After a couple of weeks out, the newsletter is back. Too much to summarise, so let’s get on with it.
Have you noticed the Huawei ads featuring Flo Jo as an inspirational figure? I say this is the worst sporting figure you could choose and the most cringeworthy campaign possible.
A few football pieces worth reading. As PSG and Man City face off in the Champions League, the Guardian has a great recap on how both teams were built by rival Gulf money. Meanwhile, Arsenal have been left behind. Once the stadium development was seen as crucial to the club’s future, but now it’s just a small part of club finance.
At the other end of the table, Aston Villa need to start to prepare for life in the lower league. Here’s the Economist’s survival guide. Some new players would help – the Guardian reveals how the transfer market actually works, and why some players are so (relatively) cheap.
San Francisco’s new soccer team is very, well, San Francisco. Startup? Check. Virtual reality training? Check. Apps for dating and food ordering? Check, check. Quartz has the story.
I wouldn’t file this under the worst thing about Fifa right now, but the rankings system it uses really screws some countries – like Australia. Vice has the lowdown.
To finish off football, here are three lovely obituaries of Johann Cruyff: the Economist; the FT; and the Guardian.
Why is Twenty20 so successful? Will Ben Stokes get over his final over disaster? And, just like in the 50-over game, the smaller nations are getting screwed, again.
Paying college athletes won’t solve the big problem with US college sports.
ESPN reveals how Nike lost Steph Curry (the biggest thing in basketball right now) to Under Armour.
The New York Times on the NFL’s flawed concussion research and links to – seriously? – the tobacco industry
A Cuban defector changed baseball – but nobody remembers. (NYT again)
It should be a good Masters – golf is blessed with some great players at the moment. Can Jordan Speith retain the green jacket? Also look out for a Masters back-nine piece by me in the FT any day.
When has a sport so neatly segued from match fixing to drug scandal to sexism row?
A recent recap: how Novak Djokovic made comments from Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore even worse; How Maria Sharapova’s mea culpa was a bit too scripted; and why suspensions won’t deter drug users.
That’s it – see you soon.
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