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Month: May 2012

10 Years Of AFC Wimbledon, Part Three – Gazing At The Stars

It was a balmy evening at the end of May 2002 and emotions at The Sir Cyril Black Community Centre in Wimbledon were running high. Two days earlier, the unthinkable had happened. A three-man independent commission set up by the Football Association had, by two votes to one, waved through permission for Wimbledon FC to leave Selhurst Park, its unhappy home for the previous eleven years, and decamp sixty miles north to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. Football franchising had arrived in footballs modern era, and their club was the laboratory animal upon which the experiment would be carried. What were Wimbledon supporters to do? Their club would continue to play at Selhurst Park for another year. Should they continue the protest at the club? Play out the final year and then meekly follow the freak show north? The answers to these questions would end up having far wider-ranging ramifications than most would have thought possible at the time. The Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association (WISA) had been formed seven years earlier, as the permanence of the clubs move to Selhurst Park became increasingly obvious. These were seasoned campaigners who had already played a significant role in seeing off the proposed move to Dublin. Fighting off the Milton Keynes move, however, had proved to be a bridge too far. Perhaps the writing had been on the wall. After all, when the Football Association...

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Euro Moments: Spain

This mornings cartoon for the run-up to the European Championships from Dotmund features Spain, and a goalkeeper with a very satisfying name to say who still goes to the supermarket in his full kit. 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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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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