Featured Matches
Previous
Arsenal
Besiktas
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Napoli
3
1
ESPNDeportes FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 2
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Copenhagen
4
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 7 - 2
Game Details
Aston Villa
Leyton Orient
0
1
FT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sunderland
0
3
FT
Game Details
Stoke City
Portsmouth
3
0
FT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Queens Park Rangers
1
0
FT
Game Details
Arsenal
Besiktas
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Napoli
3
1
ESPNDeportes FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 2
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Copenhagen
4
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 7 - 2
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Steaua Bucuresti
1
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Malmo FF
SV Salzburg
3
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 2
Game Details
Aston Villa
Leyton Orient
0
1
FT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sunderland
0
3
FT
Game Details
Bradford City
Leeds United
2
1
FT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Queens Park Rangers
1
0
FT
Game Details
Stoke City
Portsmouth
3
0
FT
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
DC United
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
León
Herediano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Municipal
Pachuca
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cobresal
General Díaz
1
2
LIVE 76'
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 4
Game Details
Independiente Terán
Trujillanos
0
0
LIVE 79'
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Libertad
Nacional Potosí
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
River Plate
Universidad Católica
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Internacional
Bahia
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Deportivo La Guaira
2:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Barcelona
2:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Atletico Rafaela
Newell's Old Boys
2
3
FT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
0
1
FT
Game Details
River Plate
Defensa y Justicia
3
0
FT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Boca Juniors
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
U.A.N.L
1
0
LIVE 36'
Game Details
Morelia
Celaya
1
0
ESPNDeportes LIVE 25'
Game Details
Oaxaca
Chiapas
0
0
LIVE 9'
Game Details
Atlas
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Mérida
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Zacatepec
Guadalajara
ESPNDeportes 2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
América RN
Atletico Paranaense
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Santa Rita
5
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Botafogo
Ceará
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bragantino
Corinthians
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
Flamengo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Palmeiras
Atlético MG
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
LDU Quito
Deportivo Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Seoul
Pohang Steelers
0
0
FT-Pens
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0FC Seoul win 3-0 on penalties
Game Details
Guangzhou Evergrande
Western Sydney Wanderers
2
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Amazulu
Bloem Celtic
0
2
FT
Game Details
Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates
0
3
FT
Game Details
Pretoria Univ
Free State Stars
0
1
FT
Game Details
Silver Stars
Kaizer Chiefs
0
2
FT
Game Details
SuperSport United
Mpumalanga Black Aces
1
2
FT
Game Details
Saprissa
Santos
Postp
Game Details
Carmelita
Club Sport Uruguay
2
0
FT
Game Details
Cartagines
Perez Zeledon
Postp
Postponed - now being played Sun, Aug 31
Game Details
Antigua
Marquense
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Petapa
Coatepeque
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vida
Marathon
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

Serie A season preview: AS Roma

AS Roma 7 hours ago
Read
May 6, 2009

Arnesen lands a move upstairs

Football is a results business and for those players and managers who fail to deliver the door marked "exit" beckons. Nowhere is that more true than at the very top of the game where the stakes are highest and patience a rare commodity.

Therefore there was considerable surprise last week when it was revealed that Frank Arnesen, Chelsea's chief scout and director of youth development, was to be given a seat on the board and a rolling 12-month contract, effectively installing him as a permanent member of staff.

It is a remarkable reversal of fortunes for Arnesen who just six months ago was thought to be on the verge of being dismissed after failing to bring a single player from Chelsea's youth system through to the first team, three-and-a-half years after being tasked with overhauling the club's youth structure and worldwide scouting network.

With club owner Roman Abramovich less than impressed with the negligible return for his multi-million pound talent-spotting investment, Arnesen's future and that of his expensive project did not look good.

The 52-year-old Dane, who earns around £2m-a-year, joined the club on a four-year contract from Tottenham Hotspur in 2005 amid considerable acrimony which resulted in Spurs receiving a mighty £5m in compensation.

A former Danish international, Arnesen enjoyed great success as a player in the 1970s and 80s with both Ajax and PSV, winning the Dutch title six times and the European Cup. He still is held in high regard in the Netherlands, where many credit him with unearthing Dutch players including Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and Arjen Robben.

It was that reputation which led to a job offer at Stamford Bridge, but despite the vast financial resources available to him Arnesen's youth set-up is regarded as an unqualified failure.

In November, as a credit crunch-wary Abramovich re-evaluated his spending at Chelsea, many expected Arnesen to be relieved of his duties six months before his contract was due to expire. But even after swingeing cutbacks which saw the club sack 15 of their 25 scouts, Arnesen remained.

Despite the undeniable and ongoing disappointment over his primary scouting and youth policy objectives, Arnesen has managed to reinvent himself and in the two seasons since Jose Mourinho's departure has established himself in position of considerable power influence.

The culmination of his increased involvement in first-team matters and transfer policy is his promotion to the "football club board", a body which was formed just prior to Mourinho's departure in 2007 in an attempt to streamline a decision-making process which had grown unwieldy thanks to the myriad of often contradictory advice Abramovich was being offered.

And so, three years after taking his position and with no standout success stories in youth development, scouting or indeed transfer business, Arnesen now sits within the club's inner sanctum, alongside chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Peter Kenyon, with a direct influence over the club's strategy.

The moral of the story appears to be, if you aren't enjoying much success at the job you're doing start doing a different one and perhaps no-one will notice.


In a statement which seems remarkably out of step with the general consensus over sensible business practise in the current economic climate, the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) has defended clubs with massive and ever-increasing levels of debt.

Professor Jose Maria Gay from the University of Barcelona has produced a report which shows that the combined debt of the 20 clubs in Spain's top league rose by more than €650m in the 12 months to June 2008, at which point it stood at €3.5bn.

Gay has warned that the Spanish game is at risk of financial collapse unless spending and borrowing are brought in line with what they can afford and argues that such is the negligence of the LFP and its counterparts at the Spanish FA (RFEF) that intervention from either the Spanish government or UEFA was need to prevent disaster.

In response to the professor's reasoned concern and sage counsel an LFP source told Reuters: "Debt is an instrument of financial and economic management that all companies in all corporate sectors make use of. It's rather shocking that the concept of debt, when applied to soccer clubs, has such extremely negative connotations, something that is not the case in any other sector."

It is perfectly true, of course, that borrowing is a legitimate means of funding expansion, but over-reliance on it is potentially hazardous if not carefully monitored and correctly managed, something which is especially true with regards to the Spanish game were debt levels are so high.

The report showed that Real Madrid had the largest debt with €563m euros, followed by city rivals Atletico with €511m and Valencia with €502m, while Barcelona owed €438m.

Such are the levels of debt at Valencia that a fire sale of star players like David Villa and David Silva is likely this summer, despite the club agree a new €65m loan last month. Before that latest line of credit was agreed the club had been forced to suspend building work on a new stadium and delay wage payments.

The LFP did say that it would be "prudent and advisable" to limit borrowing, the comments appeared more an apologetic explanation for dangerous levels of debt than an acceptance of a genuine problem.

While it would be unrealistic to expect the league to speak out against its own clubs, or risk spreading a panic, instead choosing to downplay a serious problem will only fuel concerns amongst worried supporters that those charged with ensuring the continued health of the game are gambling with their future.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.