What did the noughties do for you?

So ten years into the third millennium and football just keeps on changing.  The last decade has seen the game become a huge global game where the amount of money in the Premier League itself is more than most countries GDP.  Below are some of our regular contributors, and readers highlights of the last decade and our video of where we’ve been, but first 10 facts from 10 years ago:-

1. The World’s most expensive player 10 years ago was Christian Vieri who moved from Lazio to Inter in 1999 for £32m.  In the last decade the most expensive fee has risen by 150% to £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.  Apart from the summer of madness at Real Madrid transfers have been relatively flat during the decade after the Vieri deal with that amount only being topped on four occasions

2. In the 1999/2000 Premier League, nine of the bottom 10 teams now ALL play outside the Premier League (Watford, Sheffield Wednesday, Wimbledon, Bradford City, Derby County, Southampton, Coventry City, Middlesborough and Newcastle United).  In the top half Leeds United and Leicester City were there meaning that 55% of the league are now playing their football outside the Premier League.

3. In 2005 Deloitte prepared their first ever “Rich List” of Football.  Topping the list was Real Madrid with an income of €258m.  Four years later their income is €366m.  Only one club in the top ten have seen their income fall in that period and that is AC Milan.

4. The average Premier League attendance has risen by 14,000 over the last decade (22%).  Part of this is due to the increase in capacity from some of the bigger clubs (Manchester United and Arsenal notably) but also down to the replacement of some of the smaller clubs from ten years ago by better supported teams such as Stoke City and Birmingham City.  In the Championship attendances are up by 25% although the vast majority of this can be attributed to Newcastle United’s presence this season in the second tier.  In League One Leeds United have turned the averages on their head too, up by 33% but in the lowest league crowds are down marginally by 1%.

5. On the 26th December 1999 Chelsea became the first ever English team to field a starting XI containing not one single English player.  Three of those players are today managers within the English League (Zola, Poyet and Di Matteo).

6. Only Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson were in their current roles anywhere in the English leagues 10 years ago.  John Coleman was in charge at Accrington Stanley but they were at the time in the lower reaches of the Northern Leagues.  52 managers changed jobs out of the 92 clubs in 1999/2000, with all but 2 clubs in the Championship (then Division One) changing their manager resulting in an average tenure in the job of 1.68 years.  However, this season has seen this average tenure fall even lower to 1.57 years.

7. England’s last squad for 1999 was selected by Kevin Keegan in mid November for the two play off games versus Scotland.  Five members of the squad are still playing Premier League football (Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen).  The squad also included such well known players as Steve Froggatt of Coventry City and Steve Guppy of Leicester City.  Only one of the squad is currently managing in England today, and that is Paul Ince at MK Dons, although Tony Adams, Gareth Southgate, Dennis Wise and Alan Shearer have had a stab at managing.

8. In European football, Deportivo La Coruna won the La Liga title, the last time it went to a “small club”.  A total of 10 clubs (out of a league of 20 teams) qualified for Europe at the end of the season in Spain through some way or another.  The big shock was that Sevilla and Atletico Madrid were relegated.  In Italy Lazio won the league, holding off the traditional big three.  The top 6 ten years ago is the same as it is today, although 50% (9 clubs) are no longer in the top division.  In Germany the league was won on the last day by Bayern Munich after Bayer Leverkusen lost away at Unterhacing when a draw would have given them the title.

9. It’s not the first time this year that one of the big four has failed to get out of the Champions League.  Ten years ago Arsenal had to make do with the UEFA Cup after their experiment of playing their Champions League home games at Wembley backfired.  They did reach the final before losing on penalties to Galatasaray in a stormy final in Copenhagen.  Their form was impressive to say the least as they scored six in each round against Werder Bremen, Nantes and Deportivo La Coruna before easily beating Lens in the semi-finals.  In the Champions League the Spanish domination continued as Real Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona all made it to the semi-finals.

10. Sky TV had the monopoly on live games in the Premier League and they showed a massive total of 50 games at a cost of £270m per season.  This season the Premier League will share nearly £600m.  Ten years ago the 92 clubs generated just over a billion pounds of income.  This season that figure will be eclipsed by the top 6 in the Premier League (Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Aston Villa) by MARCH 2010!  In 2009, 20 Premier League clubs spent £70m on agents fees – more than the total income for over 50 of the 92 football league clubs PUT TOGETHER!

Our 10 Years of highlights from football outside England

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Ryan Storrie – Ex-Lewes FC winger and TBIR Player of the year 2009:
“Has to be Chelsea winning the league for the first time in 50 years in 2004-05.  Although beating Liverpool 2-1 at home to clinch 4th place the year before Abramovich came was a close second:)”

Georgous Greek George, pedigree dog supplier to the footballing stars:-
“There were two highlights for me.  Firstly being in February 2008 when we went to the new Wembley for the first time and overcame all the odds by beating money-bags Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final.  Oh how I still laugh today when I see Petr Cech coming out for a cross in any game!  Secondly, as I love them so much it would have to be watching Arsenal’s defeat to Barcelona in Gay Paris in the 2006 Champions League Final.  I have worn out the DVD at the moment of Lehmann’s dismissal due to overuse. Oh how the Seine was fuller that night with all the tears from the Gunners.”

Ross Neumann, our correspondent from the Scottish office:-
“Paris, 2007, James McFadden, 1-0.  Perfect day at work follows winding up our French guys.”

Steve Goff, West Ham, Luton Town and England hardcore fan:-
Single moment has to be Bobby Zamora’s winner in the 2005 Play Off Final in Cardiff that brought an end to our temporary tour of the lesser known Championship.  In terms of a match it has to be 12 months later when we returned to the Millennium Stadium for the FA Cup Final versus Liverpool – best game I have been to – FACT!!

Gary McDowell, Owl supporting, sausage loving, software development manager:-
“Becks v Greece in 2001 at Old Trafford is a good shout. Only player on the pitch trying to drag his team into it. Literally carried 10 other useless gits and then held his nerve for a brilliant free-kick. Probably at his best as a player in this period.

There hasn’t been many highlights at Hillsborough in the past 10 years, but any step-over from Chris Waddle that you see on DVD is up there. This counts because the players he did it to during the nineties are still fooled into the noughties.”

James Boyes, Lewes FC Webmaster and official photographer:-
“As a United fan: winning the league 2003, after overhauling Arsenal, when Ruud was scoring for fun; ending talk about the Arsenal “invincibles”; and the 2008 Moscow Champions League Final (I’ve strangely forgotten this year’s).

As a Brighton fan: back to back promotions; Cardiff play-off Final and Falmer finally getting the go-ahead.

As a Lewes fan: Conference promo in 2008; Siggy scoring against Thurrock in injury time 2008 and 6-2 against Dover four days ago.

As an England fan: Germany 1 England 5 (even though I was Best Man at my mates wedding and missed it) and Beck’s free kick v Greece.

Controversial moment: Henry handball, not necessarily for what it meant at the time, but more for what it might bringto the game in the future.”

Mahbub Hussain, another Hammers fan working in SE1:-
“It’s Neville to Campbell, Campbell to Rio, Rio to Scholsey, Scholes’y Gerrard.  Gerrard to Beckham, Beckham to Heskey, Heskey to Owen – 1-1 as Ant and Dec once sang.  That game in Munich in September 2001…5-1, 5-1, 5-1.”

Phil Sheppard – Our man in the New Forest:
“Rotherham 0 – Forest Green Rovers 3 – F.A.Cup 1st Round Replay – 21 November 2007. Best ever performance I’ve seen from a FGR team. Wasn’t even that keen on going as I thought we’d blown it in the first game at home.  The bonus was we were away at Swindon Town in the next round and that was just as good a game but we lost 3-2 after leading 2-1. Forest Green 3 Derby County 4 in January 2008 is also up there with them but Rotherham sneaks it as we won.

Football Jo, our resident Sexpert on all things foreign and naughty:
The party in the Lisbon square – after England had lost to Portugal in Euro 2004.  The three of us walked through a crowd of thousands of home fans and they parted and gave us a round of applause.”

Lee Deacon – aka “Deaks” our expert on all things at the Dripping Pan:
“The collapse of Setanta Sports must be up there as a general sign of the self importance of the Premier League.  Give me non-league anyday!”

Danny Last – owner of European Football Weekends and organiser of the hugely successful Ocktobeerfest:-
“Standing on the terrace at Priory Lane, Eastbourne on New Years Day in 2007 for the derby versus Lewes.  I was positioned in exactly the right place to enjoy Andy “Jukebox” Drury’s superb individual effort that put The Rooks 2-0 up.  I subsequently found myself doing star jumps around said terrace.  In that one second half moment I rediscovered my zest for football, fell in love with all things non-league and found a new soul mate – Lewes FC!  I haven’t looked back since.”

Adam Lloyd – owner of Backtheboys.co.uk and Reading’s one man internal PR machine:-
“Seeing my home town team Reading finally make the promised land of the Premier League by sweeping all before them in 2006 by gaining 106 points in our Championship winning season.  And then of course the whole 1st season roller coaster ride where we beat all the odds and finished 8th.”

Luge Pravda – exiled Manchester United fan living in New York:-
“There were some massive highs following United in the last decade but for me the defining moment was THAT free kick at Old Trafford in late 2001 against Greece that took us to Japan.”

Lolly Leaf – TBIR’s resident photographer and on course for being a member of the 92 club by the time she is a teenager:-
“Leading out the teams at the City Ground in March 2009 as a mascot when England under 21’s played France.  Sure it was for France but it still counts as an international!…Apart from that?  West Ham 2 Manchester United 1 in December 2007 maybe?”

CMF – patient, loving wife and general underestimated football expert:-
“Like Football Jo I would go back to Euro 2004 in Portugal.  Fantastic sunny day in the old Expo site and Fans village.  Huge meat fuelled lunch compliments of Carlsberg which we blagged thanks to Andy Daykin at Sheffield United before we headed up to La Luz for the England versus France game.  We got there and it was chaos, and we were forced to walk along the hard shoulder of the motorway before we could get in.  The game was brilliant until the 85th minute – thanks David James (again!).”

Northern Steve, Lincoln’s one and only Tifosi:-
The sacking of the Wally with the Brolly, Steve McClown – a man responsible for taking our national game back two years.

Nick the Dentist, The St Ives Tricky Tree:-
“There haven’t been many highlights for Forest and I was shocked to see that Johnny Metgod’s piledriver against the Hammers was nearly 25 years ago!  So I will have to say the bizarre implosion of Zinadine Zidane in his final game of football in the 2006 World Cup Final.”

Judi Polansky, exiled Luton Town fan in Texas:-
“As a Luton fan exiled to Texas there were, understandably, not too many high points in the past decade!!!! However, the JPT final has to be the one for me. I do work for an airline so was able to make a quick trip over for the match and it will probably be the highlight of my 30+ years of LTFC supporting, even exceeding the 88 league cup final which I attended with my Arsenal supporting husband (I still cling to that one!!). Even though 2009 was a terrible year for us, this game was amazing.”

Dagenham Dan, Dagenham & Redbridge’s number 1 fan shares his story his story in more detail here:-
“Most will probably dig through the noughties and find a classic premiership moment of Arsenals unbeaten season or David Beckham World Cup penalty in the Sapporo Dome. Myself, my moment of the noughties fell over a season rather than a defining day. 42 games, 24 teams all about one team…Dagenham & Redbridge 2006-2007.

And finally my own personal Highlight? – Well I have two.  First must be sitting high up in the stands in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff looking at the scoreboard after 30 minutes which said Liverpool 0 West Ham 2, and subsequently how close we came to winning the best ever FA Cup final.  Secondly it has to be my daughter, Lolly’s love of the game.  All football loving men want to have a boy so they can live out their dreams, but I have two daughters who love the game.

Our 10 Years Highlights Video from football in England

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