Kiss of Impending Death 

Kiss of Impending Death

Warning: The following soccer business column has been constructed in a very loose and sloppy manner.

Children and anyone who has even the smallest desire for coherence in an essay are advised to exit this blog now.

-Speaking of loose and sloppy, did you see Madonna and Britney Spears get at each other at the MTV Awards? All I can say is, Thank God for hot, desperate girls who freak out when their sucky albums don't sell. Wonder if the publicity ploy will be mimicked by FIFA's marketing wizards responsible for staving off embarrassment giving some kind of juice to the upcoming Women's World Cup, which is the sports equivalent of a Madonna album.

-Speaking of embarrassments, notorious English midfielder Paul Gascoigne has signed to play for a team in the United Arab Emirates. Gascoigne, 37, was once considered the greatest soccer talent ever produced by England but is now better known for giving numerous interviews while drunk, getting face-down drunk the night before important matches, and trashing the hotel suite of the coach who left him off
England's '98 World Cup squad (probably drunk for that one, too). Sending Guzzler Gascoigne to Abu Dhabi is unlikely to endear the West to the Arab world. Get the duct tape ready.

-Speaking of terrorists, Saadi Gadafi, the son of Libyan dictator Moammar and a player for Perugia of Italy's Serie A, announced this week Libya's and Tunisis's joint bid for the 2010 World Cup, which FIFA has promised will be held--for the first time--in an African nation. Libya and Tunisia will compete with South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, and Egypt for the Cup. South Africa, which is said to have earned enough votes to get the 2006 World Cup before the fat cats of FIFA stepped in and gave it to Germany, looks to be
the front-runner.

-Speaking of shady things, Real Madrid recently predicted 2004 profits to be $65 million. That such an announcement could never--and will never--be made by an American sports franchise is an indication of how powerless European athletes are (at least in comparison to U.S. athletes). George Steinbrenner would hand wash Joe Torre's jock before saying the Yankee's netted $65 million in a year, because the MLB players union would be striking the next day. Of
course, European soccer players are no charity cases, and certainly no Real Madrid's players (David Beckham earns upwards of $10 million), but they have nowhere near the security of, say, NBA players (to make room on the payroll for Beckham, Real sent 13 players packing). Things aren't so rosy, however, for the other teams in Spain's La Liga. FC Barcelona has a debt of $236 million and the entire league is $1.7 billion in the red and is seeking a government
bailout. Now that should sound familiar to Americans.

-Speaking of debt, tickets to the championship match of the Women's World Cup--to be held at the U.S. Soccer Fed's beautiful new Home Depot Center in SoCal--are priced at $400 or, in the calculus of the average sports fan, 20 lap dances. Hmm, the strip jointfor a week or 90 minutes of girls soccer--you're making it tough on us, FIFA.

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Comment Create

Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:52 am MST by Lakers Tickets

Comment Hey Jack, You're fast becoming the "Ray Ratto" of SBS. This is another great column! I'm now concerned that there does not seem to be a concensus of what to do to improve scoccer ticket sales. Why is this in your view? Zennie

Sat Sep 6, 2003 11:35 am MST by Zennie

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