Day: November 28, 2011

Watford FC: Laurence Bassini Is Unwell

 I was still researching Watford owner Laurence Bassini’s last no-show at a fans’ forum when the headline “Watford owner to face fans’ Q&A” appeared on the BBC Football website’s homepage. By the time I’d done my research and clicked onto the story itself, Bassini had “no-shown” again. It is remarkable and depressing the lengths to which some fans will go to justify actions taken by their own club and/or its owners. Even the otherwise largely unimpeachable David Conn pulls the occasional punch when detailing his club Manchester City’s grotesque distortion of the Premier League’s economy and ‘free’ market.  But in the face of some very stiff competition, some Watford fans have taken the proverbial biscuit with their willingness to overlook a business past and present which displays no signs of the required fitness or propriety to run a Football League Championship club. The Watford owner formerly known as Lawrence Bazini was an unsuccessful businessman and declared bankrupt, reduced by his business failings to claiming benefits as recently as 2008. The bankruptcy made him change his name to Laurence Bassini – not, of course, by way of cunning disguise, because that would be ridiculous (although before he was exposed by a reader of the local Watford Observer (WO) newspaper, some fans were fooled). But: “…to have a fresh start,” which, actually, was scarcely less ridiculous. So unfit and improper was...

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Match Of The Week: Enfield Town 3-0 Soham Town Rangers

After twelve years, comes the return home. Enfield Town have been a going concern for more longer than a decade now, but today is the day that normality, perhaps, began to return to this particular corner of North London. They’ve already played a clutch of matches here – a friendly to open the ground against a Tottenham Hotspur XI, a Middlesex Senior Cup match and a Ryman League Cup match – but today sees the arrival of league football to The QE2 Stadium, which has already – on account of its Donkey Lane postal address – earned itself the nickname of “The Donkeydome.” Arriving at a new ground early affords the chance of a nose around, and the star of the show here is a little piece of North London architectural history. The main stand, which also houses the bar, club shop and changing rooms, is a stunning art deco design which has been given a significant face-lift after years of neglect. Elsewhere, this new home is not quite perfect – the pitch is surrounded by an athletics track, with all the difficulties for viewers along the sides that such a feature carries with it – but the small, covered terraces behind the goals are as close to the action as one could hope for and the whole ground has been painted in the club’s distinctive white and royal...

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