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Day: June 11, 2009

Sons Of Shankly Humiliate Themselves In Public

Red shirts and red faces. For the people leading the “Sons of Shankly” supporters group, it has been a very uncomfortable couple of days. Video footage was leaked onto YouTube of a singer on stage at their end of the organisation’s end of season party leading a large crowd in a chant about the Munich Air Disaster. The group issued an apology a couple of days ago, but this apology raised more questions that it answered. The apology ran as follows: Spirit of Shankly (SOS) is aware that video footage has been posted on the internet from the SOS End of season party on 24th May 2009. This footage shows an unscheduled performance which the SOS Events Commitee had no prior knowledge of. The Events Committee will endeavour to increase back-stage security for future events to ensure impromptu performances like this do not happen again. We are sincerely sorry for anybody who has been offended by this footage, and we do not condone such behaviour. Unfortunately, this “apology” is simply not good enough. This was an official SoS  function, and the film (which is not going to be reproduced upon here) shows the singer standing in front of an  SoS flag as he starts the chant. The excuse – and it is an excuse rather than an explanation – that this was “unscheduled” and they had “no prior knowledge”...

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Shit Shot Mungo: Holiday Special 2!

It’s that time of the week again. Time for the second part of the Shit Shot Mungo Bumper Holiday Special, the constituent parts of which will be easily arrangeable into a super bumper comic book come the end of the close season. This week’s edition tells you everything that you need to know aabout Heart of Clackmannannshire’s Spanish international Pedro Rabies. He likes ketamine and paella, it says here. Scribbled, as ever, by Dotmund (and don’t forget that you can buy SSM original artwork at low, low prices through his site), and drawn in effervescent Colormund®, the bigger version...

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Ronaldo To Madrid… Possibly

It has been said before that the one single things that all great sides have in common is a player in midfield, aged in his mid to late twenties. That player is at the peak of his strength. He has the experience and guile from having played professionally for several seasons, yet his fitness levels haven’t yet succumbed to the inevitable slowing that comes with ageing. Most players careers follow this gradient, though there are exceptions (Ryan Giggs maintained his freshness until into his thirties, whilst Michael Owen seemed to peak at about twenty-one years old). If Cristano Ronaldo has reached the peak of his  powers, then he has done it very early indeed. One of the things about Alex Ferguson that makes him a great manager is that he knows when the top of that hill for a player has been reached and that it will be  downhill for them from there on. The sale of David Beckham to Real Madrid, the loan signing of Henrik Larsson and countless others that seemed, on one level, to defy all logic – one of the most critical skills that Ferguson possesses is the  ability to assess and analyse players, and he doesn’t get it wrong that often. If an offer of £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo has been agreed and Alex Ferguson is fully behind this acceptance, the most likely scenario is that Ferguson...

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Setanta & The Blue Square Premier

Setanta may not have actually stopped breathing yet, but the last rites are being read in the media. It now seems like only a matter of time before the plug is pulled and the company disappears from our (well, some people’s) screens forever. This, however, doesn’t come without consequences and the hardest affected clubs are likely to be those that can least afford it, in the Blue Square Premier. Setanta has been pretty kind to the BSP. In a league in which many players are still part-time, the average BSP club has been receiving around £80,000 per season from the broadcaster, plus £7,000 for every live appearance at home and £3,000 for every appearance as an away side.  Cambridge United, for example, were on Setanta eleven times last season and the total loss to them will be in the region of £125,000. This is a sizeable amount of money for clubs of this size, making up anything up to one-third or more  of most club’s wage budgets. The tap has now been pulled on this source of income and, just with Football League club in the immediate aftermath of the closure of ITV Digital in 2002, there is a real concern over how that gap in funding is going to be plugged. The clubs that have so far stuck their heads above the parapets have stated that they can...

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