Day: June 6, 2011

Those We Have Lost: Wimbledon At Selhurst Park

The next in our “Those We Have Lost” series is a little different to the rest. Wimbledon supporter Tom Nash missed the club’s days at Plough Lane, but by the time that he was old enough he was venturing across south London to see his team play at Selhurst Park. If you would like to contribute to this series – which will be collected together as a page on the site for posterity – please drop us a line using the contact page in the links at the top. I never got to see Wimbledon play at Plough Lane. A steadfastly anti-football dad who would take me to Donnington Park to watch obscure racing formulae took care of that. I can tell you about rainy weekends at Thruxton and Donnington Park, but I can’t tell you about Neville Southall repeatedly kicking the ball over the stands in to the road outside. Given the playing style of the Wombles, the balls were probably only good for one game at best. My first memory of Wimbledon was watching the FA Cup final at home. There was such excitement in the build up to the final, my dad begrudgingly bought my brother and I scarves and rattles, and I clearly remember having a banana milkshake with blue and yellow straws for good luck. I don’t remember too much about the game itself....

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1860 Munich Appear In the Clear, But Is 50+1?

It has come to pass, then, that German football sees its first Arab investor with last week’s announcement that Hasan Ismaik bought a 49% ownership stake in 1860 Munich. The thirty-four year old Jordanian reportedly signed away €18 million in order for the Bavarian club to avoid a calamitous descent from the 2.Bundesliga down into the amateur leagues had it not been able to secure new investment and meet the financial obligations to secure a playing license for next season. Again, the purchase figure for Ismaik is a “reported” sum as neither he nor the club revealed the actual amount, but it comes close to approximating what the Lions’ debts were with around €4 million to spare for future expenses as the 2011/12 season begins. The simple fact that 1860 Munich have future expenses to look forward to might be a welcome blessing for most supporters, who might have had a true fear that if Ismaik’s involvement had not come to pass, there would not have been an approaching season with impending debts to incur. Well, at least for 1860 Munich there might not have been another season; it seems there would have been one for an amateur phoenix side perhaps styled 2011 Munich if the old club had indeed gone under, such is the passion of those tangled up in blue in Bavaria. At this point in the narrative, we typically comb through the...

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Those We Have Lost: Dean Court, Bournemouth

Losing a ground doesn’t always mean moving to a new venue. AFC Bournemouth bulldozed Dean Court, spun it around ninety degrees, and rebuilt it as a three-sided ground. For Andy Smith, it might never be the same again. Can you write something about the old Dean Court, I was asked? Of course, I reply. No doubt I’ll fill it full of the standard ‘old ground’ clichés, but as you, the football fan, know, they’re clichés because they are grounded in fact. But why? How many construction workers do you hear hankering after the days they used to hang off of building sites with no safety equipment? Doctors wishing for the return of smallpox? Or East End dwellers longing for the re-instatement of their slums. The standard old ground was an accident waiting to happen. Crumbling terraces, poorly maintained safety barriers, half-time food that was, at best, a bi-weekly game of Russian roulette for your digestive tract. And at Dean Court it was all this and more. By the time the decision was finally taken to redevelop the ground it was effectively no decision at all. Build a new ground or have three stands condemned. The South End seemed to shrink every time you turned up, each week a further section was roped or fenced off. The Brighton Beach End, (so called because it was originally just a bank of...

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