A ‘This Means More’ for Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal…

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More risible slogans
The reason ‘This Means More’ rubs people the wrong way is because it sounds like something the fanbase would say. So instead of adding to the sensible responses from LFC fans trying to reassure the masses that this is not the case, I’m here to throw some fuel on the fire and give some other teams’ marketing departments some campaigns that could use some serious self-awareness.

Arsenal – Beauty in every result
I’d pitch this one like a shampoo commercial with one of Arsenal’s many Sideshow Bob impersonators as the figureheads. Hair flowing majestically as we watch them in gorgeous slow motion try to tackle/throttle a player that has already scored.

Chelsea – There is power in hate
Going for a Star Wars twist with this one. Sith Lord Abramovich centrestage with the hooded ghosts of John ‘Mauls’ Terry and Dennis ‘Darkside’ Wise either side of him. This club genuinely seems to derive success out of hatred. So much so I fear for the future of Kylo Lampard and his squad of soft lads.

West Ham – Play the West Ham way not the way West Ham play
Tongue twisters are famously terrible slogans. I’ve already forgotten what I’ve written. But that’s the beauty of this one. There’s a complete misplacement of arrogance and yet soon we’ll all be trying to remember who West Ham were and what ‘way’ they went other than down.

Bournemouth – Just happy to have tried
They seem to be so likeable. The fans seem sensible and polite. And that’s exactly where the frustration lies as they just need some goddamn fire in their bellies before it’s too late. Like Tim out of The Office, Eddie Howe breaks the 4th wall turning to the camera after watching another hattrick smashed in against his team and gives a gentle smile and a shrug of the shoulders. My blood is boiling.

Man United – We’ll be back
Using the finest CGI that noodle money can buy, Ole Gunnar Schwarzenegger gets the Captain America treatment. Emerging transformed from a Sharp cryogenic chamber, Ripped Golem tears off his retro shirt, screams the immortal words in the most threateningly polite way imaginable and spins 180 degrees in a Harry Maguire shaped tank in this feature length epic.

Newcastle – The shirts off our backs
Think that Lynx advert on the beach except Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is stood alone with a smug grin holding his wallet aloft above his head. Think thousands of Newcastle fans desperately racing towards him whilst peeling their size L shirts off their size XXL bodies. Think thousands of slave workers desperately racing the complete opposite direction.

Anyone else want to try too hard and offer some team slogans that we’d all love to hate?
JMG, London

 

…Just for the avoidance of doubt. The Theatre of Dreams was coined by Bobby Charlton when asked to describe Old Trafford.

Not dreamt up by marketing guys.

One of the nicest most respected guys in football. I’d say that has real substance.

Not the “This means more cobblers dreamt up by sponsors”
Dave, Reading

 

Can people stop obsessing about ‘This means more’. Honestly, this sounds like such a pointless reason to hate Liverpool- they have just won the league and they did so by beating your team at least once- stop pretending that you’d like them if only they weren’t so damned insensitive! All fans think they’re team is the best. They all sing/shout this at matches and they throw out slogans to beat the band. Why don’t we all jump up and down when car manufacturers claim that their brand is the greatest thing ever? Isn’t that offensive? It’s not arrogant- it would be ridiculous if they didn’t.
“This Means More”- yes. It means more to us! Christ, is that so awful. Doesn’t every league winning side sing ‘We shall not be moved’? How dare they? Are they implying that their team will never be beaten again? How Arrogant… of every single title-winning team and their supporters… to claim to be the best… to claim that they’re special team are… special… Does this need any more explanation? C’mon… Just hate Liverpool if you want. It doesn’t have to be their own fault.
Michael, Ireland.

 

…Yeah ok, “This Means More” is a completely bollocks sentiment, wanky marketing speak which makes me hate modern football. “Theatre of Dreams” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” also make me feel a little bit sick but they at least seem more organic in their origins – “Theatre of Dreams” being attributed to Sir Bobby Charlton, possibly as far back as 1978 (when United were about as bad as they are now).

But, Jesus lads, Liverpool have just absolutely shat all over everyone in the league this year, all they deserve now is praise and congratulations. Save the sniping for next year when they will actually be playing some competitive football again. Yes, a small minority of their fans haven’t covered themselves in glory in the last week but I’d rather a couple of thousand scousers cause some minor damage to their own city than hundreds of thousands of people descend upon and ruin beaches because “sunshine”.

Liverpool are the best run club, have the best manager and have just had one of the best seasons in football history (marginally better or worse than last year, depending on your perspective). And we all want them to be rubbish and replaced by our own team next year, of course we do but show a bit of grace dammit.

Congratulations Liverpool, no asterisk necessary.
Ash Metcalfe

 

…So then Dave, Manchester……..Theatre of Dreams = harmless, This Means More = completely different case, the epitomy of arrogance which all Liverpool fans definitely embrace. This based on nothing more than your obvious, inevitably skewed dislike of Liverpool. Well, thanks for that.

Furthermore, re: arrogance and superiority of a club and whether that can be applied to its fanbase, imagine if there was a club whose fans had a well known banner that said, ‘M.U.F.C. – Not Arrogant – Just Better’, and regularly sang, especially its hardcore at aways, ‘We’re Man United, we’ll do what we want’, squeezed in amongst all those songs about Liverpool, scousers and Merseyside though obviously – even when we were shit!

And as for your comments on ‘Mes Que Un Club’ (which i’m sure others will write in on to point out your pitiful, misguided narrow mindedness) why bring Barcelona into it? Did they play you off the park in two Champions League Finals or something?

Cheers,
Rob.

 

Fair BAME representation
The amount of BAME top level coaches compared to Premier league players is a false comparison, though BAME coaches are underrepresented – but not how you think.

Firstly, let’s talk about national demographics – let’s not be deceived:
The total BAME population is 14% of the UK.This is comprised of:
5% – Black and mixed race
7 % – Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Indian heritage
2% – Other e.g. Japan, Vietnamese, Phillipines heritage etc.

Looking at those numbers, it might be fair to ask why is the black community over- represented compared to national demographics in terms of Premier League players? There are likely two simple explanations:

1. The biggest clubs at premier league level are in big city locations where the demographics and cultures are more diverse – London has well over 20% black population and there are many top London premier league clubs, so it would make sense that that is reflected in player demographics, which it is.

2. Total demographic participation- 7.6% of the Black British population take part in football compared to 4.1% of the White British population (sport England survey)

At a lower league level, teams are generally located in smaller towns with generally white populations, so you would expect to see massive white majority squads, or at least white majority academy squads. Which you do.

So now let’s look at coaching demographics. It is rare for Premier League clubs to hire a foreign manager from a BAME background. This is a pertinent issue, because at Premier league level we should be thinking globally (since it’s a global league). This becomes an international issue in terms of hiring practices of all European clubs – e.g. why aren’t clubs hiring top coaching from African countries, or those from BAME backgrounds from other European countries? This gets pretty complicated pretty quickly and is beyond the scope of the FA or the Premier League. AAll credit to Nuno Espirito Santo for breaking the glass ceiling.

Let’s go back to the 14% BAME demographic. The percentage population from the East Asian and south asian community in the professional game is virtually nil – so one of the biggest questions is how to engage that 9% of the population, and develop professional players, and then coaches, from those backgrounds. Incidentally, the % grass roots football participation of those from a South Asian background is actually pretty large: 7.3% of the South Asian population take part in football, again, in comparison to 4.1% of the White British population (Sport England survey).

So, let’s look purely at black coaches. In terms of coaching at an elite level what you are really looking at is 5% to match the national demographic. Out of 92 Clubs, currently we have 5/91 managers in the football league of BME background (one spot vacant) so that representation is equivalent to the broader BME population. But is that a fair measure? After all, where do elite coaches come from?

We know that they don’t just come from the Premier League – top coaches come from many facets of professional football, and some from outside the pro leagues. Look at Eddie Howe, Mourinho, Van Gaal, none of whom top level players. Coaches come from a much much wider pool than just top level professional players – teaching, management roles in other fields, journeyman players, plus players who retired early through injury and already have years of coaching experience. This means you would expect to see a representation of something that reflects football participation levels at all levels in the UK.

Calculating in this way (using the Sport England participation figures and 2011 census numbers), we can crudely arrive at a figure of 8.5% coach representation that would be fairly representative of the BME community in the game. If we add back in the Asian community, we come to a figure of 19.83%, which would make a fair coaches representation of the BAME football community.

The next question is what the actual current number is, across all coaching positions at all League Clubs, as I don’t have those figures. But as demonstrated, in terms of managers there is certainly under representation.

From these numbers, it is clear that the biggest issue is bringing through players and coaches from the South Asian community. Something no one is really talking about. Positive discrimination for existing black coaches is not the answer to the problem.
Rob S

 

John Nicholson: Football must come out to shun its greatest prejudice

 

Homophobia and hypocrisy 
I read John Nicholson’s article with interest, but I firmly feel he’s missed a huge factor in the problem with accepting homosexuality in football.

The continuing trend of middle Eastern dictatorships interested in owning football clubs can only reverse any progress made by the likes of Stonewall. Their entire rainbow laces idea is totally undermined as soon as Manchester City’s players wear them. How can the public be expected to take it seriously when these players are happily taking a wage from a dictatorship they must know full well is homophobic?

I’ve read a lot about Raheem Sterling being a hero on here and other media outlets and whilst I like his stance on making a change in terms of racism, he should look closer to home if he’s actually serious about these issues. Sterling stars in a Gilette advert (which I’m sure he is handsomely paid for) where he talks about eradicating all forms of discrimination. He must realise the hypocrisy in this when he earns his money from a regime that imprisons homosexuals and commits many other human rights abuses. I cannot take anything he says seriously because of this, his whole philosophy seems to be “I’m anti-discrimination, but I’m not when discrimination makes me money”

How can football ever expect its fans to accept people from all walks of life when the game’s authorities and players happily tolerate these disgusting regimes because of the money they produce?
Marcus

 

Mails: Are Liverpool really Treble winners?

 

Treble, Treble, how could they know?
Re: Raoul, Sunny South Africa, it’s a simple equation really.

Who are the current English Champions? Liverpool
Who are the reigning European Champions? Liverpool
Who are the reigning World Champions? Liverpool

One of them will go away in August, the other may go away in December if it takes place. But we are undeniably in this unique position.
Nikhil, LFC, Chicago (I did think the saltiness on social media from non-Liverpool fans will reach greater heights, but I really did not imagine it would be at such unprecedented levels)

 

…It’s a shame you don’t do GIFs on your site, or there would be a metric f*ckton of pictures of Tom Hardy pointing upwards, mouthing ‘That’s bait’ toward Raoul, Sunny South Africa’s submission.
James F, BCFC KRO

 

Backdoor to Europe
If the Man City ban is upheld, and if Man Utd or Wolves finish 5th and win the Europa League, does that mean 6th place could earn a Champions League spot?
Also given the FA Cup semi finalists, does that mean 8th will get you a Europa League spot?
Brian Clancy (Spurs, grasping at straws, Vancouver)

 

Read: Champions League qualification: why they will, why they wont…

 

What’s in a name?
When reading Peter from Andalucia’s Mail about Loftus-Cheek and QPR due to his name, it did make me wonder how many players past and present had names that could relate to a particular club, so I spent far to much time compiling a list that may amuse you this morning;

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – QPR’s home ground of Loftus Road
Reece Oxford – Oxford United
Bobby and Jack Charlton – Charlton Athletic
Chris Sutton – Sutton United
Martin Palermo – Palermo
Antonio and Enner Valencia – Valencia
Dean Ashton – Bristol City’s Ashton Gate
Everton – Everton
Ryan Giggs – Bury’s Gigg Lane
Shay Given – Halifax Town’s The Shay
Marc Albrighton – Brighton

Interestingly whilst I was doing research for this list I found a player called Paulista, who spent the majority of his career at various clubs on loan in Brazil, however his real name was Creedence Clearwater Couto, now I wonder how many players have names relating to music artists, but that is a list for another day.
Mikey, CFC (My surname is a small parish in the county of Berkshire, so I could technically qualify for my own list)

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