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Day: September 4, 2009

Farsley Celtic Fold – Well, Nearly.

Well, it was yet another miraculous escape for a non-league club which, by any degree of rational thinking, didn’t fully deserve to pull through. Farsley Celtic had been a tale of too much too soon, and their recent difficulties reached a dramatic conclusion late yesterday afternoon when the club’s administrators, Mazars, announced that they could no longer justify running the club as going concerned, locked the club out of The Throstle Nest and locked the gates. It seemed that the death of the club was nigh and their home league match against Stalybridge Celtic in the Blue Square North was called off, but this afternoon an unnamed consortium stepped in and paid the £200,000 required to keep the club alive. The match is back on, and the club has been saved for now. Farsley, it seems, overspent in the rush to get into the Blue Square Premier. They lasted just one division in the top division of non-league football, and have been in state of perpetual crisis since they fell back after just one year. Playing in front of dwindling crowds, the club has failed to make ends meet ever since. At the start of July they were issued with a winding up petition from HMRC over an unpaid tax bill and were set to be expelled from non-league football before they won a reprieve and a ten point...

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FIFA, Chelsea & Gael Kakuta

That the football community in Britain has responded with such surprise the two transfer window ban that FIFA have slapped upon Chelsea is, in itself, quite telling. It has long been the suspicion of many that the biggest clubs have been getting away with this sort of thing for years, but it is difficult to say whether this particular ruling has drawn so much attention because of its apparent harshness (unless Chelsea win an appeal, they will be unable to sign any new players from other clubs until January 2012, while Gael Kakuta himself has been banned from playing for four months) or because we are so used to big clubs acting in the way that Chelsea have that we have simply become resigned to the inevitability of it all. It is important to distinguish, first of all, what Chelsea did wrong here that was different to the usual “tapping up” of players by clubs. The best way to do this is probably to compare and contrast the Gael Kakuta case with what looks on the surface like a similar case, that of Federico Macheda, who left Lazio for Manchester United at the age of sixteen. The fundamental difference between these two cases is the employment law in the countries concerned. In Italy, it is illegal for a player to be signed under contract until the age of eighteen...

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