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Day: March 19, 2013

The Venky’s Scattergun Approach Strikes Again At Blackburn

Farewell then, Michael Appleton. After sixty-seven days and fifteen matches, the former Portsmouth and Blackpool manager – and that’s just this season- became the third manager to leave Blackburn Rovers as the itchy trigger finger of the club’s owners, Venkys, got the better of them yet again. There was a time, roughly a year ago, when it seemed as if the owners of the club were almost swivel-eyed in their devotion to its then-manager, Steve Kean, but those days must seem like a long time ago for the supporters of a club that might yet be sliding towards a second successive relegation, this time from the Championship. Since Kean departed from the club at the end of September, Blackburn’s owners have been acting like lovers on the rebound. After a brief dalliance with Eric Black, former player Henning Berg lasted for just ten matches – winning just one of them – before, after another temporary manager in the form of Gary Bowyer, Appleton was appointed in January. Things might have been so different for Appleton. After bedding in at the club, we had a little run of three successive wins in the league and even took his team to The Emirates Stadium to beat Arsenal in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. This result, however, turned out to be the end of the beginning and the beginning of...

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The Times Apologises For Its Dream Football League Hoax

The most obvious explanation, it turns out, is usually the most obvious explanation for a reason. After several days of head-scratching, The Times newspaper acknowledged its error in running a story about the Dream Football League yesterday morning, bringing to a close an extraordinary few days during which we had been given cause to wonder who had been telling the truth over a news story which began as something remarkable for one reason and ended as something remarkable for something else altogether. It turned out that those that had viewed the story – which, as we pointed out before, would have been one the biggest football news stories for some considerable time – were right to be skeptical of it. This was a work of satirical invention created by the French football site Cahiers du Football which was picked up on by an individual with a history of feeding fake stories to the press. Credit is due to The Times for running the retraction – it could quite easily have attempted to brazen out the story, using its not inconsiderable influence to discredit those that had questioned it – and to the journalist concerned, Oliver Kay, who apologised to the French website Cahiers du Foot, who had run the original article concerned as a piece of satire. Against, the expedient option for Kay might have been to remain silent...

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