Day: March 19, 2012

European Championship Stories: 1992 – A New Europe, But Old Enmities

This, perhaps, was not the new Europe that the leaders of the continents nations had envisaged when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in November 1989. The years between the European Championships of 1988 and 1992 were the most politically tumultuous since the end of the Second World War. At varying points over the course of those four intervening years, the geopolitics of the entire continent had been upturned. Entire countries vanished from the map. whilst others sprung up in their place. The political ideology and practices of the particular form of bureaucratic socialism as practiced to the east of the Iron Curtain was swept from power. And, by and large, this was achieved peacefully. If the west breathed a sigh of relief that the discredited dictatorships of Eastern Europe opted not to try and cling to power through shows of force that may have reignited the possibility of global conflict, though, that’s not to say that there were no political vacuums left by the toppling of so many governments. If the revolution was velvet in Czechoslovakia, it was blood-splattered in Romania, where thousands died as the Ceaucescus attempted to flee and failed, but even this paled in comparison with events as Yugoslavia disintegrated and collapsed into nationalist and ethnic hatred. Civil War in Yugoslavia had been a long time coming. This was a country of disparate cultures, religions...

Read More

Going South? Celtic & The English League System

It is one of the most commonly recurring stories of modern football. Should Celtic and Rangers be allowed to leave the Scottish league system and join the English football league system instead? It’s an emotive subject, for sure, and it’s one that seems to divide both supporters and administrators, with the only people that are certain of which way they would like to go being those that run Glasgow’s two giant clubs, who would like to utilise the vaster resources that would be open to them as a result of being in the more lucrative English system than they would get from remaining in England. That such a debate should be happening again now is hardly a surprise. Speculation has restarted over the last few days that Celtic are in negotiation with the Football League over being allowed to jettison the Scottish Premier League and join the English league system in League One. Whilst there is little solid to confirm how far such discussions have progressed, it could be argued that the fact that joining League One has been mentioned is a specific enough frame of reference for there to be something in this story. It could also be considered that this specific position in the league system reflects the extent to which the clubs of the Championship dominate the Football League, and that the idea of “compromise” may...

Read More