Theme of the summer
Football’s new culture, three months after Uefa called Manchester City’s £49m financial fair play fine a “historic” win against “greed and financial insanity”. Among the new-era deals: City’s reported £42.9m for Eliaquim Mangala – including £14.2m for his agent.
Best Fifa moments
1) Sepp Blatter inviting critics to challenge him in next year’s presidential election. “If people want to take the risk then take the risk. Don’t speak, go out and fight, then you will see.” Plus some self-reflection: “If I were not criticised, I would not have any value.”
2) July: News that Fifa’s pro-transparency ethics report into alleged internal corruption in the Russia and Qatar World Cup bids will not be made public. Fifa says only the result will be published in September, “in accordance with the Fifa code”.
Italy’s new FA president Carlo Tavecchio, 71 – impressing voters with his record of calling black players “banana eaters” and his five prison sentences for forgery, tax evasion, abuse of office and falsifying records. “I’ll be a president for all.”
• Clarifying what Tavecchio meant about black players – Lazio president Claudio Lotito: “He used a colourful term. You media are blowing it up. Even the priest on the altar can make a mistake.” And on Tavecchio’s convictions: “If we look at it that way, we’d need to pick the fleas out of everyone’s coat. This pseudo-morality is no good to anyone. Don’t go digging in people’s pasts.”
Best World Cup fallout
Ghana’s continuing bonus-gate inquiry – last week asking officials why $100,000 player appearance fees were also paid to FA executives. Sports ministry chief director Alhaji Abdulai Yakubu told the hearing: “I can’t answer that, my lord.”
The summer’s good governance highlights:
1) May – Moroccan businessman Otail Touzar passes the Conference’s fit and proper test to buy Salisbury City, unveils a Saudi prince to play in midfield and says he’s in talks to add One Direction’s Niall Horan to the squad. July: The Conference expel Salisbury over unpaid debts.
2) Also on the edge: Hereford United, taken over in June by businessman Tommy Agombar, who spent seven years in prison in the 1980s for stealing goods from lorries. He was disqualified last week; Hereford, founded in 1924, face liquidation next month.
Best world view
Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston on why the club started the season with only two senior players on the bench – a lack of signings due to “illegal requests from agents which would have meant us breaking tax and football rules … We are not prepared to conduct our business in that way. There’s no other way of doing things than doing them properly.”
1) Adam Lallana, April 2013, signing for five years at Southampton: “I’ve been here since I was 12 and, being honest, I can only see my future here. If someone said I’d end my career here I’d snap your hand off for it. I’m privileged and honoured”; 2) Luke Shaw, July 2013, signing for five years: “I’ve been here since I was eight and I’ve loved every single moment. Signing this contract means I’m here for another five years.” 3) Luis Suárez, May 2014: “I signed the contract because I love it here. If you’re not happy, you don’t sign a contract.”
“He just wants to play, he’s like a little boy. His wage demands were so incredibly low in my opinion. It was an easy deal to do” - Harry Redknapp on Rio Ferdinand’s reported £2.1m one-year deal.
Brazil, 5 August: ASA hire coach Francisco Diá to bring stability. Diá: “I’m a coach who doesn’t sleep, only naps. There’s so much to do. The first game is about life and death, about intensity.... we all feel so good.” 12 August: Loses 2-1. 13 August: Sacked.
Highs and lows
Bulgaria: Botev Plovdiv coach Velislav Vutzov: pleased with their Super Cup final goal which led to his technical area dance celebration going viral online; less pleased with the referee after the 3-1 defeat. “It’s a crime, it’s an insult. This man must be removed from humanity, he should go and pick pears or tomatoes, anything but stay in football. He’s a classic bandit.”
Coming soon to Craven Cottage
Fulham owner Shahid Khan providing new “premium” options to his US Jacksonville Jaguars fans: a $63m stadium refit replacing a bank of seats with two “party-tier” swimming pools with full pitch views – available for $12,500 per game, including all-you-can-eat buffet.
Row of the week
Rwanda striker Daddy Birori – suspended for allegedly being two people: playing as 27-year-old Birori for his national side, and 23-year-old Tady Etekiama Agiti for club side AS Vita. Officials want “the two allegedly different players to be summoned for a confrontation”.
Zimbabwe: CAPS United utility player Hardlife Zvirekwi and his club fined $4,250 after he poured urine on the opposition technical area while fans threw bottles of urine at their keeper. The League say Zvirekwi and fans brought “the league and its sponsors into disrepute”.
Diego Maradona – linked to models Pamela de los Angeles and Evi Amodeo after leaving model Rocio Oliva – slapping a journalist last week for disrespecting his former wife Veronica Ojeda by winking at her. “What is it, fool? Why mess with my wife if I don’t mess with you?”
Plus: model news
June, Brazil: Model Renata “Melon Woman” Frisson on her plan to land Brazil player Bernard. “He’s short, but he makes me dizzy. We’re the same height, we’re both evangelical, I’m dedicated, I know how to cook and make beans … He’s my prince of pitches.”