Can English Clubs Dominate European Football?

There was a time when English clubs seemed to be the best in Europe. The major European competitions were consistently being won by the likes of Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United. It seemed that English clubs could do no wrong.

But the ban that followed the Heysel Stadium disaster saw a period of time when English teams weren’t facing major European rivals. There’s no doubt that, in footballing terms, this saw the top English clubs falling behind. For a number of years, it appeared as though the best club sides in Europe were to be found in Italy.

Even enthusiasts in this country couldn’t help but admire the cultured, multi-national teams that were representing AC Milan, for instance. Gradually, however, things started to swing back in favour of the English giants. Money poured into the Premier League and it wasn’t long before Manchester United and Liverpool were back ruling the European game.

With rich owners appearing at Chelsea and Manchester City, it seemed that English football was set to dominate once again, just as it had done twenty years ago. But things aren’t quite that simple. Over in Spain, a fantastic team has emerged in the city of Barcelona. Already having defeated Manchester United in two Champions League finals, the Barcelona team is being held up as an example of one of the great footballing sides of any generation.

Now, questions are suddenly being asked again. Can the best English teams recover and really compete? On the one hand, it can be argued that the finances available to the big Premier League sides should ensure that they can continue to be powerful. While this may be the case, there are certainly problems on the horizon.

The Premier League (established 20 years ago) has brought many financial benefits. It’s recognised throughout the world as a competition that offers an example of how sport and money can be combined. To a certain extent, the money has been shared between member clubs. The most successful clubs have received a larger share of the income, but it’s clear that things could have been very different.

To see how much different, we can simply look to Spain. In that country, the individual clubs have been able to negotiate their own television deals. This has created a real split, with the two biggest football clubs in Spain (Real Madrid and Barcelona) becoming even richer. They are now able to generate the sort of incomes that even threaten their rich English opponents.

Unless there’s a change in the way that the money is distributed in the Premier League, it seems that Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and the rest may have finally met their match. Should this concern domestic fans? Some won’t be too worried. There’s always a tendency to focus on rivalries that are a little closer to home.

However things turn out, it seems clear that the next decade will see some significant changes. The world will be watching.

American Football vs European Football

American football is usually confused with European football. The difference between the two is greatly, but the same use of title can confuse others. The difference between American and European football is simple by definition. Football is used mostly with the hands to control the ball, and the European football is what most people call Soccer. In soccer, you kick the ball and they not allowed using their hands at all. By definition, football is when 11 players on a rectangular field 100 yards long. Teams try to steal/keep possession of the ball and move across the field to the other team’s goal line by running a series of plays. European football or soccer is a game played with a round ball (not diamond shaped like American football).

Again, two teams of eleven players user their body to control the ball to pass the opponent’s goal line. Soccer is played dominantly with the feet, but can be controlled by other parts of the body like knees, chest, and head. They can use any part of their body by their arms and hands. If they do use the hands, a foul is called the other team gets control of the situation. They only people who are allowed to use their hands are the goalkeepers.

Many soccer games are played on football fields. They are set up the same way except instead of having a huge goal post, they use two goal nets (much like hockey). The games are in quarters that are times. There are four quarters per game and a half time. Usually there are only a minute or two pauses between quarters and the half time is much longer. Soccer games usually do not take as much time as soccer, because there are fewer rules to soccer.

Football is a complicated sport that has flags and penalties for, what seems everything. In soccer, penalties are called but mostly for being offsides or out of bounds. Sportsmanship is a problem in both sports. The two sports are very competitive and can be frustrating to the players. Even though you aren’t allowed to tackle a player purposely in soccer, some players do tend to collide and when they do, they hit hard.

Soccer and football are much alike in some aspects, but are completely different in others. Either way you look at it, the two sports are just as aggressive and competitive and can be very enjoyable to watch and play.

Management Concepts: Reality Or Myth

Management concepts always fascinated me. I always envied the MBA grads until I completed my Executive MBA. I went through a lot of case studies and concepts, which were based on the actions or activities performed by the organizations due to which they were successful. Many a times I found out those companies who out performed faded out in the long run. I was skeptical about the studies, which were made and the publications, which glorified their existence. When I wanted to make a point I could not rely on the studies that was published to justify management concepts. I consoled myself that a lot of activities and decisions that are made can give success and may be in the long run few decisions can matter in terms of defining the existence. The activity and decision, which gave the company, the cutting edge may be kept aside and not mixed up with the overall failure of the organization in the long run.

As we all know, success and failure depend upon a lot of factors and sometimes are out of the reach of the executives who take decision for the organization. The organization can have a great strategy and the strategy could be followed extremely well but still success can be something more than the strategy because an organization without a strategy can also become successful. Product differentiation, value proposition and cutting edge technology may give you a position in the market place, but may not be sufficient enough to become successful in the market place. I was fascinated by the quote provided by the representative of one of the venture capital organization who said that the companies are successful because they resolved their problems better than their competitors. It is as simple as that. An example of organization’s success is not enough if the other organizations just imitate because the result has many contexts, which may not suit to the organization that is imitating.

I always thought of starting my own organization and a dear friend of mine told me that 20% of organizations only succeed. I thought that was a great encouragement. There were many organizations that made profit after 10 years of existence. It always made an impression in my mind and made the perspective of business when the long-term was always the first priority. The organization may be doing great for the time being, but it’s existence will only depict when it sustains its success for a longer period of time otherwise the success looses it’s value. Every organization wants to be a success, but the only aspect is to take the right approach the right time at the right place. I do not believe in luck rather I believe in hard work. I believe in the solution that suits the long-term survival of the organization. I believe in the road map and do not believe in imitating successful organizations’ strategy.

This makes me harder to do a case study to define the management concepts. May be I will define the concept based on the success story now and contradict it in the future. That is the reason why the concepts change so rapidly and everybody wants to know the latest management concept. Nobody can see the future and can predict the result of the action or decision that will bring in future. That is why I am very safe if I imitate the successful strategy.