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I was out and about on Sunday and saw City fans, Leeds fans and Spurs too.

On the up escalator a particular Spurs fan, shouting, 'We can't even sing our, we are the spurs song, effing government!'

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Roman Abramovich wins first round of libel battle over Putin’s People book
UK judge rules some passages convey a defamatory meaning, including claim Putin told him to buy Chelsea

(I choose the Guardian because non-paywall and they have been staunch defenders of the book against Abramovich).

Two libel claims against Catherine Belton / Harper Collins are up at court.  Rosneft (Russian oil company) and Abramovich.  
Both submitted a list of quotes from the book that they claim are libellous.
At this point the judge has whittled those claims down on the basis of whether they were written as statements of fact rather than just reported as hearsay, and whether they were libellous against the plaintiffs (as opposed to libellous against someone other than RA or Rosneft, the plaintiffs).

This is a win for Rosneft and RA because it now means that Belton will have to defend these statements in later court hearings, there will be no defence of hearsay or not damaging.  

The case has been going on for almost a year, and yet the FT, Beltons primary employer from 2007-17 and which published much of the material as initial articles, has not commented.
The Guardian in its role as the meta-newspaper on the newspapers, has reported on the case, though it risks ridicule because of its strong historical anti-Putin stance and loyalty to the now embarrassing Russia-gate nonsense.
This is how the Guardian praised the meticulous research of Catherine Belton's when the book was published.

The Guardian are clearly on one side in this matter:

Abramovich is one of three Russian tycoons who initiated libel proceedings against Belton and her publisher, HarperCollins, over a book widely acclaimed as the definitive work on the Putin era. The Russian state oil company Rosneft, run by Putin’s close ally Igor Sechin, has also sued.

The case prompted press freedom organisations to call on the UK government to examine how foreign billionaires are using libel courts.

Quite why UK publishers should be allowed to publish books that are not subject to libel claims from the people they attack is not explained.

For anyone particularly curious this is a more detailed report on the case, from a blogger with a more sceptical pov on UK media than the Guardian.


Of particular interest are the links with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the infamous Steele report of which nothing has been proven to be true, and indeed the FBI knew was wholly fictional when they presented it as evidence to justifiy an inquiry into Trump staff prior to the 2016 elections.  



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I see Brentford are using this season's kit for 2 years in an effort to be more sustainable and save fans money

Great idea. Always used to be that way 

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41 minutes ago, Ham said:

Excellent article on Cobham. 

Interesting comments on Sarri and the academy. 

There was the season under Maurizio Sarri when he did not give a single debut to an academy player.
Perhaps the biggest turning point came when Frank Lampard arrived in 2019 with Chelsea temporarily labouring under a transfer ban. Lampard’s predecessor Sarri had barely bothered to conceal his lack of interest in the academy, failing to attend a single training session or under-23 game in his time in charge. Lampard, on the other hand, gave eight academy debuts in his first season, a club record in the Premier League era. Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham were among those moved to the front of the queue: playing and occasionally erring but most importantly learning in the hot glare of the biggest games.


Oh FFs.  We all love Frank Lampard.  But it is pretty clear that the turning point was when someone at Chelsea had a brainwave and said "I know what.  Instead of shoving these kids on the first team manager before they are ready and making his life difficult, how about giving them contracts for a few years, sending them off to the Championships for 2 years, getting them to learn to play adult football, and filtering out the ones that aren't ready.
Then lets pass them on to the first team manager when they are ready to contribute."

It all happened before Frank - it all happened before Sarri who benefited much like Frank in not having to "gift minutes".  It happened somewhere between 2016 & 18.

The secret of success turned out to be NOT playing the kids as kids.
And the cool thing is now that they no longer seem to want to play minutes for the first team - they all want to go off on loan.


The piece reads like one of the many CFCnet posters that still can't get over the departure of SFL.  A lot of journalists are the same.  Friends of Christine perhaps.
Edit and there does seem to be a concerted effort this week to get Frank into the news (there was a big piece on Jody in the Times as well).  I guess he missed out on several jobs and is being marketed again - which is fair enough, just don't re-write Academy history to do him a favour.



But importantly the path to the first team is now also there: beaten, blazed and illuminated. The next talented teenager coming through the Chelsea ranks – say, Jude Soonsup-Bell or Harvey Vale – no longer resigns himself to a treadmill of meaningless pre-season friendlies and loans to Vitesse and Huddersfield. Knuckle down, show your worth and you too could be posing with the Champions League trophy in a sea of ticker tape and sweat.

Course not - they want to follow in the footsteps of Mount and Chalobah who made their Chelsea debuts a year after seasons at ....   Vitesse and Huddersfield.   Apparently the guy that wrote this won sports writer of the year 2021.


Edited by Droy was my hero

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2 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Apparently the guy that wrote this won sports writer of the year 2021.


Despite you being better qualified. Amazing.

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18 minutes ago, Ham said:

Despite you being better qualified. Amazing.

So Ham, I guess sticking up the piece was worth it just to trigger me, nice one.

But is that really how you see what happened with the Academy and the first team managers?

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18 minutes ago, didierforever said:

Nice article. Sarri was seriously one of the worst ones we have had on here 

It would be very interesting to see where we would be now if he had stayed on a couple more seasons. Personally I was never more glad to see the back of a coach. I don't even know where he is now and care even less. 

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