Day: November 16, 2012

Voices Of Football: Tony Gubba – A Fanfare For The Commentator Man

In spite of the obvious contradiction in making such a statement, there is much to said in praise of the stalwart. The stalwart is our representative of the unchosen many. They are the bread and butter of the game. The silent majority. The background cast as its celebrities swan around in front of the flashing lights. Yet we need them to add context and depth to what we see before our very own eyes. For all the column inches lavished upon the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, these rare talents would count for little were it not for a supporting cast of others who position them in a frame and allow us, to a degree, to quantify the differing forms of their genius. The journeyman professional is somebody that we need more, perhaps, than we realise. As it is on the pitch, so it is in the commentary gantry. Life isn’t all cup finals, and the majority of matches played are the matches which provide a context for those that lodge themselves in our consciousness. There was a time when the televising of football matches was so rare that it may well have felt as if there were only one or two authentic voices of football in this country. Yet this hasn’t been the case since matches started to regularly flicker on our television screens during the...

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Pompey – One Step From Home

Thursday 15 November 2012. Mark the date. On this day Pompey’s administrators PKF announced they had reached a conditional agreement to sell the club to the Pompey Supporters Trust. The completed deal will be unique in English football.  Its success will be a landmark victory for fan power, an endorsement of the supporters trust movement and a direct challenge to those responsible for the ills of modern football. It has been a hard won battle. A year ago, the collapse of Bank Snoras and subsequent warrant for the arrest of Pompey owner Vladimir Antonov for fraud set off a chain of events that ended with Pompey in administration and back in the control of Portpin. Portpin who had already put the club in administration in 2010. Reporting these events on 200% at the time I said, ‘This is our club and there is a ‘diabolical collection of demons’ determined to make that clear to anyone who threatens its existence.’ The ‘diabolical demons’ are now one step away from winning the day. The Trust has issued its community share prospectus which gives greater detail of the bid, calling in the 2,000 £1000 pledges made already by fans and opening the offer to any one who cares to contribute more. Fans can pledge as individuals or syndicates, the current number of pledges representing a far larger number of fans than 2,000 as many clubs,...

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A Fresh Start For The Supporters Of Northwich Victoria

The lengthy, drawn-out saga that has been Northwich Victoria Football Club reached something of a denouement this evening, with a vote taken by members of the clubs Supporters Trust to split from the old club and forge ahead to start their own from the start of next season. The decision was reached with a massive majority – a vote of one hundred and forty-five people in favour of the split and four against – and it can be considered a damning indictment of the way that the club has been run over the last few months and year that this vote ended up as close to absolute unanimity as it did. It was also a rare demonstration of positivity to come from a club which has come to resemble a slow motion car crash over the last few months or so. For those amongst you that haven’t been keeping up to date with this story, there is no quick synopsis which could completely depict the ball of madness that this club has become in recent years. It lost its ground, The Victoria Stadium, to a company based next door to it after failing to take up an option to purchase it from the liquidators of the company that had previously owned. Having failed a CVA (leading to a somewhat extraordinary debate between the administrator himself and the owner of...

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