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Day: January 27, 2012

Scoreboard Protests & Scapegoating: Just Another Week For Kettering Town

A little gallows humour can go a long way. Kettering Town’s patchwork team played Gateshead in the Blue Square Premier in Tuesday night. Another crowd of under one thousand, another critical evening in a relegation battle that may yet prove to be highly important should the club somehow scrape through its current woes. The team managed to pull itself out of its recent torpor and win the match by two goals to one, but if this match is to be remembered for anything, it is likely that it will be for something quite unprecedented in the history of British football. Regardless of individual performances on the pitch, the only serious contender for any Man Of The Match award going could only be the controller of the electronic scoreboard at Nene Park, who made his feelings over the clubs recent mismanagement perfectly clear with a very personal message for the clubs chairman, Imraan Ladak, followed with a twist on the theme of a song that has become a crowd favourite in recent years. It may be the first time that “You’re Getting Sacked In The Morning” has ever been expressed in the first person. Such frustration is understandable considering recent events, and is a further sign the extent to which the rapid decline of this club has had the effect of radicalising the support base. Further protests are expected at...

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Darlington’s Second Final Day Of Reckoning Approaches

It is a sobering thought to consider that, for all the hard work and drama involved in keeping Darlington FC alive just nine days ago, the looming deadline over the clubs future comes up for renewal again on Monday. The last few days have seen a patchwork team lose narrowly to Fleetwood Town and Hayes & Yeading United in the league, but performances on the pitch have, by necessity, had to take a back seat to the continuing efforts to save the club. T-shirts are for sale and the collection buckets, that totem symbol of the overreached football club, have been dusted off. With the clock ticking again, however, a new potential bid may prove to be the one that the clubs administrators. Why is it, then, that some of the clubs supporters are treating it with extreme caution? The man behind this particular bid is Paul Wildes, a Yorkshire-based – you guessed it – property developer and venture capitalist. Wildes has no prior involvement of running a football club and, while he is understood to be a supporter of Sheffield Wednesday, no prior recorded interest in Darlington FC. His proposal is simple. He will put in £300,000 for a sixty per cent shareholding in the club. The remaining forty per cent of shares will then be available to the Darlington Football Club Rescue Group (DFCRG or the Rescue...

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Chicago Fire & The Quaker Man Shake Up MLS Sponsorship Game

Still being several weeks away from the start of a new season for association football in the US, much of the current chatter surrounding Major League Soccer revolves around the announcement of this summer’s All-Star Game in Philadelphia and, well, oatmeal. Okay, perhaps not specifically about oatmeal, but rather the unveiling of Quaker as the new shirt sponsor for Chicago Fire SC that begins with this video of a morning bowl of Quaker Oats and has continued by sending these rather special packages to not only sports media but also prominent US football bloggers to spread the word. Cynically this could be considered a bit of overkill on the part of the club and Quaker Oats, a relentless marketing campaign to ensure Quaker gets more of its oatmeal at our breakfast tables and its snacks into our children’s hands, but on the alternatively it suggests something rather promising for a rapidly maturing professional league. And, while some football kit purists might wince at the sight of the Quaker Man’s head emblazoned across the chest of Chicago’s players after the club went last season without a sponsor, the bigger impact looks to go beyond smudging up a shirt for advertising purposes to speak to further potential at growth for a league still in its teenage years. To state that such an extensive media blitz in this instance represents what can be done when...

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