Day: July 21, 2008

Laws Of Diminishing Returns

The casual observer might have thought that the world was at their feet. A not unimpressive mid-table finish and a Wembley win against Torquay United in the FA Trophy coupled with the deep pockets of Eurostar and the worldwide interest of MyFootballClub should, in theory at least, have set Ebbsfleet United up for an improved and profitable new season in the Blue Square Premier, but the truth of the matter is that the already dwindling interest in the internet Championship Manager fad might yet cause a downturn in their fortunes. Yesterday’s edition of “The Non-League Paper” had much to say on the subject. Their much talked about “team selector” went live last week but, according to reports, just 1,855 out of over 30,000 members voted on whether they should pick the team for their recent high profile against Charlton Athletic, and that number dropped to just 1,124 for the match against Torpoint Athletic, of the South West Peninsular Premier League. Even the organisation’s founder, Will Brooks, couldn’t put a positive spin on this news, stating that, “I doubt that we’ll ever get 30,000 people picking the team”. Now, as long term readers will be aware, we’ve done Ebbsfleet on here before. Several times over, in fact. We’ve taken a long at their unusual set-up, questioned the moral argument over whether it is right to take over a club that...

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A Few Home Truths

The trouble with this pre-season that runs for weeks and weeks is that it starts to drag. For those of us with no particular interest in the rumour mill, who are just hoping that their their team starts the new season with the requisite number of players and substitutes, it starts to get a little boring. Trying to find anything that isn’t a transfer story can be hard work. There are, however, some gems out there to be found. For example, hidden away in the middle of the BBC’s football website this weekend was an interview with Trevor Brooking that should be made required reading for everybody in the English media. Brooking, one suspects, is reaching that point in his old age when he stops caring about being bland or playing safe, as he was often accused of doing when working for the BBC, and it is no bad thing that he is using this opportunity to tell us a few home truths. It was almost two years ago, on these very pages, that I noted with a degree of dismay that the press was woefully under-playing the likelihood of England reaching the finals of Euro 2008. Whilst club football has become more and more polarised, with the powerbase now lying with no more than half a dozen clubs, the international scene has, by contrast become more of a...

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