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SBD Global/May 22, 2013/International FootballPrint All
Premier League attendances for '12-13 "have shown an increase of nearly 4% on the previous season," according to the BBC. The average attendance for a game in England's top flight was 35,975, up from 34,601 in '11-12. The official figures "show crowds have fluctuated across Europe, with Barcelona's average gate down by more than 9,000, an 11% drop." Attendances at Inter Milan have fallen by more than 3,000, but new German champions Bayern Munich have seen an average increase of around 2,000. The Scottish Premier League's average attendance fell by 28%, from 13,855 to 10,020, although that figure "was skewed by the liquidation of Rangers, which reformed in the Scottish Third Division." Celtic was one of six SPL clubs whose attendance fell last season, with average crowds dropping from 50,904 to 46,917 (BBC, 5/20).
'12-13 ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE ATTENDANCE
HOME TEAMGMSTOTALAVG.% CAP.PREV.% +/-GMS ('11-12) Manchester United191,435,06375,53099.7%75,3870.2%19 Arsenal191,141,50760,07999.5%60,0000.1%19 Newcastle19959,82650,51796.4%49,9361.2%19 Manchester City19892,50646,97499.1%47,045-0.2%19 Liverpool19850,22444,74998.8%44,2531.1%19 Chelsea19787,78641,46299.2%41,4780.0%19 Sunderland19770,34440,54483.2%39,0953.7%19 Everton19690,76336,35691.9%33,2289.4%19 Tottenham Hotspur19685,26636,06799.4%36,0260.1%19 Aston Villa19666,13535,06081.9%33,8733.5%19 West Ham United*19659,67734,72099.2%n/an/an/a Southampton*19586,60230,87494.4%n/an/an/a Stoke City19511,33726,91297.0%27,226-1.2%19 Norwich City19506,76226,67298.0%26,6060.2%19 Fulham19482,49225,39498.8%25,2930.4%19 West Bromwich19481,83825,36095.9%24,7982.3%19 Reading*19453,37823,86298.6%n/an/an/a Swansea City19387,03720,37098.2%19,9462.1%19 Wigan Athletic19367,82719,35977.0%18,6343.9%19 Queens Park Rangers19337,80817,77996.4%17,2952.8%19 EPL TOTALS38013,654,17835,93295.1%34,6013.8%380
NOTES: * = Played in lower level Football League Championship last season, so no comparison made. Clubs that were relegated following the '11-12 season were Blackburn, Bolton and Wolverhampton, whose statistics are included in the '11-12 EPL figures. QPR, Reading and Wigan Athletic will be relegated for the '13-14 season.
After the official announcement that José Mourinho will be leaving Real Madrid, Spanish newspapers "have roundly accused him of failing at Real Madrid as they jeered his three-year reign at the Bernabeu and his failure to win more silverware," according to the London TELEGRAPH. Marca ran "The Special End" as its front page headline, and AS's said, "Much ado about nothing." The sports daily said, "€50M in contracts and another €162M in player signings. Mourinho left us with few titles and a lot of hassles." El Mundo's Orfeo Suarez wrote, "Thanks, Mou, for making us worse." Barcelona-based sports daily Mundo Deportivo said, "He leaves the Bernabeu having failed, a long way from equaling the balance except for some occasional one-on-one clashes" (TELEGRAPH, 5/21).
FANS: MOU 'INSUFFICIENT': MARCA reported more than 90,000 people voted in a Marca poll asking them to describe Mourinho's tenure. Of eight categories, from "insufficient" to "outstanding," 40% considered Mourinho's efforts insufficient, with 22% considering it "very lacking." Twelve percent "approved" and 6% voted that he was "outstanding" (MARCA, 5/21).
BARCELONA VP CRITICAL: FOOTBALL ESPAÑA reported Barcelona VP Carles Vilarrubi "reacted with relief at seeing Real Madrid announce Mourinho's departure at the end of the season" Vilarrubi: "I said this three years ago through other means and now that he is no longer coach I can repeat what I thought then, that Mourinho would be a scourge on Spanish football. Now he no longer is. Seeing him leave is positive for Spanish football because he did not make for a positive climate" (FOOTBALL ESPAÑA, 5/21).
PÉREZ: 'NOT A FAILURE': FOOTBALL ESPAÑA also reported Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez insisted that Mourinho's tenure was not "a failure." Pérez: "We have reached an agreement with Mourinho to terminate his contract at the end of the season. With Mourinho we have taken a major step forward. Today Real Madrid is in a good place. We wish him luck in his career" (FOOTBALL ESPAÑA, 5/20).
After confirming that José Mourinho is stepping down as coach of Real Madrid, club President Florentino Pérez announced that he will run for re-election on June 16, according to MARCA. Pérez: "I don't know if there will be another candidate. There has always been at least one other, except in the last ones. It might be healthier if there were more than one candidate" (MARCA, 5/20). REUTERS' Iain Rogers reported Pérez's "record as Real Madrid president was under scrutiny on Tuesday" after his "latest coaching project ended in disarray" with the premature departure of Mourinho. The "world's richest club by income finished their latest campaign without a major title, surrendering their La Liga crown to arch rivals Barcelona," losing in the semifinals of the Champions League for the third season in a row and falling 2-1 to Atlético Madrid in last week's Copa del Rey final. Mourinho was the eighth coach Pérez has hired during two stints as president -- from '00-05 and from '09 to the present -- during which time around €700M of the club's money "has been spent on players" (REUTERS, 5/21).
FLORENTINO IN FIGURES: In Madrid, Rubén Jiménez wrote that an examination of Pérez "shows that he has invested almost €860M in the transfer market to win just 10 trophies over the last 10 years." Each "piece of silverware has cost an average of €86M, a crazy amount considering the nature of the haul achieved: just one Champions League, three 'La Liga' titles, one Spanish Cup, three Spanish Super Cups, one UEFA Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup." Pérez "has employed almost as many coaches as he has won trophies. Eight managers have been and gone during the current Real Madrid president's two mandates." His "most successful period to date came under the man already installed in the 'Los Blancos' hotseat, Vicente Del Bosque" (MARCA, 5/21).
CALDERÓN CRITICAL: SPORT reported former Real Madrid President Ramón Calderón has criticized Pérez via Twitter. Calderón said on Twitter, "Pérez's speech demonstrates that intelligent people can lose their minds and their senses of reality. Or will it be that very rich people are so poor that they only have money? He has lost his head: 7 years, €800M, 45 players, 8 coaches for 1 Liga and 1 Copa del Rey, but we have elevated the athletic level. We are much better than Palencia" (SPORT, 5/21).
POLL REVEALS SUPPORT: In a poll on AS's website, 59% of 36,854 voters answered "yes" to the question, "Is Florentino a good president for Real Madrid?" (AS, 5/20).
The Japanese football calendar could be due for a huge shakeup in '14, "with the Emperor's Cup final being moved to December and the J. League possibly going back to the two-stage system it abandoned nine years ago," according to KYODO. The Japan FA decided on Monday to organize next season's Emperor's Cup final -- traditionally held on New Year's Day -- "on Dec. 13 to give national team players ample rest for the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia, which starts Jan. 9." The game will also be moved away from Tokyo's National Stadium. The venue, "which must have a minimum capacity of 30,000, will be decided later this year." There are calls to revert to the two-stage system "with hopes of driving up attendance and soliciting new sponsors." The idea will be on the table at a June meeting of the league's exec committee, "made up of the 40 club presidents in J1 and J2" (KYODO, 5/21).
Thailand's sports authority "has threatened to intervene if the country's football association fails to hold its presidential elections by the middle of July." Last week, the FA of Thailand postponed its June 15 polls "to align itself with a new FIFA charter which will be ratified at a general meeting of the world governing body on May 31 in Mauritius." The sports authority, however, said that it "would not allow the elections to be delayed beyond July 16" (REUTERS, 5/21). ... Indonesian football is in “such a mess” that nothing will be done to address the issue of unruly crowds at int'l games despite the country being fined $15,000. Indonesian FA senior official Rudolf Yesayas said, “Football management in Indonesia is in such a mess at the moment, we aren’t able to do anything about things like this. We have much bigger problems” (AFP, 5/21).