Category: Latest

Birmingham City & The Self-Importance Of Being Peter

Birmingham City’s still-acting chairman Peter Pannu recently dismissed Birmingham City supporter protests as something of a norm for English football. More of a norm for English football, however, is Pannu’s sense of self-worth, which is only matched by whoever is responsible for paying him £400,000 a year for his role at the football club. And attached to this heightened sense of self among certain personalities in English football is a heightened sensitivity to criticism, which almost appears to be directly proportional to the justification FOR that criticism. Pannu, lest we forget, has been Birmingham City’s senior and best-paid executive during a period of considerable on-and-off-field decline at the club. It is tempting to suggest that if Pannu was on some form of performance-related pay, Blues’ debt problems would be considerably eased at a stroke. Instead, Pannu seems unperturbed at the prospect of adding to club expenditure by involving the club’s lawyers in a rather pointless spat with the Blues fan website Often Partisan (OP). OP is written by Blues fan Daniel Ivery, whose work in covering former club benefactor Carson Yeung’s recent trial on money-laundering charges was hugely comprehensive and informative, right up to Yeung’s conviction last week on all five money-laundering offences with which he was charged and his sentencing to six years in prison. Ivery even travelled to Hong Kong on a number of occasions to report...

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Introducing… Unofficial, Unaffiliated Premier League Bingo!

Now, we’ve all done it – slumped down in front of the television or a laptop, wondering what on earth we can do to brighten up the prospect of a live match that we have no particular interest apart from the somewhat ghoulish hope that somebody might hold up a piece of card that says something particularly ridiculous, punch a referee, say something a bit racist and start a fight or otherwise unliven what may, even in The Greatest League In The World™, be an uneventful encounter. Or perhaps you’re just hanging around on Twitter, waiting for someone to...

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No End In Sight To The Agony Of Coventry City Supporters

Steven Pressly celebrated his first anniversary as the manager of Coventry City last Saturday. It didn’t turn out to be a particularly happy anniversary for the Sky Blues manager. His team has won just three of its twelve league matches so far in 2014 and, whilst his team sits in eleventh place in the League One table at the moment, it is only six points above the relegation places and has a distinct feeling of stutter about its form at the moment. Not, of course, that this makes a great deal of difference to the vast majority of Coventry City supporters at the moment. Just 1,637 people turned out for their last “home” match against Walsall last week, and there seems little sign that the ongoing boycott of the club’s matches in Northampton is going to break at any point this season. Last week’s release of the annual accounts for The Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Group, the company which owns just over 90% of the shares in the Otium Entertainment Group, the company that brought Coventry City – or the two companies that made that up, at least – from administration last summer, then, don’t necessarily give us too much of an indication of what the club’s financial position might be right now, when we consider that attendances have collapsed from an average of 10,973 at The Ricoh...

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Hard Questions & Hard Times For Exeter City’s Supporters’ Trust

Just over decade ago, Exeter City were struggling both on and off the pitch, battling to stave off both administration and relegation to non-league. Fast forward ten years and Exeter City are again battling to stave off relegation to non-league, punctuated with worrying messages about cash flow. But while their main issue in 2003 was the convicted fraudster at the helm, the Grecians’ main enemy this time around is something less obvious but equally worrying: apathy. The latest low point came against a relegation-threatened but rejuvenated Northampton Town at St James Park last night. A sub-3000 crowd saw the Grecians collapse to another 1-0 home defeat and fail to muster a shot on target during the entire game against a team that has spent most of the season in the bottom two. Three points now separate the Cobblers from Exeter and with City failing to win a home game since October, a return to the Conference seem a distinct possibility. More worryingly, those who would normally rally the club over the on and off pitch issues have slipped quietly away The story of Exeter City’s last decade is both remarkable and yet typical of the fluctuating fortunes of a football club. Relegated from the League in 2003 with debts of over four million and a chairman helping Her Majesty’s finest with their enquiries, the Supporters’ Trust took control to...

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Derby County, Sheffield United & All The Fun Of The Merry-Go-Round

It was all over within the space of three minutes at Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon, as two goals from Ryan Flynn and the spectactularly bearded John Brayford – with more than a little assistance from a deflection – were enough to send the League One club through to an FA Cup Semi-Final match to be played against Hull City of the Premier League at Wembley next month. There is little about Sheffield United’s run to this stage of the competition that doesn’t impress. Every match the team has played from the Third Round on has been against opposition from a higher division, with Aston Villa, Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Charlton Athletic now having been seen off, and the nature of the team’s performances have been those of a group of players riding the crest of a wave following a quite dreadful start to the season. Furthermore, the team’s progress in the competition can hardly be considered to have been at the expense of league form. Since winning at Aston Villa in the Third Round in January, the team has won nine, drawn two and lost two of its matches in League One, a run that has lifted the team from the relegation places at the bottom of the table to eleventh position. Indeed, they have now not even conceded a goal in their last six matches, and this...

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