Archive for the ‘Betting’ category

Football fans forking out unfair fees

October 25th, 2012
Football fans forking out unfair fees
The BBC has released details of its extensive survey into the price of watching soccer games in the UK [http://www.bet365.com/news/en/betting/football] – and it reveals plenty. However, one over-riding fact stands out – going to watch games on a regular basis is very costly for the average fan.
This is hardly new, however, as most fans will already be aware of how much it can hit them in the pocket if they are planning to follow their side home and away across the whole season. It’s pricey enough for someone to do that on their own but if they wanted to do the same with a partner or young family in tow, it becomes almost scandalously expensive.
Some statistics from the survey, which listed the cheapest and dearest match-day tickets, season-ticket prices and also compared how much a ‘day out’ at the match costs for all 92 League clubs, particularly stand out with various ticket prices for the top Barclay’s Premier League clubs eye-wateringly high [http://www.bet365.com/news/en/betting/football/premier-league/oneill-pleased-for-in-form-fletcher].
For example, Arsenal have the most expensive matchday ticket costing a staggering £126 while the Gunners’ are also guilty of selling the most expensive season ticket at a whopping £1,955. No doubt the north London club will point to the fact that they do also sell some matchday tickets for £26 – very reasonable in the top flight – and their ‘cheapest’ day out’, which includes the price of a programme, pie and cup of tea, is also relatively good value at £34.30.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Chelsea’s ‘cheapest day out’ is the most expensive in the league at £49.60, with Liverpool only marginally behind on £47.70, while so-called smaller clubs like Reading (£45) and Swansea (£42.80) are also expensive for fans to take in on a day trip in the same category.
There are some findings that will please supporters, such as Newcastle offering a cheapest matchday ticket of just £15, while Aston Villa’s is only £5 more expensive. But, on the whole, the survey proves fans are continually being hit in the pocket just to go and watch their side on a regular basis.
The research’s headline finding was that the cheapest adult ticket in the top four divisions of English football has risen by 11.7% – over five times the rate of inflation. Naturally, clubs will defend the figures and many will point to the fact they offer heavy discounted prices for Cup and European games.
But the price to watch the bread and butter – the league games – just keeps on rising and football fans seem to be getting asked to pay unfair sums to follow their team.
The Football Supporters Federation, in the wake of the study, say they fear football fans “being alienated” by rising prices. Again, this is nothing new and many traditional fans, plenty who used to purchase season-tickets on an annual basis, can simply no longer afford to pay the sums of money being asked.
The die-hard fans will say football is no longer a working class game (and hasn’t been for the last 10 years or more) while the different demographic breakdown of the weekly football crowd is affecting the atmospheres at stadiums and helping turn the matchday experience into a soulless, watered-down version of what it used to be.
However, because of the mass appeal of the sport, there will always be other, perhaps wealthier, fans to come in and take the place of those who have decided they can no longer afford it and while the stadiums are, for the most part, full, sadly it seems prices will just continue to rise.

The BBC has released details of its extensive survey into the price of watching soccer games in the UK – and it reveals plenty. However, one over-riding fact stands out – going to watch games on a regular basis is very costly for the average fan.

This is hardly new, however, as most fans will already be aware of how much it can hit them in the pocket if they are planning to follow their side home and away across the whole season. It’s pricey enough for someone to do that on their own but if they wanted to do the same with a partner or young family in tow, it becomes almost scandalously expensive.

Some statistics from the survey, which listed the cheapest and dearest match-day tickets, season-ticket prices and also compared how much a ‘day out’ at the match costs for all 92 League clubs, particularly stand out with various ticket prices for the top Barclays Premier League clubs eye-wateringly high.

For example, Arsenal have the most expensive matchday ticket costing a staggering £126 while the Gunners’ are also guilty of selling the most expensive season ticket at a whopping £1,955. No doubt the north London club will point to the fact that they do also sell some matchday tickets for £26 – very reasonable in the top flight – and their ‘cheapest’ day out’, which includes the price of a programme, pie and cup of tea, is also relatively good value at £34.30.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Chelsea’s ‘cheapest day out’ is the most expensive in the league at £49.60, with Liverpool only marginally behind on £47.70, while so-called smaller clubs like Reading (£45) and Swansea (£42.80) are also expensive for fans to take in on a day trip in the same category.

There are some findings that will please supporters, such as Newcastle offering a cheapest matchday ticket of just £15, while Aston Villa’s is only £5 more expensive. But, on the whole, the survey proves fans are continually being hit in the pocket just to go and watch their side on a regular basis.

The research’s headline finding was that the cheapest adult ticket in the top four divisions of English football has risen by 11.7% – over five times the rate of inflation. Naturally, clubs will defend the figures and many will point to the fact they offer heavy discounted prices for Cup and European games.

But the price to watch the bread and butter – the league games – just keeps on rising and football fans seem to be getting asked to pay unfair sums to follow their team.

The Football Supporters Federation, in the wake of the study, say they fear football fans “being alienated” by rising prices. Again, this is nothing new and many traditional fans, plenty who used to purchase season-tickets on an annual basis, can simply no longer afford to pay the sums of money being asked.

The die-hard fans will say football is no longer a working class game (and hasn’t been for the last 10 years or more) while the different demographic breakdown of the weekly football crowd is affecting the atmospheres at stadiums and helping turn the matchday experience into a soulless, watered-down version of what it used to be.

However, because of the mass appeal of the sport, there will always be other, perhaps wealthier, fans to come in and take the place of those who have decided they can no longer afford it and while the stadiums are, for the most part, full, sadly it seems prices will just continue to rise.

Keep them Coming, Robin

October 5th, 2012
Keep them Coming, Robin
After two more goals on Tuesday night secured another victory for Manchester United and maintained our course for Champions League knockout qualification, in-form striker, Robin van Persie, admitted that he is still not content with his performances.
Speaking in front of a packed media in Romania, Van Persie addressed his recent form since joining United and reflected on how he can improve.
“I am on a good run but I would like to do better,” Van Persie revealed to BBC Sport. “I would like to make more assists than I have. It is not only about goals. I think I am on the way [to settling in well]. I want to make more assists; I have made only one. I would like to improve that.”
United fans already delighted with the Dutchman’s start to his Old Trafford career will no doubt be pleased by the news Robin is looking to create more goals as well as score, but the way he is playing there really is no need to.
Sir Alex brought Van Persie to the club for a specific reason: to score goals. Eight strikes in 10 games proves the boss’ decision to spend £24m on the striker was correct, and it is clear that Robin is there to score rather than assist others.
Ferguson has smartly merged Van Persie into the squad, shifting Wayne Rooney to a deeper role to provide United’s midfield with the requisite bulk needed to stave off tough Premier League opponents.
Robin has proven he can hold the line up front on his own and with Rooney’s precision passing – exemplified in the two assists against Cluj – there is no reason for Van Persie to change his game.
The Dutchman’s prowess in front of goal has lifted United to 121/50 in the odds to win Premier League 2012-13 (http://betting.betfair.com/football/premier-league/). Meanwhile, local rivals, City, have some work to do if they hope to overturn their flagging form (http://betting.betfair.com/football/champions-league/champions-league-mancini-on-a-mission-041012-579.html) in Europe.

After two more goals on Tuesday night secured another victory for Manchester United and maintained our course for Champions League knockout qualification, in-form striker, Robin van Persie, admitted that he is still not content with his performances.

Speaking in front of a packed media in Romania, Van Persie addressed his recent form since joining United and reflected on how he can improve.

“I am on a good run but I would like to do better,” Van Persie revealed to BBC Sport. “I would like to make more assists than I have. It is not only about goals. I think I am on the way [to settling in well]. I want to make more assists; I have made only one. I would like to improve that.”

United fans already delighted with the Dutchman’s start to his Old Trafford career will no doubt be pleased by the news Robin is looking to create more goals as well as score, but the way he is playing there really is no need to.

Sir Alex brought Van Persie to the club for a specific reason: to score goals. Eight strikes in 10 games proves the boss’ decision to spend £24m on the striker was correct, and it is clear that Robin is there to score rather than assist others.

Ferguson has smartly merged Van Persie into the squad, shifting Wayne Rooney to a deeper role to provide United’s midfield with the requisite bulk needed to stave off tough Premier League opponents.

Robin has proven he can hold the line up front on his own and with Rooney’s precision passing – exemplified in the two assists against Cluj – there is no reason for Van Persie to change his game.

The Dutchman’s prowess in front of goal has lifted United to 121/50 in the odds to win Premier League 2012-13. Meanwhile, local rivals, City, have some work to do if they hope to overturn their flagging form in Europe.

Heskey follows Fowler advice

September 28th, 2012

It turns out all that was needed to convince Emile Heskey to move to Newcastle Jets and a new life in Australia was a quiet word with Robbie Fowler.

The former England target man, a favourite of the Premier League betting community, told Fox Sports News he was intrigued by the prospect of sampling culture Down Under once he had spoken with the former Perth Glory and North Queensland marquee signing.

Heskey is best remembered for his first full season with Liverpool when he scored 22 goals in all competitions to help the Merseyside giants collect the treble of the League Cup, FA Cup and Uefa Cup.

Either side of that spell at Anfield he has endured peaks and troughs in front of goal, but Gerard Houllier, Sven Goran Eriksson, Martin O’Neill and Fabio Capello all decided he was worth the plunge.

Now, the 34-year-old is charged with the task of helping Newcastle Jets take that next step forward.

He brings with him a wealth of top-flight experience and, with no language barrier, the transition at which he settles in should not become an obstacle.

He may not bring the swagger and panache of Alessandro del Piero but his contribution could be equally as important.

Jets coach Gary van Egmond has now assembled a young and exciting squad – think James Brown, Josh Brillante, Ben Kantarovski, Adam Taggart and Mitch Cooper – and the arrival of Heskey, viewed as the older head, could turn out to be a shrewd bit of business.

The word in and around the Hunter is that anything less than a top-five position and Finals appearance will be deemed a failure.

Heskey must quickly latch on to that expectation if the Jets are to prosper and achieve success in the AFC Champions League.

Silva set for City stay

September 18th, 2012

Ever since Manchester City were taken over by billionaire Sheik Mansour, every player has had his position in the squad scrutinised. Rumours constantly arise linking apparently disgruntled squad members with big-money moves away from Eastlands yet very rarely do they fully materialise.

One player who has somewhat avoided the City rumour mill is David Silva, who this week penned a new five-year contract with the club, much to the delight of the Manchester City betting community.

The deal comes as just reward for an emphatic breakthrough season last campaign that saw Silva score eight goals and hold down a place in a competitive City squad. The attacking midfielder rocketed City to an early lead in the Premier League and although his goals dried up as the season progressed he remained a fans’ favourite.

Amidst a striking unit of Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez, Silva has held his own and has started the season reasonably well in a City shirt, yet concerns arose nearing transfer deadline day that the Spaniard was set to leave Eastlands after City agreed an £8m for Scott Sinclair.

Thankfully Silva stayed and this new five-year deal proves his commitment to the City cause. Far too often fans and pundits alike call for replacements when the team underperforms and City’s recent 1-1 draw with Stoke City spurned questions over their chances of defending the Premier League title this season.

Yet many punters on Bet Victor believe that constantly bringing in new players is rarely the solution to success in football and Silva’s contract shows manager Roberto Mancini is developing a squad, rather than an amalgamation of superstars.

That era of big spending is over and instead Mancini looks set to secure the future of the stars he’s got rather than swap them for others. Retaining Silva’s services may not boost shirt sales but it will provide profitable to building a team capable of conquering Europe this season.

Moyes confident of building on win

August 23rd, 2012

Everton boss David Moyes is hopeful his side can avoid their traditional early season troubles and make continue their strong start to the new campaign.

The Toffees are famous for their slow starts and have often missed out on European football due to their poor early season form which often sees them at the bottom end of the table following the opening few rounds of fixture.

Their inconsistency has led to Moyes trying a whole host of different methods to change their fortunes and admits he has once again made a number of tweaks to their pre-season preparations over the last couple of months.

However, he believes what will be more significant in the opening months, will be the influx of new stars into his squad following the signings of two potential key players, in Steven Pienaar and Steven Naismith.

The Scottish boss has often struggled to bring fresh blood to Goodison Park in the last few years due to the club’s difficult financial situation.

Everton overcame probably the toughest possible start to the season when they shocked many who bet on sport with a 1-0 win against Manchester United on Monday, but Moyes is confident the new signings can help get his side off to a flyer.

“Over the years we have had many strange starts to the season, mainly not particularly good ones, but you can’t dismiss where we tend to finish,” Moyes told news sport networks.

“Where we tend to finish is where most people and pundits would probably put Everton.

“We will try to get off to a good start and try to be up at the top if we can but the opposition we have got are very hard.

“I was excited with the way we finished last season and I have roughly the same team and that gives me good optimism,” he added.

Hoops Need More than Hughes

August 17th, 2012

Mark Hughes has been busy in the transfer window this summer, with the riches inherited by Queens Park Rangers from owner, Tony Fernandes, but the 48-year-old gaffer does not have what it takes to inspire the Hoops.

Ji-Sung Park, who signed for Rangers from Manchester United for just £2million, has four Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and a Champions League winners medal to his name.

The additions of Rob Green between the sticks, Andrew Johnson, and Junior Hoilett up front, Ryan Nelsen in defence, and Fabio de Silva on loan, demonstrates serious intent from the Londoners.

Bobby Zamora and Djbril Cisse remain on the books, having been brought in last January for a combined £10million, while Samba Diakite has made his loan move permanent.

For a club that finished one point above the drop, they are accumulating big, big names.

The problem for QPR is that the man holding the reigns has not won the fans over and divides the players and media.

‘Mistreated’ at Manchester City, ‘arrogant’ at Fulham, ‘uninspiring’ at Blackburn; the Hughes story is one misfortune to another.

Yet, however you interpret his previous jobs, the former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder is not a man that players and fans warm to.

His dour demeanour and siege mentally, Hughes may be perceived as an antidote to the preying media and negative Premier League news, but it does little for his sides’ moral.

Last season, when Fulham fans chanted “Mark Hughes lacks ambition”, as their side came away from Loftus Road with three points, the taunts rang all too true.

Rangers have assembled a squad that should finish way higher than 17th, but, while Hughes remains at Loftus Road, the club will only move sideways, and not upwards.

Check out the latest on the other relegation candidates on the Bet Victor website, or take the plunge with a West Ham bet.

New Shield venue better for national Community

August 6th, 2012

The opening act to the new season is just a few days away, with Manchester City gearing up to face Chelsea in this year’s FA Community Shield. For the first time in almost four decades, the match will be contested outside Wembley or Cardiff, bringing the football community closer together.

For Villa Park has been penned in to mark this historic occasion, and many fans have suggested a different venue each year would put meaning back into a fixture that is now seen as a pure money-making exercise by the FA.

Although Aston Villa’s stadium may hold just 42,000 spectators – pitiful compared to Wembley’s obscene 90,000 capacity – the benefit of staging this match in the middle of the country far outstrips the financial loss from fan reduction.

For years football fans have had to put up with long distances to watch their team play in finals down south. When the FA developed plans for a new Wembley to be built, there was no consideration of moving ‘The Home of Football’ away from its London suburbia and out into the rest of the country.

Villa Park, on the other hand, is directly where a centrepiece national stadium should be. Both Chelsea and City fans will travel an equal distance, with easy motorway and rail access in and out of the midlands.

It is a far cry from Wembley, where Liverpool and Everton fans suffered the frustration of a failed rail network and heaving motorways just last season.

Add the transport problems to the fact Wembley has turned into a soulless, corporate, Ikea flat-pack mega mall, and it’s easy to see why fans will prefer the humble, characteristic and atmospheric surroundings of Villa Park.

This season’s Community Shield will bring an identity back to football. The passion, the desire, the victory songs will be felt far more within the four walls of Villa Park, compared to the community-absent Wembley Superdome.

The new Premier League football season is fast approaching. Check out the latest story: Paris St-Germain threaten to secure Man United target

And click here to gain a further insight into the season ahead.

Bellamy confident of chances

August 3rd, 2012

Craig Bellamy believes Team GB will only continue to improve after making it through to the quarter-finals of the men’s Olympic football competition thanks to a 1-0 win over Uruguay.

Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal of the game at the Millennium Stadium as Stuart Pearce’s men held firm against a strong second half onslaught from their South American opponents.

The resilience within the side was made even more remarkable due to the incredible progress the squad has made since their demoralising 2-0 defeat to Brazil in the build-up to the games.

The doubts surrounding Team GB were compounded when they could only draw with Senegal in their opening fixture but they have since come on leaps and bounds, with some impressive live scores results, convincingly beating the United Arab Emirates 3-1, before overcoming the Uruguayans.

They will now go on to face South Korea in the quarter-finals with a potential opportunity for revenge against Brazil awaiting them in the last four.

Bellamy, who has played a key role in their transformation, says the side are now overflowing with confidence and believes they can go on to claim Olympic gold, with punters gambling online  equally confident.

“We just met two weeks ago, and the aim was to gel and try to get a style of play,” he told reporters. “We’ve been trying to cram it in and we knew that with games, if we could just get out of this group, we’d give ourselves a good chance of improving as a team.

“We’ve had two weeks of pre-season and all of a sudden we’re asked to play tournament football.

“It’s difficult, but we’re lucky we’ve got legs, we’ve got energy, which has helped us a lot, but we’ve got quality as well, and it’s coming out in abundance at the moment,” he added.

De Bruyne Ready to make Impact

July 17th, 2012

Kevin de Bruyne has made it clear that he is looking forward to making an impact in the Chelsea first-team, after linking up with his new teammates, following his arrival from Genk.

The Belgian midfielder signed for Chelsea last January, but was immediately loaned back to Genk for the remainder of the season, much to the chagrin of fans who like to bet on soccer games.

This year, the 21-year old is expected to be a part of Roberto Di Matteo’s first team plans; although, the battle for places in the Chelsea midfield will make it a tough ask for de Bruyne to establish himself as a regular starter.

Fellow Belgian, Eden Hazard, is also a new arrival at Stamford Bridge, and de Bruyne is looking forward to linking up with the striker for their new side. The two compatriots will also play a role in helping each other settle into their new surroundings.

“I know a couple of people here already, so it’s quite good for integration. I don’t see there being any problems,” de Bruyne said.

“I know Eden [Hazard] very well, and for a long time. I played with him for the national team. We are the same age, so we played together when we were 18, 19.

“Since I have been here for pre-season, everything is fine; the club has taken very good care of me and has organised everything perfectly to make it easy,” added the attacking playmaker.

It will be interesting to see the look of the side that starts the season under Di Matteo.

The Italian will be freer than he was last year to stamp his authority over the squad, possibly giving younger players, like de Bruyne, the chance to impress and cement their place in his plans.

Chelsea are third favourite to win the Premier League, next year, according to the soccer betting tips on Bet365.

Varney on the Verge of Elland Road Switch

July 4th, 2012

Portsmouth striker, Luke Varney, is being linked with a move to Leeds United, following his side’s relegation to League One.

The Whites boss, Neil Warnock, is keen to add Varney to his ranks, and reports from those who bet on the Championship suggest that negotiations have already started between the two clubs.

Pompey are being forced to let go of one of their prized assets to help ease their financial problems, ahead of the new season. They need to reduce their wage bill, in the hope of attracting new owners to Fratton Park.

Varney scored six goals in 30 appearances for Portsmouth, after signing for the club from Derby in July 2011 for an undisclosed fee.

He has spent two loan spells in Yorkshire at Sheffield Wednesday, who are thought to be interested in bringing the player back to Hillsborough, but his preference is to join Leeds.

If Varney were to seal the move this week, he could be followed by teammate, David Norris. The 31-year old has two-years left on his contract at Fratton Park, but has attracted a lot of interest, this summer, from a number of Championship clubs.

Leeds may have to go head-to-head with Nottingham Forrest, who are managed by Norris’s former boss, Steve Cotterill, if they are to secure his signature.

Cotterill captured Norris on a free transfer from Ipswich, when he was in charge of the cash-stricken club. Despite the side’s relegation, the midfielder popped up with goals at crucial moments, last season, though never enough to influence the top scorer betting.

Both Varney and Norris are owed money from Portsmouth, after accepting a wage deferral earlier in the year, but they are prepared to come up with an agreement that would allow them to leave the club.