Day: May 30, 2012

10 Years Of AFC Wimbledon: Part Two – Salt In The Wound

In part two of our series on the formation and rise of AFC Wimbledon, we rejoin the story in the summer of 2001. With the clubs owners having seen their attempt to move Premier League football to Dublin rejected by the Football Association of Ireland and in turn by the FA, UEFA and FIFA, an entrepreneur has turned up at Selhurst Park with a potential get-out for the loss-making clubs owners. Part one of this series can be seen here. The offer to move Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes had first been made by Winkelman following the clubs relegation from the Premier League in the summer of 2000. It was rejected by the club, but by July 2001 the offer had been agreed. How, though, had this come about? With the benefit of hindsight, there were probably three reasons. Firstly, the sale Wimbledon FC by Sam Hammam to the Norwegians in 1997 hadn’t been the sale of a “club” as English football supporters might understand it. There is little to suggest that either of the Norwegians had the faintest interest in Wimbledon FC as an institution in its own right, rather that they had paid £25m for a Premier League place – in other words, a “franchise.” Their sudden need to sell after the clubs tumble from the Premier League in 2000 probably reflects this, at least in part. Secondly, the drop from...

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Euro 2012 – The Runners & Riders: Spain

From perennial under-achievers to perpetual favourites in considerably less than ten years, the first decade of the twenty-first century was the one that transformed the world’s perception of the Spanish national football team. Spain began the new century living very much down to people’s expectations, with a quarter-final defeat at the 2000 European Championships being followed up with a quarter-final defeat in the World Cup two years later and a first round elimination at Euro 2004. At some time around the middle of the decade, though, something clicked and Spain became all-conquering and fearsome. They matched France’s turn of the century achievement of winning the European Championships and the World Cup back-to-back – albeit in reverse order – and go into this summers finals as the favourites to win the tournament again. Yet is there a possibility that, in an age in which club football, and in particular European club football, rules the roost absolutely, our minds may get Spain and the two grandest clubs of the era, Barcelona and Real Madrid, a little mixed up. How many people, we might well wonder, will be half-expecting – perhaps in spite of themselves – Lionel Messi to turn out for them this summer? After all, he plays for a team that wear red and blue and seem to win all the time. Spain, however, are more workmanlike than Barcelona. Those...

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Euro Moments: Portugal

This mornings cartoon for the run-up to the European Championships from Dotmund features Portugal, and in particular everybody’s favourite gesticulating Iberian, Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s very, very good at football, but we suspect that we’re not allowed to like him. Don’t forget, you can see plenty more Dotmund artwork here, and you can read his trenchant opinions on just about everything here. You can download the Twohundredpercent Euro 2012 spreadsheet here (for Excel 2007), whilst a version that will be compatible with older versions of Excel is available here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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