Is Racism Still Rife In English Football?

10 12 2012

December 2011

The idea of discrimination still persisting in today’s world is hard for anyone to comprehend. Over a process of time, education has been important to try and abolish prejudices which have stemmed down from the past to help establish equality. With its working class roots, football grounds have previously been the place in which people from ethnic minorities have suffered vile abuse. Most had felt those days were a thing of the past until the recent John Terry and Luis Suarez racism scandals, which has prodded the question ‘Is there still racism in football’?

Firstly, it is important to actually define what racism is and how it affects people. Hylton defines its mainstream definition (2009, p.10) ‘Racism is considered as a popular analytical concept that many imbue with little credibility in its potential to interrogate the social and historical reasons for the developed hierarchies and transhistorical advantages accruing to particular socio-economic groups.’ The process of this prejudice stems downs from ancestors and how the previous use of black people as slaves for example is still exemplified by some to perceive they are a ‘superior’ race. Tomlinson (2007, P.307) expressed how sport is important to bring people together ‘Sport has been a major factor in breaking down racial and religious barriers… Sport can bring about a situation of oneness regardless of colour’.

To try and understand the social problems, the critical race theory (CRT) (Hylton, 2009) has become a popular academic study to establish why there is inequality. The study has focused on white supremacy and the possibility of achieving racial liberation and anti-subordination. A brief summarisation by Hylton on CRT is a (2009, P.22) ‘ Framework from which to explore and examine the racism in society that privileges whiteness as it disadvantages others because of their ‘blackness’. The theory initiated in America and was used around the time of the civil rights movement, with the problem being far more contemporary and common over there than in England. Despite laws being in place, the theory points out that white people will do anything to bypass that regulation and discourage the involvement of somebody from an ethnic minority background.

Racism In Football Topic Was Rekindled After The Suarez And Evra Incident.

Racism In Football Topic Was Rekindled After The Suarez And Evra Incident.

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Interview With Dan Brennan

13 10 2011

Whether they like it or not, athletes are branded as role models. Young children across the world have ambitions, whether firm or delusional, to be sports stars.  Most people do not make it, possibly because of lack of commitment or just generally not being skilled enough, so what is the next best thing? A sports journalist is towards the top of the list. Being able to write about your favourite hobby and inform people is highly satisfying. But is it as good as it is sounds?

Dan Brennan is a freelance football journalist who currently writes for highly respected publications such as FourFourTwo, World Soccer, When Saturday Comes and the official Arsenal magazine. Being based up in Scotland has its merits, with Brennan being the Scottish correspondent for World Soccer, as well as having written pieces for The Scotsman.  But he stumbled into the industry by luck.

“I got into it by chance really, and very much through the back door. I’d been working abroad – in the former Soviet Union – for a couple of years in my mid-20s, in a completely unrelated field. When I came back to London, casting around for a job, I applied for a post as editor of the monthly publication of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. They wanted a Russians speaker, but didn’t need someone with previous journalistic experience. It was basically a one-man operation – I did everything from writing the editorials, to commission features, laying out the pages and selling the adverts. I did it for about three years, but my heart wasn’t really in the world of business and commerce. I wanted to write about football. I’d had a sideline as English teacher for Sergei Rebrov (Former Ukraine and Tottenham Hotspur player) for a while, and as I recall my first major break was a piece on him for The Guardian. The Arsenal Magazine and When Saturday Comes were also kind enough to take my work when I was still finding my feet – I still write for both of them 10 years on.”

Andrei Kanchelskis And Dan Brennan Battle It Out Over A Game Of Chess.

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The Crazy Spending Of The January Transfer Window

13 10 2011

The transfer window is a period the tabloids love with their continuous volumes of rumours to fuel the avid fan with belief his team is going to invest heavily in a top class forward, finally. The window at the turn of the year is traditionally one which sees low costs moves, usually mid-table clubs investing heavily to help avoid the drop. But this January saw an anomaly in England; big signings. Fernando Torres (£50m), Andy Carroll (£32m), Luis Suarez (£22m), David Luiz (£25m), Darren Bent (24m) and Edin Dzeko (£27m) all moved for prices above £20m, in deals you would generally expect to see in the summer. But what was the general trend across Europe?

The difference between the other European nations was drastic. With UEFA implementing new financial regulations next season in which clubs cannot spend more than their annual turnover, it seems the powerhouses of England – riddled with debt – wanted to make one last splurge. Overall in January a reported £225m was spent in the Premier League, a record amount which even surpasses the previous milestone of £175m which was set back in 2008, mainly due to Manchester City’s spending. The Citizens would be part of proceedings once more, but the big spenders were Chelsea. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic has been reluctant in the past few seasons to invest, hoping the influx of youth signings under Frank Arnesen would be promoted and provide an ending to the Jose Mourinho years of economically draining investments.

Over in Spain money was spent, but not in large quantities. Barcelona’s sole purchase was young Dutchman Ibrahim Affelay from PSV Eindhoven who cost roughly €2m, while Real Madrid’s recruitment was the flimsy loan signing of Emanuel Adebayor from Manchester City. Malaga, under the ownership of a Qatari millionaire, helped spice up the transfer window signing six new players, the most costly being former Arsenal forward Julio Baptista who returned to Spain from Italy for  €3m.

Giampaolo Pazzini Celebrates After Scoring A Goal For His New Club

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Giving Something Back: The Samuel Eto’o Foundation

30 08 2011

Samuel Eto’o. Arguably the greatest footballer Africa has produced, a player who has consistently demonstrated his place amongst the best forwards in European football and three times Champions League winner. His career has been impressive and Eto’o once again stole the headlines recently when he completed a reported €20.5m per season move to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. But the Cameroonian striker has also delved into the world of charitable work in his home continent and established a foundation for malnourished and uneducated children to seek aid and opportunity.

The Foundation Samuel Eto’o (FSE) has outlined these three principles for the scheme:

  • – “Ensure the minimum conditions for survival and health that will permit further development, in our fight to eradicate poverty.
  • – Provide quality basic education, they can complete and will serve as a tool to achieve a secure social integration.
  • – Promote the opportunity to develop the individual abilities of each child through training grants and aid to support their cultural activities or sports skills.”

The most interesting aspect is the footballing project, with the inaugural academy based in the coastal town of Kribi. Prior to the opening, Eto’o expressed his desire was to expand the idea and locate more academies across the country, stating his yearning to offer opportunities to deprived children:

“As a footballer, the best I can do for youths in Cameroon is to give them a platform where they can learn how to play football and make a living out of it, and be successful in life, for a better tomorrow.”

Gael Etock Was The First Player To Join Barca From The Academy

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Decision Time For Alex Chamberlain

9 05 2011

With the Premier League implementing new rules at the start of the season, clubs are now permitted to have at least eight ‘home-grown’ players in their squads. The hope is that it will encourage teams to nurture more English talent through into the senior squads.

The top clubs are always on the prowl for young talent. With the reward of watching players develop into stars and being a cheaper alternative in the inflated transfer market, the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have become notorious for this modus operandi.

The latest prospect on everyone’s lips is playing down at Southampton. With the recent success of Theo Walcott and especially Gareth Bale in North London since their moves, and Premier League legends like Matt Le Tissier and Alan Shearer being produced by the South Coast side, there is now an element of expectation when the Saints promote a new youngster to the first team. In Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, it looks like they have a new prodigy to add to the list.

Alex Chamberlain Is Attracting Interest From Premier League Sides

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Contributions To BackPage Football’s Top 50 Players In The World

20 02 2011

Sergio Aguero

When a player makes his debut at the age of 15, he is regarded as a prodigy. But when he breaks a 27 year old record set by Diego Maradona, there is an expectation of excellence. Other young prospects like Freddy Adu and Nicolas Millan may have faded into anonymous realms since their breakthroughs, but the man they call ‘Kun’ has gradually developed into one of the most wanted forwards in Europe.

The link with Maradona does not end there however. The legendary former captain was Aguero’s manager at the World Cup last summer, although the 22-year-olds impact on the tournament was restricted to just two substitute appearances. However he did assist Gonzalo Higuain with a goal against South Korea. Opportunities for Argentina have been tough with competition from the likes of Carlos Tevez, Diego Milito and Higuain, but Aguero will be a key element alongside his best friend Lionel Messi in the future if he can replicate his form at youth level for La Albiceleste. He has been part of the 2005 and 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup winning teams, and won the top goalscorer award in Canada 2007, and was also an Olympic gold medallist in Beijing in 2008.

At domestic level, the player who cost €23m from Independiente in 2006 was an important figure in a team which won Atletico Madrid’s first major trophy since 1996. A Europa League triumph over Fulham saw the Argentine win his first major trophy for the Spanish side, and he was a key man in the final. He assisted both Diego Forlan’s goals to ensure Los Rojiblancos overcame the English side.

He has recently signed a contract extension with Atleti, and despite the reported interest from Chelsea and Real Madrid, is happy to stay at the Vicente Calderon until 2014, a huge boost for the club, who are hoping their prized asset becomes as symbolic as Fernando Torres.

Great with the ball at his feet, an extra yard of pace to leave defenders in his tracks, and also remarkable strength for such a small player, Aguero has all the assets to mature into a world class player, and it seems Atletico will be the platform for him to demonstrate his ability.

Kun Aguero - 44

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My Favourite Player – David Beckham

10 09 2010

It’s easy to look beyond David Beckham as a footballer and associate him solely with glamour, advertising or just being a pretty face. There’s a reason that Beckham was – and perhaps still is – the most recognisable footballer in the world; his ability with a football.

Playground rules dictate that kids pretend to be a footballer when participating in a kick-around and Beckham was always the player I imitated. Not because of his diverse hairstyles or the elaborate tattoos, merely the fact he is a fantastic player.

Beckham During His Loan Spell In Milan

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