Why we should be extra careful with what we say online

Social media, for the most part has been a groundbreaking invention that has allowed people across the world to interact from the comfort of their own homes.

We are able to communicate with friends, family and anyone else through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and before their declines, myspace and Messenger.

But in the eyes of some, the use of social media has allowed those to express feelings and thoughts in a negative manner. And in the world of sport, there’s usually someone or something on the receiving end of this ‘abuse’.

Quite frankly, it’s downright disgusting.

To hide behind a keyboard and post things you wouldn’t say to or someone if they were standing right in front of you is a true act of cowardice. And deservedly, it’s universally condemned.

But it’s easy to take this perspective when you’re fortunate enough to not be the subject of online abuse and vitriol.

For those who play sport at a professional level and for clubs with significant fan bases, it can be quite scary to read things that people around the world say about you.

With the stakes they play for being so high, any level of failure is met with a knee-jerk reaction by those online. And with such easy access to the aforementioned platforms, it’s hard for professional athletes to see the bright side.

Some athletes do see the bright side, knowing that what’s said online rarely translates to what’s said in real life. A great example of this is through the popular TV segment, Mean Tweets.

Hosted by late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, high profile people are made to read derogatory tweets directed at them, with most of them expressing laughter at the stupidity of what’s said.

Here’s a couple of examples of the segment.

But then there’s the other side of the equation, those who do get affected by what people say.

Often, these comments left online can be quite upsetting and sometimes, those on the receiving end don’t take it well. And despite there being those who can cop the abuse, some have different perspectives.

These comments, whether they’re made online or from the stands, are dragging the game of soccer down and it’s a real shame.

Back in 2017, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren played a poor game against Tottenham Hotspur in a 4-1 loss. Following the game, Lovren’s family members were threatened purely based on his performance.

You could be the most soulless person on this planet and still find that kind of comment disgraceful.

Briefly on Tottenham, left-back Danny Rose was diagnosed with depression in 2018. He seems to have put it behind him after becoming a first team regular for Tottenham this season.

Granted, Rose has admitted that injuries played a part in his depression during a BBC video that went online this year (can be found below in full), but it goes to show something.

We may see them as these worldwide superstars who can do anything. But in reality, they’re just like us.

Human.

Some may think that these comments don’t have any affect, but they do.

Mental health is one of the biggest problems surrounding soccer players and athletes around the globe because people think that they can say anything and get away with it.

They say these things for numerous reasons. Their performances on the field, as we know. It can be down to their appearance and personality (see above video for Peter Crouch). But there’s one other factor.

The fact that most of these players are millionaires.

Footballers get paid lots of money and there is a select group that think because of this, they should never be sad in their lives. Purely because they’re a bit wealthier than most folk.

To rebut these opinions, there is only one thing that needs to be said.

Money can’t buy happiness.

So before you send that tweet, Facebook post or whatever it is, put yourselves in their shoes.

How would you feel seeing someone say that about you? Because in life, you should only treat people the way you want to be treated.

And it’s time that we stamp the abuse out, whether it’s racism, sexism or general oppression. Because whatever it is, it has no place in sport or in life. Anywhere.

 

 

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Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Everton agree to 777 Partners takeover amidst seasons of turmoil

Goodison Park

Everton have agreed on a deal with 777 Partners, as the U.S. private equity firm is looking to taking over from Farhad Moshiri in a deal reports said was worth more than 550 million pounds ($1.06 Billion AUD).

Everton have no doubt been going into turmoil over recent years, between battling close relegation races twice, getting into Financial Fair Play trouble regarding their financial losses and struggling to pay for the new Bramley Moore Dock stadium in full before its completion in 2024.

After another slow start to the new Premier League season, it has left the club in a spot of bother regarding its ownership. Majority owner Farhad Moshiri has been publicly open to selling the club since the end of the 2022/23 season, claiming he could not keep up with the finances after the Everton annual financial report showed losses of over £430 million ($817 million AUD) over the last five years.

Founded in 2015, 777 Partners is an alternative investment platform that helps bold entrepreneurs transform visions into enduring value. The Miami-based company has subsequently branched out into sports club ownership with a vision to play a key part in football in the near future as mentioned on their website.

777 Partners have a number of clubs in its portfolio that have all been acquired over the last four seasons, including Italian side Genoa and Belgian team Standard Liege, while they also have stakes in Bundesliga 2 club Hertha Berlin and more recently A-League side Melbourne Victory.

However, even in their football ownership infancy, there has been major controversy surrounding their lack of investment into players for the clubs they own, as well as a general lack of care for on-pitch results which could spell major trouble for Everton.

Hertha Berlins recently held out banners in disgust for 777 after their shocking start to the Bundesliga 2 season, months after getting relegated from the first division under 777 owner Josh Wander with a dismal 29 points in 34 games, a club record low. The banners read  ‘Josh Wander, the only thing we assure you of is our disapproval of you’. In early September, Standard Liege fans held demonstrations inside their ground with banners such as ‘No money, no ambition’.

Another issue that could play a major role in the success of this takeover is the owners’ and directors’ test that must be passed by all potential owners of premier league clubs. Co-founder Josh Wander was charged and arrested for cocaine trafficking in 2003 and only ended a long period of probation in 2018. Wander admitted in an interview on Sky Sports Italia that this charge would come under additional scrutiny for the owners’ and directors’ test and could be a big roadblock. There are also a number of legal claims against the company still outstanding.

The future looks increasingly bleak for Everton with the poor reputation and record 777 Partners has with its current clubs and this takeover may do more harm than good if that is even possible. Staring down a possibly first-ever Premier League relegation, this change might be better than sitting still under the failure of Moshiri and Kenwright, but there is a rightful lack of optimism surrounding a lot of the club at the moment, especially with the loyal fans.

Kimon Taliadoros resigns – experienced CEO now needed for Football Victoria

Kimon Taliadoros

Last week, Kimon Taliadoros resigned from his position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Football Victoria.

He also served as Chairman of Football Victoria for five years before his role as CEO.

Taliadoros stated in regards to his exit decision via media release confirmation; “After much reflection, I have decided to step down from my role as CEO of Football Victoria.  It has been a privilege to serve the game. I am grateful to the selfless volunteers and dedicated staff that provide the resilience and energy that drives football in Victoria every day.”

Throughout his tenure, Taliadoros played a strong part in guiding the development of the Home of Matildas facility at La Trobe University – which also acts as the governing body’s headquarters.

Stage one of the precinct, an overall $101.1 million investment by the Victorian Government, was completed just before the beginning of the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

An overview of what the facility is eventually set to include, is listed below.

  • FIFA and AFC compliant elite training facility
  • Five pitches including
    • Show Pitch – Premium FIFA standard Hybrid
    • 1 additional Premium FIFA standard Hybrid
    • 3 FIFA standard synthetic pitches 
  • 400m2 high-performance Gym
    • Cardio
    • Weights
    • Additional Rehab/pilates / yoga multi-purpose space
    • Sprint track
    • Hydration station
    • Med ball wall
    • Warm-up / kicking zone
  • Sports Science / High performance
    • Prehab/rehab zone
    • Sports science lab
    • Doctor / Physio / Psychologist consulting suites
    • 2 Massage spaces
    • Strapping bench
    • Coaching hub/office
  • Elite-level Recovery / Wet Area
    • Hot & Cold Plunge Pools
    • ‘Endless River’ recovery pool with swimming jets
  • Multiple change rooms including a purpose-designed circular Matildas locker room
  • Referee change-room 
  • Auditorium / Theatrette and 3 configurable team meetings rooms with pitch markings in the carpet (team walk-throughs)
  • Approximately 800 seat grand-stand with additional terrace/balcony for standing room and/or functions – overlooking the main pitch
  • Function spaces and bar overlooking the main pitch (with commercial kitchen attached)
  • Public Café and match day canteen
  • Matildas and FV historical/interactive displays and memorabilia
  • Media production centre
  • Broadcast spaces and capability
  • Players dining room
  • Player’s lounge, study space, and 2 sleep rooms (sleep/meditation/prayer / quiet rooms)
  • Property office and laundry
  • Football Victoria offices within the main administration building
  • Public amenities throughout – including Changing Places, all abilities, gender neutral and parents facilities
  • Purpose-built international standard Futsal pitch (Stage 2 – subject to funding)
    • This facility will support wheelchair football, rugby, and other indoor events
    • The Futsal pitch will also provide an indoor training/game warm-up space

Taliadoros was also was responsible for the governing body’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working around the impacts of lockdowns and reduced competition across the state. The organisation was also the first sporting entity to commit to 50/50 gender equity under his reign.

In the interim, the FV Board has installed Karen Pearce OAM – the current Head of Equity, Growth and Inclusion at the governing body, as acting CEO. She will continue in her current role as well taking on responsibilities of the CEO’s office in an acting capacity.

The board has initiated a recruitment process for a permanent CEO – and it’s an opportunity for the governing body to appoint an experienced individual, with fresh ideas, to take the game forward in Victoria.

The success of other governing bodies, such as Football Queensland, are an appropriate guide of what to do next for Football Victoria.

Rob Cavallucci and his organisation recently delivered a new home for football in Brisbane’s North, after an agreement between the governing body and the Brisbane City Council.

The facility will provide young footballers in the state with further development programs, to improve their skills at a young age.

It is just one of a number of initiatives that Football Queensland have implemented, since Cavallucci took over in 2019.

On the back of a hugely successful Women’s World Cup, participation numbers are set to soar in Australia and it’s important for the governing body in Victoria especially, to take advantage of this.

Increased funding from governments should be on the agenda to cater for the boom, with a lack of suitable football pitches across the state still an issue for many participants.

Improvement on a commercial front is also necessary.  The organisation should be focusing heavily on signing sponsorship deals for their major competitions and events across Victoria – something that they can definitely capitalise on.

To accomplish this, the game in Victoria needs a CEO with a wealth of commercial experience, with an extensive network to tap into – to take the state’s game to the next level.

Transformation is needed in the governing body now, before the momentum of the Matildas’ home World Cup achievements wear off.

Proactive business decisions must be made by the incoming CEO, instead of reactive, if the game is to grow into its full potential across Victoria.

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