All in the Game: Luiz certainly not watching the pennies
Meanwhile, Schalke chip in with new initiative, quotes of the week, numbers and more
David Luiz made a very generous gesture to his Chelsea teammates after they won the Premier League. Photo: Ian Kington/Getty Images
Most Generous Footballer of the Week: That’d be Chelsea’s David Luiz who, according to The Sun, celebrated the club’s league title by spending around €1.4 million on 30 Senturion wristpieces for his team-mates and club owner Roman Abramovich.
What is the purpose of a Senturion wristpiece exactly? Well, by pressing a button on it you can open the doors and boot of your Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Porsche or Jag. Handy.
Prices for the wrist-pieces range from around €40,000 to €100,000, but there was no skimping from Luiz who had his batch customised with the players’ names and numbers engraved on them all. And proof that there are no flies on the fella, he presented Abramovich with the most expensive one of the lot, made from a 4.9 billion year old meteorite. The rest of the lads had to make do with ‘Handcrafted Rose Gold’.
Of course, unlikely as it might be, if Abramovich and his team-mates don’t own a Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Porsche or Jag, they’ll all have to go out and buy one now.
Schalke chip in with winning initiative
From next season Bundesliga and English Premier League clubs will be allowed advertise sponsors on their shirt sleeves, but thus far no club has prepared for this new dawn quite as niftily as Fußballclub Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 e.V. – or ‘Schalke’ to their friends.
As part of a four year deal with online supermarket All You Need Fresh, new replica jerseys bought by fans will have a contactless payment chip embedded in the sleeve that can be used to pay for food and drink at discounted prices at the club’s stadium. All they have to do is wave their sleeve in the air and without even putting their hand in their pocket they’ll be armed with a beer, Bratwurst sambo and crisps.
The chips will also entitle the wearers to exclusive offer codes when they do their shopping with All You Need Fresh, the company whose dustbin scanners detect what you’ve thrown away and add the used items to your shopping list. So, if your bin contains 36 empty Tayto bags they will all be replaced. That’s pure genius, that.
The players, alas, will not have the payment chips in their sleeves. “They rarely go to kiosks at half-time to quickly get a curry-sausage or a beer,” said Schalke communications head Anja Kleine-Wilde. Considering they finished 39 points behind Bayern Munich, they should probably give such half-time refuelling a try.
It’s that time of year when photos of the major clubs’ kits for next season are leaking out left, right and centre, but it’s unlikely that any of them will match the excellence of Spanish third tier club Atletico Astorga’s new gear. Their shirt colour is green, so naturally enough they chose to have the new version resemble the Incredible Hulk’s highly muscled upper body. And their blue shorts will take on the look of frayed denim jeans.
Why? Sure, why not?
Ticket to disaster
Falling under the category of ‘you have to wonder if they’ve thought this through’ comes news from the Netherlands where second division club FC Den Bosch have announced the introduction of a ‘Pay Per Point’ scheme for next season.
The gist of it is that supporters will pay between €25 and €125 for a season ticket for the next campaign, depending on what part of the ground they choose, and thereafter the Pay Per Point scheme kicks in – they’ll pay an extra €10 for every Den Bosch victory, €5 for a draw and €0 for defeats, with the maximum extra payments capped at €110.
Considering they drew nine and lost 17 of their 38 games this season, you fear the club’s 2017-18 revenue will just about cover their electricity bill.
Quote of the week
“He couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag.”
Tony Adams – who coached Wycombe Wanderers to relegation, was sacked by Portsmouth after 16 games, and lost all seven of his games in charge of Granada – on Arsene Wenger.
By the numbers
104.4: That’s how many pounds were at stake in Premier League prize money (not to mention player bonuses) on the last day of the season, somewhat debunking the notion that there was nothing left to play for. Squeaky-bum time, then, for all those chairpeople.
Word of mouth
“More problems for Man Utd next season . . .”.
Jamie Carragher on hearing that in the 2017-18 campaign, players can be retrospectively suspended for diving. Scallywag.
“At [Barcelona and Bayern Munich], if in six months you don’t win, you are out . . . here they gave me a second chance. In my situation at a big club, I’m sacked, I’m out, sure, definitely.”
Pep Guardiola inadvertently confirming that Manchester City is a little club.
“It’s gingerist, isn’t it? We’re oppressed . . . you know there’s only five per cent of the world’s population who are gingers?”
Burnley gaffer Sean Dyche explaining why he’s never been a contender for a top job in England. He was jesting – but it’s probably entirely true.
“If we can win a third title – or like you like to say, ‘a second title’ – it would be magnificent for us.”
Jose Mourinho still irked by the press not counting his side’s Community Shield win as a title triumph. How the mighty have . . .
Transfer speculation is all very well, but as we know between now and the close of the next transfer window we’ll be inundated with page-filling exclusives about done deals that will never come to pass. But without such speculation, how would those summer pages be filled? Worrying news from Germany, then.
It was last week that the newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung claimed that Joshua Kimmich was all set to leave Bayern Munich, with RB Leipzig and Manchester City supposedly battling it out to sign the 22-year-old.
How did Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge react to the story? Quite angrily. “That’s an outrageous hoax. This story misses every base. Joshua Kimmich has a contract until 2020 and will definitely play for Bayern next season. Bayern Munich will immediately take legal action against the Stuttgart newspaper.”
Legal action over transfer gossip? If it succeeds and sets a European-wide precedent, those summer pages will be empty. So we’ll only know that Kylian Mbappe, James Rodriguez and Antoine Griezmann will form Manchester United’s attack next season when they actually sign on the dotted line. (Breath? Don’t hold it).
Pre-Match Pep Talk of the Season: “Okay boys, listen up. Twenty-five thousand fans are out there waiting for you to explode. Twenty-five thousand are praying to God you put your foot down and go off like fireworks. Your wives, kids and girlfriends . . . are always there for you. They’re at home every day. Today they’re sitting in the stands and praying to God like the rest of them that you’re going to go off like fireworks. That’s why Kathrin’s here and filming this - and she’s going to send it to your wives before the match. You’ve got to promise right here, right now that you’ll give everything for your families. Everything in this 90 minutes! For your families! For your children! You’re going to slog your guts out from start to finish and we’re going to win!”
As translated by the Guardian, Carsten Rump, assistant coach of relegation-threatened Bundesliga 2 side Arminia Bielefeld, ahead of their do-or-die game against third-placed Eintracht Braunschweig.
The result? Never mind the wives, kids and girlfriends, the Arminia players went off like fireworks – they beat Braunschweig 6-0.