Tag: West Ham United

How Literal Will The Premier League’s Survival Sunday Be?

In an August 2009 Radio 5 Live programme on the Premier League’s financial troubles, Supporters Direct Chief Executive Dave Boyle addressed the issue of the “chasm” between Premier League and Football League finances. “Once upon a time,” he said to a gathering of football people including the then-Birmingham chairman David Gold, who wasn’t ‘sitting comfortably’, “relegation meant you’d not had a good season. Now it seems to be this existential ‘it’s the end of the club, it’s the end of the world as we know it.’” Boyle’s theory was tested to an extent by that season’s relegation of Hull City and Portsmouth. But it was difficult to gauge how much of Hull’s traumas were down to the gap between the leagues, or the gap between owner Russell Bartlett’s financial strategies and sanity. And Portsmouth, of course, was a test of a different set of theories entirely, largely connected with the wisdom of allowing convicted Russian/Israeli gun-runners to try out a Premier League club’s bank account for size. Allegedly. Some of this season’s bottom six might put Boyle’s theory to a more pertinent test. The bottom six has mostly been the three ‘Bs’ – Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool – nestling uncomfortably on top of the three ‘Ws’ – West Ham United, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers (the five ‘Ws’, if you have a certain view of the Hammers’...

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West Ham United’s Uncertain Future

As West Ham United’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed this afternoon with a match still to spare, supporters of the club may well be left wondering what the future holds for their club. After a chaotic season, punctuated by the decision to award the post-games use of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford to them, Avram Grant was reportedly sacked in the tunnel after this afternoon’s defeat at Wigan Athletic. As such, the next managerial appointment that the club makes could well turn out to be one of the most important in the entire history of West Ham United, and the question of whether Messrs Sullivan, Gold and Brady can be relied upon to make the right decision is on that is far from certain. There is little for West Ham supporters seeking solace this evening to clutch at. The club is believed to be £80m in debt, with revenues certain to decline drastically as a result of relegation from the Premier League. On top of that, a cursory glance at the top of this year’s Championship table indicates that this is a division that is easier to fall into than to get out of. None of the teams relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season could manage as much as a place in the play-offs at the end of this season and the...

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Use Hearing Protection: Six FA Cup Final Songs

Amid all the talk of the “devaluation” of the FA Cup (and it should go without saying that we should all wish an eternal curse on that rogue organisation, the Premier League, for seeking to undermine further it by scheduling a round of matches on the day of the FA Cup final – how difficult would it have been for them to play them tomorrow?), one of the traditions – of a sort – that has faded into the background in recent years has been that of the Cup Final song. This year thus far, Manchester City seem to have managed two – one recorded by a busker and the other by a happy rastafarian – whilst Stoke City have retaliated with, well, whatever this is. There doesn’t seem to be much of an official link with the clubs any more, though, which is something of a shame. After all, who amongst us hasn’t sat watching Manchester City and thought, “I wonder what Mario Balotelli’s singing voice sounds like?”, or, “I wonder if there’s anything in those rumours that Joe Hart is an accomplished banjo player?”. We will probably never find out, though, because it is now largely left to the supporters to do it for them. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to make the assumption that the players themselves may be of the opinion that this sort of thing...

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Video Special: Six Great FA Cup Finals

It may have escaped your attention, but it is the FA Cup final on Saturday. Manchester City and Stoke City will take the pitch at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, with both clubs looking for their first major trophy since the 1970s. With shameless nostalgia in the back of our minds, then, it’s time to take a look back at six terrific FA Cup finals – unless your team happened to be on the losing side, that is – from the days when Cup Final day was the crowning glory of the domestic season. So, with no further ado and no boring words to have to read between them, here are six classics from the archive. If Saturday’s match can live up to any of these matches, we will have had a very good afternoon indeed. 1953 – Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1964 – West Ham United vs Preston North End 1973 – Sunderland vs Leeds United 1979 – Arsenal vs Manchester United 1981 Replay – Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City 1987 – Coventry City vs Tottenham Hotspur Follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter...

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Match Of The Week 2: Stoke City 2-1 West Ham United

Seriousness versus frivolity. Aesthetics versus the dour practicality of not having the money to be able to spend on the very best players in the world. It has felt this season as if there is a new schism opening up in football. It now feels as if there is a type of football that is artistically, technically and, dare we say it, morally superior to all others. At the one end of the spectrum, the “tiki-taka” style played by Barcelona and Arsenal has come to be regarded by some as the artistic apex of football tactics. At the other end of it, for some people, are Stoke City. Never mind the fact that Stoke City are almost one hundred and fifty years old and have never appeared in an FA Cup final – they haven’t even reached the semi-finals of it in almost forty years. Never mind that Stoke have one major trophy – the 1972 League Cup – to show for their century and a half not out. Never mind, even, that Stoke City battled their way into the Premier League against most odds and have stayed there against even greater ones. Stoke City have become an anti-idea, a counterpoint to the sophisticates, a stick with which to beat those on limited resources for ruining their view. Much of this is on account of Rory Delap’s ICBM-esque throws...

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