Category: Latest

Back To The Eighties: 1980/81 – Part One

It’s the summer of 1980, and a decade that started with England as the champions of the football world has just ended in a manner that few would have predicted ten years earlier. The national team’s arrival back in tournament football had ended in every conceivable flavour of defeat at the 1980 European Championships. The team itself found itself eliminated from the competition with a game to spare, and rioting supporters who faced tear gas in Turin as the team drew its opening match against Belgium. Perhaps the only consolation that could be taken from the whole dismal episode was that, having missed out on the previous two World Cups, at least the team had managed to find its way there in the first place. The club side of English football, on the other hand, had offered its fair share of excitement, even if the spectre of hooliganism continued to hang heavy in its background. English clubs – Liverpool in 1977 and 1978, and Nottingham Forest in 1979 and 1980 – had won the last four European Cups and the previous season’s First Division Championship race between Liverpool and Manchester United had gone to the final day of the season before Liverpool finally lifted the trophy. The 1980 FA Cup, meanwhile, had been won by West Ham United, who had beaten Arsenal at Wembley by a goal to nil,...

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Tony Kleanthous Locks Horns With The Local Authorities… Again

Following relegation from the Football League at the end of last season, Barnet Football Club has made a reasonable start to life back in the non-league game in the Conference National. With thirteen matches of the new season played the club sits in tenth place in the table, a position which may be slightly misleading, considering that its points tally leaves it just three points off a place in the play-offs. The current drama at the club, however, is all coming away from the pitch as owner Tony Kleanthous, who has started to come to resemble a man who could start an argument in an empty room so long as that room was a council chamber, locks horns with another North London local authority. There was a sense of weary resignation about the club’s departure from Underhill, the ground that it had called home since 1907, at the end of last season. A dispute over access to part of the ground with the local council was the reason given as being the straw that broke the camel’s back for staying there, but the club’s departure from the London Borough of Barnet to the London Borough of Harrow doesn’t appear to have eased the difficulties that the club is having with local authorities. Having said that, however, it would seem that it has taken only a few months for Kleanthous...

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The Death Of Hinckley United?

Yesterday afternoon at Meadow Park in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, Chesham United defeated Hinckley United by three goals to nil in the Premier Division of the Calor Gas Southern Football League. Under different circumstances, it would have been the most unassuming of matches. Chesham United are chasing promotion at the top of the table, while their visitors are just above the relegation places at the foot of the table, and on the pitch the outcome of this match was never likely to be in any great doubt. Away from it, however, the match has taken on a significance which overshadows anything that could have happened on the pitch, for the travelling supporters, at least, because yesterday afternoon those travelling supporters from Hinckley may just have seen their club play its final match. It is less than twelve months since the club suffered the indignity of the cancellation of a home league match in the Blue Square Bet North against Bishops Stortford because it was unable to raise a team for the match following the imposition of a transfer embargo. This wasn’t the first time that the club had found itself in severe difficulty, either. Hinckley lost in the Blue Square Bet North play-offs in 2007, but its decline since then has been rapid. Two years ago the club finished in third from bottom place in the finals Blue Square Bet North...

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The Friday Cartoon, Early: DO THESE MEN HATE ENGLAND?

In a departure from the norm on 200% this evening, we have handed over this week’s cartoon slot to Ed Liddle of The Football Spectator, who has some very strident opinions on the subject of… well… we’re not entirely sure, as it goes. Mr Liddle (whose nickname is “Supersonic” – one for the older folks amongst us, there) was talking to Dotmund, who assures us that these opinions in no way represent his own. Well, not while anybody’s listening to him, anyway. You can goosestep behind Dotmund on Twitter by clicking here. You can send them back to where...

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The Season Is Young, But Time Is Not On David Moyes’ Side

We are only six matches into the Premier League season, but the remaining thirty-two matches must feel like a mountain to climb for the already beleagured Manchester United manager David Moyes as he surveys the wreckage of last Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion. Over the course of the last week and a half or so, the wheels on his wagon have started to look extremely rickety indeed and the faint but distinctive smell of panic is already starting to settle over the more skittish element of the club’s support. How long might it be, we might reasonably wonder, before the “David Moyes is incompetent” trope becomes The Thing About David Moyes? Time, it is already starting to feel, may be beginning to run out. It is worth reminding ourselves of the reasons why Moyes was appointed into the managerial position at Old Trafford in the first place. His record at Everton was not perfect, but Alex Ferguson saw traits in him that clearly indicated to him that he was the right man to succeed him in this potentially thorny role. The problem with the managerial succession at Manchester United, however, is that expectations have been inflated to such an extent by more than twenty years of almost uninterrupted success that there is no room for a transitional period, as we are seeing now. Three...

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