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Day: July 31, 2009

Sir Bobby Robson – 1933-2009

It has been a very sad day for football on the eve of the new season. We have lost one of us. It is, perhaps, a reflection of the hole in the heart of English football that we should mourn a football man whose greatest single attribute was nothing more or less than a sense of common decency. It is football’s loss and our loss that we may never in a quite literal sense see his like again. Rob Freeman, who supports Ipswich Town, takes a moment to remember Sir Bobby Robson. Sir Bobby – it’s always seemed a little churlish to refer to him by just his surname – was simply put, one of the greatest men to ever contribute to the game. He made an impact as a player, a manager and as a man. His playing career often gets overshadowed as a result of the achievements he had as a manager, but as an inside forward and wing-half for Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, Sir Bobby scored over a hundred goals in over five hundred games in a domestic career that spanned 18 years. He made his international debut for England against in 1957, scoring two goals in a 4-0 victory over France at Wembley. It would be the first of 20 caps that would also take in three appearances at the 1958 World Cup, and...

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Tranmere Rovers: The Pitfalls Of Attracting Investment

It has been a curious summer for the “club across the water”. Tranmere Rovers, just over the River Mersey from Liverpool and Everton, ended last season having just missed out on a play-off place in League One after dropping two points at home to Scunthorpe United on the final day season. They sacked manager Ronnie Moore at the start of June and replaced him with John Barnes, and one might have expected them to have had a quiet summer working on how they could improve on their league position this time around. Their plans, however, have been disrupted this week by the news that they have been put up for sale… on Ebay. The sorry seems to stem from owner Peter Johnson’s attempts to attract investment in the club. He engaged the services of an American company called Dornoch Capital, but Dornoch seem to have misunderstood what exactly was expected of them and put the club up for sale on the auction website with a starting price at $10m. The advertisement itself does make for intriguing reading. It makes a point of noting that the Tranmere has “zero indebtedness in a period when English Football is in the process of de-gearing/de-leveraging”, which is a pretty damning (yet hardly unfair) description of the current state of English football, and lists the ability to “upgrade the fan experience in food/beverage” as...

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