The Premier League 0 – The Pirates 1

Comment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “There is far too much negativity coming from the outside, with people wanting to write us off. I think it’s time to be positive. We have a good squad now, with 26 good players who are committed to playing for the club. Our debt now is probably among the lowest in the league. I don’t want to talk about what would have happened. I want to talk about the future. It isn’t a gamble. It simply had to be done. The most important thing for us was to keep Portsmouth Football Club afloat. Because of the credit crunch, our previous owner felt that he had to sell the club. It is a situation that could happen to several clubs. We had the assets to be able to adjust to that. The money from selling players has gone to the banks and so has the TV income. We have managed to get the payroll down to a sensible level. People should give us a bit more credit for doing what we’ve done, rather than just shutting up shop.” – Peter Storrie.

Runner-up: “Is there an agreement between Bayern and Real for a transfer next summer? Never, I deny it. That is fake. Absolutely nothing has been sorted out so far. Bayern officials didn’t propose to me any (contract) extension. Maybe we will talk, I have never closed any door. My preference is to move to Spain. One day I will play in La Liga.” – Franck Ribery.

Today’s overview: The Premier League 0 – The Pirates 1. We kick off today’s paper round-up with a potentially massive story breaking from Israel which could have far reaching consequences for watching the Premier League online.

Owen Gibson and Shaul Adar report in the Guardian about how “the Premier League was today dealt a blow in its global fight against online piracy after a court in Israel threw out an attempt to shut down a pirate website that was showing live matches free of charge. The league failed in a bid to force Israeli ISP Netvision and web portal Nana to reveal the identity of the Israeli owner of, a website that used servers based in the country to stream live footage of Premier League matches for nothing. In a judgment that could set a worrying precedent for the Premier League, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled that it was a case of ‘fair use’ since no profit was made from the broadcasts and that, in Israeli law, breach of “broadcasting” copyright only referred to cable or wireless transmission and not streaming over the internet.”

Forget diving. Today’s football kryptonite is song.

Marina Hyde sticks her head over the parapet to cry wolf about abuse served to Arsene Wenger from fans. “What is to be done about the Arsène Wenger paedophile chant, beloved of knuckle-dragging cretins who imagine that baying it at the Arsenal manager constitutes making some kind of point?… it is pertinent to inquire whether the police and the Football Association’s strategy of doing precisely nothing can really be said to be making any inroads.”

Fans’ chanting is also the focus for Mark Odgen in the Telegraph looking ahead to the Manchester derby. “With Adebayor due to play in his first derby for City following his £25 million summer transfer from Arsenal, officials at Eastlands are determined to avoid the striker being subjected to a chant, laced with racist overtones and personal insults.”

Ok. So diving couldn’t stay out of the headlines for too long.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp comes across a little naive in the Sun when commenting on the subject. “I believe diving is rare. I also believe no player ever takes to the pitch with instructions from his manager to dive if it makes the difference between winning or losing… It is hugely upsetting when you’re on the receiving end of it and I would not be happy with one of my players doing it. If we go down that road, we’re all lost.”

On the England team, ith concerns growing about David James’s prospects for next summer’s tournament in South Africa, Green is emerging ahead of Ben Foster as the leading contender in Capello’s mind.” In defence Martin Lipman reports that “Matthew Upson and Manchester City new recruit Joleon Lescott are likely to be the central defensive pair on Saturday, with [Gary] Cahill poised for a first cap off the bench at some stage.” While up-front Sam Wallace notes that “Fabio Capello is preparing to start with Jermain Defoe alongside Wayne Rooney in England’s strikeforce instead of Emile Heskey… in what would be a radical departure from his usual attacking formation.”

Eastern European football boffin Jonathan Wilson runs his eye over Slovenia ahead of their friendly at Wembley on Saturday. “Historically, they also struggle against the more robust northern European nations… [so] it may be that England do not see the best of Slovenia… Samir Handanovic of Udinese is a highly promising 25-year-old goalkeeper, but this really is a team without stars.”

Dipping into the Premier League, Jamie Jackson lays out his concerns for Paul Hart in moulding 13 new signings into a team that can survive. “Five of Hart’s signings have no Premier League experience, seven of the 13 arrived only days before the transfer window closed on yesterday, and so far Portsmouth’s Premier League campaign reads four defeats from four outings.”

While it was common knowledge that West Ham have financial difficulties at present, Matt Scott today dishes the dirt on the the Hammers’ finances. “Documents reveal a business strategy that, in the opinion of the club’s finance director, Nick Igoe, was ‘fundamentally flawed’… the Hammers have net debt and contingent liabilities approaching £100m.”

From one disaster club to another.

Louise Taylor leaves Newcastle fans wanting to stick pins in their eyes announcing “any takeover of Newcastle United could still be months from completion… The suspicion lurks that, with the Moat bid dragging on and the team impressing in the Championship, Ashley is hoping a wealthy foreigner buyer will suddenly materialise and exceed his asking price.”

The Daily Mail’s Richard Copeman attempts to stir up controversy by drawing attention to Matthew Le Tissier’s admission that he was part of a failed betting scam during his Southampton playing days. “The former Southampton and England midfielder colluded with friends who placed a spread bet on the time of the first throw-in during a game against Wimbledon in 1995.”

Just because the transfer window has slammed shut, Fleet Street simply cannot help itself continue to barf transfer gossip across the back pages.

The Guardian announce that Ryan Babel hopes to leave Liverpool in January to join Ajax on loan, while Jason Burt reports that West Ham are sizing up bringing in free-agent Mark Viduka while the Hammers “remain confident that they can still sign Marouane Chamakh, the Moroccan striker, either in January or next summer when his contract at Bordeaux ends.”

Usually way off the mark with his headline-grabbing sensationalist articles, Alan Nixon splashes with news that “Phil Brown is making an SOS swoop for Celtic’s Dutch striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink – after the transfer window shut. The 30-year-old hit man arrived for talks last night and should sign a deal to join the Tigers as Brown today as pulls off a surprise coup for the free agent forward.”

Wantaway West Ham centre-half Lucas Neill is poised to head to Spain, according to The Sun. “Neill is close to joining Atletico Madrid because the taxman will soon grab half his earnings if he stays in the Premier League.” The Sun continue to push out transfer lies farting “Fulham are set to land Poland striker Pawel Brozek, 26, in January after failing to sign him on deadline day.”

On the deals which didn’t happen, the Daily Mail cough “Tottenham Hotspur failed in a deadline day swoop for Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, according to reports in Spain.” Adam Simmons pipes up in The Sun with the rumour that “Portsmouth were so desperate to get David James off their wage bill they offered him to Stoke just before the transfer deadline… Pompey were frantically trying to push James, 39, out of the Fratton Park door because he earns £60,000 a week plus substantial appearance money.”

Summerising the events on the final day of the transfer window, Giles Smith vents over the timing of the close of the window. “It wasn’t the right window for any of us, frankly. I blame the timing – not midnight, like last year, but 5pm. Have you tried tooting on a whistle and cracking open a can of party string at 5pm? It just feels wrong, irrespective of whether or not Richard Dunne has joined Aston Villa from Manchester City.”

We end with AGinola’s image is taking a battering in his native France as the former Newcastle United player faces up to criminal proceedings for allegedly abandoning the daughter he had with his mistress… Ginola, 42, who denies the allegations, faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros if found guilty.”