Day: April 23, 2012

Northwich Victoria: The 1874 Protests Come To Gigg Lane

Under normal circumstances, the last game of the season should be a cause for celebration for clubs near the top of their respective tables. On Saturday at Gigg Lane, however, FC United of Manchester’s final game of the season against Northwich Victoria was met by protests by supporters of the visiting club at the end of a season which has seen them lose their ground and face expulsion from their league. Vics supporter Mark Riding was there, and reports on a day of unrest in Bury. Rarely has a club finished a season in a state of such uncertainty as Northwich Victoria have finished this. Homeless and destitute since eviction from The Victoria Stadium in January, the club went into their final game of the season knowing they had secured second place in the league but could not reap the rewards of their season’s excellent performance. They have been found guilty of two charges relating to non payment of their CVA and the club’s punishment is expulsion from the Northern Premier League and all its divisions. The consequences of this decision are still uncertain. The club have an FA appeal scheduled for today – Tuesday 24th of April – but in reality this may only serve to partially clear the murky waters. This is due to the North West Counties (the league below the Northern Premier league) sharing common...

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30 Years Ago Today: Remembering Football On The ZX Spectrum

Sometimes, a piece of technology comes along that not only comes to be regarded as the zeitgeist for the era from whence it came, but also as something which as critical to the future architecture of the sphere that it inhabits. Thirty years ago, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum first hit the streets. This was not a machine that dropped out of the sky with no warning – in the two years prior to 1982, Sinclair Research had already released two home computers: the ZX80 and ZX81 – but the Spectrum, in full colour and with a sound chip, was the great leap forward in terms of home computing in Britain. It encouraged the birth of an entire industry, from large companies to cottage industries, and amongst the genres of game that would come to manifest themselves over the next decade or so, football would come to be recognised as a market share grabber. With little upon which to base their games – earlier football video games had, for the most part, been little more than variations upon Atari’s 1972 arcade hit, Pong – designers and coders had little to base their games on but their imaginations, and the result of this was a disparate assortment of titles, which often seemed to only have their subject in common. In keeping with the waves of nostalgia for this long-lost era, then,...

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Collateral Damage, Sheffield United & The Ched Evans Case

Having been around or about the League One automatic promotion places for much of the season, the last few days have suddenly become rather uncomfortable for Sheffield United. A single goal defeat in Milton Keynes at the weekend coupled with a home win for local and promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday cut the gap between second and third place in the table to a single point with just two games left to play, but even this precarious state of affairs is now threatening to be overshadowed by events off the pitch.  Sheffield United striker Ched Evans had been having a good season on the pitch for his team this season having scored thirty-five goals for his club, but events away from it have rendered them something of an irrelevance. Evans was imprisoned for five years at the end of last week for the rape of a nineteen year old woman in a hotel in North Wales last year. The victim had, according to testimony heard, been too drunk to give consent to sex, and Evans’ jail sentence was awarded as another player, Clayton McDonald of Port Vale, was acquitted of the same offence. The verdict awarded against Evans seems to have split the Blades’ fan base, with a schism having appeared between those who feel that the judgement must be adhered to and those who feel that a miscarriage of...

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