Category: Latest

Assem Allam’s Pyrrhic Name Change Poll Victory

There are, of course, lies, damned lies and statistics. It’s worth pointing out before we go any further that the decision of the owners of Hull City AFC to poll their supporters over their desire to change the name of the club to “Hull Tigers” from the start of next season was never terribly likely to have an effect upon FA’s upcoming hearing on the matter. That decision had already been taken before the poll was even made public. But while the club can claim a “victory” of sorts, more than half a glance at the figures involved only confirms that this was as pyrrhic victory as could be imagined. So, before we go any further, let’s have a look at those numbers: Total Eligible Voters: 15,033 Total Votes Cast: 5,874 (39%) “Yes” Votes: 2565 (44% of Votes Cast) & (17% of Eligible Voters) “No” Votes: 2517 (43% of Votes Cast) & (17% of Eligible Voters) “Not Concerned”: 792 (13% of Votes Cast) & (5% of Eligible Voters) The only way that we can view these numbers is, of course, through the prism of what the club may have considered its “PR drive” of the last few months to try and convince supporters of the merits of the name change, which to many others fell somewhere between hectoring, bullying and outright intimidation. As regular observers of this story will...

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The Fall And Plateau Of Manchester United

It is more of an FA Cup word than a Champions League word. But there’s no denying that during their 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich this week, Manchester United were “plucky.” The FA Cup analogy is not entirely inappropriate. I’d missed the meetings where everyone was told that United were in for the sort of walloping Arsenal and Tottenham have almost patented in big EPL games this season. So I was a little surprised that United were so reliant on scrapping for scraps of possession…and for the gushing reaction this produced in ITV’s Old Trafford lair. Manager David Moyes’ Manchester United has been a disjointed, ugly watch. The flow of the better sides playing at or near their best, including – painfully for Moyes – Roberto Martinez’s Everton, just hasn’t come from Rooney et al this season. And it’s not as if Everton were ugly and disjointed under Moyes, not most of the time anyway, even if “ugly and disjointed football” could easily be what Marouane Fellaini would tell John Humphrys when asked for his ‘occupation’ on an edition of Celebrity Mastermind. I’m too young – just- to remember Wilf McGuiness’s Manchester United side in the immediate post-Matt Busby era. I can imagine, though, that there are valid comparisons to be made, even if history rarely recalls that McGuiness’s eighth-place finish in his only full season was an improvement...

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It will take more than Psycho to fix Forest

If grounds could talk, its tale would be the grandest of them all. It is no Camp Nou, no Santiago Bernabéu. You could hardly find a more inauspicious set for this Hollywood plot. Across the waters of the Trent, beyond the graffiti-spattered Lady Bay Bridge and gloomy, half-abandoned industrial units, Nottingham Forest’s giant, dirty goalpost of a Trent End is impossible to miss, standing proud alongside the boat clubs on the banks of the river. You already know the implausible story arc: the rise from provincial obscurity, the glory, and the fall from grace; the laser-guided mind and electric ego...

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Rangers: Crisis Over, Or Just Beginning?

It is little wonder that Scotland’s Mainstream Media (SMSM) get a hard time when, aside from any perceived Celtic/Rangers/Old Firm bias, they make such elementary errors. The Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) interim results revealed operating losses of £3.6m between July 1st and December 31st 2013, which the Daily Record and the Herald newspapers called “the seven months to the end of last year/2013.” And this from a media which spent weeks trumpeting Rangers manager Ally McCoist’s annual salary as £826,000 when this figure appeared in RIFC’s first full accounts, over big blue letters stating “For the 13 month period to 30 June 2013.” So it wasn’t as if the SMSM had no elementary errors from which to learn. Meanwhile, the results boosted Rangers fans’ campaign to have potential benefactor Dave King’s money installed at Ibrox. This from fans whose hatred of former benefactor David Murray has inspired an unofficial rebranding of the club’s Murray Park training facility as “Auchenhowie.” Learning from past errors is obviously not all-the-rage in Scotland. RIFC directors took comfort from RIFC’s reduced operating losses, from last year’s headline-grabbing £1m-per-month to £600,000-per-month. Rangers’ “enemies” took comparable comfort from the “material uncertainties” over RIFC’s ability to operate “as a going concern.” Most Rangers fans have recoiled in horror at both. Rangers are, of course, far from the only football club to put a “spin” on ghastly...

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“Full Of Thieves And Crooks” – Massimo Cellino Delivers His Verdict

Twenty-five thousand people listened to it in two hours, and now a lot of them are looking for some answers. Over the weekend, a Leeds United supporter managed to get hold – from, it should be added, publicly available sources – of the telephone number Man Who Be The New King Of Elland Road, Massimo Cellino, and gave him a call, with surprising results. You can hear the interview for yourself by clicking here – or there is a transcript of it here – but here are, for the benefit of those amongst you that are unwilling or unable...

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