Send your thoughts to . And feel free to make them not about Liverpool and Timo Werner.
Word of Werning
I fully admit it’s been hard to keep up with the mail since there hasn’t been much to say for the past 3 months. I read when I can, but I’ve recently seen people complaining that Liverpool shouldn’t have been so tight, and should have pulled the trigger on Werner. There are even so-called “fans” pushing an “FSG out” narrative.
I’d just like to point out that even if Liverpool do have money, and even if you think fiscal responsibility is not a desired trait in your owner (how shocking that would be in this day and age…), understand that FSG also owns the Red Sox. It is in fact their primary cash cow and the more valuable of the teams. And the reason this matters is because the players and owners in the MLB are currently in a dispute over how many games will be played in the season, which should have started back in April. The players are demanding more games than the owners want to give, which could see the owners incur large losses in this season, and possibly moving forward.
FSG aren’t an oil state who can literally launder money into their club. They have to play a long game, and they have a lot of moving parts. They cannot afford to over invest in LFC and have it backfire when they are looking at losing 10s to 100s of millions in the Red Sox in the near future.
Jacques Pierre, Oxford
Bit of a double header mail this one, as I have two responses to make.
The first I will keep short and sweet about “Level Playing Field?” from Adam in the Midlands. I do understand why Willian and Pedro would choose not to sign short term deals to finish this season, frustrating yes, would it impact our season in regards to the race for the Top 4? Unlikely, Pedro and Willian are consistently inconsistent, and with the likes of Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi now back to full fitness we have players ready to take up their roles, which in a way is unfair as they would unlikely have recovered from their injuries to play these games in the first place if the season had not of been stopped, same goes for Harry Kane at Tottenham and other injured stars , if we don’t make the top four I am certainly not as fussed now we have got the major chunk of transfer business out the way.
Now the main reason I started to write a mail was in response to Jamie on Bournemouth, I too was quite shocked to see how many big fee signings were made over the past few years, for players who have done very little or nothing for Bournemouth in that time, Benik Afobe for £12m and Jordon Ibe for £17m, are another two misses to add to the list, it certainly does ring alarm bells similar to how Stoke did their transfer business before they were relegated, if you cast your minds back to 2017/18, Stoke bought Kevin Wimmer for 18m, Badou Ndiaye for £14m, before that season they picked up Saido Berahino for £13m and even more infamously Giannelli Imbula for a club record £22m, I like to hope that Bournemouth sort out their transfer strategy going forward, not every signing is going to be a hit, but too many misses, especially for clubs outside the top six, can cost you in the long term if you do in fact end up being unfortunate enough to be relegated, Stoke and Sunderland can vouch for that.
Quick response to Adam, Midlands in yesterday morning’s mailbox. He states that Wilian and Pedro not signing short term contracts to finish out the restarted season means the restart is unfair as they are losing potential goals.
I really can’t see the logic here. Adam Lallana signed one, because he wanted to. Pedro and Wilian didn’t because they don’t, not because they can’t. They don’t want to stay because, in Pedro’s case, he’s not getting many games anyway and Wilian is probably aware his days as a first team regular (very tempted to throw in some superfluous hyphens there) are numbered with Chelsea signing every forward in Europe.
Every club has the option to sign players to these mini extensions. Those two not wanting to has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with them planning for their own futures.
Feast your eyes
Starved of football, I have been flicking through the channels to see what morsels there are out there. It turns out there aren’t just morsels… there is a veritable feast!
If you have a basic Sky package you can watch Portuguese top flight football on FreeSports, who also show Polish top flight and Danish. Over on Eurosport they have live Norwegian top flight football. BBC Alba (?) is showing live Bundesliga apparently. FreeSports have one live La Liga game a week and Swedish top flight football… and J-League, MLS and Chinese Super League!
Then the Premier League starts and we have free matches on BBC, Amazon Prime and Sky Pick.
Obviously you can also pay for BT Sports for Serie A and more Premier League, Premier Sports for La Liga or Sky Sports for even more Premier League and the EFL.
I am not sure of the reason for this mail except… football is back!
Micki ‘I wonder if Ligue 1 is regretting ending the season yet’ Attridge
Linear European champions
I had a quick go at working out linear champions for the Champions league. The answer is…Atletico Madrid.
It begins with Real Madrid, who lose the title to Barcelona, who go on to reach the final and lose to Benfica, making Benfica linear champions and also European Champions. Then I realised that is how it would always be.
It’s not like the Premier League, where the linear title can be passed on in a single game (current champions Crystal Palace). The European cup is a knock out tournament, so the ‘belt’ would always be carried on to the final.
E.g. Atletico Madrid, will either win the cup, or they lose. If they lose, the team they lose to will carry the ‘belt’ on, and this will continue until it goes to whoever wins the cup.
So what I imagined might be a trawl through the past to distract me from work, ended up taking about 5 minutes. Oh well, back to work.
Mike, LFC, London
I read Howard Jones’ mail about the Champions of Europe and realised that it was a challenge impossible to resist so, without further ado, here is the complete list of how the lineal championship has changed hands from the first champion (Real Madrid) up until the last (Atletico Madrid, assuming that this year’s competition isn’t voided):
13-06-1956 Real Madrid
22-05-1963 AC Milan
13-02-1964 Real Madrid
27-05-1964 Inter Milan
20-04-1966 Real Madrid
01-03-1967 Inter Milan
04-10-1967 Dynamo Kyiv
29-11-1967 Gornik Zabrze
13-03-1968 Manchester United
15-05-1969 AC Milan
30-09-1970 UTA Arad
04-11-1970 Red Star Belgrade
07-11-1973 CSKA Sofia
20-03-1974 Bayern Munich
16-03-1977 Dynamo Kyiv
20-04-1977 Borussia Monchengladbach
27-09-1978 Nottingham Forest
01-10-1980 CSKA Sofia
17-03-1982 CSKA Sofia
21-04-1982 Bayern Munich
26-05-1982 Aston Villa
02-11-1983 Dinamo Bucharest
07-05-1986 Steaua Bucharest
18-03-1987 Bayern Munich
04-11-1987 Real Madrid
20-04-1988 PSV Eindhoven
15-03-1989 Real Madrid
19-04-1989 AC Milan
29-05-1991 Red Star Belgrade
04-11-1992 CSKA Moscow
18-08-1993 Vacant – Marseille not allowed to defend
18-05-1994 AC Milan
28-05-1997 Borussia Dortmund
01-04-1998 Real Madrid
17-03-1999 Dynamo Kyiv
21-04-1999 Bayern Munich
26-05-1999 Manchester United
19-04-2000 Real Madrid
09-05-2001 Bayern Munich
10-04-2002 Real Madrid
28-05-2003 AC Milan
07-04-2004 Deportivo la Coruna
15-03-2005 Inter Milan
12-04-2005 AC Milan
23-05-2007 AC Milan
21-05-2008 Manchester United
28-04-2010 Inter Milan
14-04-2011 Schalke 04
04-05-2011 Manchester United
05-12-2012 Vacant – Chelsea out in group stage
25-05-2013 Bayern Munich
29-04-2014 Real Madrid
13-04-2016 Atletico Madrid
28-05-2016 Real Madrid
08-05-2019 Tottenham Hotspur
11-03-2020 Atletico Madrid – assuming championship not voided
I have no idea whether you’ll bother posting this mammoth list or not, and certainly no idea whether you have any interest in further commentary on it, but I’ll carry on regardless!
Perhaps unsurprisingly considering how many times they’ve won it, Real Madrid are both the longest serving lineal champions (in total) and have been lineal champions the most often (10). There are then three clubs (AC Milan, Barcelona, and Liverpool) who have held the lineal title on 7 different occasions.
And, if you’re wondering which country has had the most lineal champions (you weren’t? Oh, ok, just me then) then – while Italy has 3, and Spain and Germany both have 4, England leads the way with 7 lineal champions.
I hope at least one other person (Howard?) found this as interesting as I did.
Oliver Davies, LFC, Netherlands
Firstly, thank you for publishing my question and secondly, apologies to anyone who went looking for the answer, it’s far less interesting and easier to find than I imagined!
Obviously I had not thought it through properly! If only knock-out stage ties count, then the answer is Atletico Madrid, it has to be!!! However if group stage home & away games are used, it does become a little bit better.
No Champions of Europe have ever not competed in the competition the following season (yes we know LFC got into the 2006 comp as a result of rule tweaking) and the only holders never to progress to the knock out stages are Chelsea!
However, in 2004-5, Porto advanced to the knock out stage despite losing and drawing to PSG 2-0 and 0-0, thereby making PSG lineal champs.
PSG did not return to the Champions League until 2012-13 when they lost a group stage home/away round to, believe it or not, Porto! Porto did progress to the knock-outs so we were then back on track. It’s not until Real Madrid’s dominance of 2015-18 that anything else interesting (?) happens, when in 2017-18 the lineal Champions of Europe becomes TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, who at the first opportunity lose the title to Juventus (very spursy) and it is eventually regained by Real Madrid.
The 2018-19 competition heralds a new and current Lineal Champions of Europe, step forward……………CSKA Moscow, a 1-0 win in Russia over RM was followed up with a memorable 3-0 win in the Bernabeu, as they failed to qualify for this years competition, it may be some time before they are de-throned.
Howard (happy it’s not AM) Jones
The definitive answer…
I got bored, here’s the boxing football champions league lineage. It’s long, as you might imagine. It was pretty plain sailing until we got to the groups. I hope you know, someone looks at it. I’ve explained some of the rules as I went along. Big Props to UTA Arad, CSKA September Flag and Gornik Zabrze for their first champions league titles. Oh, and spurs won it a few time.
55-56 – Real Madrid
60-61 first round – Barca beat Real Madrid
60-61 final – Benfica beat Barca
62-63 final – Milan beat Benfica
63-64 quarter final – Real Madrid beat Milan
63-64 final – Inter beat R Madrid
64-65 semi final – R Madrid beat Inter
65-66 QF – Inter Beat R Madrid
66-67 Final – Celtic beat inter
67-68 1stR – Dynamo Kiev Beat Celtic
67-68 2ndR – Gornik Zabrze beat Kiev
67-68 QF – Man utd beat kiev
68-69 SF – Milan beat Man Utd
69-70 2ndR – Feyenoord Beat Man utd
70-71 1st R – UTA Arad beat Feyenoord
70-71 2ndR – Red Star Belgrade beat UTA Arad
70-71 semis – Panathanikos beat Red Star Belgrade
70-71 final – Ajax beat panathanikos
73-74 2nd R – CSKA September Flag beat Ajax
73-74 QF – Bayern Munich beat CSKA September Flag
76-77 QF – Dynamo Kiev beat Bayern Munich
76-77 SF – B. Gladbach beat D Kiev
76-77 F – Liverpool beat D Kiev
78-79 Rnd1 – Nottingham Forest beat Liverpool
80-81 1stR – CSKA Sofia Beat Nottingham Forest
80-81 QF – Liverpool beat CSKA Sofia
81-82 QF – CSKA Sofia Beat Liverpool
81-82 SF – Bayern Beat CSKA Sofia
81-82 Final – Aston Villa beat Bayern
82-83 QF – Juventus Beat Aston Villa
82-83 Final – Hamburg beat Juventus
83-84 2nd R – Dinamo Bucharest beat hamburg
83-84 Semi – Liverpool beat Dinamo Bucharest
84-85 final – Juventus beat Liverpool
85-86 QF – Barcelona Beat Juventus
85-86 Final – Steaua Bucharest beat Barcelon
86-87 2nd R – Anderlecht Beat Steaua
86-87 QF -Bayern beat Anderlecht
86-87 Final – Porto Beat Bayern
87-88 2ndR – R Madrid beat Porto
87-88 semi – PSV Beat R madrid
88-89 QF – R Madrid beat PSV
88-89 SF – Milan Beat R Madrid
90-91 QF – Marseille beat Milan
90-91 Final – Red Star Belgrade Beat Marseille
91-92 Group A – Sampdoria beat Red Star Belgrade
91-92 Final – Barcelona Beat Sampdoria
92-93 2nd R – CSKA Moscow Beat Barcelona
92-93 Group A – Marseille beat CSKA
At this point Marseille were stripped of their domestic league title and so not allowed to compete in the 93-94 season of the champs league. They were not, however, stripped of their Champions league title so – I treated it like a boxing injury. With Milan winning the Interim title. Marseille failed to qualify for a while but eventually the titles were unified when they were drawn in the same group as Manchester united in 99-00.
93-94 – Open Title – Milan Become Interim Champions 93-94 Marseille
When the group stages really started coming into play I decided that I would take the results between the qualifying teams as one tie to decide who emerged as ‘champion’. If it was a draw It stayed with the holder. This meant that the real life champs sometimes lost the title despite qualifying for the next round (amusingly R Madrid in 17-18 lost it to spurs in the group, before bringing it back home), and indeed one or two teams lost it despite finishing top of the group.
94-95 Group D – Ajax Beat Milan
95-96 Final – Juventus Beat Ajax
96-97 Final – Dortmund Beat Juventus
97-98 Sf – R Madrid beat Dortmund
98-99 Group C – Inter finish top but R madrid win over 2 legs on goal difference
98-99 QF – Dynamo Kiev Beat R madrid
98-99 SF – Bayern Beat Kiev
98-99 Final – Man Utd Beat Bayern
99-00 – Group D – Marseille Beat utd on goal difference to Unify Title
99-00 2nd group stage – Lazio beat Marseille
99-00 QF – Valencia Beat Lazio
99-00 Final – R madrid beat Valencia
00-01 SF – Bayern Beat R Madrid
01-02 2nd Group – Man utd beat Bayern (GD)
01-02 SF – Leverkusen beat Man Utd
01-02 Final – R madrid beat leverkusen
02-03 SF – Juventus beat R Madrid
02-03 Final – Milan Beat Juventus
03-04 group stage – Celta Vigo Beat Milan
03-04 1stKO – Arsenal beat Celta Vigo
03-04 QF – Chelsea Beat Arsenal
03-04 SF – Monaco Beat Chelsea
03-04 Final – Porto Beat Monaco
04-05 group stage – Chelsea beat Porto
04-05 SF – Liverpool beat Chelsea
05-06 1stKO – Benfica Beat Liverpool
05-06 QF – Barca beat Benfica
06-07 group – Chelsea beat barca
06-07 SF – Liverpool Beat Chelsea
06-07 Final – Milan beat Liverpool
07-08 first KO – Arsenal beat milan
07-08 QF – Liverpool Beat Arsenal
07-08 SF – Chelsea beat Liverpool
07-08 Final – Man utd beat Chelsea
Good year for English clubs in -7=08 as 4 teams became champions league boxing football champions.
08-09 final – Barcelona Beat Man Utd
09-10 SF – Inter Beat Barcelona
10-11 group – Spurs beat Inter
10-11 QF – R madrid beat spurs
10-11 SF – Barca Beat R Madrid
11-12 SF – Chelsea Beat Barcelona
12-13 group – Juventus beat Chelsea
If an incumbent failed to qualify from their group (like Chelsea here) The title wen to the qualifying team with the best record against them.
12-13 QF – Bayern Beat Juventus
13-14 SF – R Madrid Beat Bayern
14-15 SF – Juventus Beat R Madrid
14-15 Final – Barca beat Juventus
15-16 QF – A Madrid Beat Barca
15-16 Final – R Madrid beat A Madrid
17-18 group – Spurs beat R Madrid
17-18 1stKO – Juventus Beat Spurs
17-18 QF – R Madrid Beat Juventus
18-19 1stKO – Ajax Beat R Madrid
18-19 SF – Spurs Beat Ajax
18-19 Final – Liverpool beat Spurs
19-00 1stKO – A Madrid Beat Liverpool
That’s a couple of hours wasted then.
Pray for Degs
I wonder how Degsy has been coping with the lack of betting options recently ?
Hopefully he hasn’t gone down some dark road in search of a thrill because I can easily imagine him ending up in some kind of a Deer Hunter type scenario.
Mao, Diddy Mao!!