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Open Thread: June 29, 2021

Our Tuesday issue of the Daily Merengue!

France v Switzerland - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Marcio Machado/Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

This Euros has turned into a wild ride

If you watched these matches of football and were not moved by the blood, sweat and tears on full display, you are surely not a fan of the game. If you missed these matches, you’ll have to remedy that situation.

Switzerland eliminated France on penalty kicks, with Kylian Mbappe dramatically failing to net after nine consecutive successful penalty kicks.

Karim Benzema led the way for France with style and class much as he does for Real Madrid. He netted two goals:

Squawka has an interesting read about this match: 10 shocking stats from Switzerland’s superb penalty shootout win over France at Euro 2020

Overall, it was an absurd, baffling approach that France took to the game after going up 3-1. Instead of killing off the game by taking the ball down to the corner flags or by turning it into a game of ball retention, Les Blues kept trying spectacular long balls to forwards or getting caught in possession near their own box. One has to figure that Didier Deschamps’ days are numbered after failing to reign in the team enough to use all of their massive talent to see off the game. This could be the opening for a job that our own Zinedine Zidane has reportedly expressed strong interest in, although he has also said that his greatest joy is being a daily coach and training with the team.

Croatia lost to Spain 3 - 5 in yet another wild match, which featured a world class Luka Modric on the top of his game.

Luka may be out, but it’s worth remembering that he hit one of the best strikes of this Euros.

News about Eden Hazard

Today’s selection from Steven Mandis’ “The Real Madrid Way”

The divergence of structure among clubs has created financial advantage for some and challenge for others. For example, billionaires buying Chelsea and Manchester City made them contenders overnight and significantly increased the competition and cost for talent, which affects teams like Real Madrid. Recently, Wanda Group, a large conglomerate owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jialin, acquired a 20 percent stake in Atletico Madrid for €45 million, giving Wanda a seat on the board of directors. Now Atletico has access to more resources to buy talent.

Member-owned clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona do not have a billionaire owner or corporation or a wealthy investment owner to absorb losses or provide increases of capital, etc. Therefore, the clubs owned by members are at a competitive financial disadvantage, which forces them to seek a sustainable economic-sport model. In addition, with elections by club members for the president and board, it’s more difficult for the club to seek long-term financing as the lenders don’t know who will be running the club in the future and what their strategies may be. The election is also similar to a political election in that candidates may make promises that are good in the short term but disastrous in the long term. Or an incumbent may take actions to make the finances look better than they are, hiding problems, or sacrifice the financial future to win in the present.

On the other hand, having community membership invokes the opportunity for clubs to have a closer relationship with local residents and fans. It really is their team. They have a say and vote. The structure of Real Madrid ensures a high level of fan involvement and engagement. This could lead to an ability to generate greater passion and loyalty. It may be difficult for a billionaire owner to turn over how the team is run to their community. Another advantage worth noting is that member-owned clubs have a consistency in ownership. Many sports teams are bought and sold over the years. Real Madrid has had its socios ownership from the beginning, so it may be easier to draw values from them. When the elected presidents of Real Madrid have drifted from the values, the socios have taken action, including voting out an incumbent president.

Mandis, Steven G. “The Real Madrid Way: How Values Created the Most Successful Sports Team on the Planet.” Page 24. Dallas, Texas: BenBella Books Inc., 2016.

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