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The 19th FIFA World Cup kicks off in nine weeks today, and as such Dotmund continues his almost-in-depth look ahead to this summer’s festivities. Today is the beginning of his preview of each of the eight groups, having been sent foraging for facts on the internet with only his trusty huge mackerel baguette for company. Predictably enough, we start with Group A.
It is, as if you hadn’t already noticed, open season on Portsmouth. There had been precious little sympathy for the supporters in the club in the media, but when it was confirmed that the club were back in court over a challenge by HMRC over the legitmacy of them placing themselves into adminstration, the gloves came off.
Presidents of the United States have their annual “state of the union” addresses. The Queen has her annual Christmas TV broadcast. And the equally important Richard Scudmaore, Premier League-land’s head of state, has his annual exercise in nauseating sycophancy from Daily Telegraph football correspondent, Henry Winter.
FC United of Manchester held a rally on Saturday lunchtime which outlined very clearly, in practical and emotional terms, why the time for change in football has now arrived. Supporters of all clubs now have to make a serious decision over what form their support will take.
The mask now seems likely to slip. After seventeen years of wearing a mask of opulence and limitless wealth, the Premier League self-made reputation as The Richest League In The World will face its most severe test yet, as Portsmouth face the inevitable and collapse into administration.
“In the future”, said Andy Warhol in 1968, “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. It is tempting to look at Portsmouth’s ownership record over the last year or so and arrive at the conclusion that they are trying some Warholian philosophy in their ownership policy, but the truth is somewhat more prosaic than this.
Sacha Gaydamak has been giving his side of the story as Portsmouth sink deeper and deeper into the mire, but how reliable are his recollections? Mark Murphy has a look at what he has been saying.
During the summer, Southampton came quite close to tkaing a sponsor’s name. As Neil Cotton reports, the relationship between company patronage and football isn’t as simple as saying “companies bad, tradition good”, but where should we draw the line in the sand?
Mark Murphy returns to one of his pet subjects today, and has a few questions to ask about why, with the news that the players’ wages weren’t paid on time again at the end of last month, Portsmouth’s situation doesn’t appear to have changed much for the better under their new owner.
Watford are in financial trouble, but they should be able to find £5m from Elton John or Lord Ashcroft even if they are currently being run by two brothers that supply salad to supermarkets, shouldn’t they? Mark Murphy is less than convinced, and reports on yet another cautionary tale from the Football League.