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Month: November 2011

Wrexham FC: The Future Starts Now

Celebrations, due to the sad and untimely death of the manager of the national team at the weekend, were perhaps more muted at The Racecourse Ground this evening than they might otherwise have been. There should, however, be a pause this evening for Wrexham supporters to celebrate a life well lived as well as the opportunity for a rebirth of their club following the news this afternoon that the authorities have finally granted their approval for the take-over of the club by the Wrexham Supporters Trust. It has been a battle that has been long and hard-fought, but the final decision hands an opportunity to a club that has been a living, breathing example of the failure of the “benign dictator” model of ownership for a football club in recent years. As regular readers of this site will be aware, it has been the scrupulous diligence of the supporters of Wrexham FC itself that have brought about this set of circumstances. Their skill at this was, perhaps, best proved in the debunking of the Stephanie Booth myth, which sought to portray her as the saviour of the club, whilst overlooking the fact that she was disqualified from acting as a director of the club until 2012. The news that she might not have been all that was claimed on her behalf sewed the seeds of a form of activism...

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Pompey: The New Boss Could Be the Old Boss.

Its a form of ‘Pass the Parcel’.  A crowd of Russian, Israeli, Hungarian, Hong Kong and even British businessmen sit in a darkened room and spin poor old Pompey around until it ends up in the hands of one or more of them. The holder then has to keep it going until he finds an exit strategy. Then it goes back on the table with the same players and gets spun around again. Each time a layer is stripped off and the club gets diminished further. The last one holding the parcel will watch the final despairing whimper of a once proud football club. It was announced today that Convers Sports Initiative, the parent company of Portsmouth Football Club (2010) Ltd, has gone into administration. Some of us got the news yesterday – courtesy of a Southampton fan. Galling. But it didn’t surprise us. Five days ago I wrote that Pompey Chairman, Vladimir Antonov was the subject of a European arrest warrant and said there was more to come. Since then, events have moved with some acceleration. There have been hasty background dealings, described by co-owner Roman Dubov as ‘trying to save the company.’ These dealings have made it highly possible that Hong Kong businessman, Balram Chainrai, will end up with the parcel for a third time. To recap – on 16 November Antonov’s bank, Snoras was nationalised by...

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Non-League Videos Of The Week: The FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round

This week’s Non-League Videos of The Week are a day late, but we think that we they are are worth the wait. This week, we are concentrating on the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy. With a place in the First Round of the competition at stake, this is a competition with a very tangible prize at the end of it – a day out at Wembley come the end of the season. And whilst the clubs of the Blue Square Premier, who join the competition in the next round, may be more focussed upon trying to bag themselves a Wembley trip in the Blue Square Premier play-offs come the end of the season, the clubs from below the top division of non-league football also have a chance of booking themselves at Wembley. We’ll cut straight to the chase this evening, our five matches are Chelmsford City vs Woking, Guiseley AFC vs Eastwood Town, Matlock Town vs Hyde, Hampton & Richmond Borough vs Canvey Island and Eastbourne Borough vs Dartford. Our thanks, as ever, go to those that take the time to record, edit and upload these videos. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking here...

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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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