English Football’s Forgotten Tragedy: The Valley Parade Fire Revisited

By on Feb 22, 2013 in History, Latest | 3 comments

When the Bradford City team takes to the pitch on Sunday afternoon for the 2013 League Cup final, there will be many for whom thoughts turn to the horrific events that unfolded on the eleventh of May 1985. Tonight, on the eve of a match that surely no-one could have seen at the start of this season, we take a look back at that day, the events that led up to it and...

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100 Owners: Number 75 – Graham Westley (Farnborough Town)

By on Dec 23, 2012 in History, Latest | 6 comments

There are few people in lower division football for whom more vituperation is reserved than Graham Westley. The Preston North End manager has a reputation for management-speak and self-aggrandisement that is well known, but such character flaws are hardly unfamiliar in football management – even at its lower levels. Westley’s unpopularity runs deeper...

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100 Owners: Number 76 – Ken Wheldon (Walsall & Birmingham City)

By on Dec 18, 2012 in History, Latest | 5 comments

The 1980s were a period of decline for football in the West Midlands. A decade which had started with one of its clubs, Aston Villa, winning the Football League Championship and the European Cup in successive season soon saw several of its most notable clubs hit hitherto unseen low points in their histories and one man, a scrap metal dealer from the Black Country,...

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100 Owners: Number 77 – R.W. ‘Dick’ Stoley (Argonauts FC)

By on Dec 10, 2012 in History, Latest | 1 comment

In the name of “progress”, we continue to be reminded about the dangers of franchising in football, and we continue to be right to stay vigilant against attempts to parachute clubs into the Football League or senior non-league football. The fundamental principle is that, subject to concerns over the health and safety of large crowds, newly-formed clubs should start...

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100 Owners: Number 78 – Robert Chase (Norwich City)

By on Dec 7, 2012 in History, Latest | 2 comments

It takes, it might be argued, a special type of football club chairman to persuade the supporters of Norwich City to violent demonstration. In the first months of 1996, however, one man managed to achieve this, and that man’s name was Robert Chase. A local builder, Chase arrived at Carrow Road in the early 1980s at a time when the financial fortunes of many...

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They Don’t Make Them Like Dave Sexton Any More

By on Nov 27, 2012 in History, Latest | 1 comment

On Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge, the new interim manager of Chelsea Football Club, Rafael Benitez, was introduced to the clubs supporters to a less than rapturous reception. On a day laden heavy with symbolism, Chelsea and Manchester City, two clubs who have muscled their way into the ultra-rarefied air of European footballs top table, then played out a drab...

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100 Owners: Number 79 – The Glazer Family (Manchester United)

By on Nov 10, 2012 in History, Latest | 3 comments

There will be a number of people reading this for whom the initial reaction at seeing The Glazers in the position that they occupy on this list will be one of surprise and, quite probably, anger. There have, after all, been few other football club owners in recent years – particularly in the Premier League – have inspired more vitriol or column inches...

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100 Owners: Number 81 – Irving Scholar (Tottenham Hotspur & Nottingham Forest)

By on Oct 11, 2012 in History, Latest | 3 comments

In June 1984, shortly after bringing Tottenham Hotspur its first European trophy in twelve years, Keith Burkinshaw left White Hart Lane for the last time. Greeted by the press outside the ground, he gesticulated over his shoulder towards the rear of the shiny new stand behind him. ‘There used to be a football club over there’, he is said to have spat...

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