Category: Football League

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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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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Sunderland: When The Lights Go Out

This season marks the sixtieth anniversary of a very significant event in the history of Sunderland AFC. Sixty-eight years earlier, in 1890, the club had joined the Football League and in the intervening seven decades the club had become the only club to be an ever-present member of the First Division. The previous season had issued the club with a warning, when it finished in twentieth place in the table, just one place above the relegation zone. This time around, though, there was no such luck. Despite winning its final two matches of the league season and with just...

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The EFL, Stevenage and Grimsby: Talking Whilst Saying Nothing

For many years, talk of how to improve attendances at football matches often seemed to ultimately boil down to the idea that making grounds safer to visit and more welcoming to all members of the community was ultimately beneficial to everybody. When hooliganism reached its nadir in England during the first half of the 1980s, it was suggested that falling attendances had stripped back those who went to matches to such an extent that troublemakers, once a minority that it was easy to drown out, were amongst the few left who had the stomach to still attend matches, and...

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The Perverse Joy of Small Attendances

Perhaps this marks me out as the worst sort of rubber-necker, but there is something that I find strangely enjoyable about looking out for low attendances at football matches. Coming across one can invoke very strange feelings of surprise, concern, and very occasionally a smile dripping with schadenfreude. In modern times, this usually means looking to evening matches in the lower divisions. If you’re a non-league club who ground-shares and has an inconsequential cup match against a team with a small support on a Champions League night, you may well pass across my radar. It’s usually only fleeting, but...

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