Will Spending Ever Decrease?

Now comes the time for the Premier League, European Leagues and UEFA to put their heads together and work out the best method to regulate spending. Financial Fair Play was introduced by UEFA in 2011, which essentially stops clubs from spending more than they bring in. Money brought in includes prize money for winning tournaments and gate money, with money going out including transfers and wages. If a team fails to comply, they can be fined or banned from European competition.

However some of the richer sides, such as Manchester City whose owner Sheikh Mansour is worth over £20 billion, are able to rely income like on massive sponsorship deals to make sure they don’t overspend. Despite spending over £100 million and bringing in just £10 million in the 2013 summer transfer market, it is unlikely that they will get reprimanded by UEFA.

Another idea that has been considered, more so by the English FA than UEFA or any other European FA, is the Salary Cap. This system is already implemented in the MLS (Major League Soccer) in the USA, with no player able to earn more than $368,750 a year (approximately £225,000) and no team able to spend more than $2.95million (approximately £1.8 million). The exception to this system is the Designated Player (DP) rule, which enables a franchise to pay up to three players above the individual salary cap, with it only counting as $368,750 towards the team salary cap.

The salary cap also exists in many other sports, including the four major “American Sports” leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB), and Rugby League in England and Australia. The rule in the Super League in England has been much criticised in recent years for not being high enough and causing top class players, such as Sam Tomkins, to go to the National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia where the cap is higher. In some cases, such as with Sam’s brother Joel Tomkins and New Zealander Sonny Bill Williams, players change codes to play Rugby Union where the caps are considerably higher.

In the Super League, a team can only pay £1.65 million to the top 25 earners within the squad, whereas in the NRL a team can spend up to $5.85 million (approximately £3.26 million) to the top 25. This doesn’t stop the cap being breached in either league though, but it is far more common in Australia with seven teams being fined in July this year. The last Super League breach was by Wigan Warriors in 2007, although new Salford City Reds owner Marwan Koukash claimed he’s willing to break the cap if it isn’t raised.

To get an idea of whether this could work in the Premier League, I asked a group of New York Red Bulls fans, an MLS side, on Facebook about money in football in general, and whether the salary cap could work. The results were not only similar, they were quite unsurprising.

43% of the respondents said that they thought TV Rights were a bigger factor in the amount of money in football, 43% said they believed it was down to Foreign Owners whilst the remaining 14% said they thought it was down to both equally. I also asked them about whether they thought there was too much in money football, which provided me with a greater variety of answers because they were given the option to expand on their thoughts.

One of the respondents agreed that there was too much money in football, and went on to say: “Money will always have a pull on the game. But it is at the point where players move for money not to a great team that suits. There are so many examples of local Australian players going to the Middle East and Asian leagues to pick up their last pay cheques instead of helping the game in Australia.” However they also argued that the money is good for the game in certain aspects, saying: “Look at Tottenham, sold Gareth Bale for 90mil or whatever it was. They have since bought an entire team for that much.

As for the salary cap system, another respondent said that it works in the MLS because it provides parity and makes the playing field more level: “There is a limit to the amount of dominance you can have, which is vital. In La Liga and Bundesliga, Barcelona, Madrid and Bayern Munich all have a duopoly and monopoly of their respective leagues.” But when it comes to the Premier League, the overwhelming reaction was that it was too late for it to be implemented. One respondent said: “It is too far into the life of the league to make such a big change. In the current age of the mercenary footballer, many would most likely leave elsewhere for more money if they could get it.”, whilst another said: “No teams would be able to make it work at this point.

This interview with Clarke Carlisle, retired Premier League defender and former chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, on BBC HARDtalk encapsulates the financial aspect of football perfectly. (Video courtesy of YouTube channel News via BBC HARDtalk)


Foreign Owners – The Abramovich Effect


Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
Image courtesy of Mark Freeman

When Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, no one could have predicted the influence it would have over the next 10 years. The Blues spent big in the very next transfer window, spending an unprecedented £121 million, and won the Premier League for the first time in their history the next season before winning it again a year later.

After the success of Abramovich’s investment, many other businessmen started to buy, or bought more, shares of clubs. Some of the more high-profile takeovers included Malcolm Glazer buying Manchester UnitedTom Hicks and George Gillett buying Liverpool (who sold to John W. Henry, founder of Fenway Sports Group, just three years later in another well-publicised move), and Randy Lerner buying Aston Villa.

As it stands, 11 clubs in England’s top flight are majority owned by foreign investors, with another 15 clubs in the Football League also being having foreign owners. 13 of these are in The Championship and five of those have been in the Premier League under their current owners.

Whilst not all of these moves have brought success to the clubs, it definitely increased the already huge profile of the Premier League exponentially. It also contributed to making English sides more competitive in European competition, with a minimum of one Premier League side making it to the Champions League semi-finals eight times in nine years. Three of those sides went on to win the tournament and five were losing finalists. Not all of these sides had foreign owners, but the influx of them in the Premier League meant other teams had to adapt, usually by changing their playing style to make it more effective against bigger clubs.

At the time, Chelsea were accused of “buying the title” and spending excessive amounts. It could be argued that this lead to the introduction of Financial Fair Play (FFP), which UEFA introduced to regulate spending, but to squarely put the blame on Abramovich wouldn’t be fair on him, nor on other foreign owners who bought Premier League clubs soon after.

The criticism doesn’t stop there. In 2008, much-maligned FIFA president Sepp Blatter claimed that the “economic power of football is immense” and that the investment in the sport is out of control. Richard Bevan, head of the League Managers’ Association (LMA), said in March 2012 that Chelsea had become an “embarrassment” to the Premier League after Abramovich sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas just 257 days after he took charge of the club.

In a survey by Global Sports Forum published around the same time as Bevan’s comments, it was found that similar sentiments were echoed by fans. 52% of the 3,500 fans polled said that overseas owners do not have the best interests of a club at heart, whilst 63% said they don’t want foreign owners in their domestic league.

Hull City fans would likely agree with these stories after their Egyptian owner Assem Allam said that some fans can “die as soon as they want” after they opposed his idea to rename the club Hull Tigers from Hull City. At recent home matches, fans have been holding banners saying “We are Hull City” and chanting “City till we die” in response to the proposed name change, causing Allam to make those comments. The African has already rebranded the club Hull City Tigers for trading purposes, much to the disdain of the KC Stadium faithful. He also said he would be happy to put the club up for sale if the fans wanted him out, an offer that may be taken up in the near future.

In a somewhat less controversial move, Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, who owns 30% of the club, recently said that foreign owners are good for English football. The Russian continued by saying that investors pumping money into the British economy can only be a good thing, and that if a team is successful, then there should be no issue with foreign owners.

This may be true for clubs like Arsenal with a long history and richer investors, but with smaller clubs like Birmingham City (majority owned by Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung) and Queens Park Rangers (majority owned by Malaysian Tony Fernandes) who have suffered relegations since being bought.

To view a timeline of when Premier League sides were bought by foreign owners, click on this link.

How Australia’s attack won them the Rugby League World Cup 2013

rlwc top try scorerss The chart above shows the top try scorers during the Rugby League World Cup 2013, and serves to highlight Australia’s dominance of the tournament. The Kangaroos beat New Zealand 34-2 in the final to regain the trophy after losing 34-28 to the Kiwis in the final of the 2008 tournament. Throughout the finals, Australia scored an incredible 272 points in their six matches (an average of 45 per game), with Jarryd Hayne and Brett Morris contributing 72 of those points through their nine tries each. Half of the players in the top 10 try scorers are Australian, with the non-Australian players being Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand), Ryan Hall (England), Antonio Winterstein (Samoa), Manu Vatuvei (New Zealand) and Matthew Russell (Scotland).

For the data to accompany the chart, visit https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0As66_R38ou2sdGZNWDZxYzUtOElyZ21fYS14T0FjMkE&single=true&gid=2&output=html

For a full list of all player stats, including try scorers, go to http://www.rlwc2013.com/fixtures/player_stats

England v Chile pre-match: Frank Lampard’s 100th cap

Before England’s match against Chile on Friday night at Wembley Stadium, England fan Harry Brent discusses midfielder Frank Lampard’s international future. The Chelsea player received his 100th cap in September against Ukraine, but has since said he is unsure of his England career. Lampard, 35, is the eighth player in England history to earn a century of caps, and one of three in the current squad along with Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole.

Unlike Arrow, I’m struggling for direction

There comes a point where I haven’t blogged in so long, not publicly anyway, that I feel the need to write something just to keep the creative juices flowing. I’ve had every intention to do some posts, and I even have a few drafts tucked away that I may come back to, but Uni work has been taking over a little bit. At least now I have a temporary reprieve, although this is being dominated by the Rugby League World Cup, where I am volunteering. But less of that now, since I plan to do a post on all that after the final on 30th November at Old Trafford.

I suppose the only logical direction, for me anyway, to go is in the direction of TV. Not literally. There is one show that has been dominating my schedule at the moment: Arrow.

This contains spoiler-y stuff for Arrow

The cast of Arrow

(from L-R) Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance), Manu Bennett (Slade Wilson), Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak), Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen), David Ramsey (John Diggle), Willa Holland (Thea Queen), Susanna Thompson (Moira Queen)
Image courtesy of http://www.denofgeek.com

Arrow is by far my favourite current TV show out there. After a bipolar first season which saw a slow first half get completely blown away by a mesmerising second half, the second season is pulling out all the stops already. And we’re just five episodes in.

For those not in the know, Arrow is based on the DC Comics hero Green Arrow, aka Oliver Queen. Queen was shipwrecked on a Chinese island for five years, and in the Pilot episode of the show he returns to his home town, Starling City. Aside from being a spoilt billionaire thanks his family business Queen Consolidated, Queen is now a skilled archer (I know, shocking).

The pilot was really good, for a pilot. Obviously there’s only so much that can be done in such an episode because you need to introduce the characters and give them basic traits, but here I found it balanced it all both perfectly (including flashbacks which become a major part of the series) unlike some recent shows *cough* Agents of Shield *cough*.

Having originally seen the pilot at an advanced viewing in July 2012 at San Diego Comic Con, I couldn’t wait for the season to start. What happened next was nearly caused me to give up on the show before it started.

The first half of Season One, as I previously said, was dull. Really quite boring. It was soon obvious that Stephen Amell (Oliver) couldn’t act, he had little-to-no chemistry with female lead Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance, Ollie’s childhood friend), and Willa Holland (Thea, Ollie’s younger sister) didn’t capture the hearts of viewers early. Actually, Thea was the focal point of many of the early episodes, and was one of the only ones to really care about Ollie’s experiences on ‘the island’. The problem is, I personally couldn’t have given a flying monkeys if Thea had popped it (as she so nearly did a couple of times early on) because she was just annoying and didn’t add much to the show.

The better characters early on were John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Diggle, or Dig as he is usually known, is an ex-soldier who was hired by Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), Ollie’s mother as her son’s bodyguard, although he soon became aware of his alter-ego and started to work with him. Felicity adds a little comic relief to the show, often accidentally piping up with double entendres in an adorable way, but also becomes a more useful character later on as she becomes Ollie’s tech gal when he’s off out skewering people with arrows.

However two cast members were added later on which arguably saved the show. They go by the names of John Barrowman and Manu Bennett. Barrowman is no stranger to the geek world, playing Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who before playing the same character in its spinoff, Torchwood. He is added around five episodes in, but it takes a couple more before we find out a wildly important fact, which I won’t reveal. He then dons an alter ego himself and becomes probably the most interesting character of the series.

Bennett is a little less well-known, but the Kiwi actor has been making a name for himself in the last few years, most notably as Crixus in Spartacus (the first season had the subtitle Blood and Sand, for a bit of reference) and as The Pale Orc in the Hobbit trilogy. The great hulk of a man, who plays Slade Wilson (comic fans should recognise that name) makes his first appearance in episode 13, and is an integral part of Ollie’s island adventures. To reveal much more would spoil it big-time, but he starts to train our hero and as a member of the Australian Secret Service, gives him the skills he needs to survive. Wilson has also been a brilliant character in Season 2 and it’s getting exciting as we slowly find out his motives for his actions on the Island.

Now onto Season 2, which picks up the chronology pretty much straight off. The DC references pick up, although some are in there purely for the comic fans and nothing more (probably). Thea’s boyfriend, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), is in it a lot more after being somewhat infrequent during his supporting role in Season 1, and anyone who knows DC lore (or has access to Google) will be able to tell where his storyline is going. The writers have even been dropping subtle hints about it, such as his clothes. Anyway, he’s been fantastic so far and his relationship with Thea is really blossoming, making him choose between his “destiny” and his family in a way not dissimilar to Ollie.

There has also been another superhero added into the mix, another DC favourite: Black Canary. To reveal her real identity would ruin some stuff big-time (I only said “spoiler-y”), but she’s given another dimension to the show and the League of Assassins has been mentioned by her more than once. As has the name Ra’s al Ghul. The writers of the show also said a man by the name of Barry Allen would be entering the fray soon. Mr Allen is better known as the Flash.

So it’s clear that Season 2 will be a cracker, and I, for one, am really excited for the rest of it to see how it comes together. One of the best shows out there by far.

Italy Head Coach Carlo Napolitano happy with team despite Tonga loss

Napolitano, left, next to Minichiello

Italy coach Carlo Napolitano, left, alongside captain Anthony Minichiello, reflects on his side’s 16-0 Rugby League World Cup loss to Tonga.

Italy coach Carlo Napolitano took charge of the Azzurri in 2011 and guided them through Rugby League World Cup Qualifying round in the same year, including a very impressive 92-6 win over Russia. After a short-lived Super League career where he played for Salford City Reds , Napolitano, who is also the technical director of the Italian Rugby League Federation (FIRL), moved to Australia where he coached in Queensland before becoming the Head Coach of Italy. Their 16-0 loss to Tonga on Sunday meant they could not progress past the group stage of the Rugby League World Cup finals, but the nation surprised a lot of people with their standard of Rugby and Napolitano has recently said that Rugby League in Italy is rising in popularity.


JN2053 Assignment 1


Wigan claim first European win

Around 100 fans made the trip from Slovenia

Wigan and Maribor prepare to restart after Ben Watson’s goal

Nick Powell scored twice as Wigan Athletic won their first ever home European game with a 3-1 win over NK Maribor in the Europa League.

The midfielder, who started up front tonight, could have had five but his brace, combined with a goal from the outstanding Ben Watson, proved enough as the Lactics outclassed their Slovenian counterparts.

Athletic could have gone ahead early on but a fine save from Jasmin Handanovic in the Maribor goal prevented Powell from opening the scoring.

But Powell, on loan from Manchester United, put that miss behind him to score the home side’s first ever European goal after a horrendous error by Handanovic.

Jean Beausejour swung in a cross that should have easily been dealt with, but the visiting team’s ‘keeper somehow punched the ball behind him to give Powell an easy finish.

Wigan continued to press in search of a second goal, and it came soon after when an excellent Beausejour cross was expertly headed home by FA Cup final hero Watson.

Powell should have put the game to bed just before half time but couldn’t find the target when he was played through on goal.

Maribor didn’t look like scoring, barely testing Scott Carson in the first half, but they pulled a goal back to give the travelling 100 or so fans something to cheer after a series of poor defending from Ryan Shotton.

First the centre back was beaten by Jean Philippe Mendy, then he failed to clear Tavares’ shot from the pull back, despite it being almost straight at him.

That goal put Wigan on edge, but the home side held firm thanks to the irrepressible Watson and James McArthur in central midfield controlling the game.

Powell was guilty of possibly miss of the season late on as he could only hit the post from a yard out after a good cross by Watson.

Carson was called into action again in the 90th minute when he made a brilliant save from Tavares’ shot.

Powell doubled his tally in the last minute to wrap up the win when he brilliantly dribbled past two players before finishing past Handanovic with ease.

Manager Owen Coyle was pleased with his side’s victory, saying: “The football we played, we passed and moved the ball at a real intensity culminating in some terrific goalscoring chances. Not that there is any negative, but there’s no doubt we could have scored six or seven goals tonight.”

Ben Affleck – Daredevil, The Joker principle, Replacing Bale

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 18 hours, you’ll probably be aware that Ben Affleck has been cast to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in the conceivable DC Cinematic Universe future, starting in 2015 in Superman vs Batman.

His latest directorial effort, Argo, which he also starred in, won Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards. Not bad.


Of course, Mr Affleck is known in the superhero world for his God-awful attempt at Daredevil. In fairness, he was decent in the role, but the script and the plot were awful and the film was critically panned.

That was in 2003. More recently, the man himself said: “Daredevil I didn’t (like) at all.”

Sums it all up, really. It takes some serious bat-balls on his part to agree to take the role of the Caped Crusader, considering he became somewhat of a laughing stock of the genre.


You probably know where this is going, and I like to call it the ‘The Joker Principle’.

In July 2006, a man by the name of Heath Ledger was cast to play arguably Batman’s greatest adversary, The Joker. A man who, by that point in his career, had some good films to date (10 Things I Hate About You, A Knight’s Tale, Brokeback Mountain), but nothing to suggest he would dip into the superhero genre.

This was barely a percentage of the reaction – http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2013/08/Heath-Backlash-610×1050.jpg

Of course, we all know the rest – Ledger went on to put in possibly one of the best performances in film history, and won a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and probably every other accolade possible.

It was undoubtedly a risk by Chris Nolan et al. to cast Ledger, but because of the backlash, the size of the risk was blown wildly out of proportion. The Aussie actor wasn’t the first risk ever taken by a studio, and it was certainly not the last.

On the flip side, there have been somewhat safe bets by studios that haven’t paid off. An example that springs to mind is Pierce Brosnan being cast as James Bond in 1994. He had shows like Remington Steele behind him, and was pretty much proven in the genre.

He started well, GoldenEye was brilliant and hugely successful, but the films went downhill very quickly after that and it was clear a new 007 was required.

Basically, my point is that studios take risks all the time, Affleck and Ledger included, but they shouldn’t be singled out.


In a slightly related follow-up point, whoever was cast as Batman for the DCCU (DCU? DC-CU?) was going to face this response. Even if a geek God like Nathan Fillion had been cast, I would strongly wager there would have been complaints saying he was too well-known, or maybe he was too old.

Why? Because Christian Bale superbly portrayed Bruce/Batman in one of the greatest film trilogies of all time, The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Following the Brit was going to be a tough ask anyway, but playing him just three years after The Dark Knight Rises just makes it even more difficult for Affleck.


If you’ll be so kind as to cast your minds back to just a couple of weeks ago, the BBC announced that Peter Capaldi would be replacing Matt Smith as the Doctor in Doctor Who.

Capaldi, best known for his role as the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, wasn’t an obvious choice for the Time Lord. But cast he was, and unsurprisingly faced some backlash from hardcore fans and casual viewers alike.

The Scotsman was also in the wonderful Torchwood: Children of Earth series, and he was bloomin’ excellent in it.

Once again, this was going to be a tough act to follow because Smith was so popular, but he’s still months from playing the Doctor and already people are judging him. Which leads me on to my next point…


Why? Why is everyone judging people before they’ve even got close to stepping into the role.

Yes, he (Affleck here) might turn out to be an awful Batman/Bruce Wayne. But just as easily, especially with the crew they have behind the DCCU (Zack Snyder, Chris Nolan, Emma Thomas etc.), he might be the best thing since sliced bread.

Young actors in Hollywood and beyond

A mere 27 years since the release of Stand By Me, and I’ve finally gotten around to seeing it. Although in fairness, I’ve only been alive for 19 of those years.

This came about because I was listening to an old Nerdist podcast the other day, with host Chris Hardwick interviewing geek favourite Wil Wheaton, and he talked in detail about the making of the film.

About two-thirds of the way through, just after the famous leech scene, I realised how engrossed I was in the film. Like with all good drama films, I was taking it seriously and going through the trials and tribulations of the characters.

It then hit me – these guys are kids. The youngest (Jerry O’Connell) was 11, with the oldest (River Phoenix) 15. When I was those ages, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Meanwhile, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, River Phoenix and Corey Feldman are acting like they’ve been doing it for 50 years.
The young stars confidently led the film for probably 90% of the time, ranging all kinds of emotions that many adult stars could only wish to have.

In fact, the rest of the screen time was mostly taken up by a brilliant Kiefer Sutherland (20 years old at the time).

My point is this: there is no way a film today could star four 12-year-old kids and actually be any good.

In the 80s, kids could act.
Not only that, but all four in Stand By Me continued their acting careers forth very successfully (with the obvious exception of Phoenix, who tragically died at the age of 23, but still had a good career until then). Here is what I consider to be their most notable roles since Stand By Me:
Wheaton played Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation for seven years, and now is a legend amongst geeks.

O’Connell was in the impressive Sliders for five years, and played Frank Cushman in Jerry Maguire (he has since made some questionable film choices, including Scary Movie 5).

Feldman starred in various movies, including Gremlins and The Goonies. He is also the singer in a rock band, Truth Movement

Phoenix starred in Explorers, as well as playing young Indy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

So they’ve all done stuff, is the second point I’m trying to make.

I’m now going to compare this to a highly successful franchise spanning ten years of movies – Harry Potter.

Now, I love the Harry Potter films. I’ve seen them all countless times, and often find myself quoting them.

But until around film five, the Order of The Phoenix, it was pretty clear that none of the main three cast could actually act.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were all-but plucked out of obscurity at the age of 11 to play the heroes in the most commercially successful film series of all time.

This was a bold move by the producers, but in fairness, there aren’t exactly many established child stars by that age. It just turned out they picked the three children in Britain who couldn’t act.

Watching them back, it’s a little cringeworthy. I’ll give them the first one because of the scenario and the pressure surrounding them (however Hermione is just so pretentious at times and I have a serious love/hate relationship with that).

But the following three contained some seriously awful acting, and the bolstered roles of young supporting stars like Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) didn’t help their cause.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, because Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) matured very quickly as an actor, as did Devon Murray (Seamus Finnigan).

However, it was really the supporting cast of adults that made the films as good as they were. Stars like Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter and David Bradley, to name a few, were absolutely brilliant in every film they were in.

At times in the first four films, it just didn’t feel like the danger was real because the acting wasn’t very good. I didn’t expect Harry to lose to Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets, nor did I expect him to lose to Voldemort in the graveyard.

I suppose the seventh film should be the one compared with Stand By Me, since it required the three stars to lead the film without much help from adults.

Even at this point, whilst the acting was a lot better, it still didn’t feel like they had the confidence to be the film, to be the people who were going to be on screen nearly all the time.

Of course it’s hard for young stars who are just breaking into the business to steal the spotlight away from established stars, but they should have been able to. They were the faces of the franchise for ten years, but yet it always just felt like an ensemble piece.

In fairness to Radcliffe and Watson, they have both matured into decent actors, with the former starring in Broadway plays and continuing to make films. Watson, meanwhile, whom I consider better at acting, starred in the brilliant Perks of Being a Wallflower last year and is in the forthcoming Bling Ring.
Grint is on the brink of disappearing into nothing though. Having done very little since the final Potter film, he may end up starring in indie flicks and TV movies. But I have no idea what he’s got lined up, so we’ll see.

I do hope he has more, because he was by far the best actor of the three.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that young actors are becoming a thing of the past. Aside from people like Chloe Grace Moretz being outstanding in Kick-Ass at the age of 11, it’s practically impossible to find a young actor who can do what they claim they are able to do.

It could be argued that this is a good thing since not all young actors deal with it well (it’s common knowledge that Daniel Radcliffe drank heavily for nearly two years, and River Phoenix died of a drug overdose), but I’m not going to go into that.