Author: Mark

West Bromwich Albion’s Real McClean

I am not one for “unfriending” people on Facebook. But I made an exception in March when an ex-friend charmingly captioned a photograph of Irish international James McClean and former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness “a stupid c**t and a dead c**t.” I entirely accept that many people would echo the comment about McGuinness, given his pre-political life in the Provisional Irish Republican Army. But the comment about McClean was not acceptable in any sense. McClean the footballer has done many stupid things, for which he has received yellow and red cards. And, while not excusing my...

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Old Firm? Still “No Thanks”

OK. I laughed…and laughed when Celtic’s Mikael Lustig slalomed through Rangers’ traffic-cone defence and plonked a 20-yard effort into the corner of the net at Ibrox the other Saturday. And Celtic’s dominance of the two recent meetings with the post-liquidation Rangers has, not before time, reflected the gulf in class between the clubs, on-field and off. But I am as unenamoured with the “Old Firm” fixture as ever, thanks not only to fans’ behaviour but also Sky Sports’ continuing insanely unprofessional coverage of it. Whatever your views on Rangers’ existing after liquidation, the “Old Firm” itself, an alleged mutual...

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Kingstonian & Kingsmeadow: Get Me Out Of Here

Tuesday’s Guardian newspaper contained a terrific double-page article by Nick Ames on Kingstonian’s last-ever game at Kingsmeadow Stadium, where they had played since 19th August 1989. Nick covered almost all the bases; the history, the politics, the possible impact of an immediate-term move out of Kingston borough, the raw emotion, my mate Phil’s bobble hat. And the piece wasn’t harmed by… OK, it massively benefited FROM… the absence of any of my ten-minute chat with him. Because I was, in equal measure, without a bobble-hat… and any emotion worth including in a national newspaper. I recall missing only one...

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The Ryman League Denouement: Close Shaves At Both Ends

Sky Sports would have LOVED it. The title in doubt until minutes from the very end? Play-off and relegation places decided by stoppage-time action? And controversy? Just step this way. Easter Monday simplified the Ryman Premier’s various issues, although it still left only one game, Tonbridge Angels v Worthing, with nothing at all riding on it. Saturday’s extraordinary events reintroduced the chaos theory. To quickly-ish recap, Havant & Waterlooville led the table by two points from Bognor Regis Town, who had a better goal difference. So, if Bognor won at home to relegation-threatened Metropolitan Police, Havant HAD to win at...

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Rangers: Dave King – At It Again?

Last week, Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) chairman, Dave King, unilaterally decided, as he does, that regulations were for other people. His attitude, as it does, could land him in court. Yet, as they do, elements of Scotland’s Glasgow-based football media still consider him Rangers’ “best hope of salvation” and “still the right man to lead” them despite…EVERYTHING. Followers of football club takeovers know that if individuals or groups “acting in concert” exceed 30% ownership, they are obliged by the “City Code on Takeovers and Mergers” to offer to buy the remaining shareholding. The independent “Takeover Appeal Board” (TAB)...

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