Tag: Darwen

Short Stories From The Sharp End

A loss of the ability to see past the end of their noses is one of the more repugnant character traits of the modern football supporter. While the media were treating Chelsea’s absurd claims that “UEFA has got the European Cup final that it wanted” (as a commentator on here this morning pointed out, shame on the BBC in particular for peddling this particular lie on “Breakfast” this morning), clubs were in the process of dying. It brings me no great pleasure in saying this, but the more apocalyptic visions of some observers could well come to pass this summer and no-one seems to care. Here, then, is a brief summary of some of the worst-hit clubs in English football at the moment. Darlington: We wrote a little about Darlington earlier on in the season, when they became the first Football League club in England this season to go into administration. Since then, the club’s manager David Penney left for Oldham Athletic and his assistant Martin Gray has been made redundant, along with nine of the club’s backroom staff, leaving just five full-time staff at the club. A charity match played last weekend to raise funds to keep the club alive attracted a crowd of just 3,500 and raised just £25,000, and a deadline for bids to buy the club passed on Tuesday evening with no new buyer having...

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The 20 “Most Important” Football Clubs In The World

It doesn’t do any of us any harm to occasionally remind ourselves of the sheer blustering pomposity of the biggest clubs in football. Tonight’s ambassadors for “giving the fans what they want” (as ever, a thin mask for “making more money for ourselves”) are Milan, who had some very important opinions to give on the subject of a European Super League. “”I still believe a European league will be an unavoidable step, though it may take more time than expected,” said the Milan director Umberto Gandini. “Between the 50 most important continental clubs, none would give up playing in their respective countries”. Disregarding the increasingly popular opinion that perhaps the “most important” clubs should perhaps be expelled from all other competitions, packed onto a space shuttle with anyone that likes the idea of Milan playing Manchester United every week for the rest of eternity and sent to Jupiter so that they can get on with it there without inflicting it upon the rest of us, the use of the phrase “most important” which is the giveaway. The winding up of G14 and subsequent inclusion of the biggest clubs into the European Clubs Association was supposed to put an end to all of this, but it was simplistic to assume that the more atavistic tendencies of the biggest clubs would vanish merely because Michel Platini invited them for tea and...

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FA Cup Semi-Finalists Facing Winding Up Order

Their Victorian forebears must be turning in their graves. Darwen Football Club, FA Cup Semi-Finalists in 1881 and members of the Football League from 1891 until 1899, are on the point of bankruptcy this weekend. The story of how they came to be in this predicament is an almost predictably complex story of financial skulduggery and mutual internecine loathing. Equally predictable is the fact that the only people that will suffer as a result of this bickering are the clubs few supporters. Perhaps the most depressing thing about this story, however, is the amount of money concerned. Darwen Football Club, founded in 1870, who were present and correct during a time in which the entire game of football was a white hot crucible of innovation and change, may go to the wall over a bill for… £12,000. It seems difficult to believe that a club now playing in the North West Counties League could have revolutionised the game of football forever, but it happened. However, on New Years Day 1878, Darwen played a match that would change the face of football forever. The match that they played against Partick Thistle passed off without major incident, but after the match, two Partick players, Fergus Suter and James Love, wrote to them stating how impressed they had been with the town. The club strenuously denied that the two players were paid,...

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