30
May

Cinderella-esque Spanish team buys Barcelona’s unused confetti

When Barcelona took on Atletico Madrid in the final La Liga match of the 2013-14 season, they bought red and blue confetti to prepare for a potential league win. As we all know now, they in fact lost the league to Atletico, so all that celebratory paper was going to go to waste. 

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The 2013-14 team picture for Eibar. (Twitter: @sd_eibar)

In comes Eibar, a Spanish team that has won two promotions in two years, and clinched promotion from the Segunda Division to La Liga next season. However, because of recently introduced financial regulations, the club cannot be promoted unless they raise 1.7 million euros by August 6. Ouch.

They’ve done everything possible to help hit this number, including selling individual shares online for 50 euros. But the small-town club still have a ways to go, so they’ve taken all possible cost-cutting measures to help with the fundraising, including purchasing Barcelona’s unused confetti at a deep discount:

imageEibar’s colors just so happen to be the same as Barca’s (Image: Getty).

The confetti would’ve gone bad — apparently, it lumps together when unused — so Barca was happy to unload it for a small fee.

Good luck in your quest for promotion, Eibar. We’re rooting for you.

(Via abc.es)

3
May

Reading fans invade pitch wrongly thinking they clinched promotion playoff spot

imageThe Reading fans’ joy lasted for only a few moments. (Image: Reuters)

Well, that’s a bit embarrassing …

Heading into Saturday’s final round of games, Championship side Reading were in a battle with Brighton over the final playoff spot for Premier League promotion. Thanks to a 2-2 draw against Burnley, all Reading needed was for Brighton to not beat Nottingham Forest and the playoff spot would’ve been theirs.

Unfortunately, just then a rumor spread through the crowd that Forest notched a late equalizer, seemingly giving Reading the result they needed. Ecstatic, hundreds of fans invaded the pitch to celebrate. But elation quickly turned into stunned silence once those fans realized that Brighton had, in fact, held on for the win. Stupid cell phone reception!

As upsetting as this must have been for Reading fans, it could have been exponentially worse. Just ask Schalke fans.

On the final day of the 2001 Bundesliga season, Schalke’s players, staff and fans were celebrating their first title in over 40 years, unaware that Bayern Munich, who were losing away to Hamburg, were still playing deep in stoppage time needing only a goal to tie, and thus, steal the title from Schalke in the final seconds. It happened, and the heartbreak was incomparable.

Watch (unless you’re a Schalke fan):

H/T Deadspin

18
Apr

Brentford gain promotion to Championship, both fans and players go nuts

League One side Brentford FC needed all the stars to align to secure promotion to the Championship on Friday.

First, they had to beat Preston North End. Check:

Next, they needed both Leyton Orient and Rotherham to lose. Orient’s match ended just before the Bees won, so that result was secure.

But could Wolverhampton beat Rotherham? This video contains that answer pretty definitively:

And of course, no promotion would be complete without emotional fans letting it all out on the pitch:

Finally, after all was said and done in the Bees’ 2013-14 season, the players went down to the pub to celebrate with their loyal supporters. Party on, y’all. You deserve it!

Congratulations Brentford. It’s been a long time since you’ve been in the Championship — more than two decades — so enjoy while it lasts.

14
Feb

Belgian club offers fans chance to go on a date with supermodel

Still looking for a Valentine? Yeah, same here…

Well, there’s still hope. If you’re incredibly charming and can afford a quick trip over to Europe, you could still go on a date with a former Miss Belgium!

Pro League side Zulte Waregem are staging a competition to win a date with Belgian model Joke van de Velde. According to the Daily Mail, one lucky fan will receive a pair of VIP tickets to the club’s home match vs Cercle Brugge on Saturday.

Ah, what could be better than spending a cold night in February watching Belgian football, cuddling up to a model?! 

Van de Velde is a famous face in Belgium and won the country’s top  pageant back in 2000. That might be 14 years ago, but she still looks like this:

imageImage via Daily Mail

So yeah, get your submissions in.

H/T Dirty Tackle

16
Jun

Lecce ultras invade pitch after team misses promotion to Serie B

US Lecce has seen some rough times. After being relegated from Serie A two years ago, Lecce was forced down to Italy’s third division due to the club’s involvement in 2011’s Italian match-fixing scandal

Having bounced between Serie A and B for the past three decades, you can imagine that the Lecce faithful weren’t particularly happy playing in the lower tiers, and the fans’ anger boiled over after losing the promotion playoffs to Serie B against Capri this weekend.

Once the full-time whistle blew, Lecce ultras invaded the pitch and began causing havoc, kicking stewards and throwing objects down the players’ tunnel. According to reports, Lecce fans later burned a police SUV outside the stadium as well.

19
May

Premier League, Surviving on top: Part Three

In the final segment of our examination of the history and impact of relegation from the Premier League, we focus on the financial difficulties of relegated clubs.

Along with money lost from television deals, teams also lose significant money from lack of sponsorship income and a historically lowered attendance. To combat this, teams are given parachute payments.

Every year, teams receive payments based on how many years they have been a victim of relegation. The payments gets smaller each year and stay at a fixed level after year 4 of relegation.

In total, teams that have been relegated average a loss of $71,000,000 the year after relegation. Nine clubs have actually gone bankrupt within 5 years of being relegated.

18
May

Premier League, Surviving on Top: Part two

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In part two of our examination of the history and impact of relegation from the Premier League, we take a look at the statistical odds and financial impact for each club.

There is still hope for recently-relegated Wigan, Reading, and QPR. Clubs that are relegated to the Championship have a 60% chance of returning to the Premier League the following season — though none that were relegated last year made their way back.

For clubs that are promoted to the Premier League, there is an 82% chance that they will be relegated the following year, evidenced by Reading this year. Newly promoted Cardiff City hopes to channel the momentum to make sure that doesn’t happen next year:

The financial implications of relegation cannot be overstated. Next season, Premier League clubs will receive 30 times more yearly revenue from TV rights than teams in the Championship. Just one year of relegation can cripple a team’s finances.

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Tomorrow, we look at the relegation hardships that teams endure, as well as the compensation received to help soften the financial blow. All of this is leading up to FOX Soccer’s coverage of the final Premier League matchday with nine games live on broadcast across the FOX family of networks.

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