So, the English Premier League will not be staging that dreaded 39th game overseas any time soon, which perhaps allows some of those grassroots fans to be thankful for something while they see the rest of their game being taken away. Chief executive Richard Scudamore certainly wanted to distance himself not only from his own failed idea but also from Scottish Premier League chief Neil Doncaster’s idea of taking the Old Firm abroad, which could be taken as simply a throw-away comment or a cheeky notice to Mr. Doncaster not to send him a holiday card. While this decision looked to be coming anyway, as there was general derision when Scudamore proffered it around three years ago, it was probably less important than the other concept Scudamore turned aside (and no, it was not him rejecting Rangers and Celtic in the EPL for seemingly the umpteenth time). Sliding it in between announcing there would be no 39th game on his watch and that the Old Firm wouldn’t be disrupting the English pyramid system either, Scudamore let it be known there will be no ‘Rooney Rule’ for the English Premier League. In so doing Scudamore appears to have confirmed his ignorance on what it would have entailed and also how distanced he is from the issue of race in his increasingly multi-ethnic league. Read More Scudamore Misses the Moment On Racism

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The Ball

Football loves its phrases. We speak of a player getting stuck in and having good feet for a big man, while saying his form is poor as he’s gone off the boil. Some squads play Route One football and others just run about.  The sports lexicon is thick with these and many other sayings that at times can remind us in short order what message is attempting to be conveyed–a little Richard Keys banter if you like–and on other occasions cause us to grind our teeth slightly at their overusage–again, a little Richard Keys banter if you like. Now swiftly being added to the standard book of catchphrases for Scottish football representatives is, “Given the current economic climate,” but it is coming to sound less a cliché than their “focus on youth development” and more of a crutch to justify why the game north of Hadrian’s Wall struggles. Supporters of Scottish Premier League clubs must surely be frustrated when this chestnut is pulled out, as it suggests the part they play in digging the game out of its current muck is once again being overlooked. Read More SPL Should Consider Fan Investment

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The Ball