Paul MacInnes

Author's posts

Oct 08

Bet your shirt on it: the changing face of Premier League sponsorships | Paul MacInnes

Twenty seasons ago not a single Premier League jersey carried the name of a gambling company – now nine do. We trace the trends on ‘the most cost-effective billboard you can buy’ and examine the impact sponsorship hasFun88 is an online gaming business …

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Oct 04

Future remains unclear after Premier League clubs fail to find resolution on TV rights

• Clubs met on Wednesday to discuss distribution of overseas TV income
• Increasing division between ‘Big Six’ and the rest

The future direction of the Premier League remains uncertain as a crucial meeting between the division’s clubs ended without resolution.

Representatives of all 20 Premier League clubs gathered at a hotel in London’s Mayfair on Wednesday to discuss changing the way in which overseas television income is distributed, covering £1bn of annual revenue and a power struggle between the league’s “big six” and the rest.

Related: Facebook is not ruling out bidding for Premier League live matches

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Sep 17

Roy Hodgson plays patience principle at Crystal Palace with history on his side | Paul MacInnes

Southampton ensure former England manager was unable to stop the rot in first game in charge but he points to past club escapes and urges fans to stay with him

There is always a touch of pathos about Roy Hodgson. It could be his hangdog expression. Maybe it is the way he insists on being gentlemanly in an age of turbo-charged egotists. Or perhaps the low points in his career – Liverpool, England – seem somehow to conform to the stereotype; nice guy but out of his depth at the top.

Hodgson was welcomed with polite applause by the Crystal Palace fans before the match against Southampton and got the same response after their defeat. As he first walked to the dugout he was embraced by Pete the Eagle in a slightly awkward clinch. The cameras, of which there were many at Selhurst Park, caught him in trademark head-in-hands mode after Steven Davis turned home the only goal in the sixth minute. Later they caught him doing that thing with his finger on his lips as he considered how to improve his team’s prospects. So far, so Roy.

Related: Steven Davis spoils Roy Hodgson’s big day as Crystal Palace lose again

Don’t forget that at Fulham we got out of the relegation zone on the very, very last game of the season

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Sep 13

Arsène Wenger stresses positives for Jack Wilshere and the Europa League | Paul MacInnes

The Arsenal manager weighs up the ‘hungry and determined’ midfielder as part of a rotation policy for group game against Cologne

Arsène Wenger did not hide from the Champions League on Tuesday night. “Yes I watched‚” he admitted. “I watched a few games and the main game, of course, was Chelsea. After a while I went to Barcelona against Juventus. It raises many questions about the Champions League, the way it is organised now. We will certainly have to think about it.” What issues? Think about what? “We will speak about it another time.”

Such was the way the Arsenal manager teased as he vacated London Colney on Wednesday afternoon. Europe’s premier trophy still transfixes the man who has qualified for the competition on 21 separate occasions. Wenger being Wenger, he also cannot help but suggest that things could be done better. The details, it seems, will have to wait for another time. Until then, Arsenal have other things to think about.

Related: Arsène Wenger says he turned down United as ‘I love the values of this club’

He is not completely at his best but he is getting there every week

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Aug 04

Andrea Radrizzani gives himself five years to get Leeds United promoted

The new owner will sell up if things go wrong but already he can sense a new energy at Elland Road, with the fans backing his visionThe new owner of Leeds United, Andrea Radrizzani, has warned that if he fails in his five-year plan to get the fallen Yo…

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Aug 04

Is Wolves’ record signing Rúben Neves really suited to the Championship?

The 20-year-old has been described as the new Sergio Busquets but he admits he is here to earn a move to a Premier League club and his short career has already been hit by a stark decline

For a 20-year-old, Rúben Neves has broken a good few records. He finished coolly on his debut as a 17-year-old to become Porto’s youngest league scorer. He surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo as the youngest Portuguese player to appear in the Champions League. At 18, he became the youngest captain in the history of the same competition, leading Porto to victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv. On Saturday he looks likely to anchor the midfield for Wolves as they host Middlesbrough in the Championship.

The £15.8m Wolves paid to bring Neves to the Black Country is another record, the biggest transfer fee in the history of the Championship. Since the deal was agreed it has raised questions: about the club’s ambitions under the Chinese owners Fosun (owners closely advised by Neves’s agent, Jorge Mendes), the competitive status of the division and what the transfer says about Neves’s ability.

Related: Championship: fans from all 24 clubs preview the 2017–18 season

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Aug 02

The ‘kidnapping’ of Jesús Navas: football’s summer of bizarre transfer videos

In an attempt to hype their latest signings, clubs are running amok with shareable content. A treat for the fans or just a money-wasting wheeze?

The best way for football clubs to get rid of the massive wads of cash thrown in their direction by benighted supporters and unimaginative TV companies has traditionally been to pay £50m for a half-decent right back who can’t cross. But wealthy teams are always innovating and this summer they have found a new way of blowing their loot: social media content.

The big clubs with a marketing department (ie all of them) and a brand (all of them bar Burnley) have been hiring a load of over-enthusiastic millennials to make stuff for Facebook, Twitter and the rest. I had the misfortune to sit in front of Arsenal’s Snapchat crew last season and let me tell you they made a humdrum 2-0 victory over Hull sound like the second coming of the Christ.

PogBOOM is coming to Old Trafford.@paulpogba: Welcome home to @ManUtd.#FirstNeverFollows

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Jul 29

‘An electrifying jolt’: how Agüero’s goal sealed Premier League’s global rise

Not just a moment to remember, Manchester City’s thrilling late title win in 2012 embodied the Premier League’s ascent to international dominance

The big bang: how the Premier League was born

It’s 4.53pm BST on 13 May 2012. The score at the Etihad Stadium is 2-2 between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers and the game is into a fourth minute of added time. The Italian international Mario Balotelli has the ball on the edge of the QPR area. Slipping, he pokes a pass beyond two defenders into the box. His team-mate, a £38m recruit from Atlético Madrid the previous summer, manages to read the pass. With one touch, Sergio Agüero eludes a despairing final challenge. With a second, he fires the ball past Paddy Kenny. Flying into the near corner of the net, Agüero’s goal wins the game in the final second. It also means the 20th Premier League title goes to City, ahead of Manchester United on goal difference.

Related: Deceit, determination and Murdoch’s millions: how Premier League was born

It doesn’t always happen that you anticipate the moment but his touch was so sure, I trusted my instinct

Related: Premier League at 25: the best XI, from Petr Cech to Thierry Henry

Related: Premier League at 25: the best signing – Patrick Vieira to Arsenal, August 1996

Related: Premier League at 25: best goal – Matt Le Tissier v Manchester United, 1996

Related: Premier League at 25: the best match – Liverpool 4 – 3 Newcastle, April 1996

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Jul 23

Deceit, determination and Murdoch’s millions: how Premier League was born

Twenty-five years ago Rick Parry, David Dein and Greg Dyke turned British football on its head. Here the men behind the revolutionary deal relive the story

Rick Parry is showing me the most important document in the recent history of British sport. He has a photo of it on his phone. “Here it is in my handwriting,” he says. “Graham was upstairs, waiting for me to tell him, and I’d forgotten to put FA. So that’s Graham’s writing on the top going ‘by the way, that’s the FA Premier League’.”

“Graham” is Graham Kelly, the former chief executive of the Football Association. In 1991 he hired Parry to help him with a problem. Out of that problem was born a football competition that has become a global brand, a sporting hegemon and a form of soft power for the United Kingdom in the 21st century. But visible even in its totemic “founders’ agreement”, the document on Parry’s phone, were the tensions that would make the Premier League sometimes as reviled as it was beloved.

Related: How the Premier League became a dream destination for young Brazilians

Related: Premier League finances: the full club-by-club breakdown and verdict

We knew we had an airplane on the runway ready to take off, but we didn’t know how high it was going to fly

Related: Dele Alli and Harry Kane expose absurdity of football’s silly season

Get your arse here and blow them out of the water

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Apr 22

Anthony Joshua a model of calm as storm clouds gather above Wembley

A low-key training base in Sheffield houses a fighter preserving his aggression before Saturday’s WBA title fight against Wladimir Klitschko

At first glance the EIS in Sheffield is just like any other leisure centre. There are mums escorting soggy-haired kids from the pool, couples getting lost looking for the badminton courts, wilting sandwiches for sale at the cafe. No one would guess that upstairs, behind the basketball courts, is the training camp for a world heavyweight champion.

Anthony Joshua has chosen the English Institute of Sport as his base before Saturday’s superfight with Wladimir Klitschko and, no, it’s not just a leisure centre. The EIS is also a high-performance centre for Team GB, where athletes from sports including diving and paralympic table tennis, as well as boxing, are coached and monitored. But that is not to say that the place is flash. In the boxing gym there are four rings, scuffed and bearing faded London 2012 logos. There is a basic gym set, the centrepiece of which is a massive tractor tyre. There are health and safety messages everywhere.

Related: Anthony Joshua: ‘Being a boxer you have to be a man of the people’

Related: Wladimir Klitschko: ‘This may sound arrogant, but I am like Mount Everest’

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Apr 19

Anthony Joshua rates Tyson Fury a bigger fight than Klitschko showdown

• ‘When he returns I’m sure I’ll still be here,’ says former Olympic champion
• Joshua and Klitschko vying for the WBA title vacated by Fury

Anthony Joshua believes Tyson Fury would provide him with his biggest fight as the countdown to his Wembley title bout with Wladimir Klitschko enters its final 10 days.

Related: Wladimir Klitschko: ‘This may sound arrogant, but I am like Mount Everest’

Related: Anthony Joshua: ‘Being a boxer you have to be a man of the people’

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