"He certainly got the appointment on merit" - BBC commentator, John Motson, on Roberto
Rosetti, the referee for both the opening and closing matches at Euro 2008.
"The referee really didn't fancy us Germans" - Jens Lehmann sees things slightly
differently, and he went on to accuse the Italian of being "biased".
David Pleat always manages to rise to the occasion, as the above warning to any Spaniards risking a
premature exaltation clearly demonstrates.
He surpassed himself during the Semi Final between Spain and Russia.
My personal favourite was when he questioned himself on the (in)validity of his own description of
Sergio Ramos as either a "cultivated bull" or a "cultured bull".
OK. Listen up.
With both Angela Merkel and Abdullah Gül present at last night's Euro 2008 semi Final between
Germany and Turkey, our incredibly simple, yet startlingly profitable latter phase match
determinator was unable to solve the outcome pre-match.
But, in our collective boredom, we have produced an even more efficient "model".
All happy football clubs resemble one another, each unhappy football club is unhappy in its own
One gentleman and his fleet of rocket-proof helicopters, flying around the Alpine region, is
proving that, in a world of global media reach, the Butterfly Effect is both omnipresent as well as
being highly entertaining from a sousveillance perspective.
"Turkey took a Performance Enhancing Substance (PESs) to win last night's Spectacle".
The media focuses on the Spectacle and it was a Spectacle.
But the match itself, as a meritocratic sporting event, was invalid.
"We know what the Turkish players took and when they took it".
If you think that the football betting markets are a bit of a grin, you should check out the
football transfer markets.
Highly inefficient and even more highly subjective, with no valid modelling to underpin the pricing
process, the transfer market is sometimes askew by over £10 million due to the utter
guesstimation of the evaluation process.
It is a reason not to be cheerful that work commitments have prevented any of our Trading Team from
attending the African Cup Of Nations (ACON) in Ghana. The tournament offers proper football with
minimal corruption as the personal prizes available to the players extend far beyond the tournament
itself - the ACON is a passport to a potentially secure financial future if a player is picked up
by any of the numerous European agents attending the event.
Everybody has got a price.
According to our own individual and hidden agendas, shareholder capitalism enforces that we all set
proprietary thresholds relating to our employment and consultancy choices, our environmental
footprint and our degree of competitiveness in the workplace. Some people also set proprietary
benchmarks relating to the use of inside information, bribery, kickbacks, corruption, criminality
It has never been like this before and it will never be the same again - there is no better
definition of the basic matrix of all financial markets. Constant evolution drives the markets
forward as these multidisciplinary playgrounds are complex beyond the static realities of a pure
science. That is why it is so interesting.
In parallel with the not-so-random walk of the markets, march the career opportunities related to
Probably the most disturbing aspect regarding the corruption of sporting sectors worldwide is the
omnipresence of the shadow of criminality. It seemingly makes not an iota of difference whether one
looks at horseracing, football, cricket or the Olympics, the distorting influence of malignant
money upon both the administrative hierarchies and the event outcomes is increasingly the normal
The most disturbing aspect related to the nonsense that was Man Utd against Chelsea was it being
the first instance of a Premiership pre-match betting market passing the £500 million ($1000000)
We initially did not expect to see this barrier breached until mid-season but, following Chelsea's
implosion, we astutely posted last week that Sunday would be the day.
On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was issued in Thailand for Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife over
illegal land deals in Bangkok.
On Wednesday, Richard Scudamore (the chief executive of the Premier League) sits next to Shinawatra
and his posse of mercenary bodyguards for the Premiership match between Man City and Derby.
Scudamore possesses no expert inside knowledge of the corruption repeatedly perpetrated by
Shinawatra in his homeland and he has studiously ignored the representations from Human Rights
Watch and Amnesty International regarding extra-judicial killings.
With the Quest inquiry, the City of London police raids on three clubs, the death of Woolmer, the
Premier League/West Ham fiasco, Poll's retiring refrains and Shinawatra, the bookmakers together
with their client regulatory bodies must be delighted that the focus on corruption has moved out of
their territory and over to Le Tour de France.
The use of Performance Enhancing Substances (PESs) is common in most sports.
As absolute power corrupts absolutely, there must be concerns about FIFA and, in particular, Sepp
Blatter. At the recent FIFA Congress in Zurich, Blatter was reelected unopposed for a further four
years of omnipotence as president of the world governing body.
Blatter exerts a vice-like grip over FIFA with a number of his own men in charge of the regional
affiliations (think Jack Warner at CONCACAF or Michel Platini at UEFA, for example) and his
strategic planning, in that such planning exists, purely targets the maintenance of control by
buying off just enough of the FIFA family with his complex and often contradictory edicts.
Magical Thinking is a behavioural disorder or style that is very common among leisure gamblers. It
should not, therefore, come as any surprise to know that Magical Thinking is targeted directly by
those that would wish for you to gamble.
Every gambling sector incorporates this fallacious mode of "analysis" into their structure.
In Hong Kong and elsewhere in the Far East, the number 4 is regarded as extremely unlucky while the
number 8 is full of harmonious resonances to the extent that, if you are trading the horseracing
markets it is vital to take account of the market imbalances created by this illogical thought
process ie there is generally only value to be found in opposing horse number 8 while backing horse
number 4 is a good thing (obviously with all other factors taken into consideration).
All we heard coming into this match is how this was Rafa's last stand or how 'awesome' Inter, the
supposedly best side in Europe, was going to 'crush' Liverpool. Fueling the delusions of the
betting man, whether intentional or not. Unfortunately this win was about as legit as our American
owners promises of bringing back the glory days.