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Month: July 2012

Another Twist In The Manchester United IPO Saga

The problem with a fundamental breakdown in trust is that whatever the motives may be for any of the parties concerned, they will be viewed with suspicion by those on the other side. Even with our most level of heads on, however, it is difficult not to view the timing of the resubmission of Manchester Uniteds proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) with at least one eyebrow raised, and coming, as it does, the day after the announcement of a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal with the Chevrolet car company. The Glazer Family might well have the very best interests of Manchester United Football Club in mind in their new proposal – which, we understand, will imminently be going to the New York Stock Exchange – but even if we are as generous as we can conceivably be towards them, it is difficult to see what the massive benefit to the club would be, whilst the benefit to the owners themselves seems as clear as day. We’re not at this stage going to go through the details of the revised IPO here – our suggestion would be to visit the website of Andersred for more detail on the subject – but it is, for those amongst us that haven’t been paying a great deal of attention to this story, instructive to give a brief outline of what has been going on...

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The 2012 Olympics Games: Womens & Mens Football – Group Matches, Round Two

Re-write the football coaching manuals, the Olympic football tournament suggests. Power leads to glory… not all that tiki-taka nonsense. The United States womens’ march to Gold, and the Spanish men’s march to…the airport were the key features of a mostly exciting round of Olympic football matches. If the women took the first round plaudits, the men’s took the second. And the medal prospects of both Team GB’s look a lot healthier than they did. If the gymnasts could do it… Women The United States appear to be on a marketing exercise with the kits they have already worn. Their alternative blue kit against France forced Les Bleus to change their shirts. And any Hamilton Academicals fans at Hampden on Saturday might have felt somewhat disorientated by the sight of red and white hoops pouring forward. Opponents Colombia looked overwhelmed early on. And after ten minutes, the odds on this match being the Group G encounter to finish 5-0 would have been short. However, Colombia were more spirited and organised than in their first match, and held on to the slimmest mathematical hope of a quarter-final place by restricting ‘USWNT’ to 3-0. They used a combination of grit, luck and the crossbar which the States’ Abby Wambach thumped in the style of her surname with one long-range effort. Wambach’s powerful all-round game, Megan Rapinoe’s industry and Alex Morgan’s pace did...

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Match Of The Past: Barnsley FC

Following on from our series of archive video of the twenty clubs of the Premier League, we are continuing on over the course of the next nine months with the clubs of the Football League and, since we’re doing this alphabetically and starting with the Championship, first up is Barnsley. FA Cup runners-up in 1910 and winners in 1912 whilst in the Second Division, Barnsley would not go on to taste top division football until the 1997/98 season, but the six matches that we have chosen for you come mostly from before then, with one match from the season afterwards. First up, we see a youthful looking Martin Tyler presenting the goals from a trip to Plymouth Argyle in October of 1980. Next up is a match from the club’s League Cup run of the following year. Having already beaten Swansea City and Brighton & Hove Albion of the First Division, Barnsley’s next match was against Oakwell against Manchester City, and following this is a home league match from the 1982/83 season against Leeds United. We then return to the League Cup and a second round, second leg fixture away to West Ham United, which they went into having drawn the first match nil-nil at Oakwell. To finish off, we have two matches from the 1990s. First comes a demolition of Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux from 1991 and finally...

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The 200% Pre-Season Previews: Aston Villa

For the supporters of Aston Villa Football Club, last season ended forty-eight hours after everybody else. Nine months of purgatory under the managership of Alex McLeish had resulted in the team finishing in sixteenth place in the Premier League, two places and two points above the relegation places, and it wasn’t until the clubs senior management and bowed to the inevitable in getting rid of McLeish that their season could truly begin. Although the team had seldom felt in genuine danger of relegation – they always seemed to be be a win or two clear of getting dragged into the mud-wrestling fight that the end of any Premier League season becomes at the wrong end of the table – it was in this act that the inner calm of the Aston Villa could finally begin to return. McLeish’s replacement was Paul Lambert, who led Norwich City from League One to the Premier League in successive seasons and then to a highly creditable twelfth placed finish in their first season back. Lambert is something of a gamble – all new managers are a gamble, and a new manager with only one season of Premier League managerial experience is perhaps more of a gamble than most – but so far Villa supporters seem reasonably pleased with the modest progress that he has made in tidying up the squad and saying the...

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100 Owners: Number 86 – Douglas Craig (York City)

In May, York City beat Luton Town by two goals to one in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final at Wembley Stadium, ending an eight year long stay in non-league football and the the return of League football to one of the English games more idiosyncratic venues, Bootham Crescent. For seventy-five years between 1929 and 2004, York City had been stalwarts rather than starts of the Football League, with two seasons in the Second Division between 1974 and 1976 being their sole stray from its bottom two divisions, but Bootham Crescent, a short walk from the centre of the city, has long been a favourite of many lower division supporters, being as it is a traditional English football ground set amongst rows of terraced houses and cobbled stones. The club is likely to be leaving this home in the near future, however, with planning permission having been agreed earlier this year for a new home in the Monks Cross area of the city. Yet the stories of how York City FC came to be relegated from the Football League and to be having to find a new home can both be traced back to one man, former chairman Douglas Craig. Craig had been involved with York City since 1978, when he joined the club as a director. A former chairman of the York Conservative Association who was awarded...

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