Month: February 2011

Plymouth Argyle: The Song Remains The Same

It has taken until nearly March, but the first ten point deduction of the season in the Football League is now finally upon us with the news that Plymouth Argyle have lodged a “notice of intention” to enter into administration. The notice of intention – the date of which, the 21st of February, is no coincidence considering that another tax bill fell due yesterday – is a technicality that allows a company protection on a short-term basis from legal action taken by their creditors, but the deduction has been applied by the Football League regardless of this. The club now has ten working days to secure its sale and could request a ten working day extension on top of this. If it fails to manage this, the administrator, Brendan Guilfoyle – who managed to keep Crystal Palace afloat last season – will have to raise the capital to keep the club afloat until the end of the season. Whether he will be able to do this or not is anybody’s guess. Peter Ridsdale, the “mastermind” behind Argyle since the end of last year, insists that there are three groups interested in buying the club for the low, low price of £1. Ridsdale also claims to be involved in discussions with “a wealthy businessman” – as ever, these days, no-one seems to consider revealing the identity of these people, as...

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The Seven Ages Of Fan, Part Three: The Lover

As some of you will already be aware, for the next few weeks Monday night is now literature night here on Twohundredpercent. We are delighted to welcome back Football Hobo’s Alan Smithy back to our pages this evening for the third act of his seven part epic which traces the life of the football supporter in relation to the celebrated monologue from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” that is best known as “The Seven Ages Of Man”, or “All The World’s A Stage”. This evening: The Lover. The themes of hope and desperation run through a number of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, in much the same way that they run through the veins of football fans. He wouldn’t have had a clue about transfer deadline day, and yet the green-eyed monster descends upon fans of all clubs as they eye up the latest rumoured transfer targets, and parting is such sweet sorrow when your favourite player gets snapped up by a bigger club. Yep, old Billy was well ahead of his time as far as football fans are concerned. I reckon he could’ve churned out some superb plays about togger if he were around today, but perhaps he was more prescient about football than we give him credit for. If you take one of his most famous soliloquys and look at it from a funny angle, you might find that...

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A Day Of Conflicting Rumours And Confusion At Wrexham

On a Saturday afternoon, it usually takes quite something to draw attention away from what has happened on the pitch. At Wrexham, however, the truth is proving to be stranger than fiction and so it was that on Saturday even a 7-2 home defeat at home against mid-table Gateshead was overshadowed by a protest the likes of which The Racecourse Ground has seldom seen before. This was hardly surprising, when we consider the club’s bizarre public statement last week, but it might just be possible that this protest could prove to be a turning point in the game of roulette that the future of the club has started to resemble. Yet for all of this, there remain dangers ahead. The main business of Saturday’s protests were against the club’s owners, Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts, as well as against the disgraced former Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan, who had been publicly been talking of buying into Wrexham FC in spite of only being just over a year into an eleven year long disqualification from acting as the director of any company. Vaughan may yet seek to make his move for the club and it will be down to bodies ssuch as the Insolvency Service to decide whether they wish to investigate the extent and nature of any control in investment, should this come to anything. Arguably even more troubling...

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Non-League Videos Of The Week, Part One

If you’re viewing this site from a mobile phone you would be best advised to click the link at the bottom of this page, which will take you to the desktop version of this site. We’ve got a two-part Non-League Videos Of The Week for this this week, with more to follow in a day or two. First up is the match between Wrexham and Gateshead for the Blue Square Premier. We’ll have more tomorrow on what has been going on at the club over the last few days and it is probably fair to say that what happened on the pitch at The Racecourse Ground on Saturday afternoon were always going to be overshadowed by events off the pitch, no matter how remarkable the game itself was. Wrexham held Crawley Town to a draw during the week and went into Saturday’s match in the play-off places, whilst mid-table Gateshead had the look of being too good to go down this season but not good enough to challenge for a play-off place. Or, at least, they had until Saturday. Our second match is the match between FC United of Manchester and Burscough from the Premier Division of the Evostik League. FCUM have won eight, drawn one and lost two of their eleven matches since losing to FC Halifax Town on New Year’s Day, a run that has propelled them...

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Parliament Looks Into Football, And Look What It Sees…

Until now, all official inquiries into what’s wrong with English football governance have foundered in the face of the English Premier League’s latest version of “mind your own business.” But in the first oral evidence session of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on football governance, contributors were prepared – mentally and practically – to get to the heart of the problem, namely the Premier League’s inflated sense of its own importance. And Lord David Triesman was the best prepared. The two-and-half-hour session didn’t threaten to be high-ratings television, although one suspects the BBC Parliament channel – on which I watched the session this week – would have had lower ratings still for some of the other select committees transmitted (Transport Committee, anyone?). But it was compelling. The first evidence was from the Mail on Sunday newspaper’s feature writer Patrick Collins, former Supporters Direct leading light Sean Hamil, now Birkbeck Sports Business Centre (University of London) leading light and Professor Stefan Szymanski of CASS business school, a “highly-regarded” economist. At least he was “highly-regarded” before he spoke. Two strands of thinking immediately emerged. There was gentle exposure of the economic madness enveloping top-flight English football. And there was the populist, “the Premier League is wonderful, UEFA are not, who needs regulation?” which reinforced every Mail reader and contributor stereotype you could muster. That Collins exposed the madness and...

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