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As Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City take the pitch for their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium this afternoon, we could perhaps be forgiven for believing that there is a slight chill in the air. These are two sides whose continued presence in the game are a solid link with the past, but they are…
The contrast was stark, like a particularly uncompetitive episode of the BBC’s Bargain Hunt (you can tell I don’t have a proper day job), magnified a million times. Bolton Wanderers’ parent company Burnden Leisure Plc lost £35.4m, partly because they picked up manager Owen Coyle. Burnley Football Club made record profits of £14.4m, despite losing…
It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling as if every season is likely to be a struggle for Bolton Wanderers, but their recent Premier League history doesn’t really bear this out. After they returned to the Premier League in 2001 they struggled for a couple of seasons but, broadly speaking, they have had…
Arsene Wenger is today being quoted as stating that the new Premier League rule reducing squad sizes to 25, as being “a disastrous decision for football and for the players”. When the rule was introduced, the rules stating that Premier League clubs had to have a “Squad List” of just 25, with eight of these…
Imagine a boot with a circle of stars on the sole of it stamping on a human face forever. This evening sees a new low in the status of the FA Cup and a new high in the ascendency of the Champions League over all other football competitions.
Owen Coyle has been receiving plaudits all season. He has refused to break the bank at Burnley and kept his faith in many of the journeymen that got the club into the Premier League. Then, though, he went and blew it, and another little piece of the romance of football died on the inside.
The Premier League has decided that it doesn’t want The Old Firm and the baggage that they carry with them. It may take a change of attitude towards their neighbours for Celtic and Rangers to turn their own fortunes around, though – are they capable of such a transformation?