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6th Jun 2022

Author: Tony Weeks

 

Tragedy struck the Lancashire-based club this afternoon, as owner Simon Sadler announced that the club would be entering administration and would be relegated from the professional leagues. In an official statement to club media, Sadler explained that “Unfortunately, the financial situation of the club has become untenable and we have been forced to enter administration and surrender our FA license. We will inform the supporters of the future of the club at a later date."

 

This move comes as a shock to many supporters, who were just celebrating their promotion to the Championship after winning the 2021 League One playoff final under manager Neil Critchley. It seems as though the club cannot escape the irresponsible financial management which was prevalent during their time under the Oystons. The fall of Blackpool represents a disappointing end to a proud footballing institution, and surely raises questions over the role of owners in managing smaller clubs. 

 

Not much is known about the teams that may take Blackpool's spot in the upcoming Championship season. While last year's League One playoff finalists Wycombe Wanderers seem like the obvious choice, rumours abound that a new club will be formed to take the place of Blackpool for this upcoming season. 

 

One thing is for sure, though. The leagues will miss the sunny trips to Lancashire. 

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12th Jun 2022

Author: Paul Joyce

 

In a shocking twist of events, the FA have announced that Red Bull GmbH has founded and registered a new team in the English pyramid, which has just obtained the license to participate as the 24th team in the 2022-23 championship season. The spot was previously vacated due to the relegation of Blackpool, owing to the massive financial irregularities within the club. 

 

Such an announcement brings excitement, as fans eagerly await the continuation of the Red Bull project in England. Red Bull-owned teams have established themselves as genuine contenders within their footballing pyramids, with RB Leipzig a regular European contender in Germany, Red Bull Salzburg as perennial champions of Austria and New York Red Bulls winning three MLS Supporters Shields. Many pundits speculate that a similar rise could be seen in England, with the newly established club expected to challenge the elite English football teams within the next decade. 

 

However, this move has also been met with sharp criticism from other corners of the footballing world, with many feeling that the move represents another example of the corruption that runs modern football. Said one anonymous club executive: “The fact that companies like them can spend billions of pounds to found new clubs in place of time-honoured institutions is another representation that the game of football is no longer the game of the people anymore.” Supporters have also been outraged at the move, arguing that teams such as Wycombe were more deserving of a place and that new clubs should not be founded to enter as prestigious a league as the Championship. 

 

While plans have been announced for the construction of a new stadium and facilities based near Harrow School in London, we do not know the new manager or any other details of the club. We shall keep you updated with more developments. 

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27th Jun 2022

Author: Tony Weeks

 

Following endless rumours over the new manager at the newly formed club Red Bull London, club executives have announced that formed England, Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole has been confirmed as the new manager at Red Bull Stadium this morning. Cole is the first member of staff appointed by the owners at Red Bull.

 

Cole possesses an impressive CV, with three Premier League titles and a Champions League Final appearance, as well as 10 goals in 56 caps for England. Widely regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation, Cole had previously been a pundit for BT Sport and a technical academy coach at former club Chelsea. Red Bull's decision to appoint Cole has come with some question marks, considering Milwall boss Gary Rowett was seen as the favourite for the job. Only time will tell whether this risky decision will pay off for the energy-drink conglomerate as they begin their project to conquer English football. 

 

The Red Bull spokesperson also announced that a press conference would be held in a few days time to officially introduce Cole as the new manager of Red Bull London. 

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28th July 2022

Red Bull Stadium

 

Steve Wright (The Daily Mirror): Welcome Joe, congratulations on the new job. What's going through your mind as you sit here as the new boss of Red Bull London?

 

Joe Cole (Manager): To be honest, I can scarcely believe it myself. I was always looking for the opportunity to enter back into football and when this one came up, I jumped at the chance. I'm happy to be here and I'll be even happier once we get down to business.

 

Stuart Stone (London.Football): Having enjoyed a successful playing career, you must be hoping that your past experience will give you some assistance in commanding the respect of the dressing room?

 

JC: Not really. While I did play for a lot of Premier League clubs, I was hired here as a manager, not a player. I think that the players are going to observe my ability as a manager rather than what I did during my career. It's up to how I run the team to determine how much the dressing room respects me. 

 

Ally McCoist (ITV Sport): With the founding of this new club also no doubt comes a generous injection of funds. Do you see the club spending more money or adopting a more fiscally conservative approach?

 

JC: Ally, I believe in signing the best players possible to play for this team. While it would be better to get them for a cheap fee, the fact of the matter is the best players will cost higher prices. We are an ambitious club, and with money at our back, we'd be foolish not to use it. 

 

Emma Jones (BBC London 94.9): What's your long term ambitions for the club?

 

JC: The Red Bull project has been known across Europe for rising to the top divisions and competing at the highest levels of the game. There is no difference in the ambitions of this club. We aim to reach the Premier League and Champions League and hopefully win some trophies along the way. 

 

Tony Weeks (Sporting Life): One last thing, Joe. As you know, the founding of this club came after the unceremonious relegation of Blackpool, a travesty to the English pyramid. I was just wondering if…….

 

Millie Green (Press Officer): That's enough questions. Thank you all for coming. We look forward to meeting with you again.

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31st July 2022

Red Bull Stadium

Red Bull London 7 - 0 Bristol City

 

The Championship collectively shuddered today, as the newly formed Red Bull London announced themselves to the world with an emphatic win over Nigel Pearson's Bristol City. In just their second ever official game, the Red Bulls put the Robins to the sword, tearing them apart at every opportunity. 

 

The game was already a foregone conclusion by halftime, with Nicolas de Preville profiting off some wasteful possession by the Bristol defence to score an excellent first half hat-trick. However, the Bulls showed no signs of slowing down in the second half, as Jeremy Sarmiento put away a simple tap-in following an outlandish effort from midfielder Mohamed Ben Romdhane which was barely parried away. Bristol's defensive woes were not helped by Han-Noah Massengo receiving his marching orders with half an hour still left in the game, and RB London gleefully took apart the defence. Nemanja Radoja came alive with two goals in five minutes, following a beautiful screamer with a simple header off a set piece from Kieran Dowell. Dowell himself finished off the rout with a simple finish towards the end of the game. 

 

The defeat has raised questions over the effectiveness of the Bristol defence, while serving as a statement of intent to the rest of the Championship: Red Bull London are here, and they are coming. 

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2nd September 2022

Author: Emma Jones

 

With the transfer window drawing to a close, we finally can have a look at what the first Red Bull London squad looks like. With the team having won their first 11 games, it seems safe to say that the famed recruitment of the Red Bull franchise has produced excellent results for the fledging team. Let's have a rundown of the main squad and what we expect to see from them this season:

 

Goalkeepers:

  •  Ziga Frelih (GK): Standing at an imposing 6'6", Frelih joins the Bulls as an unknown quantity. Having left a successful Gil Vicente team due to personal problems last year, questions were raised over his free transfer to the club. However, manager Joe Cole's faith in him has been repaid with a league-leading 5 clean sheets in the first nine games, as he makes his case as one of the league's best keepers. 
  • Keiren Westwood (GK): A mainstay of many Championship teams over the past decade, Westwood found himself without a club for the first time since his move to Sheffield Wednesday, where he made nearly 200 league appearances. At age 37, he provides an experienced voice to the dressing room and a reliable pair of gloves if needs be. 

 

Defenders:

  • Gary Cahill (CB): An icon of Premier League football, Cahill left the Premier League with a glittering CV, having won every club trophy under the sun. He was part of a promotion-winning Bournemouth team last season but found himself released following the conclusion of the campaign. RB London duly pounced, and Cahill now leads the flying side as their first-ever captain. 
  • Joe Worrall (CB): It was a shock to see Worall leave Nottingham Forest after 168 league appearances, including captaining the side in their Playoff Final victory last year. However, the 25-year-old found himself out of favour and was snapped up by Red Bull London for £4.3 million. Tall, strong and a vocal leader, his presence at centre-back has helped anchor a steady RB London defence through the early part of the season.
  • Edgar Ie (CB): Capable of playing at either right back or centre back, Ie has embarked on a journeyman career ever since his graduation from La Masia in 2015. Having just left Turkish title winners Trabzonspor after a spate of injuries, he has played in all 9 of RB London's games, making the fourth-most interceptions in the league. Ie provides excellent versatility to manager Joe Cole's lineup as a starter as well as off the bench. 
  • Uros Spajic (CB): Despite coming off of a knee ligament injury with Kasimpasa in Turkey, Spajic possesses an impressive CV, with four years in Ligue 1 and a Belgian title to go along with 20 caps for Serbia. Despite starting the season as a rotation option, Spajic has played his way into a starting spot for Joe Cole's team. As an aggressive defender averaging around 2.25 dribbles per 90, Spajic provides a unique option to the RB London backline.
  • Malick Thiaw (CB): On loan from AC Milan, Thiaw has been touted as the successor to Jurgen Kohler in the German media, and has made regular appearances for Germany's U21 sides. Tall, but comfortable with the ball, Thiaw will be looking to build on promotion to the Bundesliga with Schalke last season and make a name for himself at the San Siro. 
  • Omar Elabdellaoui (RB): Returning to England for the first time since his loan at Hull City, Elabdellaoui has had a long road back following a freak accident in 2020 which injured his eyes. However, the defender has looked comfortable on his return to English football, sitting fourth in tackles per 90. Cole will be hoping to recapture the form that saw Elabdellaoui captain Olympiacos to the Greek Super League just a few years ago. 
  • Enock Kwateng (RB): A versatile right-back able to contribute effectively in both halves, Kwateng suffered relegation with Bordeaux last season and was signed by Red Bull London on a free. While his defensive prowess has been solid, 4 assists in 4 starts have solidified him as a dangerous attacking option for the Bulls down the right flank. 
  • David Junca (LB): Released following Girona's promotion to La Liga, Junca has spent his entire career playing in the top two tiers of Spain, before making his first move abroad to England aged 28. Despite missing the first month of the campaign with an ankle sprain, Junca's creative prowess suggests an optimistic outlook for the left-back position in the RB London lineup.
  • Julian Aude (LB): Despite being just 19, Aude has enjoyed a solid start to his time in Europe, filling in for the injured Junca. RB London were keen to pick up the talented wing-back and did so for just £3 million. Highly driven and remarkably well-rounded, Aude shows the propensity to play well across the defence and midfield. With the proper development, he is one to look out for in the RB London squad. 

 

Midfielders:

  • Nemanja Radoja (DM): Coming off of relegation with Levante, Rajoda enjoyed 7 seasons of La Liga football with Celta Vigo and Levante, but publicly stated his desire to play in the Premier League. So far, the 29-year-old has been one of the best players in the competition in his limited appearances and looks set to fulfilling that Premier League dream by the end of the season. 
  • Filip Bradaric (DM): Like many other members of the squad, Bradaric was released following a relegation, this time with Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia. However, despite having rarely played football outside his native Croatia, Bradaric seems to have the trust of Joe Cole, as he has played all 9 Championship matches so far. A creative midfielder with a strong engine, Bradaric's unique physical profile poses a challenge for defenders and allows the other midfielders breathing room in the RB London system. 
  • Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (MC): Dubbed “The Tunisian Pogba”, Romdhane has been one of the most entertaining players in the last month, displaying his immense technique and his ferocious long shot. Plucked from ES Tunis for £3.9 million, Romdhane has been one of the revelations of the season and looks set to enjoy a successful year in the heart of the RB London midfield.
  • Pablo Galdames (MC): Descended from a line of international footballers, Galdames broke into the Chilean squad at just 19, before successive moves to Velez and Genoa. However, following the Italian club's relegation, Galdames made the move to London for £1.5 million. He has rewarded his manager with three assists off the bench, as his energy gives RB London a late boost from midfield. 
  • Carney Chukwuemeka (MC): One of two deadline-day loans for Joe Cole, Chukwuemeka made headlines for his £15 million pound move from Aston Villa to Chelsea. Having already made 14 Premier League appearances, Chukwuemeka will be looking to enjoy a strong loan season to stake his claim in the Chelsea team. 
  • Josh Onomah (MC): The centrepiece of the RB London midfield, Onomah's incredible performances have won him the Championship Player of the Month for August, tallying 3 goals and 5 assists in just 8 games. First breaking on to the scene with Tottenham, he eventually joined Fulham, winning the Championship title with them last season. RB London brought him in for just £4.7 million, which looks like an absolute bargain at the moment.

 

Attackers:

  • Kieran Dowell (AMR): Despite being relegated from the Premier League last season with Norwich, Joe Cole prioritized the arrival of Kieran Dowell as early as he could, joining for £3.2 million. While not the quickest winger around, Dowell's incredible close control and set-piece mastery have made him a threat for defences across the league. With 4 goals and 5 assists in 9 games, including a beautiful free-kick against Blackburn, Dowell is one of the keys cogs in the RB London machine. 
  • Dennis Man (AMR): The signing of Dennis Man goes down as one of Joe Cole's most shrewd pieces of business. Having signed for Parma for £11.5 million two years ago, RB London were able to prise him away from the Serie B outfit for just £1.1 million. Man offers a burst of physicality through his rapid pace and six-foot frame. While his start in the Championship has been slow, his potential, as well as his low price tag, make this deal a bargain for the Bulls.
  • Albert Rusnak (AML): The final permanent signing made by Joe Cole this transfer window, Rusnak joined for £2.2 million, bringing to a close a successful career in the MLS. Having come through the ranks at Manchester City, Rusnak made a name for himself as an all-around attacking threat, able to contribute goals and assists with equal ease. Cole will be hoping to see the best of the 28-year-old come through under his management
  • Jeremy Sarmiento (AML): Sarmiento was one of the brightest prospects on the South Coast last season, winning Brighton's Young Player of the Year. He's made an immediate impact in London as well, with 5 goals in 7 games to set the league ablaze. Sarmiento stands a good chance of being one of the best players in the Championship this season. 
  • Diego Tardelli (ST): Having enjoyed a near-20 year career in the game, Tardelli brings with him the experience of a 2-time Copa Libertadores winner and 14 caps for Brazil. Despite being 37, he has been an excellent impact sub, scoring winning goals of the bench twice so far. Tardelli's experience and guile is a great asset to have on a winning team. 
  • Fabio Carvalho (ST): The other deadline day loan for RB London, Carvalho enjoyed a successful season with Fulham's title-winning team last year, earning a move to Liverpool in the summer. Cole will be looking to bring out another great season from the young talent, using his skill and versatility to excellent effect.
  • Nicolas de Preville (ST): A journeyman winger, de Preville has found a new life as the leading man for the RB London attack. With 6 goals in 8 games, including a first-half hattrick against Bristol City, de Preville has looked lethal since his free transfer to the Bulls. Having already eclipsed his mark for Metz last season, Cole will be hoping to see the best of de Preville in the Championship this season. 

 

For a total sum of just £25 million, Cole and his staff have managed to put together a team that currently sits unbeaten atop the Championship. If no one was taking RB London seriously, they have no choice now. 

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