The J-Talk Podcast
Money, money, money…..

Money, money, money…..

June 4, 2020

...must be funny? Not really if you are JEF United or FC Gifu. But luckily there are some teams that know the difference between value and cost. 

Welcome to the deep dive on the financial state of J2 and the clubs contained in it. Stuart took the time over the weekend to assess the J.League financial report for 2019, and has translated/crunched some numbers to try and answers questions including:

  • Who squeezes out the best value for money?
  • Who punches above their financial weight?
  • Who is in trouble financially?
  • Who disappoints?
  • Where does the money come from?
  • What is "other"? 

Jon & Stuart go over these questions, and try to provide some insight into the numbers. If after listening you have any questions - please feel free to me or Jon a tweet. 

As always, we really appreciate all the support & feedback we get from you listeners. We hope you enjoy this episode! But don't gorge on it - the J3 financial podcast is on the horizon, and that is one hell of a document!

Episode 318 - The Final Countdown (We Hope)

Episode 318 - The Final Countdown (We Hope)

June 2, 2020
This is it... surely. After a few false starts, the J.League announced return to play dates for J1 and J2, and a commencement date for J3, last Friday, and Sean Carroll joined Sam and Ben to chat all about it.
Thanks to Jonny, one of our supporters on Patreon, for his questions - if you've been listening regularly you know the guys have been greatly indebted to our patrons for topics and talking points during the COVID-19-enforced hiatus.
If you'd like to support the podcast on Patreon, for as little as $1 a month, please visit
J-Talk: Extra Time - (Re)Born on the 4th of July

J-Talk: Extra Time - (Re)Born on the 4th of July

May 28, 2020

Ahead of an official announcement on Friday May 29th, Jon Steele & Stuart Smith discuss the proposals regarding the restart (or the start, if we're talking J3....) of the J.League, and the challenges it faces. 

The gents also talk crowd noise, go over FC Ryukyu's financial results, wax lyrical about Zweigen Kanazawa's proposed new stadium, have a bit of gossip on an up & coming player who might be heading to Europe....all in under 40 minutes!! 

** Apologies for the audio quality on Stuart's side. For some reason the usual recording software didn't work and so we had to use the embedded recorder in Skype which didn't work as well as the other one. I hope it doesn't affect your listening enjoyment **

We really appreciate all the support & feedback we get from you listeners. We hope you enjoy this episode!


Episode 317 - Japan International Ami Otaki

Episode 317 - Japan International Ami Otaki

May 28, 2020

What a career, what a life in football. From Waseda University to a European Champions League Final, then trying to break in to a World Cup-winning squad. From retiring to having a kick-about with Park Ji-Sung, and then returning to the pitch.

Sam and Ben were thrilled to be joined by Ami Otaki, who was a brilliant guest - open and honest about all of her experiences along the way, and passionate about Nadecare, the NPO she started with Saki Kumagai and Yukari Kinga in 2019.

Get following @nadecare on Twitter! 

J-Talk: Extra Time - “Empty” Stadia Problems

J-Talk: Extra Time - “Empty” Stadia Problems

May 21, 2020

Jon Steele & Stuart Smith return for short. sharp round up of the latest news from Japanese football including:

  • Is the J.League gearing up for a return?
  • Squirting soap on the changing room floor
  • How to fill an empty stadium? 
  • Handsome Mitch Langerak
  • Good & bad J.League content

We appreciate all the support & feedback we get from you listeners. We hope you enjoy this episode!

Episode 316 - You Down With NPB?

Episode 316 - You Down With NPB?

May 19, 2020

After a brief K-League and Bundesliga chat at the beginning of the episode, Sam and Ben welcome in Jason Coskrey, the hardball head honcho (chief baseball writer) at The Japan Times, for a chat on how the coronavirus has affected the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) schedule, how they might proceed once it is determined safe to begin play behind closed doors, and the collaboration between NPB and J.League during the pandemic, among other topics.

Thanks to our patrons for their terrific questions (and their ongoing support), and to Jason for taking the time to speak with us. Please follow Jason on twitter (and tell him J-Talk sent you!), and check out his Japan Times archive.

J-Talk: Extra Time - Good news….maybe?

J-Talk: Extra Time - Good news….maybe?

May 17, 2020

Welcome to the "Hat & Roger" - pull up a chair and let's talk some Japanese football! (The reference will become clear...)

Are we edging closer to a return to the J.League? Jon Steele & Stuart Smith believe so, piecing together 'evidence' from various sources and they talk about the situation in Japan now, and whether they'd feel safe going to watch games in stadia come July. 

Also, happy 27th birthday to the J.League, a rethink for the Emperor's Cup and other stuff in this streamlined, yet full, 39 minutes. Enjoy!

Episode 315 - Next Stop: J.League

Episode 315 - Next Stop: J.League

May 12, 2020

It's another welcome return on this week's pod, as Richy Palmer guests to help us wrap up Sven's terrific Patreon message - the gift that has kept on giving for Sam and Ben in recent weeks!

First we look at J.League Associate Membership - the system by which lower league clubs apply to become J - then give a couple of scenarios if the league were to ever reach it's target of 100 clubs within 100 years.

From there its a check on the eight prefectures that are without a J.League club: Richy assesses them from just about ready to a fair way off - and which areas of the country without a professional club would benefit the most from one.

And we finish with a look at Chris Hough's superb new video - A football adventure across Japan - on his Lost in Football Japan YouTube channel.

Follow Richy on Twitter: @GifuRichy

J-Talk: Extra Time - The People Speak…..

J-Talk: Extra Time - The People Speak…..

May 10, 2020

It seemed a lot of you had things to get off your chest with regards to the J.League, and so Jon Steele & Stuart Smith listened and passed judgement. They disagreed a lot, and that means you won't be happy with some of our responses....but, hey - that's life! 

So, from monochrome kits, to Kazu, to reserved seating, here is the Room 101 response episode. Enjoy! And stay safe, wherever you may be listening.  

Episode 314 - Some Hard Truths

Episode 314 - Some Hard Truths

May 6, 2020

After we reveal the winner of the 2020 Levain Cup, Sam and Ben are joined by budding novelist Scott McIntyre for a hard-hitting look at the prospects of a mid-June return for the J.League, and an anytime-in-2020 resumption of the ACL.

Look out for Scott's debut novel 'Love In The Time Of Corona' on bookstands at an airport near you when it is safe to resume air travel.

Follow us on twitter:

Scott - @mcintinhos

Sam - @FRsoccerSam

The Pod - @JTalkPod

With the K-League returning this weekend, follow Sam's Football Radar colleague Alex Lee.