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Month: January 2011

The Premier League’s Day Of Madness

In October of 2010, New England Sports Ventures paid £218m to Liverpool Football Club plus an extra £83m to underwrite the club’s debts at the time. On the last day of January of 2011, the same organisation valued the Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll at £35m. We’ll return to this particular piece of news shortly but, first of all, we should probably take a moment to focus on the overall sense of absolute, utter madness that has engulfed the Premier League today. After a sensible summer, during which clubs seemed to be taking on board the reality of the wider economic situation in the country and regulatory changes that are being introduced by UEFA, it had felt as if a new wind of austerity had swept across the game. At the end of today, though, the end of the January transfer window – which is supposed to be the tranquil transfer window, characterised by little more than a couple of loan deals and the occasional panic signing – it feels like a battle has been taking place, with Premier League clubs having spent the day daring each other to spend the most money possible in one twenty-four hour period. At the top of the craziness tree sit Liverpool. The decision to sell Fernado Torres was forced upon them by a player that was clearly desperate to leave the club....

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Non-League Videos Of The Week

For those of you viewing Twohundredpercent on our mobile site, you will be able to view this post better by clicking here. It’s time, then, to wind down with our weekly selections of non-league highlights from the last seven days. Our first match this evening comes from Twerton Park, and it’s the Blue Square Premier match between Bath City and Wimbledon. Wimbledon are still chasing a place in the Football League and needed three points from their trip to the west country from this match. Bath, however, may still harbour hopes of a place in the play-offs at the end of the season and provided a stiff test for the team that has spent much of the last few months at the top of the table. Our second match comes from the Premier Division of the Ryman League. Croydon Athletic have had about as dramatic a season as any team could possibly imagine, and are sitting near the foot of the table. They would have one of their most difficult matches of the season on Saturday against Bury Town, who are in second place in the table and are still chasing the coat-tails of the league leaders Sutton United. Our final match comes from the Premier Division of the Zamaretto League and is between Cambridge City and Brackley Town. Cambridge managed to get themselves an extension on their Milton...

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FA Cup Match Of The Week 3: Notts County 1-1 Manchester City

To say that the relationship between Notts County and Nottingham Rugby Football Club has been transformed over the last eighteen months or so would be something of an understatement. In July 2009, having just acquired the club (to say that they bought the club would be misleading – the level of debt accumulated by Notts County under their ownership would seem to indicate that those behind Munto never paid for anything), they promptly evicted the rugby club from Meadow Lane until a court ordered that they had done so unlawfully. Munto are long gone from the club now, and in July of last year Meadow Lane PLC, the company that finally emerged from the chaos of their time running the club, also took the ownership of Nottingham RFC. It’s appropriate that this should be remembered on today of all days. Nottingham RFC still play at Meadow Lane, and their pitch markings are clearly visible today on a today that seems likely to send a shiver down the spine of Roberto Mancini. The rugby club’s use of Meadow Lane means that the pitch isn’t in the best of shape today. The contrast between this match and the Southampton vs Manchester United match is striking. Last night’s match was played on a Premier League pitch at a Premier League ground in all respects apart from the small detail of Southampton’s League...

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FA Cup Match Of The Week 2: Southampton 1-2 Manchester United

When Dimitar Berbatov drove the ball into Richard Kingson’s goal to complete Manchester United’s turn-around at Blackpool during the week, there was a near-nationwide shrug of resignation at what is starting to feel like the inevitability of their coronation as the Premier League champions. That sort of performance, the digging in and refusing to accept a defeat that had seemed destined to slip away from them, was championship form coming from a team that, if history can act as a guide to anything, usually gets better during the second half of the season. The bigger question is that of whether a team that has not looked outstanding for much of the season can now push on and finish it unbeaten. This Manchester United team, however, isn’t the Manchester United team that played on Wednesday night and the Blackpool manager Ian Holloway may have cause to take a sharp intake of breath at the side that Alex Ferguson has chosen for this evening’s match. Presumably, Ferguson’s defence will be that he selected a team that he believed could go out and win this match and the argument that “people want to see the stars play” doesn’t hold much water, either. Southampton, formerly of the Premier League but now trying to fight their way back up from League One, won’t care that much should they beat them at St Marys this...

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