelled by the amount of nouveau riche, dirty oil money, click-bait articles served up <br> <br> by the press on an almost daily basis for the <br> <br> last seven years - coupled with the fact that we <br> <br> hurt them financially - they hate us too.<br> <br> It's hard to switch that off. Johnny B, Exeter.<br> <br> <br> <br> I understand that, Johnny. One of the problems is that clubs - and therefore <br> <br> fans - no longer feel kinship. When I hear Jose Mourinho lecturing on FFP, <br> <br> now that Chelsea have decided to play by its <br> <br> rules, I am just open-mouthed at the sheer effrontery.<br> <br> Similarly, United and Arsenal fans who believe that just because their clubs were biggest at one moment in time - <br> <br> when the privilege and advantage of being in that position became greater than ever <br> <br> before - no rival should get the opportunity to challenge them.<br> <br> I understand the bitterness felt by City fans, really I do.<br> <br> <br> <br> The sense of entitlement within the established elite is quite staggering.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> The clubs in the Champions League are seen as the <br> <br> arrogant elite. If Everton or Southampton made it, then other supporters <br> <br> would get behind them. Yet how can Southampton fans cheer on Liverpool when they see their old favourites now playing for them?<br> <br> <br> <br> Steviejay99, Colchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> All valid points, Stevie. I know people who felt differently about Tottenham <br> <br> when they were in there, because they were seen as elite outsiders, and <br> <br> had a more traditional English coach in Harry Redknapp.<br> <br> Fulham in the Europa League the same - new faces, and managed by Roy Hodgson.<br> <br> <br> <br> I'm not sure all football fans feel this way about rival clubs.<br> <br> A lot of the hatred is fuelled by websites like this <br> <br> one and, in Manchester, the Manchester Evening News.<br> <br> I have loads of mates from school and work that are United <br> <br> fans and there's always been a healthy banter between both <br> <br> sets in our social group. It's not until you come on websites like this and read <br> <br> some of the comments from rival fans that you really start to dislike them.<br> <br> <br> <br> Most reds have mates who are blues, most blues have mates that are reds, and in real life <br> <br> we all get on. Iglooeaters, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> Another fair point. It is sometimes easy, working in the media, to see <br> <br> the comment boards as representative of the people. Labour thought they had won an election that way in May.<br> <br> They looked set fair, on Twitter.<br> <br> <br> <br> Better late than never, I suppose, Martin but you and your fellow stenographers must share some of the blame for the loss of <br> <br> a British football identity with your slavish devotion to the Premier <br> <br> League and its chief executive Richard Scudamore.<br> <br> <br> <br> Fountain Of Youth, Northallerton.<br> <br> <br> <br> I have long thought Scudamore the sharpest football administrator, but that is not the same as slavish devotion. <br> <br> Equally, I cover Premier League football in the way that <br> <br> my predecessors covered the old Division One. You go with the big games and the big clubs because they provide the main talking <br> <br> points and topics of interest. But I'm a columnist, too, so <br> <br> I cover a wide range of subjects and a variety <br> <br> of sports. The Rugby World Cup makes this an exceptional <br> <br> month, but so far this month the column has also included items on Everton, Leeds United, Leicester City, Queens <br> <br> Park Rangers, Aston Villa, Charlton Athletic and Sunderland, and sports from cricket to horse racing and figure skating.<br> <br> I think English newspapers do try to provide variation in the coverage, but with the growth of <br> <br> online coverage whether that continues is up to the reader.<br> <br> As the influence of online grows, the new agenda will increasingly be dictated by page impressions and a global, rather than merely domestic, marketplace.<br> <br> On the night that both Manchester clubs played in the Champions League last week, there was a very <br> <br> good chance that the biggest match online was going to be Real Madrid versus <br> <br> Paris Saint-Germain. A goalless draw saw to that, but you have to understand that the web <br> <br> dances to a different tune than the newspaper. Every time a media executive puts <br> <br> up a story about Leeds United or Sunderland because he <br> <br> thinks it is important and newsworthy, he is fighting the market - because if we only obeyed the numbers your club would be losing out <br> <br> to Real Madrid as often as Manchester United. Worrying, isn't it?<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> One reader, a Man City fan, rates a Premier League title triumph much higher than being European champions<br> <br> <br> <br> For me, as a Manchester City fan, the Premier League is more <br> <br> important than the Champions League. Obviously I'd love to <br> <br> win both but if a European victory meant not winning the Premier League then count <br> <br> me out. You can fluke a Champions League win, like Porto, Manchester United and Chelsea, but the best team always wins the league.<br> <br> <br> <br> I'd rather go out in the group stage if it meant wearing <br> <br> those gold Premier League badges next season. Balo Jelli, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Manchester United's record when we won in 1999. P13,<br> <br> W6, D7, L0, F31, A16. Teams faced: Lodz, Barcelona, Brondby, Bayern Munich, <br> <br> Inter Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich again. Lucky? Really?<br> <br> As for your gold badges, it will be fine, if you don't win the <br> <br> league this year, you can always design a new badge with four gold stars on it anyway.<br> <br> Numpty. Evoofsale, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> Led with the chin a bit didn't you there, BJ? Surely you must know <br> <br> the big debate around the proposed redesign of the Manchester City badge right <br> <br> now, and how the gold stars aren't actually linked to titles won. As for fluking Champions <br> <br> League victories, yes, it is a cup competition but any run that involves Real Madrid, Marseille, Partizan Belgrade, Manchester United, <br> <br> Lyon, Deportivo La Coruna and Monaco (W7 D5 L1) as Porto's did in 2003-04, <br> <br> or Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia, Genk, Napoli, Benfica, Barcelona and Bayern Munich (W7 D4 L2) as Chelsea's did in 2011-12, cannot <br> <br> be put down to luck.<br> <br> <br> <br> I was shocked when I read that Howard Kendall was <br> <br> the last English manager to win a European trophy - that was 30 years ago.<br> <br> What a sad reflection on the state of the game in this country.<br> <br> Will English football ever recover to the point <br> <br> where clubs are owned by local businessmen, managed by Englishmen and have players that represent the local area?<br> <br> <br> <br> Ray, Cheshire.<br> <br> <br> <br> No.<br> <br> <br> <br> The irony being that Martin is a great supporter of foreign investment.<br> <br> We may have the best league and it may attract the most attention from <br> <br> the rest of the world but what is behind it all? Not a lot really.<br> <br> We have the same cartel of clubs at the top which is just boring and teams with no identity full of players looking to fill their <br> <br> boots financially. Richard, Northamptonshire.<br> <br> <br> <br> I don't think this is about foreign investment, Richard.<br> <br> I don't see foreign investors as the problem,<br> <br> some of them are excellent owners and better than some British custodians.<br> <br> As I said, there are a variety of factors at play here and just to put <br> <br> it all at the door of overseas owners is <br> <br> false.<br> <br> <br> <br> Anybody under 45 won't understand how fans used to <br> <br> get behind all the English and Scottish teams when they played in Europe.<br> <br> I remember some great nights watching it. If I ever hear that midweek Grandstand theme it brings back all the memories.<br> <br> Intereverything, Chesterfield.<br> <br> <br> <br> Not enough, obviously. In midweek, it wasn't called Grandstand - it <br> <br> was Sportsnight. The music was by Tony Hatch. When I wrote about it here in 2013, Tony Hatch - <br> <br> yes, the Tony Hatch - got in touch from Mahon in Spain to thank me.<br> <br> Made my day, that did. The same won't happen with Edwin Astley, who wrote the brilliant <br> <br> theme tune for The Saint, because he passed on close to 20 years ago.<br> <br> But we're still talking cultural significance here, so you're getting it anyway.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> It would be interesting to ask the fans of continental clubs which Premier League team they would most want <br> <br> to avoid in the early rounds. I'd bet the highest percentage would say Manchester City.<br> <br> <br> <br> City were judged as having not progressed last year <br> <br> because Barcelona knocked us out. Nonsense, Barcelona were probably the best club side in the world.<br> <br> How can those matches possibly be a measure of how far we've come?<br> <br> Barry64, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> And so it begins. That creep towards the arrogance that City fans claim to despise in others.<br> <br> Maybe it just comes with success. Barry, the reason City's progress was doubted <br> <br> last season was that you got absolutely played off the park by Barcelona - again - and only ended up facing them because <br> <br> you came second in your group. Again. Oh, and eight points and a +1 <br> <br> goal difference would have got your knocked out of <br> <br> five of the eight qualifying groups, so you were a little fortunate to even get <br> <br> that far, too.<br> <br> <br> <br> The Champions League is now just European team versus European team.<br> <br> That isn't how it's supposed to be. It should be an English team, with mainly England players,<br> <br> against, for instance, an Italian equivalent.<br> <br> Kido44, Birmingham.<br> <br> <br> <br> I agree. When Bayern Munich play Sevilla, say, it still feels like a clash of philosophies.<br> <br> With our clubs it feels like a battle of the brands.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> The English clubs that represent us in Europe have nothing in common with <br> <br> the average football supporter. Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal,<br> <br> Liverpool and Chelsea are all foreign owned and managed <br> <br> and the great majority of their players are from overseas.<br> <br> Perhaps if they didn't have such a monopoly on the Champions League spots <br> <br> there would be wider appeal. I don't mind if our places went down to three or even two.<br> <br> Bill, United Kingdom.<br> <br> <br> <br> My father owns a poultry stall so for several decades now has been engaged in a weekly battle with the <br> <br> supermarkets. When he hears of price wars or that Tesco profits <br> <br> are taking a battering after being undercut by Aldi <br> <br> and Lidl he almost falls off his chair laughing. No doubt supporters <br> <br> of clubs outside the elite feel the same way at the thought of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City scratching each others eyes out over three Champions League places.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Football support has always been very partisan. I fear that your <br> <br> whole piece is just an excuse for a sentimental salute to the late Howard <br> <br> Kendall. Spantrekker, Spain.<br> <br> <br> <br> No, if I had wanted to do one of those I could have written it.<br> <br> It would have been justified, after all.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Nobody wants fake clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea to succeed because they haven't earned the right to be there.<br> <br> The wealth of clubs and the knock-on success should be based <br> <br> on a club growing its fan base and being well run. These fake clubs have no Identity.<br> <br> <br> <br> Geoffmd7, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> What right? The cosy elite that existed before Abramovich pitched up at Chelsea were being cemented in place by a moment in time.<br> <br> Freeze the frame 20 years earlier and Manchester <br> <br> United and Arsenal would have been also-rans. Football evolves,<br> <br> teams and strong clubs come and go - the crime <br> <br> is wanting that to stop.<br> <br> <br> <br> If you're not a top-five elite club the Champions League is of no importance <br> <br> whatsoever. Why would I support or even bother to watch when my team <br> <br> is on the verge of another season struggling to stay in the Premier League.<br> <br> <br> <br> There was a time when you could be relegated and bounce back.<br> <br> Aston Villa were champions of England in 1981, <br> <br> of Europe in 1982, were relegated in 1987, promoted in 1988 <br> <br> and runners-up again in 1990. This time if we go down we'll face virtual financial ruin. The game has been ruined by money.<br> <br> The Facehead, Newquay.<br> <br> <br> <br> The fluidity that made football interesting has gone. So Villa still <br> <br> have the downside of relegation - and ruination - but not the upside of a tilt at winning the league or becoming champions of <br> <br> Europe. That explains much of the dissatisfaction. Having said this, I <br> <br> cannot understand why as a fan you wouldn't watch <br> <br> the Champions League. Leave aside any partisan emotions, the football is quite wonderful <br> <br> at times.<br> <br> <br> <br> For younger readers, that's Peter Withe scoring a European Cup-winning goal for Aston Villa against <br> <br> the mighty Bayern Munich back in 1982. Villa were relegated and promoted again within a <br> <br> few years <br> <br> <br> <br> I have said this several times, not just about the supporters but also the newspaper - I <br> <br> think the hate culture has gone over the top. It just seems <br> <br> to be about weekly bragging rights for most of these fans.<br> <br> <br> <br> I was even watching an England game in the pub the other day and an England fan was booing some players because they played for a rival team.<br> <br> What a stupid mentality. Rollins H, Cardiff.<br> <br> <br> <br> I still think the old-fashioned way about English clubs in Europe, but then I support Barnsley so I've got no top <br> <br> four axe to grind. It's why I still love England, because they're all <br> <br> my players when they're in that white shirt and I don't get the chance to see really good footballers playing for me very often. I don't see Wayne Rooney <br> <br> as a Manchester United player that I have to hate <br> <br> to prove my loyalty to Liverpool or Chelsea, and I cheered Steven Gerrard on in Istanbul because he was an English player leading <br> <br> an English team on a foreign field. Bill, Barnsley.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Common sense as ever from Bill - and I'm with Mr Rollins, too.<br> <br> I've been writing for many years that football fans are <br> <br> increasingly defined by who they hate. Although some, <br> <br> of course, are simply deluded…<br> <br> <br> <br> Please stop lumping Arsenal in with Manchester City, Manchester <br> <br> United and Chelsea when you talk about expensively assembled <br> <br> elites. Arsenal, save for a couple of big signings, were put together on a budget more akin to Stoke City.<br> <br> Paul1973, Chelmsford.<br> <br> <br> <br> Stoke City Council, maybe. Here's Benjy, with some numbers.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Alexis Sanchez £40m, Mesut Ozil £40m, Theo Walcott £10m, Santi Cazorla £20m, Gabriel £11m, Olivier Giroud £12m, Calum <br> <br> Chambers £16m, Danny Welbeck £16m, Mathieu Debuchy £12m, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain £12m,<br> <br> Mikel Arteta £10m, Per Mertesacker £10m, Laurent Koscielny £10m….<br> <br> Benjaldinho, Plymouth.<br> <br> <br> <br> I know there are various versions of these figures out there - Cazorla nearer £16m than £20m for instance <br> <br> - but Benji's certainly in the ball park and,<br> <br> on some, like Ozil he might even be under because I think the figure was £42.4m.<br> <br> And no, it isn't completely up there with Manchester City's outlay,<br> <br> but Paul from Chelmsford didn't compare Arsenal's budget to City - he compared it to Stoke.<br> <br> And as Stoke's record signing is £12m, and Arsenal paid 25 per cent more than that for reserve defender <br> <br> Chambers, that argument is rubbish. Arsenal still have an expensively assembled elite squad.<br> <br> Just not quite as expensively assembled as Manchester City's.<br> <br> The budget for Stoke City Council, by the way, is around the £200m mark.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Another reason we want our fellow sides to fail is the fact that the Champions League has become so big that if your rivals win it, their revenue and transfer pulling power increases, making it harder to compete and gain ground.<br> <br> Cartz, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> Another good point. Here's how that works in another trade.<br> <br> One national newspaper - not this one - has started publishing daily internal league tables of how <br> <br> many online hits each writer gets. The writers all receive them, by e-mail, presumably as an incentive to write more <br> <br> clickable copy. The result - some writers have stopped tweeting links <br> <br> to pieces written by their colleagues. Why help drive that traffic, runs the argument, if <br> <br> it puts him up the table ahead of me? The day UEFA introduced FFP every <br> <br> million earned was one up over a rival club; so naturally there is less communal spirit.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Perhaps it's also because, now, there are four English teams in the <br> <br> Champions League and several more in the Europa League. So there's no English club as <br> <br> such, and no us against them. I was in Kas in Turkey in 1989 when Galatasaray were playing in Europe.<br> <br> The whole town stopped to watch the match because a Turkish team was playing, and then launched into a massive party when they won. Everyone was on the streets celebrating.<br> <br> <br> <br> They weren't normally Galatasaray fans, but it was <br> <br> us against them. Stephen, Canberra.<br> <br> <br> <br> I can see that, Stephen, and it's certainly a factor. Yet nothing changes when all the English clubs, bar one,<br> <br> are out. I didn't notice any change in attitude last season when only Chelsea remained in the Champions League, or in the years when an English team has reached a <br> <br> final. The hatred is now too ingrained.<br> <br> <br> <br> I welcome most of the foreign players in the Premier League but at the same time wish I could see more homegrown English players.<br> <br> Amarka, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> That's how I feel, Amarka. Confusing isn't it?<br> <br> <br> <br> Let's not be kidded, Arsenal's squad, with Mesut Ozil (right) at a touch above <br> <br> £42m, did not come cheap<br> <br> <br> <br> Manchester United's star-studded squad couldn't find a <br> <br> way past Middlesbrough in the League Cup<br> <br> <br> <br> 'A free pass to the best football matches in the country.<br> <br> They were always in the north, in those days.' They still are in the <br> <br> north, Martin. Ganicus Capua, Accra.<br> <br> <br> <br> Well, yes, they are to you. You're in Ghana.<br> <br> <br> <br> I do agree with much of what you're saying, but you lost me when you made the claim <br> <br> that Bayern, at the very core, is still a German club. Under Pep Guardiola they field a team in the <br> <br> Bundesliga that features three German players <br> <br> at times. No media outlet criticises but the fans resent it, and rightly so.<br> <br> This is one of the reasons Guardiola won't be missed when he leaves; not if.<br> <br> Mario, Koblenz.<br> <br> <br> <br> I think what has happened, Mario, is that over here we are so brainwashed about the wonderful Bundesliga that when cracks appear we are almost conditioned not to notice.<br> <br> I was at the Arsenal match last week and, you are right, Munich had four <br> <br> German starters in their team. Did I mention that, however?<br> <br> No, because Arsenal only had two Britons so Munich's make-up still seems to carry a greater local connection. But considering they had 10 German starters in the 1999 Champions League final, it is <br> <br> clear times have changed under Pep.<br> <br> <br> <br> What Mr Samuel has failed to take into account is <br> <br> that Premier League teams are watched live every week by more overseas supporters than English ones.<br> <br> Sir Cecil, San Francisco.<br> <br> <br> <br> And what you have failed to take into account <br> <br> is that we don't care whether you watch or not, no more than a New York Mets fan is <br> <br> greatly bothered whether I tune into the World Series. I'm sure <br> <br> the money men are very pleased with all that lovely lolly, but having no <br> <br> impact on the atmosphere in the ground, to us it's inconsequential.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> It seems like teams will sign any Brazilian they can get their <br> <br> hands on. All Brazilians aren't Kaka. Mike1960,<br> <br> Plymouth.<br> <br> <br> <br> The ones I saw getting beat 7-1 by Germany were, Mike. They were complete Kaka.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> You guys keep blaming everything on foreigners.<br> <br> It has nothing to do with your own people not being good enough, or driven enough, or overpaid so <br> <br> they lack determination. No, it's the foreign managers and players.<br> <br> Real Truth, London.<br> <br> <br> <br> Nothing was blamed on foreign players and managers in my column, because there was no blame apportioned.<br> <br> I was writing about a change that has taken place in English football <br> <br> over three decades, what has been gained, and what has been lost.<br> <br> There was no moustache-twirling villain.<br> <br> <br> <br> The rivalry in football is something I both love and despise.<br> <br> <br> <br> Rivalry has turned into tribalism. I remember,<br> <br> not so long ago, when my team, Burnley, lost to Blackburn and a handful of our moronic fans <br> <br> trashed the town centre. We were playing at home.<br> <br> Some people need to take a step back and realise it's just a game.<br> <br> UpNorth, Lancashire.<br> <br> <br> <br> There's a phrase for that. Something to do with doorsteps.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Be grateful that every week you get to see Sergio Aguero, <br> <br> Sanchez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ozil, David Silva and Philippe <br> <br> Coutinho. English players expect everything to be handed to them.<br> <br> Grey Mosquito, Leicester.<br> <br> <br> <br> We are grateful for them, Mos. We're also grateful for the better players at the lower rated clubs, such <br> <br> as Dimitri Payet at West Ham. But there are also imported players who many fans look at while wondering how bad the young local lads must be.<br> <br> Look at Aston Villa, Sunderland or Newcastle.<br> <br> Have we stopped producing footballers in Birmingham and the North East; or have we just stopped looking?<br> <br> The top scorer in the Premier League came out <br> <br> of Fleetwood Town and plays for Leicester. Yet why is Jamie Vardy now the exception. The great Liverpool <br> <br> teams were built on 10 lads like him.<br> <br> <br> <br> Martin, no way did you live in a rented flat in Prestwich.<br> <br> Whereabouts? You should come back for a pint. Mundo13, Manchester.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> I lived in the flats on the corner of St Ann's Road, quite near the Red Lion pub where The Fall filmed <br> <br> the video for Wings. We nearly blew the place up because we left the immersion heater on while me and the missus went off to see <br> <br> Gil-Scott Heron at The Hacienda, and it had no safety shut-off mechanism.<br> <br> <br> <br> The thing was bouncing off the walls when we came back and we <br> <br> had to turn all the taps on and fill the flat with steam.<br> <br> Anyway, I remember Gil was playing this anti-drugs song called Angel Dust and then had to leave the stage temporarily because some of <br> <br> the band were too out of it to function. 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