Tuesday’s here and you thought it was slow -BOOM. Ki Sung-Yeung pre-announces KNT retirement? Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s City Football Group and their mega financial clout to invest in another Asian Club, a K-League club (or clubs?)?!
First the Midweek listing…
This one a bit late to list so we’ll simply report: this morning FC Seoul handily beat Hanoi 7-0 in the Asian Champions League qualifiers. And they now officially join the ACL group stage:
Seoul def going through. Reunited with Evergrande, Western Sydney, and Kashima. #ACL2015
— Jae (@ArmchairRegista) February 17, 2015
The cascade of goals came from: Yun Ill-Rok, Santos, Jung Jo-Gook (x2), Escudero, Lee Seok-Hyun, and Koh Myong-Jin.
Meanwhile in England, Kim Bo-Kyung has been gaining match fitness so perhaps he may go the full 90 for Wigan in today’s Championship clash with Reading.
February 17 Reading v Wigan 3pm US EST / no US TV coverage
Wigan are in the relegation zone, 2nd to the bottom, and need more than 8 points to leapfrog Millwall and to safety. I’m going to go very brief as I’m still dealing with a mini flood at the physical Tavern. 5 degrees farenheit, shoddy insulation work by the previous owner and viola, the pipe burst. Here’s a shot of me dealing with the aftermath -but I did recover some waterlogged photos like this one of me on the beach – where I’d rather be…
Where was I?
Oh yeah, Ki Sung-Yeung supposedly pre-announced his KNT retirement:
Ki Sung-yueng said he want to retire from international football after the 2018 World Cup. — Korea Football News (@KORFootballNews) February 17, 2015
Didn’t want to scare you, Ki is not retiring yet, but in forecasting his international retirement, he did raise some eyebrows across the continents. Bit early to forecast that kind of thing? Perhaps. Raise the hackles of Ki critics in Korea? Without a doubt. Is it a biggy? Not really, but that’s just me. But I’ll leave that for you good Tavern people to discuss…
Last note before I get back to dealing with my 99 problems (my house taking about 97 of them), City Football Group – yes, that one who owns Manchester City and flooded it with enough £ to buy a Premier League title. They’ve been expanding their football empire, about to inaugurate FC NYC with a little side-drama about ‘loaning’ Frank Lampard to Man City (turns out he never was loaned but was City’s player all along). Interestingly they’ve turned their sights on Asia, have acquired Melbourne City in the A-League, invested as a minority owner in Yokohama F Marinos in the J-League. One more letter in the alphabet to go and this news popped up recently by a little bird named twitter:
According to Korean media, Sheikh Mansour’s City Group to team up with local company Nexen Tires & invest in K-League
— John Duerden (@JohnnyDuerden) February 16, 2015
As this possible foreign entity entering K-League football ownership (did I also hear multiple K-League clubs?) could be deemed controversial (and I had been hinting at the dark corruptable influence provided by City Football Group), it’s quite possible that as far as the K-League goes, this is rather the shot in the arm Korean pro ball needs. Now I’m not saying City Football Group are angels…but they may not be necessarily a cartoonishly evil corporation bent on world domination (though I have been wrong in the past). Let’s just say, the Sheik isn’t any more nefarious than any of the Premier League’s other flamboyantly rich and egotistical owners.
The fact remains, the Sheik’s money has made a difference, as far as the last 3 seasons in the EPL is concerned (whether it has produced a counterproductive kind of hyper inflation is a legitimate topic -we’ll save that for another time). It could make a difference in the MLS, where players of David Villa, Mix Diskerud and Lampard’s calibre (and what could amount to a Manchester City reserve team if things go according to plan) would possibly inject a bit more quality into the US domestic league.
Their money invested in the A League and J League could be a reflection in what they deem as a future int’l football growth area… even the K-League!? If reports of this collusion come to fruition, the answer apparently is yes. Positive change? To be determined, but with the endemic and systemic problems with K-League football, despite winning a number of recent Asian Champion League titles, they still suffer from incredibly sparse attendance and poor TV network coverage – anything is better than the status quo at the moment. We would hope it may spark significant change from the current mode of Chaebols subpar subsidizing of their clubs and local ‘citizen’ government owned clubs struggling to keep up. And we have an update:
Nexen Tire have denied yesterday’s report that they will team up with City Football Group and invest in K League. — Korea Football News (@KORFootballNews) February 17, 2015
Let’s see where this rabbit hole goes. Stay tuned…
Update: forgot to mention Mainz coach Hjulmand has been sacked, replaced by their U23 coach Martin Schmidt. Tavern contributor Takeuchi tweet/mused that Werder Bremen also sacked and replaced with their U23 coach -with good results. For Koo Ja-Cheol and Park Joo-Ho, here’s hoping that it’s the right move for Mainz, who’s been struggling as of late.
Since my transmorgified self is still in Germany, we are still seeing sunbursts in the post match explosion that was last weekend’s 5-4 goals-fest between Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen. The Bundesliga english youtube crew posted this early in the week: