Big news out of France, a new statistic, and birds on the attack. What a day to be alive.
The background: the French government is ready to impose a super tax (75%) on companies who pay salaries of over €1 million. The terminology is a bit confusing, so in effect this means that if a player takes home €2 million, the club is actually paying €8 million (with €6 million going to the French government). In England, the rate is 45%.
Once you see how the math works out, you can understand why the French clubs might be so upset. Most of their players qualify for this, and it puts the clubs at a huge disadvantage. If, for instance, a French club and an English club each had €10 million to spend, the French club could only offer the player a take-home check of €2.5 million, whereas the English club could offer €5.5 million.
On the other hand, has there ever been a less sympathetic group of people than super-rich Frenchmen?
If you haven't bookmarked StatsBomb by now, you're crazy. Here's an awesome look at keepers that uses a new statistic they created. The long and short of it is as follows: we can tell, based on the data available, how often a particular shot should result in a goal. From this, we can calculate how many goals "should" have been scored by a keeper. Then, we can look at how many goals that keeper has actually allowed. Thus far in the season, Brad Guzan is the 6th best keeper in the league, but those numbers are very volatile with so few matches played.
This isn't really newsworthy, and I imagine many of you have seen it, but I hadn't. We were searching for suspension info yesterday and the Great Google Machine turned this up. It's useful for tracking what teams will be missing which players.
And you thought the smoke bomb thrown at the linesman on Sunday was bad. Here we have a Brazilian referee being mercilessly hunted down by a bird. I don't really have much to add. It's delightful.
Also included: a referee being asked to take a phone call during a match. Brazilian third-league football: it's a thing that happens!