Tag: Tranmere Rovers

Tranmere Rovers & Cheltenham Town Stare Into The Abyss

The lights went out over Prenton Park and Whaddon Road last weekend. After ninety-four and sixteen years respectively, Tranmere Rovers and Cheltenham Town fell through the trapdoor at the bottom of the Football League on Saturday, and both will start next season, quite possibly still a little chastened from the whole experience, in the Football Conference, or, as it will be known after a summer’s worth of rebranding, the National League. The Football League Show will cease to be much of a relevance on Saturday evenings. The League Cup and The Johnstones Paint Trophy will be replaced by the...

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Tales From The Sharp End: Cardiff City, Tranmere And Plymouth Argyle

I’ve been off-line for most of the last month – my PC is older than my jokes and I can’t afford a replacement on this money. And I was hopeful that, beyond Plymouth, there wouldn’t be much football financial mess to cover. Some hope. There was good news. The fact that West Ham’s losses were only £20.6m seems to be the starting pistol for a good ol’ Cockney knees-up, especially as they’ve been allowed to ride roughshod over Premier League rules to grab their tenancy of the Olympic Stadium. Wolves look like they’re having a ball, with nearly two years of Premier League survival behind them. But it remains to be seen how either club will cope if relegation beckons. And for every Wolves, there’s at least one club available to remind us that football, mostly, remains in a financial mess. Blimey, even Arsenal lost money between June and November. Take Plymouth, for instance. Administration has seemed pretty inevitable since England’s 2018 World Cup bid went east. The cynics have said, and I have agreed with pace and vigour, that the full horror of the Pilgrims’ situation manifested itself when they ‘had to’ call in Peter Ridsdale for help. But a disturbing number of Argyle fans (‘any’ Argyle fans is a disturbing number in this context) have given Ridsdale credit for what he has done for Plymouth, unpaid, unofficially,...

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Brian Little – Slow Decline Or Varied Career?

If you watch a match this afternoon, take a moment if possible to look into the eyes of your manager. If your team is winning you may think that you see happiness, but it’s not. It’s relief and respite. If your team is losing or drawing you may just get to see a haunted soul. Ironically, given that it is statistically likely that most managers will lose as many games as they win, the life of the football manager is one of surviving from one match to the next. In the most extreme circumstances, one match can lose a manager his job and, in select cases, destroy his reputation. Managers in the Premier League are the top of their game. At the prime of their game, and it’s a long way down. Even some of the most established Premier League managers will be more than aware that their reputations will only last for as along as their teams can keep their heads above water. It is an insecure profession and, since all managers have been players at some point, they know it. It is, therefore, likely that some older managers may have shivered yesterday when a minor announcement appeared, almost as a footnote at the bottom the sports news. Gainsborough Trinity, of the Blue Square North, have hired Brian Little as their manager. Little’s managerial career has become a...

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Tranmere Rovers: The Pitfalls Of Attracting Investment

It has been a curious summer for the “club across the water”. Tranmere Rovers, just over the River Mersey from Liverpool and Everton, ended last season having just missed out on a play-off place in League One after dropping two points at home to Scunthorpe United on the final day season. They sacked manager Ronnie Moore at the start of June and replaced him with John Barnes, and one might have expected them to have had a quiet summer working on how they could improve on their league position this time around. Their plans, however, have been disrupted this week by the news that they have been put up for sale… on Ebay. The sorry seems to stem from owner Peter Johnson’s attempts to attract investment in the club. He engaged the services of an American company called Dornoch Capital, but Dornoch seem to have misunderstood what exactly was expected of them and put the club up for sale on the auction website with a starting price at $10m. The advertisement itself does make for intriguing reading. It makes a point of noting that the Tranmere has “zero indebtedness in a period when English Football is in the process of de-gearing/de-leveraging”, which is a pretty damning (yet hardly unfair) description of the current state of English football, and lists the ability to “upgrade the fan experience in food/beverage” as...

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