Richard Whittall:

The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

Middle East Eye: "

The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer is one of the weightiest, most revelatory, original and important books written about sport"

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”

Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach: "James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport: “Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”
Play the Game: "Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal: "No one is better at this kind of work than James Dorsey"
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated: "Essential Reading"
Change FIFA: "A fantastic new blog'

Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life:
"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"

Christopher Ahl, Play the Game: "An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Egyptian Soccer Executive Warns League Cancellation Could Bankrupt Clubs

A prominent Egyptian soccer executive has warned that cancellation of the country’s Premier League in the wake of last weekend’s invasion of the pitch during an African championship match could bankrupt the sport.

Khaled Mortagey, a board member of Al Ahly SC, Egypt’s most popular club told BBC Sport that already financial troubled clubs “would go out of business if they cancelled the league. It's a very irresponsible decision from responsible people if they cancel the league - or postpone it even more. Not just the football clubs in Egypt could go bankrupt but all the sports in Egypt because football is the main source of revenue to fund other sports,” Mortagey said.

Plans to revive the league in mid-April after a three-month suspension to prevent the pitch from becoming an opposition rallying point were put on hold after militant supporters of Al Ahly arch rival Al Zamalek SC stormed the pitch in the last minutes of their teams crucial African championship match against Tunisia’s Club Africain. The fans disagreed with the referee’s decision to disqualify as offiside a goal that would have secured Zamalek the two-point lead it needed to advance in the tournament.

Egyptian Football Association Samir Zaher initially said the league may be cancelled as a result of the incident. In a statement released later on the EFA’s website, Zaher was quoted as saying that the EFA was considering reviving the league behind closed doors or inside military camps.

Major Egyptian sports clubs such as Al Ahly and Zamalek fund a variety of sports with income from football.

"How can you survive without having revenue streams? We have 19 different sports at Al Ahly and the revenue of the sports other than football is zero. Yet these other sports are the ones that bring on the players onto their national teams. So you're talking about all the sports in Egypt collapsing," Motrtagey said.

Egypt’s political turmoil has highlighted legal and structural issues that prevent Egyptian soccer clubs with few exceptions from becoming financially independent. The Egyptian parliament prior to the anti-government demonstrations that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from office was looking at allowing clubs, who are legally, non-profit organizations to establish commercial companies, which would allow them to value their assets and engage in merchandising.

There were similar moves to remove legal obstacles that prevent the EFA and clubs from properly marketing broadcast rights. This would have included depriving Egyptian authorities of the exclusive right to license anyone broadcasting from Egypt as well as the right to broadcast anything from Egyptian soil. 

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