Featured Matches
Previous
Manchester City
Liverpool
(1) 2
(3) 2
FT-Pens
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
1
3
FT
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
0
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
4
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Aktobe Lento
Steaua Bucuresti
2
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Qarabag
SV Salzburg
2
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Apoel Nicosia
2
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
0
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Partizan Belgrade
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Standard Liege
Panathinaikos
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AaB
Dinamo Zagreb
0
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
NK Maribor
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
4
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
1
3
FT
Game Details
Chesterfield
Aston Villa
3
1
FT
Game Details
Hartlepool United
Middlesbrough
0
2
FT
Game Details
Walsall
Leicester City
2
3
FT
Game Details
York City
Nottingham Forest
1
2
FT
Game Details
Bury
Blackburn Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Chester City
Tranmere Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Peterborough United
Charlton Athletic
0
0
FT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Yeovil Town
1
2
FT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bolton Wanderers
1
2
FT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Newcastle United
0
1
FT
Game Details
Southend United
Queens Park Rangers
0
0
FT
Game Details
St Neots Town
Luton XI
0
0
FT
Game Details
DC United
Toronto FC
3
0
FT
Game Details
New England
Colorado
3
0
FT
Game Details
Chicago
Vancouver Whitecaps
0
0
LIVE HT
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls
1
0
ESPN2 LIVE 20'
Game Details
Bolívar
San Lorenzo
0
0
LIVE 53'
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 5
Game Details
At. San Luis
Santos
2
1
LIVE 48'
Game Details
Mérida
Toluca
0
0
LIVE 68'
Game Details
Morelia
Necaxa
1
0
LIVE 63'
Game Details
Veracruz
Oaxaca
1
1
LIVE 55'
Game Details
Atlas
Dorados de Sinaloa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Puebla
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Atlante
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Novo Hamburgo
ABC
2
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
CR Vasco da Gama
AA Ponte Preta
1
0
LIVE 32'
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Bragantino
São Paulo
0
1
LIVE 26'
Leg 1
Game Details
Internacional
Ceará
0
0
LIVE 31'
Leg 1
Game Details
Manchester City
Liverpool
(1) 2
(3) 2
FT-Pens
Game Details
Los Caimanes
César Vallejo
1
0
FT
Game Details
UTC
Juan Aurich
3
1
FT
Game Details
Universitario de Deportes
Real Garcilaso
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
0
1
FT
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Antigua
Municipal
1
1
FT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
FC Kansas City
2
1
FT
Game Details
Houston Dash
Seattle Reign FC
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
Aug 20, 2011

How Harry got to the A-League

The Harry Kewell-to-Melbourne Victory deal - perhaps the biggest signing of any Australian football code - started with dinner at a Melbourne restaurant in June.

It ended with a phone call to Victory coach Mehmet Durakovic on Friday night - more than two months later.

"Mehm, it's Harry Kewell. I've just agreed, I'm coming to Melbourne Victory."

In between were negotiations as complex as the final deal reached - driven by Kewell's agent Bernie Mandic and eventually parked successfully by the Victory's fledgling board.

Kewell, Mandic, Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro and board member Robert Belteki first sat down to eat at a restaurant in bayside St Kilda as the Socceroo and his agent visited Melbourne on business.

There they would discuss a unique deal.

The 32-year-old would play for a base salary, plus a big cut of any revenue he brought to the club in terms of memberships, jersey sales and sponsorships.

A baseline would be agreed using previous year's figures.

Above that, Kewell would get 80 per cent of the rest.

No one knows exactly how much Kewell will earn. It is a deal with no bottom line, a deal no one can yet put a figure on.

But with the cheapest Victory memberships costing $190, 10,000 extra memberships sold off the back of Kewell's decision to link with the club would net him a cool $1.5 million to kick off.

Because Kewell is a marquee player - all his wages sit outside the salary cap.

So basically he can earn whatever the Victory are prepared to pay him for the privilege.

The upside for Kewell, the Victory and the A-League is massive.

In terms of world soccer fame, the A-League's previous big-names Robbie Fowler and Dwight Yorke had Kewell covered.

But in Australia, Kewell's public reach stretches far beyond the competition's two previous top marquee signings and far beyond soccer fans.

Kewell isn't just talent with a ball at his feet.

He's the most instantly recognisable footballer of any code Australia-wide.

A filthy rich, good-looking, leather-jacketed, designer-stubbled, Australian-made-good overseas, capable of inciting media hysteria wherever he goes in this country.

For all its faults and failings, soccer in Australia transcends the state lines of AFL, NRL and rugby union.

Instantly that gives Kewell a broader church of appeal than Gary Ablett, Darren Lockyer or Quade Cooper.

Those who don't even necessarily follow sport - and that includes a sizeable contingent of red-blooded females - will now take more than a passing interest in the A-League and the Victory because Kewell is here.

And he has never played senior club soccer in Australia, having been whisked to England to play for Leeds United as a teenager on his way to a 15-year career in Europe.

All is good news for Australian soccer, and good news for a competition which desperately needs a kick-start.

The knock on Kewell throughout his career has been a plague of injuries.

His groin threatened to send him into early retirement during his stint with Liverpool, and his biggest injury battles seem to coincide with the Socceroos' biggest on-field battles.

Harry-watch - the playful nickname given to the media speculation on Kewell and his latest ailment - has dominated the Socceroos' preparations at the last two World Cup finals.

Yet the reality is Kewell has been a far better ambassador for Australian soccer than many will have you believe.

He has played injured and sick for his country, and even when battling an injury has always attempted to make himself available when the Socceroos needed him.

How Kewell is received around the league - especially in his home town of Sydney which he has shunned to join the Victory - will be the biggest sub-plot of the most anticipated of the A-League's seven seasons.

The deal wasn't done without angst and plenty of false starts which have tested fans' patience.

A promotional side deal with Football Federation Australia threatened to derail things, as well as a battle over image rights, and potential Kewell third-party agreements with sponsors in direct opposition to the FFA's big three - Hyundai, Qantas and Optus.

There was also Mandic's claim on Melbourne radio the deal was dead - saying Kewell wanted a 30-70 cut (that's 70 for Kewell) of away gate receipts.

Goodwill for Kewell was shredded by that.

But hopefully all will be forgiven, the protracted negotiations forgotten, and the big picture focused on.

As Di Pietro said when announcing Kewell's three-year deal: "Football in Australia is now a mainstream sport. This now elevates us to the next level.

"Harry Kewell is an iconic sporting superstar in Australia, and he's coming back when he can deliver something very special to this sport in this country."

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.