in preperation
the goals of the new The-Shot.Net:
strengthen an African network of independent sources

independent web projects

I have noticed that the situation on the web and the media market in general (news agencies etc.) has parallels to the one in football and other markets. Star African writers have made a step forward, getting much exposure. But they become hired by few non-African enterprises which are thus building structures in which new African sources will find it hard to develop own projects.

The-Shot.Net and will in future where possible give room to other voices and be window for other websites provided they fit into the goals. This can also contain to establish a common infrastructure to find refinancing sources which would be inaccessable for smaller sites alone.

independent views

If you go through forums and smaller websites there are a lot of interesting voices and views which should be considered. But they only reach a fragment of readers although their points often deserve more.
In the mainstream internet a small group of  writers is the eyes and ears of the fans: the same person writes a report for the news agency which delivers all the various football news sources on the world wide web with a subscribtion service, then he writes an article for the BBC, another one for the printed African Soccer magazine, and then translated for the German magazine Kicker and for whom else I do not know. 
This from one point is alright because of the great quality. From another point it is a problem: the view on the game is too much filtered by one individual perspective. By repetition in different forms in the various media this perspective becomes an objective truth which it is not, how hard he ever tries.
Another problem: the influence on football. There is for example Samuel Kuffour, who was (and maybe still is) under contract with a company then named AFM, who were (and maybe still are) managing him as player agents. There is a family relation to an important journalist who already has written and probably still writes for African Soccer and BBC. Once the BBC website then were lobbying intensively for his election as an African Footballer of the year and giving him a lot of voice in the internal disputes of the Ghanaian national team.
I do NOT want to suggest a connection. To my point of view the BBC coverage has only touched the limits and not really played foul in this case. But it has to be seen that there is a danger of a possible manipulation which becomes higher when an information monopoly establishes.
An unknown players value can be multiplied during contract negotiations when a profilic source repeatingly underlines his assets, as the same site did with Angolan hype Mantorras some years ago.

The-Shot.Net writers club will be a forum for invited writers to discuss important topics in African Football. It will bring together writers and website owners from a maybe limited background like a regional one to expose their articles in a broader context and promote their sites or magazines in the same time.

African culture and products

The influence on the whole package around football is very small. The design of clothing, the manufacturing of boots, balls, the ethics of the game, whatever - it is a one way street. 
But Africa has own asthetics, own cultural concepts, and own ideas which could enrich the world like African influence on music and hairstyle of footballers already has done.
Another example of the one way street:
Although the next World Cup will take place in Korea and Japan, the opportunities for the Asians to promote different concepts to the world will be limited.
An example: the official World Cup song will be typical US-European pop and so only partly reflect the culture of the far post populated continent on Earth. Sarcastically one might say they are rather considered as a hotel than as a host. It seems the visitors will rather be interested in the Asian market to sell their product than in the Asian culture to gain something else.

The-Shot.Net will attempt to add a window for African culture contributions like music.
But much more than this there will be an attempt to create an African design for football fashion or lay some structures which make possible that an African shirt production or design will make a little impact at Europe or at Africa itself.

strengthen African football itself

the background:

Football has developed dramatically in Europe during the past ten years in all aspects. 
In the same time the economic situation in Africa does not seem to have at all places and the structures of the world markets in general are reflected in the state of African Football. While African Football players have made a huge leap, the Football on their continent has not everywhere made the same. 
Though a handful of African clubs are turning over more money than ever, the gap is still increasing through the rapidity of development elsewhere. 
And the increase of the drain of African talents is only slowed down little by a few regulations while agents discover more and more leagues in more and more countries to export African players to.

In football there is some direct compensation flowing back to the continent - in form of money as transfer fees. But this only at first glance:
The clubs who are buying the players are creating products like the Premier League or the Champions League. Those products are sold back to the world in TV rights and merchandising products. Those sales reverse the cashflow. In the same time African leagues increasingly lose their value. African TV stations are keen to show the Kanus and Laurens at Arsenal rather than Nigerian league matches featuring players which are already leaving once they become known a little.

Even an African superclub like Espérance Tunis is suffering: Once they were firmly backboned by the strongest Tunisian players to dominate African club football they have been left by players for other markets like the Italian Serie B. In the same time they have started to concentrate on a kind of reselling business, dealing with discovering, buying and selling African talent, collecting money instead of cups. 
Since the peak of Espérance's performance with three consecutive African finals they have lost form dramatically.
Instead of the dream that we see African clubs full of talent competing for a World Club title 2001 the situation seems to have turned to put top club football in Africa below European lower league formats and the only hope seems that the big contain themselves a bit because they fear their national teams could be suffering.

With a site is created which is targeted to become a window for African Football clubs to present themselves on their own sites or on template solutions by the host. 
3 main targets: Draw attention to the African club game for journalists, sponsors etc. . Confirm the ties to African expatriates who might be able to inject into the game on their return or from Europe or America. Create partnerships between smaller European or American clubs and African clubs and maybe fix infrastructural some problems by an exchange what is too much here and urgently desired there.

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