Tag Archives: Neo-liberalism

Playing the ponies: horse racing and the US neoliberal agenda

By MATT PEPPE*

2015.American Pharoah-Head On(June 8) – American Pharoah on Saturday (June 6) cruised to a five-length victory in the Belmont Stakes and became the first thoroughbred to claim horse racing’s Triple Crown in 37 years. The publicity and excitement of having a horse become the 12th Triple Crown winner should be a much welcomed shot in the arm to a sport that long ago lost its iconic place in American sports – along with boxing and baseball. In New York State, where American Pharoah’s victory took place, the horse racing industry has been the victim of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s strong-armed tactics to keep the cash cow alive at the expense of the few diehard fans who still remain loyal to the Sport of Kings. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Flames owner readying arena demand

fieldofschemes-BurnsRatner(Nov. 26) – The owners of the Calgary Flames haven’t been too aggressive with their hopes for a new arena, beyond occasionally griping about their old one. That all changed yesterday, though, thanks to a major package of articles in the Calgary Herald describing how:

  • Flames CEO Ken King “could be within weeks of announcing their vision” for a new arena
  • The arena will almost certainly require, in King’s words, “some sort of public-private” funding scheme.
  • Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the city council are vehemently opposed to giving King any cash, though some on the council may be open to providing free land.

According to the Herald, the arena talks have been going on for three years, if by “talks” you mean “the Flames owner asking for money, and city officials telling him to get lost.” More

Source: Field of Schemes

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Grassroots football: withering numbers

According to an informative report by ANDY HUNTER in the London Guardian, over 100,000 people have walked away from grassroots football in England since April 2012. The participation rate in English football has declined by almost ten per cent. The withering decline is mainly due to the neo-liberal, anti-social agenda pursued by the Cameron and Blair governments, who have slashed funding and put sport at the mercy of corporate profiteering. “Leisure facilities are cut and cut and cut.” Small youth teams and young people are being priced out of playing organised football. If you haven’t got a pitch, there is no choice. The Premier League, the richest professional sports league in the world, is but a facade that covers up the destruction of people’s sport. Amateur sport is portrayed as a charity (tax-deductible!), rather than a basic right of the people and essential to health. – Tony Seed

• In pictures: grassroots football on Merseyside

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Soccer / Football

Detroit, other US cities ripping off public workers to fund stadiums

Taxpayers face major cuts to their negotiated benefits yet remain on the hook for a $283 million gaudy new arena in the bankrupt city DAVID SIROTA

Detroit's latest pension disgrace: A gaudy new arena at retirees' expense

Joe Louis Arena in Detroit | AP/Paul Sancya

Salon (July 24) – As states and cities grapple with budget shortfalls, many are betting big on an unproven formula: Slash public employee pension benefits and public services while diverting the savings into lucrative subsidies for professional sports teams.

Detroit this week became the most prominent example of this trend. Officials in the financially devastated city announced that their plan to slash public workers’ pension benefits will move forward. On the same day, the billionaire owners of the Detroit Red Wings, the Ilitch family, unveiled details of an already approved taxpayer-financed stadium for the professional hockey team.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sighting: Ethics of the World Cup – Enyeama-Messi or Suarez-Chiellini?

Photo of the day: Vincent Enyeama, Nigeria’s No 1 goalie, was all smiles as he pumped fists with Argentine talisman, Lionel Messi, in the tunnel before the world cup game  between Nigeria and Argentina; with the Albiceleste running out 3-2 winners.

Photo of the day: Vincent Enyeama, Nigeria’s No 1 goalie, was all smiles as he pumped fists with Argentine talisman, Lionel Messi, in the tunnel before the world cup game between Nigeria and Argentina; with the Albiceleste running out 3-2 winners.

2014 FIFA World CupYesterday, as the Nigerian and Argentinian teams at the World Cup waited together momentarily in the tunnel before emerging onto the field for the second half, the Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama reached out to Lionel Messi and patted him on the back.

Nigeria had stood on the brink of being the first, and only, team from Africa to qualify for the round of 16. The Super Eagles, the reigning African champions, required just a point from their match with Argentina to secure qualification. But one man, Messi, had stood in their way.

Despite facing one of the top players of all-time, Nigeria keeper and vice-captain Vincent Enyeama had not been worried, as a press report published the day before the match related. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Soccer / Football

World Cup 2014: Denying rumours with actual facts

Sao Paulo, May 15, 2014. News agencies report that the government is negotiating with those organizations protesting the World Cup regarding their grievances to minimize the disruption to the sporting event. Investigations are also underway regarding police violence against protestors, Vermelho reports. (Xinhua)

2014 FIFA World CupOver the last months, the Dilma Rousseff administration and the Workers’ Party (PT) have been the target of a massive campaign in the media and the social networks against the hosting of the World Cup. Criticisms can always improve any given project, yet what we are witnessing in Brazil, now with international repercussions, is a pessimism and disinformation campaign led by the opposition, with critical support from the big media, in an attempt to undermine the government. This campaign makes use of fair claims made by the population for improvement in public services for the purpose of promoting a rhetoric hinged on the inefficiency of the State and public spending. It also seeks to separate the holding of the Cup from the federal government, simultaneously criticizing it yet mobilizing pro-Cup feelings to boost big business profits. Our international friends in sectors of the left have shown concern over news of the potential passage of legislation that would favor crackdowns on protests and social movements, in light of the 2013 demonstrations. Given this major disinformation campaign, we would like to share some facts with our friendly foreign parties.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Soccer / Football

Elites use World Cup to solidify power: Analyst

2014 FIFA World CupPress TV has conducted an interview with Harry Brown, an author and lecturer at the School of Media, Institute of Technology, in Dublin, about mass demonstrations in Brazil against the Copa de mundo da FIFA Brasil 2014 2014 FIFA World Cup. This will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international men’s football tournament that is scheduled to take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. Brazil was elected unchallenged as host nation in 2007 after the international football federation, FIFA, decreed that the tournament would be staged in South America for the first time since 1978 in Argentina, and the fifth time overall.

The following is an approximate transcript of the interview, which however forms only part of an interesting discussion with a number of other guests. For the full video discussion, click here: Elites use World Cup to solidify power: Analyst

Press TV: The game of soccer, or football depending on where you live, has turned into this multi-billion dollar business, from the millions and more recently the tens of millions that are being paid to their players in terms of their salaries. Has money affected this sport? Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Soccer / Football