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Author: Ted

1985/86 Week: The Ten Best Kits Of The 1985/86 Season

Football and cutting-edge sartorial elegance have always been uneasy bedfellows but this is not to say that there aren’t football kits that, while not realistically threatening to bridge that divide, have nevertheless managed to achieve a certain significance in their own particular field. The on-field garb of the 1985/86 English Football League season, it could be argued, represents one such era of enlightenment and discovery. The chief reason why making this argument is so persuasively tempting is that the doyen of football kit websites, Historical Football Kits, dedicates a whole section to just that. Who am I to argue?...

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Euro 2016 Qualifying: North Men, South Men, Comrades All

When I first read that Uruguay’s population was just over three million, I thought “misprint.” Someone had clearly left a “1”, at least, off the figure. How could a population which would make London seem like a ghost town could be SO consistently good at football? I thought of Uruguay when the island of Ireland, population 6.3 million, qualified two teams for Euro 2016 and three million-strong Wales qualified too. The Republic of Ireland’s achievement is arguably the least remarkable of the three; I would place Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland top. This, however, is not a fully-informed view, as...

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FIFA’s Week: The (In)Famous Five

In the week we discovered that his representatives can’t even be truthful about whether he was in hospital, Sepp Blatter will at least be happy with his list of potential successors. Fifa’s Ad-hoc Election Committee (AEC) decided that integrity was not an issue for five presidential campaigners. Alongside an Italian, who will withdraw in favour of Michel Platini if the latter’s suspension from football activities is lifted before the 26th February election, will be: A Bahraini Blatter supporter facing human rights questions; a South African Blatter supporter facing mining industry exploitation questions; a Jordanian prince (ah…the people’s game) elected...

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The Rangers Tax Case – Best Of Five?

It is not a good time to be a Ranger. Court cases, past and future, abound. The latest accounts show another multi-million pound annual loss. And the latest twist/turn in the “Rangers Tax Case” has, frankly, turned a reality of the last three years on its head. To recap quickly (and, experts may argue, simplistically), from 2001 to 2010, Rangers paid a number of their staff, mostly players, using off-shore “employee benefit trusts” (EBTs). In 2008, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) claimed that the monies were contracted earnings, liable for tax, and issued Rangers with their assessment of...

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Sixty greats of European football

So, what’s the best way to make a list of sixty of the greatest European footballers of all time? A question so fraught with complexities, subjectivity and potential pitfalls that any normal person wouldn’t even bother trying to answer it. Which, of course, is where I come in. As you might have imagined I would, I started by turning to my two most reliable standbys: total abdication of personal responsibility and lists. Two-thirds of the players that you now see before you are previous winners of the European Footballer of the Year award, also known its more poetic and original...

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