John Obi Mikel
John Michael Nchekwube Obinna, variously known as John Obi Mikel, John Mikel Obi or Mikel John Obi, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club Middlesbrough and the Nigeria national team. Mikel was born in Jos, Nigeria, as John Michael Nchekwube Obinna, the son of Michael Obi, who runs an inter-state transport company in Jos, the capital of Plateau State; as his father was a member of the Igbo ethnic group, "Nchekwube" means "hope" and "Obi" is a nickname for the Igbo name "Obinna". Mikel started his football career at the age of 12 when picked as a talented footballer from over 3,000 young talents to play in Pepsi Football Academy, a team that at the time was well known for travelling across Nigeria scouting young footballers with the potential to play professionally. Obi stood out to scouts and was picked to play for top-flight club Plateau United, a side that had developed stars Celestine Babayaro, Victor Obinna and Chris Obodo, among others, that went on to success in European leagues.
Known as John Obi Mikel, he made headlines for his country at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships held in Finland. Following the tournament, he went on to a trial at South Africa club Ajax Cape Town joining Oslo-based club Lyn Fotball in Norway. During preparations for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championships, the Nigerian Football Association mistakenly submitted "Michael" as "Mikel" for the tournament in Finland, he decided to keep the new name, saying that it had a "special ring to it." On 31 July 2006, he stated that he prefers to be called Mikel John Obi instead of John Obi Mikel, as he had most been called. In the summer of 2005, Mikel played for Nigeria at the FIFA World Youth Championships held in the Netherlands, he had an excellent tournament. Obi won the Silver Ball after being voted the tournament's second-best player. On 29 April 2005, a few days after Mikel turned 18, Premier League club Manchester United announced that it had struck a deal with Lyn to sign the player. United's website claimed that they had done a deal directly with the teenager and that he had signed a contract to join them.
Mikel's agents were bypassed as the club persuaded the youngster to sign a four-year contract without representation. Lyn sent a fax to his agents abroad, claiming their services were no longer required by Mikel. Reports said the deal was worth £4 million, would see the player arrive at Old Trafford in January 2006. Manchester United's rival Premier League club, Chelsea issued a counter-claim suggesting that they had an agreement with Mikel and his agents, but Lyn denied this claim. However, subsequent reports indicated that Chelsea claimed to have been involved in arranging the player's original move to Europe with a view to signing him at a date. Further substance was added to this claim after it was revealed that the player had impressed Chelsea manager José Mourinho while training with the club's first-team squad during the summer of 2004. Mikel expressed his delight at joining United in a hastily arranged press conference, where he was pictured holding up a Manchester United shirt bearing the squad number 21.
Following his signing of the contract to join United, there were claims from Norway that he had received a number of threatening phone calls from unknown sources. Mikel was moved to a safe hotel. On 11 May 2005, the midfielder went missing during a Norwegian Cup game against Klemetsrud. Whilst the player was believed to have left with one of his agents, John Shittu, who had by now flown in to meet Mikel, his disappearance sparked massive media coverage in Norway and provoked a police enquiry after Lyn Director Morgan Andersen made claims in the Norwegian media that Mikel had been "kidnapped." These claims were repeated by Manchester United's assistant manager Carlos Queiroz, who accused Chelsea of being involved in the alleged "kidnapping."It subsequently emerged that Mikel had travelled to London with his agent John Shittu, working for Jerome Anderson's SEM group. Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson considered travelling to Oslo to visit Mikel, but decided against this after Mikel was reported to have left the country.
Staying in a London hotel and some nine days after disappearing, Mikel stated on Sky Sports News that he had been pressured into signing the contract with United without his agent present, claims furiously rebuffed by both Manchester United and Lyn. Mikel told the British media. In response to these events, United made an official complaint to FIFA about the behaviour of both Chelsea and the player's agents and Rune Hauge infamous for his role in the George Graham bungs scandal. FIFA dismissed these claims in August 2005, stating there was insufficient evidence to bring a case against Chelsea. Following the tournament, Mikel failed to return to Lyn, whereupon the club subsequently lodged a complaint with FIFA. On 12 August 2005, FIFA ruled that Mikel should return to Lyn to fulfill the remainder of his contract with the club, whilst they would decide at a date whether the contract he signed with United should be upheld or cancelled. After a delay of over a month, Mikel complied with the FIFA decision and returned to Lyn in early September 2005 after a three-month absence.
Rather than leaving FIFA to determine the validity of the contract signed with Manchester United, Chelsea intervened by volunteering to settle the transfer saga through negotiation with Lyn and Manchester United. On 2 June 2006, Manc
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
A sports agent is a legal representative for professional sports figures such as athletes and coaches. They procure and negotiate employment and endorsement contracts for the athlete or coach whom they represent; because of the unique characteristics of the sports industry, sports agents are responsible for communications with team owners and other individuals. They are responsible for making recommendations in regard. In addition to finding income sources, agents handle public relations matters for their clients. In some large sports agencies, such as IMG, Creative Artists Agency, Roc Nation Sports and Octagon, agents deal with all aspects of a client's finances, from investment to filing taxes. Sports agents may be relied upon by their clients for guidance in all business aspects, sometimes more broadly. For example, hockey agents start recruiting clients as young as 15, allowing the agent to guide the athlete's career before the NHL draft, which happens at 18 years of age. Due to the length and complexity of contracts, many sports agents are lawyers or have a background in contract law.
Agents are expected to be knowledgeable about finance, business management, financial and risk analysis, as well as sports. It is important for a sports agent to follow trends in sports. Other skills an agent must possess are excellent negotiation skills. Agents must be motivated, willing to work long hours, capable of multitasking, it is common for agents to be in negotiations on behalf of several clients at one time. Some agents are part of large companies, some are on their own; the number of clients an individual agent can handle and how many clients his or her employing agency can handle in total are interdependent variables. Before the 1990s, most football players did not use agents. In some cases, they used their parents as agents; because of most parents' naivete about the football business, these young footballers were given less-than-stellar contracts by football clubs, which yielded lower salaries than they thought they deserved. In Sweden, there were only three licensed agents in 1995.
As of 2002, there were 33. According to FIFA, there were 5,187 licensed association football agents worldwide, with 600 agents in Italy alone. Since 2001, agents have not been licensed by FIFA. Instead, agents are now licensed directly by each association. Sports agents receive between 4 and 10% of the athlete's playing contract, 10 to 20% of the athlete's endorsement contract, although these figures vary. NFL agents are not permitted to receive more than 3%, NBA agents not more than 4%, of their client's playing contracts; the popularity of television shows such as Entourage, which stars a talent agent named Ari Gold, Arliss, have helped glamorize the profession. Prior to that, movies such as Jerry Maguire, Two for the Money, Any Given Sunday depicted sports agents. In England, ITV's Footballers' Wives put a new spin on sports agents by casting a no-holds-barred female agent Hazel Bailey; the television show Ballers, which started in 2015 shows a strong depiction of sports agents. Due to the popularity of these works, there has been increase of attention in the profession.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's son decided to become a football agent. Tom Condon: co-head of Creative Artists Agency Football. Clients include Tony Romo. James "Bus" Cook: Clients include Brett Favre, Jay Cutler, Calvin Johnson. Ben Dogra: co-head of CAA Football. Clients include Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Joseph Addai. Jason Fletcher: former player turned agent. Clients include Antonio Cromartie, Jamar Fletcher, Clinton Portis, Fabian Washington. Bob LaMonte: founder and president of Professional Sports Representation. Clients include Mike Holmgren, Brad Childress, Josh McDaniels. Joe Linta: In 2013, negotiated the richest contract in NFL history for Joe Flacco, despite the fact that he's never been picked for the Pro Bowl. Eugene E. Parker: negotiated the highest signing bonuses in NFL history for Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders. Real-life inspiration for flamboyant character "Rod Tidwell" in the film Jerry Maguire. Bardia Ghahremani: Clients include Giovani Bernard, Nathan Shepherd, Tom Johnson, Joseph Williams.
Drew Rosenhaus: Clients include Plaxico Burress and Terrell Owens. Peter Schaffer: President of Authentic Athletix, LLC. Clients include including Joe Thomas, Phil Taylor, Barry Sanders, Trevor Pryce, Joshua Cribbs, C. J. Anderson, Mario Edwards Jr. and Hakeem Nicks. and PGA golfers including two-time PGA tour winner Jonathan Kaye and Shane Bertsch. Joel Segal: President of Lagardère Unlimited Football. Clients include Reggie Bush, Santonio Holmes and Chris Johnson. Leigh Steinberg: Clients include Troy Aikman and Ben Roethlisberger. Real-life inspiration for fictional sports agent Jerry Maguire in the film of the same name. Don Yee: Clients include Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. Ricky Nixon: former player, the AFL's first full-time player manager Barry Axelrod: Clients included Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Rick Sutcliffe, executive Kevin Towers. Scott Boras: Clients include Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder. Boras is known to have negotiated the highest contracts in Major League Baseball history and the history of sports.
Casey Close: Clients include Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard. Greg Genske: Successor in sports agency run by Jeff Moorad and Leigh Steinberg. Randy Hendricks: Partnered with his brother, Allan. Joe Kehoskie: Small agency. Sam & Seth Levinson: Clients include David Wright a
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991. FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, its membership now comprises 211 national associations. Member countries must each be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Africa, Europe, North & Central America and the Caribbean and South America. Although FIFA does not control the rules of football, that being the responsibility of the International Football Association Board, it is responsible for both the organization of a number of tournaments and their promotion, which generate revenue from sponsorship.
In 2017, FIFA had revenues of over US $734 million, for a net loss of $189 million, had cash reserves of over US$930 million. Reports by investigative journalists have linked FIFA leadership with corruption and vote-rigging related to the election of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the organization's decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively; these allegations led to the indictments of nine high-ranking FIFA officials and five corporate executives by the U. S. Department of Justice on charges including racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering. On 27 May 2015, several of these officials were arrested by Swiss authorities, who were launching a simultaneous but separate criminal investigation into how the organization awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups; those among these officials who were indicted in the U. S. are expected to be extradited to face charges there as well. Many officials were suspended by FIFA's ethics committee including Michel Platini. In early 2017 reports became public about FIFA president Gianni Infantino attempting to prevent the re-elections of both chairmen of the ethics committee, Cornel Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert, during the FIFA congress in May 2017.
On May 9, 2017, following Infantino's proposal, FIFA Council decided not to renew the mandates of Borbély and Eckert. Together with the chairmen, 11 of 13 committee members were removed; the need for a single body to oversee association football became apparent at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association was founded in the rear of the headquarters of the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques at the Rue Saint Honoré 229 in Paris on 21 May 1904; the French name and acronym are used outside French-speaking countries. The founding members were the national associations of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland; that same day, the German Football Association declared its intention of affiliating through a telegram. The first president of FIFA was Robert Guérin. Guérin was replaced in 1906 by Daniel Burley Woolfall from England, by a member of the association; the first tournament FIFA staged, the association football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London was more successful than its Olympic predecessors, despite the presence of professional footballers, contrary to the founding principles of FIFA.
Membership of FIFA expanded beyond Europe with the application of South Africa in 1909, Argentina in 1912, Canada and Chile in 1913, the United States in 1914. During World War II, with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures limited, the organization's survival was in doubt. Post-war, following the death of Woolfall, the organisation was run by Dutchman Carl Hirschmann, it was saved from extinction but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations, who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies. The Home Nations resumed their membership; the FIFA collection is held by the National Football Museum at Urbis in England. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay. FIFA is headquartered in Zürich, is an association established under the law of Switzerland. FIFA's supreme body is the FIFA Congress, an assembly made up of representatives from each affiliated member association; each national football association has one vote, regardless of footballing strength.
The Congress assembles in ordinary session once every year, extraordinary sessions have been held once a year since 1998. The congress makes decisions relating to FIFA's governing statutes and their method of implementation and application. Only the Congress can pass changes to FIFA's statutes; the congress approves the annual report, decides on the acceptance of new national associations and holds elections. Congress elects the President of FIFA, its general secretary, the other members of the FIFA Council in the year following the FIFA World Cup. FIFA Council — called the FIFA Executive Committee and chaired by the president — is the main decision-making body of the organisation in the intervals of congress; the council is composed of 37 people: the president. The Executive Committee is the body that decides w
The Football Association
The Football Association is the governing body of association football in England, the Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory; the FA sanctions all competitive football matches within its remit at national level, indirectly at local level through the County Football Associations. It runs numerous competitions, the most famous of, the FA Cup, it is responsible for appointing the management of the men's, women's, youth national football teams. The FA is a member of both UEFA and FIFA and holds a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board, responsible for the Laws of the Game; as the first football association, it does not use the national name "English" in its title. The FA is based at London; the FA is a member of the British Olympic Association, meaning that the FA has control over the men's and women's Great Britain Olympic football team.
All of England's professional football teams are members of the Football Association. Although it does not run the day-to-day operations of the Premier League, it has veto power over the appointment of the League Chairman and Chief Executive and over any changes to league rules; the English Football League, made up of the three professional divisions below the Premier League, is self-governing, subject to the FA's sanctions. For centuries before the first meeting of the Football Association in The Freemasons' Tavern on Great Queen Street, London on 26 October 1863, there were no universally accepted rules for playing football. Six meetings near London's Covent Garden, at 81-82 Long Acre, ended in a split between the Football Association and what would have become the future rugby ten years later. Both of them had their own uniforms, rituals and formalised rules. In each public school the game was formalised according to local conditions. Another set of rules, the Sheffield Rules, was used by a number of clubs in the North of England from the 1850s.
Eleven London football clubs and schools representatives met on 26 October 1863 to agree on common rules. The founding clubs present at the first meeting were Barnes, Civil Service, Forest of Leytonstone, N. N. Club, the original Crystal Palace, Kensington School, Perceval House and Blackheath Proprietary School. F. declined the offer to join. Many of these clubs play rugby union. Civil Service FC, who now plays in the Southern Amateur League, is the only one of the original eleven football clubs still in existence and playing Association Football. Although Forest School has been a member since the fifth meeting in December 1863. Central to the creation of the Football Association and modern football was Ebenezer Cobb Morley, he was a founding member of the Football Association in 1863. In 1862, as captain of Barnes, he wrote to Bell's Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport that led to the first meeting at The Freemasons' Tavern that created the FA, he was the FA's first secretary and its second president and drafted the Laws of the Game called the "London Rules" at his home in Barnes, London.
As a player, he played in the first-ever match in 1863. The first version of the rules for the modern game was drawn up over a series of six meetings held in The Freemasons' Tavern from October till December. Of the clubs at the first meeting, Crusaders and Charterhouse did not attend the subsequent meetings, replaced instead by the Royal Navy School, Wimbledon School and Forest School. At the final meeting, F. M. Campbell, the first FA treasurer and the Blackheath representative, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting, the first which allowed for the running with the ball in hand and the second, obstructing such a run by hacking and holding. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA but instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union; the term "soccer" dates back to this split to refer to football played under the "association" rules. After six clubs had withdrawn as they supported the opposing Rugby Rules, the Football Association had just nine members in January 1864: Barnes, Crystal Palace, War Office, Forest Club, Forest School, Sheffield and Royal Engineers.
An inaugural game using the new FA rules was scheduled for Battersea Park on 2 January 1864, but enthusiastic members of the FA could not wait for the new year and an experimental game was played at Mortlake on 19 December 1863 between Morley's Barnes team and their neighbours Richmond, ending in a goalless draw. The Richmond side were unimpressed by the new rules in practice because they subsequently helped form the Rugby Football Union in 1871; the Battersea Park game was the first exhibition game using FA rules, was played there on Saturday 2 January 1864. The members of the opposing teams for this game were chosen by the President of the FA and the Secretary and included many well-known footballers of the day. After the first match according to the new FA rules a toast was given "Success to football, irrespective of class or creed". Another notable match was London v Sheffield, in which a r
Chelsea Football Club is a professional football club in Chelsea, England, that competes in the Premier League, the highest tier of English football. The club has won six top division titles, eight FA Cups, five League Cups, four FA Community Shields, two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League, one UEFA Super Cup. Founded in 1905, the club's home ground since has been Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won its only First Division title in 1955, but saw limited success in various cup competitions until 2003, when the club was purchased by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Chelsea saw heavy investment, have since won 18 honours under Abramovich, second in that time only to Manchester United. José Mourinho is the club's most successful manager in terms of the number of major honours won, his title-winning team set an English record for points between 2004 and 2005. Chelsea have traditionally wore a royal blue kit with white socks, the club's crest features a ceremonial lion rampant regardant holding a staff.
The club have rivalries with neighbouring clubs Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur. In terms of club value, Chelsea are the seventh most valuable football club in the world, worth £1.54 billion, are the eighth highest-earning football club in the world, with earnings of over €428 million in the 2017–18 season. Based on attendance figures, the club have the sixth-largest fanbase in England. In 1904, Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the aim of turning it into a football ground. An offer to lease it to nearby Fulham was turned down, so Mears opted to found his own club to use the stadium; as there was a team named Fulham in the borough, the name of the adjacent borough of Chelsea was chosen for the new club. Chelsea were founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub, opposite the present-day main entrance to the ground on Fulham Road, were elected to the Football League shortly afterwards; the club won promotion to the First Division in their second season, yo-yoed between the First and Second Divisions in their early years.
They reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, finished third in the First Division in 1920, the club's best league campaign to that point. Chelsea attracted large crowds and had a reputation for signing big-name players, but success continued to elude the club in the inter-war years. Former Arsenal and England centre-forward Ted Drake became manager in 1952 and proceeded to modernise the club, he removed the club's Chelsea pensioner crest, improved the youth set-up and training regime, rebuilt the side with shrewd signings from the lower divisions and amateur leagues, led Chelsea to their first major trophy success – the League championship – in 1954–55. The following season saw UEFA create the European Champions' Cup, but after objections from The Football League and the FA, Chelsea were persuaded to withdraw from the competition before it started. Chelsea failed to build on this success, spent the remainder of the 1950s in mid-table. Drake was replaced by player-coach Tommy Docherty.
Docherty built a new team around the group of talented young players emerging from the club's youth set-up and Chelsea challenged for honours throughout the 1960s, enduring several near-misses. They were on course for a treble of League, FA Cup and League Cup going into the final stages of the 1964–65 season, winning the League Cup but faltering late on in the other two. In three seasons the side were FA Cup runners-up. Under Docherty's successor, Dave Sexton, Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970, beating Leeds United 2–1 in a final replay. Chelsea took their first European honour, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph, the following year, with another replayed win, this time over Real Madrid in Athens; the late 1970s through to the'80s was a turbulent period for Chelsea. An ambitious redevelopment of Stamford Bridge threatened the financial stability of the club, star players were sold and the team were relegated. Further problems were caused by a notorious hooligan element among the support, to plague the club throughout the decade.
In 1982, Chelsea were, at the nadir of their fortunes, acquired by Ken Bates for the nominal sum of £1, although by now the Stamford Bridge freehold had been sold to property developers, meaning the club faced losing their home. On the pitch, the team had fared little better, coming close to relegation to the Third Division for the first time, but in 1983 manager John Neal put together an impressive new team for minimal outlay. Chelsea won the Second Division title in 1983–84 and established themselves in the top division, before being relegated again in 1988; the club bounced back by winning the Second Division championship in 1988–89. After a long-running legal battle, Bates reunited the stadium freehold with the club in 1992 by doing a deal with the banks of the property developers, bankrupted by a market crash. Chelsea's form in the new Premier League was unconvincing, although they did reach the 1994 FA Cup Final with Glenn Hoddle, it was not until the appointment of Ruud Gullit as player-manager in 1996 that their fortunes changed.
He added several top international players to the side, as the club won the FA Cup in 1997 and established themselves as one of England's top sides again. Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, who led the team to victory in the League Cup Final, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final and the UEFA Super Cup in 1998, the FA Cup in 2000 and their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League. Vialli was sacked in favour of Claudio Ranieri, who guided Chelse
Eirik Bakke is a Norwegian retired football player. He played on the right-hand centre of midfield. Bakke played, his father Svein played for the team. Bakke was bought by Leeds United in 1999 from Sogndal for £1.75 million. After an encouraging start to his career at Leeds in 1999 and 2000, injuries and poor form meant that he never quite became a mainstay of the Leeds squad after the club was relegated from the Premiership in 2004. Bakke's career has been blighted by recurrent knee injuries. Patella tendinitis kept him out of the team for the start of the 2004-05 season and he was struck with a torn cruciate ligament on his return in January 2005. In August 2005, having recovered from his injury, Bakke was loaned to Aston Villa; the loan however was ended early after Leeds told Villa that they would only let Bakke go permanently, not on loan and Doug Ellis, Villa's chairman at the time, decided that it was not worth permanently acquiring his services. Speculation continued as to Bakke's future when he was left out of the Leeds United squad for the match against Sheffield Wednesday on 27 August 2006 with some in the press and supporters speculating that this was due to an imminent transfer.
A club statement was released on 29 August 2006 by Leeds United stating that Bakke had played his last game in Leeds United colours. Bakke however stated he would like to stay at the club, still trained with the club, despite not playing, not wanting to return to playing in Norway at that point in time; the problem arose due to his £23,000 a week wages and £4,000 appearance fees, which were agreed during Ridsdale's "Living The Dream" era, but which the club could no longer afford to pay in the league they were playing in. Leeds United tried to resolve the issue by attempting to meet Bakke half way so that the player could stay at the club on lesser wages but Bakke's agent stated he wanted the contractually agreed wage; the situation did not look good for Bakke, with Leeds chairman Ken Bates having terminated Seth Johnson's contract due to excessive wages as part of a determined effort to make Leeds a successful and profitable club once more. Bakke left. On 31 August 2006, Bakke signed a two-year deal with SK Brann, returned home to Norway.
The deal was financed by Hardball. Certain media outlets have claimed that Bakke and Brann have a "gentlemen's agreement", that Bakke can leave Brann if a big club wants to sign him, though this has been denied by Brann. Bakke has stated that he still has ambitions to prove himself in Europe before bringing his career to a close in Norway. Bakke debuted for Brann on 11 September 2006 against Stabæk, in a match best remembered for a two-feet tackle by Joakim Persson of Stabæk on Bakke that could have ended Bakke's career. Bakke started the 2007 season playing for Brann 2 in a bid to regain full fitness from his injury problems, he has experienced a bit of a stop-start season, making his first full Tippeliga start on 26 June 2007. Eirik Bakke has been noticed for his no-nonsense approach and English inspired tackling in midfield, but managed to score the winning goal against arch-rivals Rosenborg BK on 11 August 2007. Bakke has promised Brann that when he is close to retirement he would finish his career in Norway with the club, playing a further 1-2 seasons.
In front of the 2008 season, Bakke became captain of Brann. On 30 May 2008, Bakke extended his Brann deal out 2010; however his new deal had a clause giving Bakke the chance to re-evaluate his deal, if the club decided to lay artificial turf at Brann Stadion. A few weeks Brann announced that the club will continue with natural grass as the turf at Brann Stadion in the coming years, he signed a two-year deal with Sogndal in 2011. In November 2012 he decided to retire as an active player, he made his debut for Norway in a January 1999 friendly match against Israel, coming on as a substitute for Egil Østenstad and earned 26 caps since, scoring no goals. His last international match was an March 2008 friendly match against Montenegro, coming on as a substitute for Martin Andresen; as of December 2012¹ includes FA Cup, Norwegian Football Cup. ² Include Champions League and UEFA Cup. Norwegian Premier League: 2007 Norwegian Football Association Gold Watch Bakke heading for Leeds exit - SkySports.com No Way Bakke For Eirik - SkySports.com Eirik Bakke at National-Football-Teams.com Soccerbase stats Guardian Football