Tag: Histon

ITV’s FA Cup Disgrace

It’s Wednesday night, and a taut Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool is deadlocked at 0-0. With three minutes to play in extra time and the possibility of the first ever competitive penalty shoot-out between the teams looming large, ITV suddenly and inexplicably cuts to an advert break. Down here on the south coast, the advert break merrily plays a BT Broadband the tagline of which is “There’s nothing worse than losing your connection”, before cutting suddenly back to… Everton players celebrating the only goal of the match. At full time, the screen cuts to the familiar ITV1 ident, which sits on the screen, ominously silently, for a couple of minutes, before cutting to a surprisingly low resolution VT clock. A minute or so later they’re back, and Steve Ryder is offering his apologies to those of us that missed the goal. Who, then, is to blame for what can only rationally be described as a monumental balls up? The answer, as so often seems to be the case with these things, seems to be “the system”. It is too soon to say what exactly happened, but it is not too early to make an educated guess. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the bits between the programmes on the television these days are largely automated. In the trade, it’s known as “broadcast and transmission operations”, and ITV1 awarded a six year contract...

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Match Of The Week: FA Cup Second Round – Histon 1-0 Leeds United

Three times they have been the champions of England. FA Cup winners thirty-six years ago. Leeds United’s mere presence in the early rounds of the FA Cup is a powerful symbol of how far from grace they have fallen in recent times. In contrast, ten years ago Histon were a village club playing in the Eastern Counties League. Their rise towards the top of the Blue Square Premier hasn’t been without concerns over their long-term sustainability, but FA Cup days aren’t for worrying about reality. This afternoon, on a pitch that was almost completely unplayable, Histon more than matched a Leeds United team that doesn’t, on current form, look terribly likely to make a serious challenge for promotion this season. ITV’s coverage of the match focussed, perhaps predictability, upon the fairytale element to Histon’s story, but this season has been seen more than its fair share of controversy for the club. Rumours started to circulate concerning the club’s financial stability after goalkeeping coach Lance Key was made redundant, and crowds have fallen as the economic circumstances have deteriorated. There was talk that they would have to enter into administration which were quashed by the club itself, but still the suspicion remains that pushing for a place in the Football League with a part-time squad may come at a cost that is simply too high to be worth it. Last...

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Rumour, Counter Rumour & Market Confidence

Another week, and another batch of rumours concerning the financial well-being of clubs in the Blue Square Premier. Fortunately, at least some of the rumours flowing around over the last seven days or so appear not to have too much meat on them, though they do help to perpetuate the understanding (which comes close to being a myth) that non-league football is in a perpetual state of crisis. First, though, we’ll quickly bring you briefly up to date on the clubs that we looked at here last week. On the financial front, it has been all quiet on the Oxford United front from a financial perspective, but things have gone from bad to worse on the pitch. They lost 2-1 at Lewes on Saturday, a first win for the part-time club that had looked like getting hopelessly marooned at the bottom of the table. Oxford remain in nineteenth place in the BSP, one point above the relegation places. Meanwhile, over at Grays, owner Mick Woodward has u-turned on his decision to stop funding the club, and they have played three matches since then, beating Wrexham before returning to type with defeats against Stevenage Borough and Cambridge United. It would appear that, for now, the club’s short term future has been secured (they have taken on a new manager, Wayne Burnett, from Fisher Athletic, along with two of his players),...

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