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Messages - gazberg

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General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« on: Yesterday at 10:12:37 PM »
Paddy Power just announced they are paying out now on Sheffield Utd to be relegated after tonight's savaging.

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« on: Yesterday at 09:10:23 AM »
And yet with eleven and twelve games to go respectively both teams have already surpassed Derby's total of 11 points from their hilarious debacle of a season in the Prem after beating us in the Playoffs.

Nobody has ever been as bad as Derby were. Comforting stuff. The funniest thing being that when Kenny Miller scored the goal against Newcastle for their only win of the season the cameraman missed the ball hit the back of the net  :P .

When Derby went up over us and got mullered I found it entirely satisfying. Jammy sods

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: Yesterday at 08:45:56 AM »
Saints post an 87m loss for their PL relegation season - Kieran Maguire

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« on: Yesterday at 08:45:32 AM »
They will have parachute payments, and many of the players who dominated the division 2 years previously.

The Premier League have always wanted a closed shop, with the new FFP rules they have pretty much got it.

Burnley are worse than the team that went up for me and Blades have gone sideways.

I don't think either are as good as Leicester

General Football & Sports / Re: Ex Players Thread
« on: March 03, 2024, 02:04:02 PM »
Thinking about it, the money we received for O’Shea was not bad at all considering how little we have missed him and how poor he had been for Burnley

Has he been bad then? Honestly not followed him since he left.

That may be the case but the encumbrance that was Gareth Ainsworth has left the building. Unfortunately. Without knowing the bloke personally his only likeable trait for me was being a woeful manager for QPbloodyR.

Agree he was a large part of their downfall. Shame he's not there tomorrow

QPR are the 2nd worst home team in the league according to some statto on twitter

Anyone know the difference between upper tier gold and silver apart from fact silver is 31 quid and gold is 37?

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: March 03, 2024, 10:05:56 AM »
I felt the same way in 1978. 😉

Before my time sorry!

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Grady Diangana
« on: March 03, 2024, 07:37:51 AM »
At the moment he's 4th choice to play on the wing. And that's his natural position.If we hadn't lost all our forwards to injury woulde he even make the subs bench?

Once a lot of people are back after international break it's going to be interesting to find out!

Still be short of Kelly, Moloumby and Dike too

I saw Chair scored today. I read in the papers he was jailed, what happened?

By the sounds of it they don't really do jail in Belgium although according to recent changes they should

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: March 02, 2024, 09:02:11 PM »
Would rather Leeds, Leicester and Southampton keep winning now. Fancy our best shot over two legs against Ipswich


Ipswich are massive overachievers. Don't fear them in the slightest

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Grady Diangana
« on: March 02, 2024, 09:00:17 PM »
I just don't think he's suited to the role he's being asked to play all his inconsistency aside

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: OUT ON LOAN THREAD
« on: March 02, 2024, 07:24:38 PM »
Mo Faal scores for Walsall against Doncaster because he has to

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: March 02, 2024, 05:24:15 PM »
Millwall away is usually his last stand

He's making a habit of this!

Bottom half of the table looks tight

Very interesting indeed

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: March 02, 2024, 04:16:03 PM »
Watford losing 1-0.

Could this be the end of big Val for the umpteenth time

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Next 6 Games.
« on: March 02, 2024, 03:20:00 PM »
Already seen it. I'm all about opinions, even those that are wrong 😜

General Football & Sports / Re: Dingle watch - Anything Wolves
« on: March 02, 2024, 01:47:20 PM »
I think that was pretty much common knowledge regarding the wolves. They basically overspent so started to sell to balance the books and avoid a points fine. Regardless of getting away with it for now, I think they will struggle from now on due to Fosun seemingly downing tools. I think their glory days are over thankfully.

Their strategy seemed to be 'lose as much money as we can while staying within the rules' but, as you say, how much longer can it go on for?

67.2m loss last year
46.1m loss the year before that
Small profit before that the back to losses.

Looks like they have made around 65-70m this year on transfers so guess will balance it out for next season but can't see them recklessly spending large anytime soon.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Conor Townsend
« on: March 02, 2024, 12:58:34 PM »
I completely agree with CC. He has been an excellent player for us for most of the season. He could do with a break for a week or so, but hopefully he's not out for any longer than that, as he's easily the best we have in his position.

Agreed. He's not perfect (his inability to deal with crosses frustrates me) but he's better than most at this level and, as you say, he's the best we have.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Conor Townsend
« on: March 02, 2024, 12:33:07 PM »
CC says he's hopeful that CT injury isn't serious.  From the E+S

Corberan said: "The medical staff told me he had some tiredness, it was fatigue, in the hamstrings.

One minute before he asked for the change we asked him how he was feeling and he was feeling fine.

"My idea was to put Reach as a winger before the injury but with the injury we put Reach as a left-back.

He added: "Hopefully (just fatigue and not more) but I don't know yet, they will see how he is tomorrow and I don't know if they will make a scan or not, I didn't speak (about it) yet with the medical staff.

"Hopefully it's fine because he's been an excellent player for us and if he's not fine we need to find another solution with the other ones."

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: WBA NEW OWNERS - Bilkull football
« on: March 02, 2024, 11:21:38 AM »
Athletic article on him by Madeley from other day now i'm home:

"It was the summer of 1998 when Shilen Patel fell in love with football.

At the World Cup in France, Zinedine Zidane was weaving his magic on the pitch, Ronaldo was plundering goals and Michael Owen was announcing his arrival as a world-class talent.

Patel, on an extended summer break before heading for business school, was watching it all unfold, often from the surroundings of English pubs.

A quarter of a century later, he received a call that began the process of fulfilling the ambition that began emerging in that late-90s summer thousands of miles from home.

The American entrepreneur from Florida is now the new majority shareholder of West Bromwich Albion, a traditional football club in England’s industrial heartland of the West Midlands.

It is a long way from his early days at Carrollwood Elementary School in Tampa.

“It wasn’t hard times but we weren’t plotting anything either,” says Will Hutson, a friend of Patel’s who has known him since they were class-mates at Carrollwood.

“One of the bigger things that happened was that one of our class-mates got Reebok Pumps and another one got Air Jordans and that was insane to me and Shilen. It was very classically suburban Florida in the ’80s and it was idyllic.”

Patel had a relatively normal upbringing; never poor but yet to enjoy the success and accompanying wealth he has since acquired.

His father Kiran, born in Zambia into a Hindu, Indian family, and mother Pallavi are doctors, and during their only son’s school years, Kiran flexed his entrepreneurial muscles.

He launched two significant healthcare companies, selling both for huge profits. So it was little surprise when his son followed suit, building HealthAxis Group during a 10-year stint as CEO before selling his shares in January 2022 to the major investment company Revelstoke.

It was then that Shilen began looking seriously to invest some of the proceeds in his long-standing ambition to own a football club. In September 2023, he received a call from a lawyer looking to broker a deal for the sale of West Brom.

A month later he toured the training ground and stadium and met head coach Carlos Corberan.

Patel was one of several reputable bidders to have the red carpet rolled out, but by November 2023 he had become the preferred bidder of the Albion hierarchy.

A second high-interest loan from lenders MSD, secured in November, provided the breathing space Patel and the club needed to put the wheels of the sale in motion.

In China, former owner Guochuan Lai was continuing to hold conversations with rival bidders as he stared at the prospect of a huge loss on his 2016 investment, worth almost £200million ($253.2m).

But on the ground in the UK, efforts were focused on completing the deal with Patel — a deal on which controlling shareholder Lai was eventually sold.

For Patel, who has been a minority shareholder in Italian Serie A club Bologna since 2014, it was the chance to live a football dream.

“It’s a strange, under-reported phenomenon that American kids play a lot of soccer up to the age of 11 or 12,” says Hutson. “It’s a recess game and a big after-school game but, in our generation, a switch flicked at 11 or 12 when kids went to more contact sports or more finesse sports like tennis or golf.

“I don’t have any specific memories of us playing soccer but we would definitely have done it.

“In the early-’90s Tampa had one of the MLS franchises. He’s an entrepreneur and a businessman but he approaches it with a love of sport.

“(Patel) is a big supporter of the American sport franchises in our hometown and when I’m around his kids they talk to me about their favourite players, so sport is definitely in their family.

“He has a fantasy hockey team with a couple of other dads in his neighbourhood and it’s a very American thing for parents to share their love of sports with their kids.”

Patel, a father of one daughter and two sons, had held regular meetings with senior Albion officials and passed the English Football League’s owners and directors’ test before the club announced a sale had been agreed. This was in time for him to attend the 2-0 defeat to Southampton at The Hawthorns on February 16.

The discussions with the EFL included proving his ability to fund Albion’s operations for at least the next two seasons.

For a club losing an estimated £2million per month and owing more than £30million to MSD, Patel provides a financial stability that has been lacking.

There is no plan to pay back the MSD loan immediately, with Patel revealing in recent interviews that the debt would be ‘rolled over’ and cleared at a future date.

Time will be the judge on his success at West Brom in a league — the Championship — with a history of owners who have found the financial demands tough to deal with.

But West Brom fans will be banking on Patel’s proven pedigree in business.

With his flagship business, HealthAxis Group, now owned by new investors, Patel has turned his attention to the portfolio of other businesses within the family office.

Family offices are used in the United States as a tool to manage every aspect of their wealth, often using a small team of investment managers to use the office as investment funds.

The Patel family office, which includes Shilen, his father and several other members, is claimed to have assets worth around $2billion.

It has invested in hotels and real estate as well as charitable initiatives and colleges around the world, training doctors and nurses and preserving the Patels’ links with the healthcare sector that brought their wealth.

Its website details Patel’s business interests and roles since selling his controlling stake in HealthAxis Group.

They include a position on the board of trustees of the University of South Florida and chairmanships of a not-for-profit organisation that supports community projects in Tampa and a fund to help start-up businesses in the city.

Now he faces a new challenge in the very different environment of professional football and is hoping lessons learned from Bologna will serve him well as he embarks on what he described in the statement confirming the takeover as an “exciting project”.

Patel has been largely a silent partner at seven-time Serie A champions Bologna but has been close enough to observe the majority shareholder, Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Joey Saputo, calling the shots.

Patel has attended games periodically. One of which was the 2015 Serie B play-off final second-leg against Pescara, where Bologna clinched promotion back to the top division.

He is expected to adopt a similar approach at Albion. He is not expected to relocate from his base in Florida but to attend games semi-regularly — a step up from absent former owner Lai.

“My goal is to be here as often as I can, especially early on,” said Patel. “There’s a lot I need to learn about the club. Experiencing the matches, which is the coming together of so much of what the Albion community means, is going to be something which is very important to me.“

In the short-term, he will be unable to have a direct impact with Corberan’s squad in place for the remaining 12 games as they bid to secure a play-off spot.

Promotion to the Premier League, with its guaranteed income boost of more than £100million, would change the short-term outlook drastically for the better. Patel appears to have a longer-term vision.

“The long-term goal has to be to get back home to the Premier League. That’s where a club like West Bromwich Albion belongs. We are going to do our best to return.

Day to day, it is anticipated that Patel will leave the running of the club to managing director Mark Miles and the leadership team based in the UK.

Patel has been installed as chairman and will assume strategic control alongside advisors, including his father, who is a co-owner of the holding company Bilkul Football WBA, which was set up as the vehicle for the takeover, and investor Andy Nestor, who was a director at the Tampa Bay Rowdies (of the USL Championship, U.S. soccer’s second tier) and Bologna.

It is expected that Patel and his team will set the strategy for the club with Miles and Co implementing it.

Corberan was the first senior figure to receive a ringing endorsement in interviews. “I had the chance to meet with Carlos very briefly when I made a visit here towards the back end of October,” said Patel. “He certainly made an impression.

“He has a great sense of detail and his intensity is apparent. The work that he has done and the results that he has achieved here, they speak for themself.

“I’m really excited and happy that Carlos is our manager; he’s the manager with the perfect mindset for the project we are embarking on.”

Patel has made a positive impression with his calm manner during a handful of in-person meetings during his recent trip to the UK to complete the deal and a host of further sessions online.

He will be counting on the human touch that has earned him loyalty from friends to help him galvanise a club that has been neglected at ownership level for too long.

“From a business and ambition standpoint, he was a really optimistic guy,” says Hutson. “He just saw the world as glass-half-full and he was a great, consistent friend. As a kid, that’s a weird thing to notice, but I did.

“We’ve had a couple of instances as adults where he’s gone out of his way to be there for me and I try to do it for him. Once my oldest daughter got hospitalised in New York — she was born with rare genetic epilepsy.

“Within two weeks of us being in the hospital he, his wife and their oldest kid and their newborn flew up to see us and that took my breath away.

“There are a lot of wealthy people that don’t have his experience in the trenches, leading and inspiring people, doing the community outreach and doing all that while you build a world-class team. He’s a guy who can do that.”

Any chance of the Lottery numbers please lads? If they come in £37 for a game that's on TV during the week wouldn't seem remotely unpalatable and even a tenner would take some of the edge off ;D .

Sorry to butt in here but this maybe my fault. I posted in here it's the same xi as last time I think when it was meant to go into the Cov game pre match chat,not this here QPR pre.match chat.

I then deleted my comment from here but FP has already quoted me so apologies to FP for making him look psychic

General Football & Sports / Re: Dingle watch - Anything Wolves
« on: March 02, 2024, 10:11:30 AM »
"Simon Stone

Bad news. @Wolves have recorded a loss of £67.2m for the financial year to 31 May 2023. Good news. After avoiding P&S breach last year, it looks as though they will avoid it (just) for this one as well. Vindication of club's refusal to spend big in summer/Jan."

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Carlos Corberan
« on: March 01, 2024, 11:26:14 PM »
I have no issue whatsoever with the recruitment over the past two seasons, quite the opposite, we have consistently acted smartly and got a lot of great business done, in terrible circumstances.

Fair enough I think it's been dreadful overall since 2018 but it's all about opinions

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Carlos Corberan
« on: March 01, 2024, 11:19:50 PM »
Yeah, terrible signing that Johnston lad……

Seriously, what more do we expect from our recruitment last 18 months? Off topic to this thread but the football side of the club across the board have been punching way above their weight in very trying circumstances.

You know my opinion is not based on one signing but rather his entire tenure.

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