Writing

Some (Delayed) Thoughts On The International Break

With his sight recovered after a recent operation, Mark Murphy took a look at various football goings-on across the international break. They were not all sights for his recently sore eye. Ireland We do not “live in interesting times” but barmy...

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Fitba Week: Eyes Down For The Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup

It's international break weekend, and at this time of the season it's not difficult to see why supporters with no particular dog in the international fight would be a little peeved at all of this. The new league season is barely a few weeks old, but with...

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Fitba Week: When Estonia Didn’t Turn Up

It's an experience with which many Sunday morning footballers will already be familiar. You turn up for a match, only to find that the opposition have decided, for whatever reason, not to turn up at all. It's frustrating - quite asides from anything else,...

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Fitba Week: The Ghosts of Cathkin Park

First of all, welcome to Fitba Week, here on 200%. We're giving this week over to the game north of the border, and we're kicking off today with a tour of one of the game's most unique landmarks. Cathkin Park, the former home of the extremely former Third...

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Bury FC: The Aftermath, Part I

At twenty-seven minutes past three this afternoon, a ripple of applause will be audible across matches the length and breadth of the country. It's been twenty-seven years since a Football League club last dropped out of the competition, before...

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Bolton Wanderers: Salvation & New Horizons

If anybody should ever be looking for a fresh take on the thriller-writing genre, they could do worse than look to Paul Appleton, the administrator who finally confirmed last night that the takeover of Bolton Wanderers had been completed and...

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Buried

It's over, then. After 124 years of unbroken membership, a press release late last night confirmed what had become increasingly clear throughout the day. There was no plan worthy of the name that could rescue Bury Football Club. Throughout the day there...

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English Football’s Judgement Day

It's Tuesday afternoon, and there are now a couple of hours left. For the supporters of two football clubs just six miles apart in the North-West of England, today is a day that might just come to define who they are for the rest of their...

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Bolton Wanderers: From Bad To Worse

The news, such as it was, was unlikely to come as too much of a surprise to those who have been following the disastrous states of both Bolton Wanderers and Bury for some time, but the way in which it was presented was still something of a...

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Bury: The Final Countdown?

At the exact time of writing, I'm sitting on a hard plastic chair in a ward in East Surrey hospital. Mum fell a couple of weeks ago. She broke her elbow, but they haven't been able to operate on it because she's too weak for anaesthetic, but they can't...

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900,000 Holes In Bury, Lancashire

This should be a shaming week for football in England. A country that loves the idea of its rich football heritage is set to lose at least one - and still quite possibly two - of its traditional football clubs, and nobody is doing anything about it but...

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Premier League Review: Contro-VAR-sy©®™

After an opening weekend that almost felt like a false start, Video Assistant Refereeing properly arrived in the Premier League. There was irony and there was pathos. There was jeering and there was cheering. And there remains that nagging suspicion in the...

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Bolton Wanderers: See You Next… Tuesday?

So the headlines were pretty clear. In court on Wednesday, the injunction brought by Laurence Bassini blocking the sale of Bolton Wanderers to Football Ventures was adjourned until the 2nd of September, clearing the way for the sale to finally go through....

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On Non-League Football, Peace, Quiet & Gratitude

It's five and twenty past seven in the evening when I walk through the front door. I'm on a flying visit, following a long day, but I can't walk past the top of my road without saying goodnight to my boys, even though this means that I'll be cutting it...

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Football League Review: One Game Per Division

It's a bit early in the season to be drawing too many conclusions about each division of the EFL, so this weekend here are some brief dispatches from a match in each of them. Charlton Athletic 3-1 Stoke CityTwo matches into the new season is very soon to...

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Bury FC & A Lack of Innocent Parties

The time for excuses is over. At this stage, the blame game is an irrelevance, a mere sideshow in comparison with the only job that really matters. Bury Football Club now has thirteen days to be saved, and rather than sending out barely comprehensible...

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Rangers’ Retail of Woe

Rangers could be in fundamental financial trouble. And the new trouble is perhaps the oldest trouble in the club’s history, beyond persistent over-reliance on directors/emergency loans. Sportswear retailers Sports Direct (SD), owned by...

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Football League Review: Welcome Back, The Football

After a summer during which we have, as ever, been forced to get caught up with our insolvency and company law, the sens of relief at being able to start the Football League season at all was evident. It may have been a summer break truncated by...

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The Absolute State Of Things: League Two, 2019/20

It's difficult to believe that the events of the summer at Gigg Lane and The University of Bolton Stadium haven't sent a cold chill through the entirety of League Two. If what the Bury team last season achieved last season results in the current state of...

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The Absolute State Of Things – League One, 2019/20

When we talk about inequality in football, we tend to talk in pretty broad brush strokes. The gap between the top six in the Premier League. The gap between the Premier League and the rest. The gap between the Championship and the rest. Inequality,...

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Notts County: Breaking The Cycle

So, Notts County have been saved again. It's not the first time that this has happened, of course. The club was saved by its supporters trust in 2004. It was saved by Qadbak Investments in 2009, by Peter Trembling (briefly) and then Ray Trew...

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The Summer of Discontent: Bury II – A 14 Day Reckoning

For Steve Dale, the beleaguered owner of Bury Football Club, any feeling of respite couldn't have lasted much longer than a few days. Confirmation that the Football League had accepted a CVA proposal offering 25p in the pound to non-priority creditors and...

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The Summer of Discontent, Part 5: Notts In Distress

There's some way yet to go, but after not having lost a founder member since 1896 there's every chance that the Football League could still lose two in the foreseeable future. The travails of Bolton Wanderers are a subject we've covered recently here, but...

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Summer of Discontent, Part 4: Bury – Race To The Bottom

With a week and a half to go before the start of the new EFL season, things are looking pretty grim at the foot of League One. A division which starts a week on Saturday already has two teams twelve points adrift of the rest, with Bolton Wanderers and Bury...

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The 2019 African Cup of Nations: Algeria All Over It

Despite a sensational second round, the 2019 AFCON was beyond redemption after the putrid group stages. But the knock-out rounds gave it a go. The right team won. Mark Bright provided some worthwhile punditry. And VAR…erm… sort of… worked....

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The 2019 Women’s World Cup: America, As Expected

Many apologies for the late delivery of this. As some of you may be aware, I am a de facto single parent at weekends, and whilst it was possible for me to get myself in front of a television set to watch the 2019 Women's World Cup final, freeing up the...

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The 2019 Women’s World Cup: Schrodingers Match

Oftentimes, the third-fourth place play-off match can be a surprisingly entertaining match. With the pressure largely off but a potentially large audience still likely for the match, the penultimate game of the tournament is an opportunity to...

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How To Fix VAR: A Ten Point Guide

It's been hogging the headlines for the last couple of years. The biggest star in global football at the moment isn't Neymar, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Megan Rapinoe. The biggest star in global football over the course of 2018 and 2019 has been a...

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The 2019 African Cup of Nations: Round Two

Africa’s Cup of Nations (AFCON) was getting better, until ‘un-super’ Saturday. But it was still no Women’s World Cup. No VAR yet, for a start. And that’s not necessarily as good a thing as you’d think. Mark Murphy explains. Ish…Group A: Egypt 2 Democratic...

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Africa’s Cup of Nations, Round One

Has it ever been said of an entire tournament that it has “lacked quality in the final third”? Because the 32nd African Cup of Nations (AFCON), which began in “Mo Salah’s Egypt” last Friday, is partway there.Most first-round matches were...

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