Like any avid football fan, I eagerly await every international football competition, anticipating every little thing that comes with a tournament that is set on such a grand stage.
The gossip, the drama, the knockouts, the thrill and the spills! Each time either the Euros or the World Cup rolls around our country is gripped with football fever that proves the sport to be one of the great levellers in our culture. This cultural impact has only got wider with the proliferation of the internet, so we can expect this World Cup to be the most watched (and most discussed) yet.
As the world has slowly become more and more connected over the years, we’ve been able to share our passion with the further reaches of the planet who can now watch along with us in real-time. Reactions, GIFs, YouTube commentaries, social media, blog posts: there are so many different ways to comment on the action that there’s really no excuse not to get in on the action. Before the games kick off in earnest, I thought I’d share some of my all-time favourite World Cup moments, with the aid of YouTube…
Roy Keane walks out of the Korea Japan 2002 Tourney
There was no other topic of conversation worth discussing that year other than Roy Keane’s mysterious exit from the Japanese/Korean World Cup, which briefly brought the attention of the world bearing down on the tiny island of Saipan and even became the subject of a hugely successful stage-show, which has been performed as recently as 2015. To this day it’s unclear what caused then captain, Roy, to exit the side…
Austria Nearly Cause An Upset in Pre-War Italy
The pre-war Austrian International team of the 30s is widely considered to be one of the finest teams assembled and are frequently referred to as the ‘Wunderteam’ by journalists and fans alike. Led by the sublime Matthias Sindelar, the Wunderteam played with a revolutionary style that was virtually unstoppable…until they were stopped, that is. Their streak of victories was put to an end by the hosts who halted them from reaching the Final.
Dennis Bergkamp Surprises the World
Known to many as ‘the perfectionists’ perfectionist’, Dennis Bergkamp was a celebrated player of his time who was known for holding himself to extremely high standards (he’s so enamoured with it that the first chapter in his biography was titled ‘It Has To Be Perfect’). Although Bergkamp has expressed dissatisfaction with his career, something not totally unexpected from a man so obsessed with perfection, he has gone on record stating that his three-touch goal in Holland and Argentina’s quarter-final match was a ‘perfect’ moment.
Pele & Brazil Stun Italy for Third Trophy
No discussion of legendary World Cup moments can ignore the might of Brazil and one legend in particular: Pele. The winning Brazilian side of 1970 has been hailed as one of best, featuring the likes of Jairzinho, Tostao, Rivelino and, of course, Pele. This team was the first to win the tournament three times and their 4-1 win over Italy has been remembered as one of the greatest in the tournament’s history. This Carlos Alberto goal attests to the perseverance and dexterity of this side.
I speak from experience when I say that it’s not easy running any sports club.
With so many variables, risks and dangers coming a-cropper in the day to day running of a sport’s team, I thought I’d detail a few of the big ones you should look out for.
It doesn’t matter what the sport is; organising a disparate group of individuals to team together and meet once or twice a week can be next to impossible – and we’ve not even taken into consideration the financial side of things.
These are the most likely financial pitfalls that you could face:
Poorly Maintained Ground
If your ground is poorly maintained then you are putting yourself at financial risk. Like it or not, the members of your club don’t just play for you because they like your company, they play at your ground because you have facilities worth playing on. The maintenance of the ground is where a large proportion of their fees should be going on, it’s a point of pride for many players and also contributes to their enjoyment of the game. If you neglect your ground, your players will find a better club to play for and you’ll fold.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Sports can often be dangerous. Contact games like football or rugby can often be the epicentres of horrific injuries and serious accidents, which is why it’s crucial for your club to be completely covered by insurance at the start of each and every season. Remember that accidents can also occur off the pitch but still within the grounds. Overzealous drinking, raucous private parties and even slips in the shower should all be covered on your policy so that you can avoid any nasty legal surprises.
Theft and Loss
Athletic clubs are often chosen as targets by opportunistic thieves and burglars, in order to avoid becoming the victim of these criminals it’s a good idea to invest in a decent security system that can be easily operated by all club key-holders. Cash handling duties must also be followed strictly, the bar manager should deposit any takings from the bar into a secure safe at the end of each night and should have a clear line of communication with the club treasurer. As with any business, transparency is absolutely necessary when dealing with club finances.
Crumbling Club House
I’ve already mentioned the importance of keeping your ground in good shape, but the same also applies to your club house. In order to keep attracting new players you’ll need to make sure that your club house stays in good shape, that means staying on top of maintenance issues and updating where necessary and within your means. Fail to do so and your problems will compound forcing you to spend more money on surveying equipment and construction teams to sort out the mess.
Finally, one of the most common reasons for club closures is often because of a simple oversight in licensing. In order for your club to sell alcohol you need to ensure that you are licensed to so by the government and local authorities. Without the correct papers you will be liable to a hefty fine that could easily cripple any sports club for good. Make sure that your licenses are up-to-date and correct before the start of each season.