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Month: May 2011

Leigh Genesis: A Cautionary Tale

After three years, then, it looks as if the Leigh Genesis experiment may be coming to an end. The club had been rebranded during the summer of 2008, but it now looks as if the club is to cease playing after three years of chaos which followed what was supposed to be a brave new world in the history of a club which had, through several different names, been playing since 1896. The club finished last season at the bottom of Division One North of the Evostik League and was due to start next season in the Premier Division of the North-West Counties League, but difficulties at their temporary home at the home of Atherton Laburnum Rovers meant that yesterday, the 31st of May, the club confirmed that it could no longer continue as a semi-professional club. How, though, did it come to this? Leigh RMI (RMI stands for “Railway Mechanics Institute”) were initially founded in 1896, seven miles away from Leigh in the Bolton suburb of Horwich. Horwich RMI were a pretty run of the mill non-league club for the majority of their existence, moving slowly up the non-league rankings whilst playing their home matches at the sloping Grundy Hill. By 1995, though, they had decided that they had out-grown their ground, and took up the offer to move seven miles away to Leigh, change their name from...

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Down the Southern Road: A Bumpy Start

If off-season alterations surrounding the 2011 Premier Development League campaign for Baton Rouge were not apparent before, this weekend saw both the squad and its supporters face them properly. After two seasons in the Southeast Division of the Southern Conference, the club has been returned to the Mid-South from which it began in 2007, playing principally Texas-based sides as opposed to the Southeast’s cadre of Florida teams. The capital club found little success in the Mid-South during its early days of existence, finishing bottom and second-bottom of the Mid-South table before realignment to the Southeast and the concluding of a remarkable 2010 summer season that saw them qualify for the PDL Championship playoffs and finish 3rd nationally. Perhaps as a welcome back to the Mid-South Division for 2011, the Black & Red were inexplicably scheduled to wait while all the Texas-based clubs worked out their early-season quirks by playing through two matches before Baton Rouge embarked upon a sojourn west across the Lone Star State. Forced to start early doors at a slight disadvantage by making their longest away trips of the season to two clubs already off the mark, Baton Rouge somewhat expectantly lost to West Texas and Chivas El Paso prior to returning home this past weekend to host the other two Texas sides in their new division. While all of this could be considered a minor irritation and something clubs from Scottish football would scoff...

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Following The Fortunes Of Wrexham

We have been paying close attention to the goings-on at Wrexham Football Club over the last few months, and have decided to bring together all of the articles on the subject for quick and – hopefully – easy reference. Mistrust had been building between the supporters of the club and the owners for some considerable time, and November saw a story that proved to be a portent for what would come to follow over the next six months, as various speculators locked horns with the club’s supporters trust for ownership of the oldest professional football club in Wales. The Return Of Stephen Vaughan? Wrexham Beware: Stephen Vaughan had already been banned from acting as a company director, but this didn’t stop him from announcing that he was interested in backing a consortium to purchase the club. Wrexham Supporters Prepare To Man The Barricades Again: By the new year, it was becoming apparent that the problems at the club were quite severe. Time, then, for a little background into the recent problems that the club has had and the decision of the owners to mortgage a debt incurred by their owners other venture, Crusaders, against The Racecourse, as well as the possibility of the club being charged rent to stay there. The Fight For Wrexham Football Club Continues: It was now apparent that a £700,000 debt owed to the Rugby...

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The Twohundredpercent Play-Off Jamboree: Reading 2-4 Swansea City

Swansea City stand firm as an example of how much the fortunes of a football club can change in the space of just a decade. They had been promoted from Division Three (now League Two) at the end of the 1999/2000 season, but tumbled straight back down into it a year later, and this was only the beginning of their problems. The following season, they finished fifth from bottom of the entire Football League and at the end of the 2002/03 season, they managed to haul themselves out of the relegation places with wins in their final two league matches against Rochdale and Hull City. Eight years on from that great escape, they have managed one in the opposite direction. Swansea City will start next season as the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League and the first Welsh club to play in the top division of the English league system since they were relegated from it in 1983. Reading have been here before, though their supporters may choose to forget about their previous appearance in the final of the play-offs for a place in the Premier League. In 1995, they led by two goals against Bolton Wanderers before losing 4-3 in extra-time, and lost in the semi-finals two years ago and in 2003. They made it into the Premier League as champions in 2006 and lasted...

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Changing FIFA Is The Way Forward: The Alternative Could Be Disastrous

It is the truth that we knew all along. The question is not one of whether FIFA is institutionally corrupt, but one of exactly how corrupt it is, and the answer to that question is likely to be somewhere between “very” and “completely”. The question of Jack Warner’s lack of propriety was, of course, never in question, but it always seemed possible that he was simply the FIFA ExCo member with the loosest mouth. Perhaps, we could rationalise, he retained his position for so long. Now, though, both he and Mohamed bin Hammam have been ousted from their positions, and Warner is threatening to blow the lid off what has actually been going on in Zurich over the last few months and years. His first step was the release of an email, in which FIFA’s Jérôme Valcke discussed the decision of Bin Hammam not to stand against Sepp Blatter in the race for the FIFA presidency. “If really he thought he had a chance or just being an extreme way to express how much he does not like anymore JSB [Blatter]. Or he thought you can buy Fifa as they [Qatar] bought the WC”, it read, damning words which have already been confirmed as genuine by Valcke, although he did qualify this by claiming that it has been quoted selectively. It’s a good job that the full version of...

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