Day: March 27, 2010

Football At The World Cup: Part Two (1982-1990)

Last week, we took you from the beginning of the 1966 World Cup finals through to 1978 through the lens of the television cameras that brought the world’s biggest football tournament into our living rooms. This week we move on to the 1980s and the beginning of the gradual expansion of the tournament. The 1980s were a decade during which technological improvements that those in the television industry may have hoped for were cut short by a tournament that twice might not even have taken place, and ended with a tournament that was resplendent with bells and whistles but was let down by the appalling quality of football taking place on the pitch. Talk of expanding the World Cup had started in 1970, with Sir Stanley Rous (the then-president of FIFA) stating that the tournament would be “better balanced” by having twenty-four nations playing in it rather than sixteen. Rous retired in 1974, but the idea persisted. There were proposals to increase the 1978 tournament to twenty nations, but these were postponed and in 1982, the World Cup finals arrived in Spain with twenty-four nations and a completely new format. Rather than having quarter-finals, there would be a second group stage with the twelve qualifiers playing in four groups of three. Some complained that this was too big an expansion, and that there would be too many lop-sided games,...

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Who Owns Your Club?

If there has been one fundamental sea change in the politics of football over the last twelve months, it has been that more and more people are finally asking the question of who owns their football club. Whereas ten or twenty years ago a football club was a nice, convenient place for someone to hide out and, if they wished to, keep a low profile, nowadays football club owners from the very top to the very bottom find themselves under intense scrutiny as people – rightly – start to look into the ownership of their clubs. Every football supporter, these days, has to be fully clued up on economics, insolvency law and business practice these days. Anyway, this video has turned up on YouTube, a somewhat satirical look at the businesses that are behind football in England. It is, as the makers say, a work in progress, so feel free to add to the comments and allow them to refine their...

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