Day: July 8, 2009

The Needle & The Damage Done

You’ve probably heard of “The War On Drugs”, the US government’s equivalent of pushing a pea up a hill with one’s nose which aims to eradicate illegal narcotics forever by cutting them off at source whilst telling young people that drugs are “bad, m’kay?”. Football has its own equivalent, the savage sentencing of anyone caught with anything banned floating around in their bloodstream, and this summer’s pin-up boy for the anti-drugs in sport movement looks like being the Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, who tested positive for ephedrine after last year’s Championship play-off match against Preston North End. Kenny has been suspended by his club, who issued the following statement: “We confirm Paddy has been suspended. This is an ongoing, confidential matter”. His circumstances may provide him with a partial alibiĀ  – more on that further down – but ephedrine, the substance found in Kenny’s bloodstream, doesn’t have entirely innocent uses. Drugs are an emotive subject, one of those that brings out the shrillest voices on both sides of the argument and renders any rational debate essentially meaningless, but in the case of Kenny the matter seems fairly clear cut. Ephedrine is used as a performance enhancing stimulant in sport, most notably in Amercian football, athletics and weightlifting, where it is used to increase concentration levels. However, it is also used regularly used in prescription medicines (it’s not illegal...

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Returning Home & New Homes

In non-league football, things are moving and plans are afoot. It looked for some time as if we were heading for a rash of grounds being sold, demolished and converted into luxury apartments. Indeed, over the last ten years we have lost some of the best known non-league grounds, including Hendon’s Claremont Road, Scarborough’s Seamer Road, Aylesbury United’s Buckingham Road, Enfield’s Southbury Road, Slough Town’s Wexham Park and Edgware Town’s The White Lion. There are plenty more, of course. Probably too many to mention. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. You get enough of that on here. This evening, we’re going to take a quick look at four clubs that look as if they may be moving into new facilities or returning home in the next couple of years or so. Slough Town: The falling into disrepair of Slough Town’s Wexham Park became a symbol for the interminable wrangling between clubs and landlords which often threatens to drive clubs to the wall. Slough were evicted from Wexham Park in 2003 and have been trying to find a permanent new home since then, managing to share a ground at Windsor & Eton and Beaconsfield SYCOB as they tumbled down the divisions and out of the Southern League altogether. Last season (after being reprieved thanks to the collapse of Halifax Town) they stabilised somewhat in the Southern Division One South...

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