Category: Latest

A Sort Of Blues Return At Cardiff City

For all the bullying and coming from their club of late, supporters of Hull City can at least take a crumb of comfort from the fact that, on the pitch, their team is holding its own in the Premier League at the moment this season. This isn’t a luxury that is currently being extended to the long-suffering supporters of Cardiff City. These two clubs met in the Premier League yesterday afternoon, and travelling Hull supporters might well have found it instructive to learn a little about what a policy of divide and conquer looks like after a couple of years or so. On the pitch – Hull City in blue, Cardiff City in red and black, of course – things remained as disjointed for Cardiff as they have at any point over the last couple of months or so. Goals from Tomm Huddlestone and Nikica Jelavic had already put anything like a result well beyond the home team by half-time, and a second goal from Jelavic twelve minutes into the second half proved to be the tipping point for some Cardiff supporters. The Cardiff City Stadium started to empty a little after this, and by the closing stages of the match, by which time the visitors were four goals up and cruising to their most comfortable win of the league season so far, there were large gaps in the...

Read More

Get Well Soon, Butch: On The Subject of Wilkins’ Progress

Depression is a horrible, confusing and misunderstood affliction. Not only does the settling of a dark cloud over the mind have a rubberising effect on the emotions, blowing the most ridiculously tiny considerations out of all proportion whilst shrinking everything that matters to mere triviality, but it also is also a condition that still, even in the twenty-first century, can feel mildly embarrassing. With no physical symptoms apart from those brought about as a result of its debilitating effects (which can be easily be explained away to oneself in other ways, if one chooses to), it’s easy to convince...

Read More

Divide, Conquer & Scare: Hull City’s War Of Attrition Continues

If the growing feud between Assem Allam and the supporters of Hull City AFC is to be viewed through the prism of being a battle for hearts and minds in some way, then today probably hasn’t been a very good day for Allam. The story appeared in the Hull Daily Mail newspaper and the headline was the obvious one: “Hull City season tickets could go up by 50 per cent if Tigers rebrand rejected.” This is, of course, a ridiculous and offensive idea and for several different reasons. But this also has the feeling of having something of the diversion about it. Previously in this soap opera, he has threatened to sell the club and plumbed frankly extraordinary depths in breaking with any sense of common decency in saying that, of those opposed to his plans, that, “They can die as soon as they want,” a statement so grotesque that it makes one wonder over his mental well-being. What sort of person, we might reasonably ask, would even think that, let alone say it publicly? The accusations of blackmail are an obvious reflex reaction to it all, of course, though who exactly Allam would be looking to blackmail isn’t necessary an easy question to answer. If the FA are as blasé about ticket prices as most people seem to think they are these days, why they should they give...

Read More

In Defence Of “Stand”

It is, perhaps, a sign of the organisation’s success that there seems to have been, since its inception, a been a steady stream of people lining up to take a pop at the football supporter’s pressure group Stand. Formed a couple of years as Stand Against Modern Football, the group might well consider that such costs are worth bearing, when the alternative might easily have been to be ignored by all and sundry. Before I say anything else, though, allow me to lay some cards on the table. I have been, in the overall scheme of things, a supporter of Stand since its inception, and have contributed to their magazine. I believe that football supporters need a radical voice which complements the broad brush – and relatively respectable demeanour – of the Football Supporters Federation and the more technically minded work of Supporters Direct. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Stand was inevitable, given the recent history of professional football on England, but I do believe that it was necessary. Much of the criticism of Stand seems to be based principally on its original nomenclature. The addition of the phrase ‘Against Modern Football’ to its name seemed like an obvious nod towards Italian groups have protested under the banner of ‘No Al Calcio Moderno’, but from a personal perspective it always felt as if the use...

Read More

Birmingham City Fans Can Delay No More

“I’m as mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore,” said Peter Finch’s character Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network. Birmingham City fans clearly can’t either. The Blues are mired in a Championship relegation battle. The club and parent company, Birmingham International Holdings (BIH) continue to lose multi-millions despite selling almost every decent player manager Lee Clark has had. And in advance of BIH’s Extraordinary General Meeting, which approved plans for it to financially restructure – and borrow – its way out of its financial woes, fans arranged their first public display of disaffection, a banner protest based around the slogan “DelayNoMore,” urging club president Carson Yeung to do just that in selling the club. Immediately after the EGM, the club’s sole paid director, Peter Pannu, suggested that Blues’ future looked “bright,” which disaffected fans have treated as rhyming slang. And any remaining faith in Yeung will have dissolved among fans who read BIH’s announcement concerning its much-trumpeted relisting on Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange (HKSE). Pannu has made a huge deal of BIH’s relisting because the project was his responsibility as BIH’s top executive, and it actually was a huge deal, for BIH at least, as demonstrated by share-trading activities since the relisting on February 7th, including progress on BIH’s long-promised “disposal” of its interest in Birmingham City PLC with a 12% shareholding just bought by what...

Read More