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Day: September 15, 2011

Match Of The Midweek: Birmingham City 1-3 SC Braga

There was nothing concrete upon which to link Birmingham City winning the League Cup with their relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season, of course, but it didn’t stop some from asserting exactly this and it hasn’t stopped panicky-looking managers whose main ambition for this season is to finish seventeenth in the Premier League from effectively binning England’s second cup competition. Norwich City, Swansea City and Queens Park Rangers were all knocked out of it in the First Round, and it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that the first thing to cross the mind of al three managers upon the final whistle of their matches against against Milton Keynes Dons, Shrewsbury Town and Rochdale was, “mission accomplished”. If a club is to progress, however, European football should surely be the next step up the ladder and, considering that the Champions League is all bar out of the question for anybody apart from what we may come to know as The Pre-Ordained Six, The Europa League may be about as good as things are going to get for the foreseeable future for the rest of the Premier League. UEFA haven’t helped the “prestige” of this competition in recent years, though. In the way that those that run the game will always find a way to take the shine off the trophies that are meant to be...

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Rangers FC – Ready For A Fall?

The story of a £2.8m tax liability (over)due for payment by Rangers Football Club ought to be a straightforward one. Either the club owes the money or it doesn’t. And it says it does. However, if Rangers FC does owe the money, and publicly admits as much, yet still does not pay it, there must be a problem with their ability to do so. And if Rangers FC are struggling, at a time of year when football clubs are at their cash-richest, to pay it, there must be a general – and serious – financial problem at the club. Either that, or there is a complex conspiracy between the Scottish media, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Glasgow and Strathkelvin Sheriffs’ Office, Glasgow-based law firm Levy & McCrae, the Court of Session in Edinburgh and Celtic-supporting financial bloggers – possibly with the backing of disaffected former Rangers directors – to discredit the football club and, in particular, its owner of four months, Motherwell-born venture capitalist Craig Whyte. Or, maybe, just maybe, the story is a mixture of ‘all of the above,’ as real life so often is. When Whyte embarked on an early round of in-depth interviews as Rangers owner, he was already disturbed by the “intensity” of what Scotland on Sunday newspaper interviewer Tom English called “the scrutiny of his every move.” Whyte himself said: “I’ve read...

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