Day: October 27, 2010

Video Of The Week 2: Match Of The Eighties, 1984/85

With the benefit of hindsight the 1984/85 season and its hideous denouement had been coming, but it wasn’t any less of a surprise when it played out before our very eyes. The safety of football grounds had not been properly addressed in decades and clubs themselves didn’t have either the inclination or the resources to do very much about spectators that they didn’t seem to consider to be much above vermin in the food chain. Meanwhile, crowds had long before started to plummet and trouble at matches had become part of the match day routine for many thousands, whether they wanted to be or not. Whatever happened on the pitch during the 1984/85 football season was overshadowed by what happened at the end of the season. On the final day of the English league season, a fifteen year old was killed when a wall collapsed after a match at St Andrews between Birmingham City and Leeds United that had been interrupted by fighting, but even this was overshadowed the same day, when a fire at Valley Parade in Bradford killed fifty-six supporters of Bradford City and Lincoln City. Two and a half weeks after this, a further thirty-nine people were killed at the death trap Heysel Stadium in Brussels after a wall collapsed following fighting at the European Cup final. The government talked darkly of identification cards for football...

Read More

Clearing Up A Few Loose Ends: Celtic, Portsmouth And (Briefly) Wednesday

It’s the football scandal of a generation. And it won’t go away. Colleen Rooney, photographed blatantly sipping a cool drink by a holiday swimming  pool… while there’s a recession on!! I mean not one single British passport holder anywhere else in the world has done that in the last week. As to whether that shite really does sell newspapers, that’s a debate for someone else to start. I don’t know enough to offer an informed opinion, so I won’t offer any opinion. Something for Mail columnist Martin Samuel to ponder next time he writes about Uefa’s “financial fair play” regulations.   But elsewhere in football, while the lenses and laptops have flitted back and forth across the M62, there have been one or two real scandals. I’m confident most of you will have someone say that “there’s no use arguing with referees, they won’t change their mind.” Well… wrong. And I’m not talking about Tom Huddlestone at Fulham, where referee Mike Read gave Spurs winner after the hulking Spurs midfielder suggested Read and his assistant ought to have a chat about the use of said assistant’s flag. At Fulham, Read had not decided whether Spurs’ William Gallas, standing in an offside position, was actually “offside” as per the laws of the game. Thus we had a remarkable situation. No, not Read’s discussion with his assistant before giving the goal....

Read More