Day: May 17, 2011

The Twohundredpercent Play-Off Jamboree: Cardiff City 0-3 Reading (0-3 Agg)

For so much of this season, Cardiff City’s promotion to the Premier League has had a feeling of the inevitable about it. Perhaps it was the arrival of Craig Bellamy on loan from Manchester City at the start of the season. Bellamy has matured with age, and had the feel of being a player around which Dave Jones could build a team capable of getting back into the top division of English football for the first time in half a century. In the league, however, Cardiff were edged out of the automatic promotion places in their penultimate league match of the season, a home defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough that radiated shell-shock out from The Cardiff City Stadium to the audience watching at home. The media, meanwhile, is salivating at the possibility of a South Wales derby match being played out at Wembley on the very last day of the domestic season, after Swansea City booked their place in the final with a win against Nottingham Forest. Setting aside the chaos that could be inflicted upon the M4 on a Bank Holiday Monday, any element of presumption regarding this fixture being played out rather overlooks one significant factor: Reading FC. True enough, Cardiff go into this evening’s second leg with home advantage and, arguably, the feeling that they may be the favourites after a drab goalless draw at...

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Tangled Up in Blue: 1860 Munich Has a New Challenge

One of the best lines from that cinematic masterpiece Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby, is “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” While not entirely apt, denizens at Maine Road and later Eastlands might have felt this way a bit as they witnessed Manchester United win league titles and trophies whilst City battled relegations and derby defeats. Simply put, playing second fiddle in a two-piece band stings and is not a prospect any sporting club would wish to entertain. As it has been for some time in Manchester, England, so it has been in Munich, Germany. While Bayern Munich have risen to become a contender in the European theatre, the most recognizable club to casual observers of German football with its “FC Hollywood” label, winning numerous domestic accolades, 1860 Munich have regressed from being selected by the German League ahead of Bayern for 1.Bundesliga consideration and winning the league in 1966 to playing most seasons in the lower divisions these days, mired in financial follies such as the one previous president Karl-Heniz Wildmoser made last decade by entering a highly unpopular groundshare arrangement with┬ádie Roten at the Allianz Arena. Perhaps just to illustrate further how poorly things have been for the Lions in relation to Bayern, when they were no longer able to afford their ownership interest in the Allianz, the club sold is 50% ┬ástake to Bayern...

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Wrexham FC: Sold Down The River?

That it wasn’t a great surprise doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a disappointment. Geoff Moss, the owner of Wrexham FC, had the chance to do the right thing just the once before handing over ownership of the club to someone else, and he couldn’t even manage to do that in the form of handing ownership of the club to the Wrexham Supporters Trust, preferring instead to hand it over to a group of individuals with no prior interest in Wrexham FC, one of whom is also banned from acting as a company director until 2018 and was as recently as the end of last year was struck off the Solicitors Roll as well. Ironically, notice of this appeared in the Law Gazette (the weekly trade magazine for the British legal profession) at the end of last week. The charm offensive began last night, with interviews for the public face of the consortium, Jon Harris, on the BBC’s Wales Today, ITV’s Wales Tonight and BBC London’s Non-League Show. Harris claims that the banned director, Colin Poole, will only be a “consultant” to his take-over but, significantly, he didn’t state the source of the funding for the take-over, although he did categorically state that Stephen Vaughan, the rogue former owner of Barrow, Chester City and Widnes Viking RFLC, will not be involved in investing in the club now or in the...

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