Category: Latest

Mark Clattenburg: Referee & Idiot

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment at which it started to come to this. Perhaps it was the formation of the Premier League, when the new league, drunk on dreams of the celebrity status that would end up coming to pass in most respects, stripped referees of the schoolmasterly all-black kits they’d worn for more than half a century and replacing them with green shirts, as though they needed a coloured uniform of their own. Perhaps it came as an unintended consequence of referees becoming professional in 2001 or with the growth in the influence of PGMOL, the...

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The FIFA Trial: Week Three 

Another day, another (multi-million) dollar (bribe story) at the “Fifa Trial” in New York’s Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, inevitably and dismally labelled “Fifa-Gate,” for the hard of thinking. The higher the bribes and laundered money, the more incredible it is (in the literal and pejorative sense) that disgraced ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter knew nothing about any of it. Did he and Fifa’s Executive Committee (ExCo) not receive financial analyses of the various rights attached to South American federation Conmebol, (Conme for, appropriate, short) World Cup qualifiers? Or, as with the detailed technical report into the bids to host the 2022...

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The Strange Case of the Bedford Town Walkout

At all levels of the game, postponing a scheduled football match can have broad ramifications. It can be bad enough at the top end of the professional game, where  broadcasters may find themselves without a match at short notice and thousands of spectators will almost certainly be inconvenienced and may need to be refunded the cost of admission. At the other end of the scale, in the non-league game, the effects can be even more pronounced. Match day revenues are critical to the very survival of most clubs, and even the likely lowered attendance brought about by postponing a...

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Meet The New Bosses, Same As The Old Bosses

There’s a not unreasonable chance that you’ll have read a lot about the concept of “privilege” over the last year or so. Put briefly, in the context to which I refer, privilege might be considered to be the concept that certain people have greater advantages in life thrust upon them for no reason than their race, gender, or other descriptors that have little to do with their ability or lack thereof. Society, it is argued, grants privilege upon men on account of their sex, upon heterosexuals on account of their sexual orientation, and upon white people on account of...

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Parking The Coach: Graham Taylor

The date is Friday, 17th June 1994. Two major events are unfolding in the United States of America and neither of them involved the England football team. The first, given English soccer players’ propensity for shenanigans once the summer break rolls around, was a blessing: A white Ford Bronco driven by A.C. Cowlings and with the fugitive O.J. Simpson in the passenger seat, drove around the Los Angeles freeways, transfixing a divided nation. The second, meanwhile, was of a rather more pressing concern for the Three Lions: In Chicago, the fifteenth FIFA World Cup Finals kicked off following a...

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