Saturday, November 03, 2007

Southampton Buyout Offer

Sisu Capital Limited, a UK-based hedge fund, has declared their interest in buying at least 55% of Southampton Leisure Holdings PLC (LON:SOO). Southampton Leisure Holdings PLC is the company that owns the Southampton football club. It has a market cap £14 1/2 million and debts of £24 million.

It's an interesting move by Sisu. They're known for investing in companies with large debts and turning them around. It would be the first soccer team they bought. In the past they attempted to takeover Derby and Manchester City. While technically Sisu could reach their 55% stake without the support of the 2 biggest shareholders, one would assume they're looking to buy Ruport Lowe's 29% stake and Alan WIlde's 16% stake.

It was known in the off-season that the club needed money. Baird and Bale were sold to raise cash. But the talk now is that things may be worse than the club previously let one with talk of players needing to take large pay cuts if a new investor is found.

The question is, how will Sisu approach ownership if they do indeed carry through with this move . Sisu has made it clear they make money on this investment if they get Southampton back into the Premiership. They've said that they'd make £10 million cash available for players. But what will they do beyond that? Will they bring in a new manager to replace George Burley? Will they raise ticket prices? Sign a deal with a company like Nike or Addidas for kits (Saints currently put them out on their own)? What else may they do?

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Newest Coach Prevails

You have to give DCU some props for making it interesting and coming back to tie things up after being down 2-0 at half-time. But they were still down 3-2 in the series and lost out in the end. Both teams had new coaches with DC's Tom Soehn in his first full year as a head coach. Juan Carlos Osorio only had the last half of the season to turn Chicago around and get them into the play-offs. Major League Soccer Talk has a couple good points about managerial mistakes Soehn made that contributed to them losing the series. On the flip side, fans who watched the series should now be able to see that one of the most important things for Chicago bringing in a new coach was that Osorio was able to lure Wilman Conde to the Fire. Without Conde's presence in the back the Fire wouldn't have progressed in the play-offs. He only had 7 games at the end of the season to start to adjust to living the US and to his teammates. That may have been just enough time to work out some kinks and be ready to raise the MLS Cup on November 18th.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

DCU - Fire :: Half-time

Most folks weren't surprised when the Chicago Fire beat DC United 1-0 at Toyota Park. The real question was how DC United would play at home tonight for game. We're half way to answering that with the 2nd half of game 2 just underway. And at this point the Chicago Fire is up 2-0 on goals by Barrett and Rolfe just minutes apart. If the game finishes like this, I think it's safe to say a lot people will be surprised. Can DCU pull it off in the 2nd half and score 3 goals?

Lake Wobegon Is Nationally Ranked

I'm not a big fan of A Prairie Home Companion. The stories are entertaining but Garrison's singing grows old about 1/2 way through the first song he sings. And me his breathing into the microphone ranks right up there with listening to someone drag their fingernails across the chalk board. I thought of him when I saw his hometown Anoka boys high school soccer team was ranked 6th in the country in the latest NSCAA poll.

NSCAA/adidas Boys National Rankings
1 Evansville Memorial (Ind.) 23-0-2
2 Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.) 16-0-0
3 Davis (Calif.) 23-0-2
4 Broughton (Raleigh, N.C.) 22-0-1
5 Neuqua Valley (Naperville, Ill.) 21-1-4
6 Anoka (Minn.) 19-0-2
7 Westhill (Stamford, Conn.) 15-0-1
8 Brentwood (N.Y.) 14-0-2
9 Sacramento Jesuit (Calif.) 19-1-4
10 King (New York, N.Y.) 13-0-3
11 Magruder (Rockville, Md.) 14-0-0
12 Abington Heights (Pa.) 17-0-0
13 Washburn Rural (Topeka, Kan.) 17-0-1
14 Beavercreek (Ohio) 17-0-2
15 East Kentwood (Mich.) 19-1-1
16 Simsbury (Conn.) 14-0-1
17 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 19-0-0
18 Flint Hill School (Oakton, Va.) 16-1-2
19 Williamsville North (N.Y.) 17-0-2
20 Grandview (Aurora, Colo.) 15-1-1
21 St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.) 23-0-2
22 Barrington (Ill.) 23-2-0
23 North Kingstown (R.I.) 16-0-2
24 St. John the Baptist (West Islip, N.Y.) 12-2-1
25 Marquette Univ. High (Milwaukee, Wis.) 14-4-3

BTW - Props to Aurora's Grandview HS for makign the list, too. Considering how many MLS players have came out of Colorado it's a bit surprising there isn't a second Colorado team on the list.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Now That's Just Gross

At least PSV's Eric Addo was banned for 4 Champions League games for all his spitting. I understand how things can happen in a moment of anger. But Addo does it several times. Is he trying to get in the guy's head? Does he think it's some old Turkish custom that's supposed to be a sign of respect? Or does Addo have a saliva fetish?