Day: April 1, 2008

A Sensible Transfer

This morning’s announcement that MK Dons are applying to take over Gretna’s place in the Scottish Premier League shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. Pete Winkleman knows the value of publicity if nothing else and, as he said himself this morning, “We have an excellent chance of bringing European football to Milton Keynes, which is no less than the people of this city deserve”. Winkleman has reportedly argued successfully that, since Gretna transferred from English football into the Scottish game and there have been persistent rumours that Celtic and Rangers are to transfer into the English game, there is no logistical reason why such a move shouldn’t take place. “Our recent triumph in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy has demonstrated that we have outgrown the bottom two divisions of the Coca Cola League”, Winkleman said. “We’ve carried out extensive market research and there is no doubt that it is in the best interests of British football that the people of Milton Keynes have the opportunity to see the likes of Motherwell and Hibernian in the flesh. The possibility of UEFA Cup football will dramatically increase our profile on the international stage, increasing the likelihood of major stars such as Scorpions and Ace Of Base to Stadium MK. I’m already planning a Scottish themed festival here this summer. I was on the phone to The Proclaimers until five o’clock...

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Red All About It

The possibility is starting to dawn on me that I might be cursed. I don’t mean this in the sense of someone being in ownership of a voodoo doll made in my image into which they occasionally stick pins (though I wouldn’t completely rule this out), rather the fact that my nemesis of football colours is, apparently, “lucky”. I’ve seen various pieces in science journals over the years expounding the virtues of clubs that wear red. Studies from all over the place seem to confirm the same thing – if your team wears red shirts, they hold an advantage before a ball has even been kicked. A good many of these have been based upon little more than counting up the number of cups that clubs in various different shirt colours have worn, but the latest report, as detailed here on Football Shirt Culture is the fruit of considerable amounts of research into English results since 1945, and their results seem to be fairly conclusive. Professor Martin Attrill of Plymouth University does raise some interesting points. Considering that football in Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham started with two clubs of relatively similar means, why is it that the teams from the city that play in red ended up in the ascendency in all four cases? Some might argue that it is coincidence, and some might argue that for long...

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