Author: Ian

Italy: The Arrival Of The Apocalypse

There are two sides to most people who watch football on a regular basis. On the one hand, we have to be ruthless pragmatists, in order to preserve our sanity if nothing else. We know that some players are better than others, that some teams are better than others, and that some teams can be either greater than or equal to the sum of their parts. It’s mechanical, in a sense. All footballers – and all football teams – are not created equal. On the other hand, though, we are fabulously flamboyant romantics. We love the idea of David...

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Televised Football In The Regions: The Midlands – In Colour

If, at the point that Associated Television (ATV) began their contract to broadcast seven days a week to the Midlands in 1968, one had asked a sample of football experts which parts of the country would come to dominate football in England over the duration of this contract, it’s entirely possible that the vast, sprawling band across the middle of the country wouldn’t have figured in that many people’s calculations. Such is the size of the Midlands that of course it had representation in the First Division, but this was largely concentrated in the bottom of the half of...

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Blackpool, The Oystons & The Morning After

Those who turned up at Bloomfield Road this afternoon expecting the place to be packed to the rafters ended up disappointed on two fronts. Just over 5,000 people turned out for this afternoon’s match against Portsmouth, but it should be considered that this number included 1,700 travelling supporters who’d made the long journey north from the Hampshire coast. Blackpool’s last home match against Wigan Athletic had a home attendance of just over 3,600 people. This afternoon’s had a home attendance of just over 3,300. The boycott of Blackpool Football Club by a significant proportion of its supporters continues, and...

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The FA, Watford & A Woman’s Place

It’s probably reasonable to say that, following the severe criticism that the Football Association has been receiving of late over the Eni Aluko matter (and, as though this even needs to be said, deservedly so), the relationship between men and women’s football isn’t in a terribly healthy place at the moment. As such, the decision of Watford FC to pull the funding from its women’s team and demote it down to a regional amateur level probably couldn’t have come at a worse time for the game’s governing body. The phrase “institutionally racist” came up more than once during the...

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Blackpool & The Oystons: Game Over, Surely

The court case between the Oyston Family and Valeri Belokon over Blackpool FC is over, and it was very bad news for the much-hated club owners. Here’s Gavin Saxton with a rundown of what’s been going on in court.  In a devastating judgement, issued on Monday, Owen and Karl Oyston, father and son, were ordered to pay £31.77 million to VB Football Assets – the company formed by Valeri Belokon to take a stake in Blackpool FC in 2006 – in order to buy out their involvement with the club. This followed an increasingly bitter dispute between Belokon and...

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