Category: Latest

Brisbane Roar secure the A League’s Premiers’ Plate in style

For some weeks, it’s felt as if the A League regular season closing script has all but been written. The only details left to fill in has been the who, the what and the when, and at the weekend we got our answer: it was Luke Brattan with a wonder goal in the dying minutes of Brisbane Roar’s game against Melbourne Victory to ensure the Queenslanders topped the table and secured the Premiers’ Plate. While the title has been the Roar’s to lose for several months now – and a late season wobble briefly gave other teams hope they’d...

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Leeds United & The Lottery Of The Owners & Directors Test

So there, then, is the decision of the Football League. Massimo Cellino has been adjudged by the Football League to have failed its Owners & Directors Test on account of his conviction under Italian law over the non-payment of tax for a boat that he owned. The League’s statement on the matter was clear enough to leave little quesion in the minds of those that have been watching this situation over the last few weeks of the reasoning behind their decision in spite of the obfuscation of the matter brought about by Cellino’s legal team last week, and it’s...

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That Revierderby Touch

Being a preview of the forthcoming match between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04. Matthias Suuck, the presenter of the Yellow Wall pod, a Borussia Dortmund podcast, once described the rivalry between Dortmund and Schalke as more about the two sets of fans similarities rather than their differences. Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen are two former mining cities in the heavily industrialised region of the Ruhr Valley in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the traditional support base of both clubs is working class. The region of NRW is teeming with football clubs of various shapes and sizes but (and this will be argued vigorously, in Cologne and Mönchengladbach) Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 are the biggest. Their derby game is known as the Revierderby and their encounters are among the most highly anticipated in Germany, because both teams enjoy a national (and increasingly international) support as well as local. What usually tends to be missing from these fixtures is the additional sense of peril in terms of the importance of the result. Given the historical dominance of Bayern Munich you don’t often find Dortmund or Schalke competing against each other for the Bundesliga championship. Moreover, the German FA have failed to contrive an encounter between the two teams in the German Cup since the year 2000, in which Schalke won 2-1. That may explain why  this derby remains one of the best supported in...

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Democracy Or Gerrymandering? The Hull City Vote Goes Public

It was noted on this site at least a couple of years ago that democracy in terms of football had the potential to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, genuine efforts to engage supporters to be active rather than passive in terms of involvement with their clubs arrive at their natural conclusion in the existence of supporters trusts, both at clubs where the trusts are running the show and at those at which they play the vital – but not always popular role – of being a “critical friend.” Democracy, however, can be twisted and spun into something of a façade, offering a veneer of respectability to to something that might otherwise be considered without credibility. The biggest danger of the idea of democratising football was always likely to be its bastardisation. All of this brings us back to the subject of the proposed name change of Hull City to Hull Tigers. As many of you will already be aware, it was confirmed earlier this season that the Football Association would be making a final decision over this rebrand – which, depending on your perspective, has either angered a large number of the club’s supporters or fundamentally split the fan-base – in April, and it was recently confirmed that the FA’s Membership Committee had unanimously recommended to its Council that the application on the part of the...

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Rangers FC & The Self-Importance Of Being Sandy

My limited experience of writing on football finance and club takeover and ownership issues has taught me one thing; that no matter what the specific issue under those headings, the Rangers Football Club will always supply an extreme, and invariably extremely daft, example. As I was writing my last article, about Birmingham City’s sledgehammer-on-nut legal action against the Often Partisan website, a similar story was escalating in Glasgow. The Rangers “situations” have introduced all shades of individual characters to Scottish football, and have spawned almost as many fans’ protest groups. One of these “characters” is Alexander “Sandy” Easdale, co-owner of the Greenock-based McGill’s bus company with his brother James and sole executive director of “The Rangers Football Club Ltd” (TRFCL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the pretentiously-entitled “Rangers International Football Club” (RIFC), the ‘parent company’ of all things Ibrox. One of these fans’ protest groups is Sons of Struth, named in honour of Bill Struth, Rangers’ pioneering manager between 1920 and 1954 and generally regarded as the most important man in the history of the old Rangers. The Sons (SOS) are more a Facebook page than a formal group. But they have had a high-profile in recent fans’ protests, through spokesman Craig Houston. And Houston has been the specific recent target of lawyers representing Easdale, who has long taken issue with the way he and his brother have been portrayed...

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