Day: June 16, 2011

Fighting For The Future Of Supporters Direct

It hasn’t been the best of weeks for the Premier League. If it had thought that its jettisoning of funding for Supporters Direct would be largely uncommented upon by the press, they were perhaps under-estimating the effects of their hasty decision. The pick of the bunch came from Marina Hyde, whose systematic takedown of Richard Scudamore bordered upon the artful in cutting through the PR talk and mealy-mouthed justifications for their swingeing actions, but there were also worthy comments of note on the matter from David Conn, Martin Samuel and Dan Roan of the BBC. Questions are to be asked in parliament with an Early Day Motion having been tabled and the new acting Chief Executive of Supporters Direct, Brian Burgess having requesting with Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport. What, though, is the future of the organisation? One of the questions that has been pored over more than any other this week is that of what the Premier League was aiming for with its behaviour. Precious few believe the party line that moral outrage and poor governance were the sole reasons for the decision, and the issue of whether this was something deliberately targetted solely at Dave Boyle seem to have been undermined by their slowness in reversing their decision to stop all funding to the organisation following his resignation. At this stage, perhaps the debate that we...

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The 2011 Women’s World Cup: Group C Preview

It’s now less than two weeks until the 2011 Women’s World Cup starts in Germany, and over the next couple of weeks we are taking the time to bring you a quick run-down of the teams that are taking part in another of the groups of this year’s competition. We have already presented Group A and Group B, so that must mean we have arrived at Group C. This group features one of the heavyweights in international women’s football, another that might be but has fallen just short of greatness in the past, a tournament sleeper, and a complete novice just hoping to keep pace. Colombia (Tournament Odds–60/1 ): Las Cafeteras mark their trip to Germany and first appearance in a World Cup Finals as a young footballing nation on the rise. Having dipped to its lowest FIFA ranking just three years ago, the Colombian FA asked coach Ricardo Rozo to pull double duty after he had led the women’s U-20 squad to a 4th place finish in their 2010 World Cup by guiding the senior side too. Rozo essentially plucked many of his players from that U-20 roster and brought them to Ecuador for the South American Championships. Although Brazil still remain the top power down south, having topped Colombia in that November tournament, Las Cafeteras did successfully oust regional heavyweight and defending Sudamericano Femenino champions Argentina by beating them directly for that 2nd...

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Doing It For A Good Cause: 16/06/2011

We have two worthy causes for you today as part of our new weekly feature on charities related to football. Should you be doing something for charity that is related to the game, feel free to drop us a line via the contact page at the top of the site and we will be happy to include your cause as well. The Homeless World Cup: Homelessness is Britain is a social issue that successive governments have failed to fully get a grip on, and some of the figures concerning the issue can be frightening. The average life expectancy, for example, of a homeless person in the UK is just forty-two years of age. The Homeless World Cup came about as the brainchild of Mel Young, one of the co-founders of The Big Issue, and Harald Schmied, as a means of promoting the cause of tackling homelessness through what they describe as “the international language” of football. The first tournament was held in Graz, in Austria, in 2003 and it has now become an annual event, with this year’s tournament being held at the end of August in Paris. What difference, though, does the Homeless World Cup make? Well, aside from raising money and consciouness for the cause, it can make a real difference to those who compete in it. Within a year of the first tournament, 31 of the...

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Those We Have Lost: The Goldstone Ground, Brighton & Hove Albion

Today’s entry in this on-running series comes from Mark Chalcraft, who can otherwise be found at the very splendid 2nd Yellow football site. His subject is one that is rather close to one or two of us that already write for Twohundredpercent – Brighton & Hove Albion’s Goldstone Ground. This summer is a poignant one for Brighton & Hove Albion, as much as any other in their history.  Winning the League One title has been a cause for great celebration and joy, but it’s the move to the shiny, wonderful new Amex Community Stadium that has brought added significance to 2011 for a club that has been living in temporary accommodation for over a decade.  The club’s farewell to the ramshackle Withdean Stadium was a party, with success on the pitch matched with a bright financial future. Compare this with the scenes on April 26th 1997, and you realise just what an arduous journey the club and it’s fans have had to undertake. This was the date of the final ever game at the old Goldstone Ground, Albion’s home of ninety-five years and the unwilling victim of Bill Archer, Greg Stanley and David Bellotti’s asset strip.  It was an emotional day in so many ways.  Anchored to the bottom of Division Three and staring a future as a non-league club full in the face, Stuart Storer’s goal, the last...

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