Premier League Deal Leads to Arrests

Suspicion regarding the transfer of Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Serbian striker, to Newcastle United lead to several raids in the cities of Monaco, London and Belgium this week. Two people were arrested during these raids, including an agent. The police suspected that money-laundering took place already during 2015 when Mitrovic moved from Anderlecht in a transfer to St James Park for the amount of £13 million.

The investigation started already early on during the year. Initially, the headquarters of Belgian FA was raided. During this week further raids were done of which four were done in Monaco, one was done in London and two in Belgium. The entire investigation is done in collaboration with the Belgian anti-corruption judge as well as Belgian tax officials and police. The assistance of British revenue officers and customs and the Metropolitan Police was also given in the probe.

Anderlecht under Suspicion

Although the details are still a bit uncertain at this stage, it seems that there are more transfers from Anderlecht which came under suspicion. At this stage, the assignments for Romelu Lukaku in 2011 to Chelsea as well as the transfer which took place during the previous season when Leander Dedoncker moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers are also under suspicion. Currently, Youri Tielemans is playing for Leicester City, but his transfer to Monaco during 2017, is also being investigated. The investigations into these transfers are linked to suspected bribe money which has been paid to officials at Anderlecht who assisted in facilitating the assignments of these players. These investigations into the activities and various parties involved with Anderlecht, could not be coming at a worse time for the club. Currently, they are experiencing an intense low in performance on the field and is only rated at number 13 within their league due to only being able to achieve one victory from six games played.

Arrested Parties

At the moment, the main focus in the investigation seems to be Christophe Henrotay. The agent is one of the parties arrested during one of the raids which took place in Monaco. It appears that his extradition back to Belgium is being arranged, while several assets including a Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche, boat and apartments have been taken. Henrotay is not only the agent of Thibaut Courtois but is also linked to Yannick Ferreira Carrasco. Carrasco was supposed to make a high profile move during the summer season, yet the move never materialized. He is also linked as the agent to Kevin Mirallas and Dieumerci Mbokani as well being a consultant to Daniel van Buyten. Another arrest which was made in Belgium is an associate of Henrotay, Christopher Cheniaux.

Even though this investigation is unrelated to the 2018 scandal which shook the Belgian football world when financial fraud, as well as match-fixing, was investigated, it does reflect badly once again on the local Belgium soccer scene.

Chelsea Making an Offer to Aussie Sam Kerr

The 25-year old Australian striker has made some dangerous waves in the world of football over the past couple of years. She has not only inspired young talent with her skills and abilities but also became the face identified with both Perth Glory as well as the Matildas. Currently, she is playing in the United States in the National Women’s Soccer League for the Chicago Red Stars, where she is still contracted to play six more season games. After that, she will return to Perth, where she is recruited to the Football Federation Australia as a marquee player. Currently, she has no contracts binding her to either Perth Glory or the W-League.

The Lure of European Soccer

About two years ago, the French club, Paris Saint-Germain, showed some serious interest in the Australian and at that stage, even Kerr herself thought that maybe this is the end of her return to W-League. Now the interest in Kerr and her brilliant career came from the English giant, Chelsea. Chelsea made Kerr an offer of $1 million over two years. Playing for Chelsea is however much more than getting better pay, for Kerr. This could mean achieving a higher level of success for the striker. Europe is still the core around which the world of soccer rotates, globally. Playing for Chelsea would mean that Kerr would now have the opportunity to become part of the European soccer scene, to play in the English Women’s Super League and to be part of the Champions League, where she will be able to compete against the best teams in Europe.

A Great Loss for Australian Soccer

One person who is all too aware of this offer to Kerr and the effect which it would have on Australian soccer, to see her go, is Tony Pignata, CEO of Perth Glory. Even though he thinks that it is brilliant that such an outstanding player is offered such a great opportunity, it would be a loss for them. Kerr has made a massive impression in the world of football in Australia and contributed significantly to the much higher level of exposure which not only the Matildas but also Perth Glory has been receiving over the past couple of years. He also mentioned that they are waiting for her to finish off her season in the US, but they have been in conversation with her manager already, regarding returning to Perth Glory. Pignata considers Kerr to be one of the best soccer players in the world, and although he wishes her only the best, it would be almost impossible to replace her in his team. Currently, they can’t do much more except to hope that she will decide to return and remain part of the group, although this is probably not the best move she could make to enhance her career. Following the European route remains the possibility of an entirely new level of exposure for her.

St. Louis Joins Major League Soccer

This month saw the edition of St.Louis as the 28th team to Major League Soccer. This very proud moment for the club is placing them in the position where they are the first club to join Major League Soccer which is majority female-owned.

This exciting announcement was made almost at the end of August by commissioner Don Garber. Present at this event was Carolyn Kindle Betz, the president of Enterprise Holdings Foundation as well as Jim Kavanaugh, representing World Wide Technology as CEO and Andy Taylor, the executive chairman for the Enterprise Group and other members of the Taylor family. Between Betz and six other women who form part of the Taylor family, the club of St. Louis is predominantly female-owned. The team will only start as a part of the league during 2022, but they will immediately start working on selecting their team name, colours and badge.

A Challenging Ride

During 2017 the bid which St. Louis had, was getting cold. This city, with a soccer rich tradition, held a referendum to decide upon using $60 million of tax revenue to build a stadium, but the voters decided against it, and that created a significant setback or the investment group at that time, Paul Edgerley. They then ceased their efforts to try and establish a stadium and club within St. Louis.

Now Betz has joined hands with Kavanaugh, who was part of the previous investment group back in 2017 but is now at World Wide Technology and after weeks of negotiations, they achieved success. This success is also significantly founded in the fact that they managed to get the funds for the construction of a stadium from private investors. The stadium will be set in Downtown West District.

The Expansion of Soccer

In recent years the MLS has decided to make expansion into various markets a priority. This is done to ensure the constant growth of the sport. Soccer is receiving growing interest from sports fans in the United States, and the MLS is taking the opportunity to give the process momentum.

Since 2013 when the New York City FC joined the league, the expansion fee was set at $90 million. This has increased since then to an estimated $240 million. The increase is due to more massive crowds at games, broadcasting rights and growing significant sponsorships. According to the former commissioner of the Major League Indoor Soccer which has since become obsolete, Steve Ryan, owning a franchise has changed over time into a very lucrative investment for sports-minded executives.

The St. Louise team will have their home field set at a soccer-specific stadium. This stadium is going to be built in Downtown St. Louis and will be the centre of new development in real estate which is set to be built around the stadium.

The World of Soccer

Over recent years the world of professional football has seen the age of players signing to play professional, dropping to the early to mid-teen years. The latest addition and currently the youngest player to sign, was the Laguna Bay player, Francis Jacobs. Jacobs was merely 14 years, four months and 29 days old when he signed with Orange County SC. That made him the youngest male since Freddy Adu had that title since 2003 when he signed with D.C United. Earlier this year the soccer world also saw Olivia Moultrie turning pro at the age of only 13.

Great Success for the Youngsters

Although some might consider these early signings of professional contracts to be risky, it seems that these young candidates are all considered to be much more mature for their age than the average teenager. Being able to practice and play with professional players with experience on the international level is brilliant exposure for them to prepare them in their careers. As with Orange County SC, who signed Francis Jacobs, these clubs are keen on developing these players. The club members are willing to guide the young stars into a great future. Aaron Cervantes is an example of such a young actor, who was also signed by Orange County SC when he was only 15 years old. His career is excelling rapidly with the much-needed backing and support from his club. Another star who signed on at a young age is Alphonso Davies who signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps when he was 15 years old and since then climbed the ladder of success to a point where he is now playing for Bayern Munich.

Changes in the Sport

Since Freddy Adu was signed in 2003, the soccer world introduced The Development Academy in 2007. The Academy inspired many smaller academies popping up all over the sport, which are all committed to providing a proper development of these young players on all levels. This notion can be seen in both the United States as well as in Canada, and they are creating a favourable ecosystem in the world of soccer for the young players to thrive.

Another point to take note of is the fact that when clubs are signing on these young players, they are fully aware that they aren’t just taking on the talent or skills, but that they need to develop the entire player. Like with Orange County SC, they are willing to work together and provide the support required to establish Jacobs in his entirety as a player. His first opportunity to debut his professional career is set for the 17th of August against the Las Vegas Lights FC, but it remains uncertain whether he will play the entire game or even at all. The club’s management won’t put him under the stress of performing if they aren’t convinced that he is ready, both physically and mentally.

Summer Transfer Window Shut after a Busy Period

Deadline day came and gone, and for some clubs, it was a time of significant investment and others were more on the receiving side. Following is just a sneak peek on what happened during the window period at many selected clubs.

Manchester United

The season started promising but ended up deflated. They had success in acquiring Harry Maguire for a mere £80 million from Leicester, but the midfield needed more additions, and it seems to be a little on the light side now. Their major outs of the period include Romelu Lukaku transferring to Inter for £70 million. His departure also left the team a little light up front too. They had interest in Paulo Dybala, but his price tag seems to be too heavy to complete the deal.


Arsenal seemed to have been able to get to the end of the transfer window period with satisfaction. Their most significant financial investment went into Nicolas Pépé. They transferred him in for £72 million from Lille. Together with Kieran Tierney, moved from Celtic for £25 million, they should provide significant incision from the flank side. Their most significant achievement to trade out was Laurent Koscielny transferred to Bordeaux for £4.6 million.


Klopp expected a quiet season. Last year they have invested tremendously during the period and followed that up with lucrative contract extensions. They managed to surprise the league with the degree to which Klopp took the lack of activity during the transfer period. The only senior addition to Liverpool was transferred from Zwolle. Liverpool paid £1.3 million for Sepp van den Berg.

Ashton Villa

During the period of transfer, Villa spent £146 million on 13 new additions to the club. This money was, however, spent with much thought put into the matter. It is considered to be a strategy from Dean Smith to put the Villa back where it belongs. Their most enormous single financial contribution went to Bournemouth for Tyrone Mings at £26.5 million. Villa didn’t transfer anybody out, although there were a couple of names released, with Glenn Whelan, Alan Hutton and Mile Jedinak being some of the names on that list.

Leicester City

They got paid well for Harry Maguire, but they have left afterwards with too little time to replace him, and now fans are left with the question of who is going to fill his spot in central defence? The rest of the field seems fine with some significant recruitments. Their considerable investment went into Youri Tielemans for £40 million from Monaco, which is small change compared to the £80 million which they got paid for Harry Maguire from Manchester United.


It started as productive and well thought through, but then took a turn to what seemed more like a haphazard effort towards the end. Some title-winning players got signed with the highest price paid for Moise Kean at £29 million from Juventus, and their most damaging transfer out was that of Idrissa Gueye who went to PSG for £29 million.

Wayne Rooney to return to England

After what seems to be a struggle for Rooney and his family to settle on the American east coast, he might be coming back to England for a shock return.

Rooney’s Career at DC United

The former English captain is still under contract at DC United until 2021, but it seems that the Rooney family is keen on returning to England and wants to cut their stay short in the United States. Rooney recently became captain at the US club but is now eager to end his contract with DC United earlier than expected. The best time for him to cut the deal short would be to leave at the end of the MLS season at the end of November. That would suit Derby County who is eager to take him on from January onwards.

Derby County

After Rooney arrived in England during the first week in August, it was confirmed by Derby County owner, Mel Morris that Rooney is indeed on the verge of signing their championship club. According to Morris, the decision to sign the former captain of Manchester United as well as England, in the position of player-coach, is done with the full backing of Philip Cocu, the club’s manager. Cocu, formerly playing for Barcelona took over in the manager position from Frank Lampard last month. Derby County was successful in their opening Championship match and managed to achieve a 2-1 win against Huddersfield under Cocu’s management.

Morris also stated that the idea to bring Rooney in was one which was only recently originated. The news that Rooney is keen on returning to England and being in talks with Derby County might spark the interest of other clubs also to get the 33-year-old star to sign with them. Morris is relatively confident that they will settle the deal with Rooney, although he also mentioned that in the industry nothing is for sure until signed. Bringing in Rooney will give Derby County the edge they need through the experience which Rooney has. He remains the country’s record scorer, and he is without any doubt one of the greatest players ever delivered by England and will be a significant asset to any club which he joins.

Rooney Keen on Coaching

Over time Rooney has expressed many times already, his desire to stand in a coaching position. He stated that there are many things which he wants to achieve and being a coach is one of them. When his days of playing is over, he will reassess his possibilities and take it from there again. He also has admitted during June that he has been receiving many offers from clubs both in England as well as in the United States regarding coaching positions. Possibly in only a couple of more days, there will be more certainty regarding Rooney’s decision on where he will spend the near future.

The Hall of Shame for Football Managers

The success stories of the Premier League is balanced against those considered as epic failures. Managing in the Premier League is known to be challenging. Hence over the years, there has been a couple of managers whose names are edged in the Hall of Shame for Premier League Football. Here are the five top achievers in this dismal category.

Crystal Palace Suffering Under Ian Holloway During 2013

The season of 2013/14 was the year in which Ian Holloway had to lead Crystal Palace from strength to strength. The club was suffering in the Premier League after being promoted from the Championships. Being freshly developed is a place where many teams have experienced difficulty. Holloway was not the man to guide them into the future. Eight games were played under his hand of which they have managed to win only one. This left them with an average score count of 0.38 points. Holloway was dismissed from his duties, a call that worked out very well for the team, who then moved up into 11th place with a total of 45 points.

The Wolves and Terry Connor – a 2012 Nightmare

Terry Connor is probably the nicest man in the world of football, but being nice couldn’t manage to achieve any success for him. When former manager, Mick McCarthy left, Connor moved up into his position. It was supposed to be a great stride forward in his career but ended in disaster. The Wolves didn’t manage to win a single one of 13 games played. Four draws brought them at least an average point score of 0.31. At the end of the season, the Wolves had only 25 points and moved back into Championship, and Connor moved back into the role of assistant manager.

Mick McCarthy Did It Twice at Sunderland

Sunderland stood under the unsuccessful management of McCarthy twice. First during the 2003 season and then again during 2005/06. At the end of the season, Sunderland had two wins behind their name from 37 games played. Their average score places McCarthy in the third position with 0.27 points.

Paul Jewell Couldn’t Bring Derby Around

In 2007/08, Jewell had the task to manage the losing Derby team into success. They were a recently promoted team struggling in the league. Unfortunately for Derby and Jewell, the only acknowledgement they could manage to receive during the season was for lowest points scored in history. From 24 games played they lost 19. A draw on five gives them an average score of 0.21.

Crystal Palace Did It Again with Frank de Boer

The winner of the award for worst performance as Premier League manager is without a doubt belonging to Frank De Boer. De Boer tried to bring Crystal Palace’s playing strategies to a new level, but the team was just not experienced enough. Leaving them with four losses from four games and De Boer getting sacked. This made him the only manager ever to leave English management with zero points to his name.

Soccer Stars Warming the Hearts of the World

In a world where a little kindness goes a long way, soccer stars surely warmed the hearts of their fans recently. Nothing generates greater feelings of love and admiration towards these stars as when a little kindness is shown to a starry-eyed kid. This is precisely what two soccer heroes did, making news this past week and great moments in sports are sometimes due to showing kindness and not always about breaking the records.

Mackenzie O’Neill

Mackenzie O’Neill is an 11-year-old soccer fan, growing up in the Southeast of England. While on holiday with his family at the Jumby Bay Island Resort in Antigua, he was playing soccer on the sand. An ordinary activity for a young soccer fan. This was, however, turning out to be the best holiday of his life this far. For a while busy kicking his ball, he was winked over by an adult who wanted to join in the play. The young goalkeeper couldn’t believe his eyes when this man was none other than Lionel Messi himself. Being asked by this Argentinian soccer star to play ended up to be a repeated event over the next few days.

Messi, who is playing as forward and is the captain of both the Argentinian National team as well as Barcelona, clearly enjoyed seeing his children play with O’Neill. Hence the Messi family, Lionel and his seven-year-old son, Thiago, joined O’Neill regularly for some soccer on the beach. Messi is also the father of the four-year-old Mateo and one-year-old Ciro. O’Neill shared his precious moments with the Messi family on Instagram, showing not only a picture of him with the star but also a video clip of the fun the three of them had on the beach.

Joseph Tidd

Another moment in soccer which touched the hearts of the world happened to the 22-month-old Joseph Tidd. Tidd is a toddler from Florida who was born without a forearm on his left arm. His moment of greatness came when Carson Picket, playing for Orlando Pride, noticed them cheering in the crowd. She is also born with a partially developed left arm. She took a moment to run over to the family where little Joseph was in his daddy’s arms and repeatedly “fist-pumped” with him, both using their left arms. Joseph’s mom captured the bump, and since it happened, the picture went viral.

The moment when Joseph realized that they have the same kind of arms, his entire face lit up. According to his mother, Joseph is very comfortable with his arm and is always telling stories explaining why he doesn’t have a complete sleeve. The Tidd family initially noticed Picket when they saw her playing for the Seattle Reign. In the meantime, she moved over to playing for Pride. When the Tidd’s heard that they are going to play near their home in Florida, they got No.16 Picket jerseys and were there to cheer her on.

Bold Predictions in Football Over the Next Few Years

Things occur so quickly in the world of football that bold predictions are tough to create. However, we always accept a challenge when it comes to football. With that in mind, let’s take a look at things that will, positively, absolutely happen in the world of European football over the next few years.

Neymar Signs with Manchester United

At the moment, the saga that seems to never end with the potential return of Neymar to Barcelona is taking way too long for it to occur. However, he needs to leave PSG, but where exactly does he go? He essentially requires a club with lots of money with absolutely no clear plan, and who is incredibly desperate. The only club that comes to mind is Manchester United.

Klopp Walks Away from Liverpool

When Klopp’s contract ends at Liverpool in 2022, he will be with the Reds for seven years. This is a manager that never overstays his welcome, as evident by his stay at both Borussia Dortmund and Mainz where he also spent a total of seven years. He departed from both clubs as a superhero and looked to do the same at Liverpool in a few years. The only reason he would stay is that Liverpool hasn’t claimed the Premier League yet. However, this is possible because of Pep Guardiola Will Leave Manchester City

Manchester City is currently under suspicion of breaching regulations surrounding financial fair play, and if they are found guilty by UEFA on a single charge, the team will be banned from the Champions League. It seems like Guardiola only manages under optimal situations and therefore we expect that he will leave the club if they are unable to perform at the most elite level in football.

Mourinho Will Become Manager of Bayern Munich

Even though the achievements by Guardiola was derailed with Bayern Munich at Bundesliga, Germany. It is the only achievement that is missing from the bedpost in Jose Mourinho’s home. Although the team managed to claim the title last season, the current manager was not convincing enough. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a shock when he gets sacked only to be replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Inter Millan Stops Juventus

Juventus has managed to win a total of 8 Serie A titles consecutively. However, their incredible run needs to come to an end eventually, and it looks like it will be this season if the methods from Maurizio Sarri doesn’t take quick enough. Napoli seems to be the team that is up for the challenge. However, Inter Millan has appointed a steely-eyed winner thanks to Antonio Conte. Who on earth would bet against him?

Suarez to Leave Barcelona in 2020

Suarez has declined in recent years, and Barcelona is well aware of this fact. They need to move on from this forward and soon. With the appointment of Antoine Griezmann, it looks like he will leave in the middle of the 2020 season.

Struggling Footballers Trapped by Inflated Contracts

Some of the most significant moves during the transfer window this summer are taking a very long time to be completed, and the primary reason for this is due to the size of the contracts that are involved. Which player is the most difficult to move and which of them are overpaid at this point in their careers? With that in mind, let’s take a look at the players that have bloated contracts, making them impossible to move during the transfer window this summer.

Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United managed to take a massive punt on the football player from Chile, a punt that has led to sailing wide and high into the crowd, with Alexis Sanchez not justifying his £350,000 wage per week, nevermind the bonus of £70,000 and plenty of other clauses that he is currently cashing in on. In today’s day and age, it’s difficult to imagine what performance would look like to justify that kind of income. Even in the world of football, it’s a bloated salary, which makes it impossible to move the player from Old Trafford.

Mesut Ozil

Arsenal fell extremely hard when they decided to sign Mesut Ozil into the team. After they landed, the team also dug a massive hole and covered themselves in the sand with this transfer. In 2018, Mesut Ozil signed a contract that gives him £350,000 every single week. However, he is rarely on the pitch in recent months and doesn’t do anything significant on the field when he gets the opportunity to play for Arsenal. How on earth can the club get out of this bizarre transfer with a salary that high, draining all the money from the club for nothing?


When you look at all of Neymar’s problems, you would agree that his salary is far down on the list. His attitude towards teamwork and not arriving for training is pretty much his most significant problems. However, there would be plenty of football teams that would gladly take Neymar from PSG if the price tag was a bit more reasonable. Neymar currently makes £775,000 every week, and the only club that can match that salary is Barcelona. However, Barcelona will only pay £40 million for the player along with two other players to receive Neymar.

Gareth Bale

The footballer that managed to score in two finals of the Champions League has loads of reason to be annoyed at Real Madrid when it comes to his current treatment. He is unable to do anything right at the moment. There’s also a lack of integration within the dressing room, and his country is more focused on the bad instead of the good he has done at Bernabeu. However, in 2016, when he signed a £350,000 per week deal for the next six years, doesn’t help his situation at the moment. This is the main reason why Bale is still at Real Madrid. No one can take this player even though Real Madrid wants to get rid of him.