Category: History

Televised Football In The Regions: Wales & The West

It was always likely that the spread of regional television into Wales would bring challenges that the industry’s regulators would find difficult to manage. Television transmitters, after all, will only respect national borders to the extent that those who determine their positions and strength of their transmissions allow them to and, as with any other area of commercial broadcasting, there will always be competing interests between financial imperatives, political will, and the interests of viewers. In addition to this, the geography and landscape of Wales itself made reaching every community difficult. Hills and mountains are not natural bedfellows of...

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Parking The Coach: Graham Taylor

The date is Friday, 17th June 1994. Two major events are unfolding in the United States of America and neither of them involved the England football team. The first, given English soccer players’ propensity for shenanigans once the summer break rolls around, was a blessing: A white Ford Bronco driven by A.C. Cowlings and with the fugitive O.J. Simpson in the passenger seat, drove around the Los Angeles freeways, transfixing a divided nation. The second, meanwhile, was of a rather more pressing concern for the Three Lions: In Chicago, the fifteenth FIFA World Cup Finals kicked off following a...

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Televised Football In The Regions: The Beautiful South 

With the serenity of the rolling fields of Kent, the South Downs National Park and the New Forest all sitting comfortably within its boundaries, one might expect that the history of commercial television in this part of the country to have been peaceful. However, the South of England (later South & South-East of England) franchise proved to be one of the most controversial in the entire history of the patchwork of companies that made up the ITV network. This is a region for which the identity of the local broadcaster changed twice in a little more than a decade,...

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Televised Football In The Regions: Anglia – Punching Above Their Weight

Throughout the late 1950s to the middle of the following decade, football in England underwent a shift in its tectonic plates that went almost umremarked upon. The traditional bases of power, the industrial towns of the Midlands and the North such as Burnley and Wolverhampton, found their power starting to wane, whilst the industrialisation of professional football led to the increased growth of big city clubs from Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and London. Perhaps it was a coincidence that this occurred at the time when regular league football started to be shown in the nation’s homes. Perhaps, though, it wasn’t....

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Parking The Coach: Rinus Michels

Very few figures from the history of association football are better remembered for something they created than for something they won. Rarer yet are people like Rinus Michels: remembered for their philosophical and aesthetic contribution despite what they won. Michels won leagues in two countries, cups in three, two European trophies and at the 1988 UEFA European Championship finals, the only major title in the history of the Dutch national side. They were a whisker away from winning the World Cup, too, only to fall flat at the final hurdle. For all this, Rinus Michels’ legacy will forever be...

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