Interview: Aston Villa fans react to a whirlwind six months on and off the pitch

Managers have changed, players have come and gone but the fans are still here hoping for a bright future In July of last year we spoke to three Villa fans to get their overall feeling about the club at that time. It was a wonderful summer. England were two days out from playing a Euro 2020 final. Jack Grealish still played for the Villa and many fans felt he wasn't going anywhere. Dean Smith was reflecting on a fantastic season in which he guided the club to an 11th place finish. Emi Buendia and Ashley Young were through the door...

The FA to stop betting companies from broadcasting FA Cup ties via live stream

Bookmakers like Bet 365 have provided the only way to watch certain fixtures from the world's oldest cup competition The English Football Association (FA) has said that it will stop bookmakers from being able to live stream FA Cup matches going forward. It is as yet unclear when this change will take place with some reporting it will come into fruition during the next TV rights cycle and others suggesting it could be in force as early as the upcoming fourth round ties next month. As part of its TV rights deal for the competition, which includes exclusive TV broadcasting...

How to watch Carabao Cup Final 2022: TV channel, live stream & more

With the semi final stage underway, four teams have a chance of winning their first silverware of the season This season's edition of the Carabao Cup is down to its final four. Manchester City, having won the last four iterations of the cup, were knocked out by West Ham earlier in the competition, suffering their first Carabao Cup defeat since October 2016. Now a new Champion must be crowned and four of the Premier League's biggest clubs remain in the fight - Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. The bitter London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea will reach its conclusion tonight...

Interview: Ajax fans react to the first half of the 2021/22 season

The Amsterdam club have impressed in the UCL and are gunning for a third successive league title Ajax continue to build one fantastic team after another and this latest crop looks no different. Erik Ten Hag has done a spectacular job at the club and seems very happy in the Dutch capital while being constantly linked with seemingly every job in European football. Despite selling Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek and Sergiño Dest last season, following Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt the year previous, Ajax remain a force to be reckoned with, steamrolling through their group in...

How to watch FA Cup third round matches on TV and live stream

It's that time of year as the big boys enter the fray in the world's oldest cup competition Early January is a special time for all fans of English football as the FA Cup reaches its third round. It's a time of upsets, giant killings, dreams dashed, odds overcome. This year we have some very intriguing potential banana skins for the elite sides, as well as some all Premier League clashes to enjoy. Some of the most interesting ties will be televised in the UK, but where? How to watch the FA Cup in the UK on TV and via...

How to watch the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 in the UK

Follow all the action from this January's showpiece event on TV and via live stream AFCON is back in our lives after being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Like Euro 2020, it will keep its original name due to sponsorship reasons, despite being played a year later than planned. The biennial tournament was set to take place twelve months ago but this was deemed untenable by the authorities at CAF following the spread of the virus throughout the continent. Now the tournament can go ahead as some huge stars, many of whom ply their trade in the Premier League,...

Serie A sponsor TIM lowers profit forecast citing disappointing revenues from DAZN deal

Italian telecoms group fears lower core business gains after revenue from partnership with OTT provider lower than expected TIM, Italy's telecommunications giant and sponsor of the Italian top flight Serie A, has issued its third profit warning of the year, cutting its forecasted earnings. The group has cited its partnership with live streaming provider DAZN as one reason for the disappointing figures. Earlier this year TIM entered into an agreement with DAZN to screen Italian football as a way to boost interest in its broadband and pay TV packages. Revenues generated from this deal are said to have been below...

How to watch Premier League football this Christmas with Amazon Prime Video

There are ten festive fixtures to enjoy this December via live streaming on all your favourite devices For the third year running, fans of the English Premier League will need to get acquainted with online live streaming platform Amazon Prime Video if they want to enjoy every fixture during the Christmas period. Amazon has become a regular fixture in Premier League TV rights since 2019 and it's not going anywhere, after the Premier League chose to renew its agreement with Amazon, BBC, BT Sport and Sky earlier this year. Amazon Prime continues to show 20 matches across the season with...

Strange Times: Covid-19 and the Premier League

Football goes on as the world spins out of control once again, but for how much longer can it continue? The global coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire planet in various different ways. In the Premier League, we've seen outbreaks take over entire clubs, matches played without fans, even the postponement of the season. Some months have been better, and less chaotic, than others, but it's been a rollercoaster ride for everyone involved with the sport during the last two years. After a summer and autumn in which it would have been easy to forget all about the virus, especially...

Discovery in talks to partner up with BT Sport

US based media conglomerate contemplating partnership with British telecoms giant The proposed takeover of BT Sport by global OTT streaming service DAZN now looks to be in doubt. The two parties are reported to have been in advanced talks for months over the sale of the company's sports broadcasting arm but things appear to have gone cold. Speculation has been that BT would demand £600m for the sale but concerns over revenues and commercial issues, tied up in their broadband business, have led the would-be buyer to re-think the situation. In light of this, another possible suitor has emerged in Discovery....

Interview: New York City FC fans react to historic MLS Cup victory

Elated supporters celebrate first ever triumph and look to the future of the franchise and football in The Big Apple At the end of a dramatic 120 minute game full of intrigue and narrative, NYCFC beat Portland Timbers on penalties in their own backyard to win the 2021 MLS Cup. The visitors led by a 41st minute header from Taty Castellanos and thought they had gritted their way to a 1-0 win until Chilean international Felipe Mora finished well into the bottom corner in the dying seconds of added time. Extra time wouldn't be enough to separate the two and...

UEFA Champions League Draw: Real Madrid to face Paris Saint-Germain in Last 16

The second round of the UEFA Champions League will feature some monumental clashes between some of Europe's biggest clubs The draw for the next round of European football's most elite competition is finally complete and we have some very enticing fixtures to look forward to in 2022. However, a usually straight forward affair became the talk of social media when a series of technical errors brought the event into disrepute. The draw was fumbled but ultimately completed the first time around, before being totally scrapped and re-done following backlash from fans on Twitter and official complaints made by various clubs....

Football Stories Podcast: Isaiah Cambron from Barcelona Football Blog is here to talk Barcelona

Isaiah gives his insights into Xavi the player, the difficult times ahead at Camp Nou, short term goals and much more On this week's episode of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast, Craig chats to Isaiah Cambron, Barcelona fan and co-founder of Barcelona Football Blog, an independent fan site dedicated to the Catalan giants. Isaiah and Craig discuss some of the club's most iconic former players, the challenges facing the club right now on and off the pitch, who can stand to benefit from the arrival of Xavi Hernandez and much, much more. It was a pleasure having Isaiah on the...

Who are the bookies favourites to win the 2021/22 FA Cup?

With the third round draw complete, attention is turning to who might lift the trophy next May The preliminary rounds are over. Round One and Round Two are over, but for Barrow and Ipswich Town's replay on December 15th, now we look towards the world famous FA Cup third round, where those plucky non-league and lower league sides that have battled their way this far can dream of a tie against one of the big boys, as the Premier League teams enter the fight. Upsets are sure to happen, and they are one of the things that make this cup...

Football Stories Podcast: James Sneddon of From The Anvil is on the pod to talk West Ham United

James tells us his story of following The Hammers since childhood, about the relationship between the fans and owners, and much more On this week's episode of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast, Craig chats to James Sneddon, West Ham United fan and founder of From The Anvil, an independent blog and YouTube channel dedicated to West Ham. James and Craig discuss some of West Ham's greatest ex-players, the unbelievable turnaround at the club since David Moyes returned for a second stint, his views on the current ownership and much more. It was a pleasure having James on the show and...

Interview: Fulham fans give us the lowdown on the team's performance so far this season

Supporters talk the departure of Scott Parker, arrival of Marco Silva, the goalscoring exploits of Aleksander Mitrovic and more Fulham look set to be promoted back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, again. They currently sit top of the Championship, one point ahead of nearest rivals Bournemouth, playing some expansive, attacking football under new coach Marco Silva. It's a long old season in the second tier, and we aren't even half way through, but it seems a safe bet to assume that the West London side will at least secure one of the two automatic promotion...

Interview: Bayern Munich fans weigh in on the team's performance so far this season

Supporters give us updates on Nagelsmann, Upamecano, Lewandowski and much, much more It's been business as usual so far this season for the nine-time consecutive Bundesliga winners, as they top the charts domestically and in Europe. Bayern currently lead challengers Borussia Dortmund at the top of the league and are set to win UEFA Champions League Group E with ease. They've scored 42 goals in 13 league games and 19 in 5 European matches, outscoring every other team in both competitions. Doing his bit as always, Polish superstar striker Robert Lewandowski is currently the top scorer in the Bundesliga (14)...

Supporters of a biennial World Cup are playing Russian Roulette with domestic league income

FIFA's supposed plans to stage a World Cup every two years could cost leagues and clubs billions Former Arsenal manager and current Chief of Global Football Development at FIFA, Arsene Wenger is spearheading a consultation designed to adapt the men's football calendar starting in 2024. One of the most controversial proposals to come out of this thinktank is the idea of a biennial World Cup. While Wenger himself described a chasm in enthusiasm between younger and older generations, when responding to the uproar brought about by his suggestions, YouGov research commissioned by FIFA itself found that the idea is unpopular...

Football Stories Podcast: Jamie Smith from The Mag is on the pod to talk Newcastle United

Jamie shares some stadium stories with us, as well as giving us his views on a host of topics on and off the pitch On this week's episode of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast, Craig chats to Jamie Smith, Newcastle United fan and contributor to The Mag, and independent NUFC news site. Jamie and Craig don't hold back when discussing media representation of the club and its fans, Mike Ashley and his defenders, and the dark days The Magpies have been through. The boys also talk about the bright future ahead under the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. It...

NBC Universal comes out on top in the bidding war for Premier League TV rights in the USA

The EPL's hotly anticipated new broadcasting deal has been agreed as the league continues its relationship with NBC Media giant NBC Universal has renewed its ownership of Premier League TV rights in the United States, extending a relationship that started in 2013. The two signed a six year deal last week. This latest agreement will start next season and run until the end of the 2027-28 season. NBC came out on top in a bidding war for the lucrative TV rights which also included the likes of ESPN (owned by Disney) and a cooperative bid from Warner Media and Fox...

Interview: Can Atletico Madrid retain their La Liga title this season?

We check in with the experts to talk about Griezmann, De Paul, Simeone, Saul and much more! It's been a mixed start to the season for Diego Simeone's men, not disastrous by any stretch, but not stellar either. They find themselves currently in fourth position, four points behind city rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga. In the Champions League, back-to-back defeats against Liverpool have left them third in Group B, one point behind second placed Porto. They will probably need to do better than the 0-0 draw they played out with the Portuguese in their last encounter...

Football Stories Podcast: Quarter Season Review with Special Guests

Craig Hanson reviews the season so far in the Premier League and beyond with the help of some old friends On this week's episode of the show, Craig Hanson picks apart the first quarter(ish) of the Premier League season, as well as telling a little of his own fan story, and touching on some clubs from lower down the pyramid and on the continent. Eight former guests come on to join Craig briefly to give an insight into how their beloved clubs are getting on. It was a pleasure hearing from some of our previous guests again and we hope...

The Premier League is set to double its TV rights income in the United States

Auction of the English top flight's US broadcasting rights is set to generate over $2billion The English Premier League is likely going to see a huge windfall of cash thanks to the auction of its TV rights in the US. The league as well as its clubs are set to profit hugely from any deal done with the predicted sale value standing at $2bn, double what they received for the last deal in 2015. At that time NBC paid around €1bn for the rights. This increase in income will be a welcome respite for clubs who have been stricken by...

Interview: Man United fans tell us what's going wrong at Old Trafford

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have won only four of their last ten matches in all competitions After a somewhat promising start to the season which saw United win three of their opening four games in the Premier League, results have been mixed to say the least. A shock defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League set them on a run of three losses from four games in all comps. Cristiano Ronaldo rescued them in both Champions League group games against Atalanta with late goals but this only papered over the cracks of what is shaping up to be a...

Football Stories Podcast: Tom Mallows from Royal Blue Mersey is on the pod to talk about Everton

Tom talks about his hero Duncan Ferguson, some of the club's great managers, the new stadium construction project, and much more On this week's episode of the Sporticos Football Stories Podcast, Craig chats to Tom Mallows, freelance sports journalist and lifelong Everton fan. Tom is the co-founder of Royal Blue Mersey, a Toffees blog on the SB Nation network. You can also find his work on other outlets including the BBC. The two discussed Carlo Ancelotti's controversial departure to Real Madrid, how well Rafa Benitez is being received by fans, the future of Tom Davies and much, much more. It...