Category: Latest

Football, Beer & Sunshine: Normality Returns To The Dripping Pan

It’s been a long time coming, but spring might finally just about be in the air in East Sussex. After what felt like months of constant high winds and rain, the sun is out in Lewes for this afternoon’s Ryman League Premier Division match against league leaders Dulwich Hamlet, and a combination of the good weather and a beer festival has attracted a large crowd of just over eight hundred people to The Dripping Pan for league match of significance to both of the clubs taking part. By the end of the afternoon, though, the large, rambunctious travelling support...

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On Financial Fair Play & Legal Threats

It was always likely to only be a matter of time before somebody issued a legal challenge to somebody’s Financial Fair Play rules somewhere in this country. After all, the acquisition of debt has become one of the defining characteristics of football in this country from the very top of the professional game down in recent years. Indeed, in some respects it might be even considered a tradition – English football clubs have been using their financial muscle to crowd out their rivals since before the Football Association’s rules even allowed players to be paid to play. The challenge to Financial Fair Play is being made to the Football League and it’s coming primarily from the Championship, although reports have been conflicting on how many it might be, with the Guardian not giving the exact number of clubs behind it all (although they did name  Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers as being amongst the main movers behind it), whilst the Daily Mail went a step further and made the claim that ten clubs from the Championship and one from League One were involved in it all, although they only added the name of Bolton Wanderers to that given by their rival publication. The Guardian’s list of clubs came from “Championship sources,” and there is little reason to question it. The notion of Financial Fair...

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The Death – And Potential For Rebirth – Of Eastwood Town FC

In the overall scheme of things, the resignation of a football club from one of the myriad of leagues that make up the non-league pyramid is unlikely to even warrant a footnote in the story of English football. Yet there are lessons that should surely be learned from the protracted collapse of Eastwood Town Football Club, lessons that other clubs at that level of the game would do well to heed. Whether they will or not, however, is a highly debatable questionable. The proverbial fat lady started to clear her throat a little over a month ago, when the club was evicted from its Coronation Park ground by the local council over the non-payment of rent. Already hopelessly adrift at the bottom of Division One South of the Northern Premier League, this turned out to be the final straw for a club whose reversal of fortunes had, over the last couple of years, been just about as dramatic as have been seen in recent years. Following this came a wearyingly familiar sequence of events. The club’s playing staff ebbed away. Matches were postponed. And then yesterday the club tendered its resignation from the league, meaning that closure is now but a legal technicality away. It wasn’t ever thus, of course. Over the course of the last ten years or so, Eastwood Town had been one of non-league football’s upwardly...

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Manchester United’s Mournful Evening In Europe

It wasn’t even necessarily the result itself. A two-nil defeat in the first leg of a knockout competition can, with the right planning, be overcome. It was the nature of it. This was a Manchester United so devoid of life that it is possible to draw the conclusion that the team that strolled to the Premier League title at the end of last season has been kidnapped and replaced with imposters from the Planet Mediocre. Once Olympiakos had secured a two goal lead within ten minutes of the start of the second half – thanks, as if enough injury hadn’t been heaped upon them already, to a quite delightful goal from their Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell – the home side didn’t even really need to shut up shop. Manchester United had nothing in return, and nothing in reserve. And so it is that, before even the month of February is even out, the club that dominated English football so relentlessly for the last two decades sees its season spluttering to one final halt. Of course, it’s possible that David Moyes’ team could yet turn this tie around. We’re at half-time in this round of sixteen match, and the second leg will be played on home territory, after all. Quite where the inner reserves, that extra few millilitres of determination, are going to come from, however, is just about anybody’s...

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Bundesliga Round Up: Week 22 – Çalhanoğlu’s Wondergoal

“It was the best goal of my career” said Hakan Çalhanoğlu after his 40 yard free kick made a fool of Borussia Dortmund’s goalkeeper, Roman Weidenfeller and sealed a 3-0 win that even a week ago would have seemed fanciful. Çalhanoğlu is only 20 years old so he has many years to try to score a better goal. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that such a set of circumstances will ever present themselves to allow him to make such an audacious attempt.HSV were already 2-0 and the game was well into injury time. The Turkish international had been picked ahead...

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