Month: February 2008

What The Premier League Thinks Of You

I’ve copied this over from “Pitch Invasion”, and will be putting up a reply to it on here later on. An open letter to Richard Scudamore, if you like. It is, I think, a critical read if you are an English football supporter. I have made a few amendments to the formatting, but every word of what is printed below is as per the original transcript. Consultation meeting between Mr. Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, and representatives of the Football Supporters’ Federation (the FSF). Wednesday February 27th – 10.30-12.00 FSF representatives were the chairman Malcolm Clarke, together with one grass-roots member each from the previous week’s FSF regional “NO TO GAME 39” campaign meetings (clubs whose fan bodies were directly represented were Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool, Portsmouth and Sunderland). Three of Mr. Scudamore’s staff, including Cathy Long, were also present but said very little during the meeting. FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke began by asking Mr. Scudamore what was the current status of the proposal to play a 39th round of PL matches overseas. Before he answered the question that had actually been asked, Mr. Scudamore embarked on a 10 minute explanation of why the proposal had to be made out-of-the-blue at the meeting of PL chairmen on February 7th, how the proposal was leaked some hours before the PL had called a press conference, and how frustrating this...

Read More

The Epicentre Of English Football

If there is one division that provides a snapshot of English football, it’s League One. It is the league that shows all of the pitfalls of the modern game, but at the same time it has often provided a springboard to greater things. There are former Premier League clubs in there, playing as equals against teams that were playing Isthmian League football a little over ten years ago. It’s a bewildering mixture of success and failure. Its clubs can go to the Premier League or the Conference in two short years, and it has provided FA Cup semi-finallists in the form of Wycombe Wanderers, Plymouth Argyle and Chesterfield. Indeed, it may yet provide an FA Cup semi-finallist in Bristol Rovers this year. It is, I think, the epicentre of the English game. At one end of the spectrum you have Nottingham Forest and Leeds United. These are two clubs that considering themselves to be slumming it by playing in this division. Forest, for whom the memories of being twice European champions are getting more and more distant with each passing year, have been struggling to get out of League One for a couple of years now, and there is no guarantee that they will go up this season yet. Leeds’ history is similarly glorious, but they look even less likely to go up than Forest. At the other end...

Read More

Football Shorts 4

Well, it’s another Tuesday night, and another chance for me to catch up on all the things that have been distracting my tiny brain over the last few days or so (Caution: The following posts are small items that I don’t have the time or inclination to write complete pieces about, but that I do feel warrant a mention – they’re not all meant to be taken completely seriously). My New Scarf: I’ve got a new scarf! It’s blue and yellow striped, and it’s so comfortable on my neck that I almost kept it on all day at work all day, and would have done were it not for the fact that I would almost certainly died from heatstroke had I not. Should you be interested, I can be seen modelling it here (I’m on the right, by the way). Of course, the ownership of a new football scarf can only mean one thing, and that it the immediate onset of an unseasonal heatwave that renders the damn thing useless until the autumn. If the weather turns and there’s a mini-heatwave at the start of March, you’ll know who to blame (although those of you that remember my topless raindance will already be aware that I’m not very good at controlling the weather). Say It Quietly: ..But the Premier League is actually pretty exciting at the moment, isn’t it?...

Read More

The Worst Tackle Of The Season?

Saturday lunchtime’s match looked, on paper, like a run of the mill Arsenal vs The Rest Premier League fixture. With Birmingham sitting just above the relegation places, it looked like a comfortable three points for the league leaders, but what followed was an incident that could have long term ramifications for The Gunners and, more seriously, has thrown the entire career of one of their young players into doubt. You have, by now, almost certainly seen Martin Taylor’s tackle on Eduardo Da Silva. Upon first viewing, it looks like a typical clumsy Premier League tackle. A second or two late, catching him just above the ankle. First impressions, however, aren’t always right, and the replay highlighted Eduardo’s leg bending at a sickeningly unnatural angle. Questions over whether he’ll be able to play for his adoptive home country, Croatia, at Euro 2008 are largely irrelevant. As time has gone in, it has become more and more apparent that the real issue is whether he’ll be able to play again at all. In the meantime, the incident has been picked to death in the media with numerous accusations and counter-accusations having been made. The rush was on to make try and make sense of an incident that, to an extent, could be put down to carelessness on the part of Taylor and merely exceptionally bad luck on the part of Eduardo,...

Read More