Day: February 20, 2012

European Championship Stories: 1980 – The Decline & Fall Of English Football

On the twelfth of June 1980, England played Belgium in the finals of the European Championships – their first match in the finals of a major tournament for ten years. It turned out to be a match that acted as a barometer for the state of the game in England in several different respects, and none of them were particularly positive. On the pitch, Ron Greenwood’s team laboured to a 1-1 draw against a moderate Belgium side, but it was events away from the pitch that grabbed most of the headlines the following day, as serious crowd disturbances disrupted the match with the Italian police firing tear gas into the crowd behind one goal, leading to play being held up for five minutes during the first half. How, though, had things come to this? Trouble amongst spectators is almost as old as the game itself, with reports of disorder – including referees being attacked at matches – from as long ago as the nineteenth century. Such incidents were relatively low-key, however, and the post-war attendance boom in England didn’t lead to significantly higher levels of disorder. As well as this, it is worth bearing in mind that outbreaks of hooliganism are – and always have been – far from unique to England or Britain. What was different about England – or, in some respects, Britain – was that they exported their...

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The Monday Morning Timewaster Project

Ah, Monday morning. A time of hope, rebirth and… sitting at work, staring out of the window and wishing the next five days away. Of course, the internet has made this task  a little easier, and we’re going to each Monday morning from now on with a short list of bits and bobs that have drawn our attention over the last few days or so. If you happen to see anything that warrants a place on this *cough* “prestigious” list, feel free to drop us a line using the Contact page, which is linked from the top of this page. Anyway, here’s six of the best from the last seven days. – Our friends at Cafe Calcio have been broadcasting their radio show via London’s Resonance FM for the last year and a half. You can now get your grubby mitts on every episode that they have ever recorded via their Soundcloud page. – This fascinating episode of The London Programme from November 1983 is on the subject of football hooliganism. It meets a couple of Chelsea supporters and looks at the authorities attempts to keep a lid on a situation that was clearly already well out of control. – Random Thoughts Re Scots Law is a website about the law in Scotland, but over the last few days its writer has been looking very closely at the administration...

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