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Why Joao Félix prioritised Barcelona over Liverpool



The heart often desires what reason cannot understand. That’s perhaps the best way to explain Joao Félix’s intense drive to drape himself in FC Barcelona’s iconic maroon and blue.

Despite being aware of not being Xavi Hernández’s first pick, the Portuguese virtuoso still took the road leading to Catalonia. This compelling passion was, as reported by Mundo Deportivo, motivated not by fanfare or circumstances, but purely by a dream.

“To get his head into the Barça locker room and from there, day by day, earn a place,” that’s what Félix envisioned. Proving his mettle and convincing Xavi of his indispensable nature became his personal mission. His determination was evident, and in doing so, Félix made sacrifices unheard of in today’s footballing economy.

A Sacrifice for Dreams
As glamorous as football may seem, financial practicalities often dictate a player’s future. But Joao Félix, unfazed by monetary complications, set a unique precedent. Knowing Barcelona’s intricate salary situation, he communicated through Jorge Mendes, his influential agent, a willingness to forgo half his £12 million paycheck, settling for a £6 million gross.

Additionally, extending his contract with Atlético de Madrid until 2029, Félix displayed a trust in his abilities. This move strategically benefited Atlético, enabling them to adjust their financial commitments, a blessing in light of LaLiga’s strict ‘fair play’ regulations.

But what stands out starkly is FC Barcelona’s commitment to Félix, which amounts to a mere 400,000 euros annually. While Atlético shoulders a portion of this financial weight, the specifics vary depending on whether you’re listening to whispers in Madrid or Barcelona.

Liverpool’s Missed Opportunity with Núñez
While Félix had his heart set on Barcelona, other elite clubs threw their hats into the ring, eager to woo the young prodigy. Most notably, Liverpool presented an enticing proposal, suggesting a player-swap involving their sharpshooter, Darwin Núñez. This proposition, under normal circumstances, would have made heads turn. But Félix’s heart, stubborn and unwavering, responded with a polite, “No, thank you, I want to go to Barça and I will wait.”

Manchester United’s emblematic red tried its allure, as did Unai Emery’s revitalised Aston Villa. Even the glitz of Arabia beckoned with Al-Hilal briefly courting Félix before turning their attention to Neymar. But it all returned to that singular dream – playing at Camp Nou.

A Future to Carve
The stage is set, and the stakes have never been higher. Joao Félix’s journey to Barcelona, marked by financial sacrifices and sheer determination, presents him with a unique challenge. Success here means solidifying his reputation and enamouring himself to the ‘culés’. A challenging spell, on the other hand, would still see him fulfilling his cherished dream.

Either way, Joao Félix’s tale is a testament to following one’s heart, even when the world presents easier paths. Now, all that remains is to dazzle on the field, beneath the lights of the Camp Nou.

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Sports Ministry Will Prioritise Funding For All Sports – Minister Enoh




The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has reiterated that his administration prioritizes the funding of sports in the country, as the Ministry will work with all sports federations to determine focus areas, through budgetary submissions.

The Minister made this known during a briefing with pressmen in Asaba, the host city of the 7th National Youth Games. He stated that his experience in this area, while serving as the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation (Federal House of Representatives) led him to proactively direct on the necessary steps to take for the proper funding of sports in the country.

“The only way to provide for the proper funding of sports is to look at the number of federations, an itemization of their peculiar activities, and to provide as needed,” Senator Enoh said. “For example, if in 2024, a particular sport will undertake pieces of training, and participate in competitions (both local and international), the only way to solve the incident problem of lack of funds, athletes missing out on competitions because of finances, is to provide for all of these ahead of time,” he added.

“As much as possible, I am going to push for this to be done, because it is the only way that we can properly budget for sports development. The ministry is desirous of making credible progress in this regard,” The Honourable Minister concluded.

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Man United fans fly ‘Glazers Out’ banner over Tampa NFL stadium




Man United fans fly 'Glazers Out' banner over Tampa NFL stadium

A group of Manchester United supporters based in the United States have flown a banner reading “Glazers Out” over the Raymond James Stadium in Florida.

The banner was seen over the stadium ahead of the Monday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the NFL franchise owned by the Glazer family, who also own Premier League giants United.

The banner was organised by Manchester United supporters groups based in Pittsburgh and Tampa. Footage of the plane and its message was shared online before the match, which the Eagles won 25-11.

The move is the latest protest against United’s owners by fans who are keen for them to sell the club.

The Glazer family, who have owned United since 2005, announced last November they were considering “all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions.”

This led to bids being lodged by prospective buyers, but despite receiving several offers, the Glazer family are still yet to make a final decision on whether to sell their stake in the club.

United have failed to win the Premier League since legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, with their last Champions League success coming in 2008.

Former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag was appointed as the club’s new head coach last year. United won the Carabao Cup in Ten Hag’s first season in charge and reached the FA Cup final while securing Champions League football with a third-place finish in the league.

However, United have endured a difficult start to the new season, losing three out of their first six Premier League games.

The United manager’s problems have been exacerbated by several off-field issues.

Brazil winger Antony has agreed to a leave of absence from the club in order to address accusations of abuse made by three women, while fellow winger Jadon Sancho is training away from the first team group following a public spat with the Dutch head coach.

Forward Marcus Rashford walked away unhurt after being involved in a car crash following United’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.

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Finance expert reveals £300m losses after West Ham United stadium agreement




Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has shared that E20 Stadium LLC has already made losses of over £300million, having signed a long agreement with West Ham United.

E20 had been set up to manage the London Stadium and ensure that the former Olympic Stadium remained integrated with the local area, help with local rejuvenation and create long-term links with local sports clubs to ultimately deliver a financial return.

Part of that deal was seeing the stadium sign a long-term agreement with West Ham for the Irons to use the stadium as their home ground on a 99-year lease that began in 2016, with an initial agreement of £2.5million a year, now £3.5million to use the stadium.

Explaining the state of the contract on The Price of Football (25 September) Maguire said: “They (West Ham) pay the rent for the matches in which they participate. If you take a look at the running costs of E20 Stadium LLC, you will find that the running costs are high because E20 signed what we refer to as an onerous contract.

“Which is where you’re effectively renting out something and you’ve made such a hash of the deal and you’re locked into it for a long period of time. I was looking at the latest E20 accounts and they’ve already made losses of over £300million.

“They had a £7million floodlight upgrade, now West Ham have benefitted from that, but West Ham didn’t have to pay a penny. They’ve got an agreement with UK athletics that when there’s an athletics tournament, is that E20 Stadium are responsible for the reconfiguration of the seats. That costs an absolute fortune.”

For the Hammers, this stadium ownership model is ultimately quite a helpful deal, as they’re getting the benefits of stadium upgrades without having to be the people shelling out the money to build things like new floodlights or take down temporary athletic seating.

Now that also means that West Ham are missing out on the opportunity to rent the stadium out during the off-season and profit from that, as many clubs often do with concerts and fan events following the conclusion of the league campaign.

west ham
There have been suggestions that the Irons would be open to purchasing the stadium in the future, but currently, their high rental costs are still well below what would be required to run the stadium permanently so a deal to purchase would make little sense.

Despite the onerous contract that Maguire explained, the Hammers are the party to benefit from the “hash of the deal,” even if they don’t necessarily own their stadium.

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