Category: Latest

Televised Football In The Regions: The Beautiful South 

With the serenity of the rolling fields of Kent, the South Downs National Park and the New Forest all sitting comfortably within its boundaries, one might expect that the history of commercial television in this part of the country to have been peaceful. However, the South of England (later South & South-East of England) franchise proved to be one of the most controversial in the entire history of the patchwork of companies that made up the ITV network. This is a region for which the identity of the local broadcaster changed twice in a little more than a decade,...

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The FIFA Trial – Week Two

American journalists following the “Fifa Trial” in New York will surely have given thanks this thanksgiving week that proceedings finished on Tuesday because it IS thanksgiving week. The dizzying array of testified bribery has shown little sign of abating, leading some observers to wonder if there’s any money left in the sports budgets of the six implicated media companies, or how cheap pay-per-view football would be in Central and South America, if tales of the almost ritual stuffing of back pockets are remotely accurate. Some of the alleged “schemes,” as the US Department of Justice (DoJ) politely calls these...

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Il Calcio Dilettantistico: The Non-League Anglo-Italian Cup

The Anglo-Italian Cup had a pretty chequered history, and for ten years it was played between non-league clubs. Here’s Mike Bayly with a brief history.  In the pantheon of defunct football competitions, the Anglo-Italian cup polarises opinion like few others. An arbitrary tournament that endured low crowds and media indifference, it also offered smaller English sides the chance to play competitive European matches and experience the novelty of a continental atmosphere. Originally instituted for professional members, the concept was at its most intriguing between 1976 and 1986 when relaunched for non-League clubs, producing a raft of improbable encounters whose...

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Televised Football In The Regions: Anglia – Punching Above Their Weight

Throughout the late 1950s to the middle of the following decade, football in England underwent a shift in its tectonic plates that went almost umremarked upon. The traditional bases of power, the industrial towns of the Midlands and the North such as Burnley and Wolverhampton, found their power starting to wane, whilst the industrialisation of professional football led to the increased growth of big city clubs from Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and London. Perhaps it was a coincidence that this occurred at the time when regular league football started to be shown in the nation’s homes. Perhaps, though, it wasn’t....

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Merthyr Town & A Matter of Trust

Life, as the popular twenty-first century vernacular would have it, comes at you fast. Over the course of the seven years since the club’s reformation following the collapse of its predecessor, Merthyr Town FC have looked like a model of steady improvement in the shark-infested waters of the non-league game, an environment in which the vast majority of clubs live a hand to mouth existence and financial insecurity is never that far away. Since joining Division One of the Western League in 2011, the club’s ascent had been solid, with three promotions lifting it to the Premier Division of...

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