From Henry Moss :
Maybe you can do something on the Miki the Armenian / Baku situation?
From Andy Pinker:
Well what an absolute joke, Arsenal are going to play Chelsea in a 60,000-capacity stadium, with what looks like 3,000 Arsenal fans and 3,000 Chelsea fans, at 11pm at night local time.
34,000 tickets been given to the Uefa family.
Apparently the locals can barely give their seats away. Are they the same sort who are supposed to occupy either side of the two teams benches in the red chairs at Wembley that are invariably mostly empty?
Football as we knew it is now officially dead.
And how many tickets are they giving Spurs and Liverpool in Madrid ?
Eventually I can see both teams being given a few thousand tickets each, and made to travel even further distances than Azerbaijan……Iran, Iraq.? Rest in peace football as we knew it.
Baku is in Eurasia, not Europe.
That has now become a dynamic and very rapidly expanding trading zone, according to Peter Frankopan, the author of The New Silk Roads.
Trade from East to West has long been understood and countries who once wasted resources on warfare now collaborate on long-term infrastructure projects like the TAPI pipeline which connects Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
What I hadn’t realised until reading this book is that the North South corridor has become hugely important as well and Baku, on the western shore of the Caspian Sea, is bang in the middle of that zone.
Airlines, mobile phone operators, mining companies, and gas & oil giants need to think 20 years ahead and collaborate to find solutions within what’s called the new “International North-South transport corridor” that connects Northern Europe with South East Asia.
One analysis suggests that Iran might expect $2 billion in transit fees from increased trade across this region.
Business often dictates politics, of course. If UEFA still exists in 2040, they might look back and admit, “We gave that final to Baku 15 years before we should have done.”
But I’m no expert on governance.
FIFA and UEFA, like many national governments, are full of liars, cheats and scumbags. So over the last 20 years I have gradually lowered my expectations to the point where I can no longer be disappointed.
Yes, I have a few ideas about Arsenal v Chelsea, but I’m not going to preview the match.
Most of my friends are Gooners, so I hope Arsenal win but fear that Chelsea might shade it because Hazard and Kante are such phenomenal footballers.
Sarri needs to win to keep his job while Emery needs this trophy to get into the Champions League and increase his budget.
In their use of subs, the Italian and the Spaniard are polar opposites. While Sarri always waits too long before changing it, Emery might bring on two new players at half-time .
If Chelsea hit form, Kepa might not have much to do.
But I reckon both teams will score and if I have a bet it will be BTS.