Posts Tagged "football"

FC United: A Better Way, Co-operatively

Posted on November 20th, 2013 in Co-ops, Football (19 comments)

FC United of Manchester cut the first sod at their new ground on Sunday. Being a bunch of antediluvian, backward looking revolutionary Marxist dinosaurs, they’ve got the footage on YouTube already: This is really, really important for three reasons. Attending  meetings around the country when I was at Supporters Direct, you’d occasionally hear people talk about reclaiming the game. In truth, we never had it. Clubs began life, like cricket and rugby clubs, as members’ associations, but the rapid growth of the game from...

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Bullshit Rodeo

Posted on August 10th, 2013 in Football (6 comments)

Posted without comment, in reference to news that Hull City AFC propose to change their name. This piece of genius and more like it can be found at David Squires’ site.

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Storify on Spanish Member-Owned Clubs

Posted on August 7th, 2013 in Co-ops, Football (2 comments)

The Independent‘s Sam Wallace has a story today about a threat against Spanish member-owned clubs from the EU, which might be taking action to force them to convert into privately-owned companies. It wouldn’t be a surprise; action via the EU by Olympique Lyonnais forced a change to a French state law preventing clubs being owned by private enterprises. That said, there was a fascinating intervention by FASFE (the Spanish equivalent of Supporters Direct) who cast into doubt many of the core facts in the article. I’ve done a...

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The Sky Sports News Presenter’s Fear of an Opinion

Posted on July 2nd, 2013 in Football, Media (13 comments)

Matthew Syed from The Times was on Sky Sports News yesterday on the occasion of 10 years of Abramovich’s ownership of Chelsea. He was asked to talk about how brilliant it all was, but he insists on talking about the politics and economics, that Chelsea was an insurance policy as part of the means by which Abramovich got himself and his money out of Russia. What really stands out is that Syed’s perfectly obvious points about the motives for people to own clubs are far from the balls spoken about normally, and the show can’t...

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The Match Announcer’s Fear of the Crowd

Posted on May 30th, 2013 in Football (5 comments)

There’s a really good piece here by Thom Gibbs in Telegraph and how the trend for overbearing music kills the atmosphere at matches. He’s absolutely spot on at the tragic element of this. I was at the Europa League Final in 2011, and Porto’s fans wanted to celebrate with their thousands of fans who’d travelled to Dublin. Fat chance. You couldn’t hear those fans, and nor could the players. My second ever football match was Lou Macari’s testimonial in 1983. I can’t recall what music was played, but I do...

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Dyke and the Blazers

Posted on March 28th, 2013 in Football (8 comments)

The appointment of Greg Dyke as new FA Chairman had me pleasantly surprised, not least given his on the record views about FA Councillors and the organisation as a whole. The Sam Wallace’s piece I link to highlights Dyke’s ambivalent role; yes, he was Chairman of a supporters’ trust-owned club, but he also was criticial to the Premier League being formed. I think the importance of his role can be overstated here; why should he – then a broadcaster – have any other concern than what he thought would be good for the...

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Not in the Wider Interests of Football

Posted on December 3rd, 2012 in Football, Published Writing

This article was first published in Yellow & Blue (incorporating Fanzines United) on 2 December 2012, a fanzine put together by fans on the occasion of AFC Wimbledon’s 2nd round match in the FA Cup against a town in Buckinghamshire which stole a league place some years earlier, to be sold at a gathering at the club’s ground, Kingsmeadow where fans from other clubs had been invited to show solidarity with them. It was such a weasel phrase in the FA commission report, that fans creating AFC Wimbledon was “not in the wider...

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The Impossible Job

Posted on October 18th, 2012 in Football (3 comments)

The FA Council voted yesterday to not make an exception to their rule on the Chairman of the FA not serving past the age of seventy (they were always likely to reject the Board’s motion to waive the rule in Bernstein’s case, having had the same executive and Board combo urge them to not waive the rule in the past for some other of the old stagers who fell foul of it). As a result, the FA will begin a search for a new Chairman, who will be their 4th in 5 years. It was interesting to see that the journalists who cover the FA politics...

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Football MAD

Posted on August 20th, 2012 in Football, Published Writing (1 comment)

I’ve just had a report published by the High Pay Centre on the impact of high pay in football. It was a great commission, and I really enjoyed putting it together. There’s a lot more that could be said on the issue, and an awful lot more than could be inferred from some of the data, but we tried as much as possible to stick with what we could justify and evidence, rather than suspect or believe. The report is available as a...

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On David Lampitt

Posted on June 2nd, 2012 in Football (19 comments)

David Lampitt’s appointment as the new Chief Executive of Supporters Direct has attracted some adverse comment, well summarised in a piece over at When Saturday Comes. David has responded to the criticism in a piece on Supporters Direct’s site. I just want to add my own thoughts, for what they’re worth, on two aspects of the criticism, and one really important reason why people who support the goals of the supporters trust movement should welcome his appointment.   People need to consider the position of CEO in a...

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The meaning of Manchester City and Chelsea’s successes

Posted on May 21st, 2012 in Football, Published Writing

I’ve just done a quick piece over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free on the portents of Chelsea and Manchester City’s successes this season. It’s not as developed an argument as I’d like given the word constraints, but I think it gets to the essential point – that sport everywhere is demonstrating that when it comes to the challenges of our age, it at best doesn’t care, but more regularly takes the side that puts it against democracy, human rights, equality and environmental...

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A funny kind of democracy

Posted on May 17th, 2012 in Co-ops, Football (1 comment)

Back in the day when I was at Supporters Direct, I set up a google RSS feed to feature any mention of ‘supporters trust’, and it brought me this article on Monday, about events down at Exeter. This post isn’t about the League Two salary cost management protocol. It’s about  what is meant by fan democracy. In the piece, current Trust board member Roger Conway is quoted saying: The Trust has made the decision to help the manager build a really good team to push for promotion out of League Two next year,” trustee...

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Away Days, MLS Style

Posted on February 21st, 2012 in Published Writing

I’ve had a piece published in The Guardian on the formation of the Independent Supporters Council for North American soccer fans, which I was privileged enough to attend the formation of in Portland last weekend. I’ll be blogging some more about what I learnt later this week. When Tom Dunmore and 300 fellow Chicago Fire fans travelled to see their team play Toronto FC in 2007, they were met with incredulity: “When we got there, the stadium security just didn’t know what to...

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Coming to America

Posted on February 3rd, 2012 in Football (1 comment)

I’ve been invited to attend the inaugural congress of the Independent Supporters Council in Portland, Oregon, next week. In my four day trip to the Pacific coast and back, I’ll also be hosted by Section 8, the Chicago Fire’s fan group, at a roundtable to talk about fan culture and fan engagement. I’ll also be meeting officials from Chicago Fire, and I’ll be looking forward to learning about their approach. One of thing that has always struck me about the European fan experience is that in most countries, football...

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The Ghost of Bob Lord

Posted on December 1st, 2011 in Football

Last night, Darren Ambrose apparently scored a screamer for Crystal Palace in their win over Manchester United in the Carling Cup. I say apparently as I only saw that on twitter, so I went hunting this morning to see it myself. I was on the Guardian’s youtube roundup, and saw that several uploads of the goal had been pulled due to a copyright claim by the Football League. Fair enough, you might think; they don’t want people going to Youtube and giving Google content they’ve not paid for when you’d want those eyeballs...

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Feature in FC Business Magazine

Posted on November 21st, 2011 in Football

There’s a feature in the latest edition of FC Business magazine (a business-to-business mag for the football world) by me and Mark Bradley from the Fan Experience Company, about how clubs can really engage with their fans.

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(War Minus the) Shooting From the Hip

Posted on November 8th, 2011 in Football

Originally published on TwoHundredPercent about the media storm over whether FIFA should permit England’s footballers to wear poppies on their shirts when England played Spain in a friendly the day before Remembrance Sunday. And so it ends. 93 years of England’s ignominious and unpatriotic failure to wear poppies on their shirts comes to a deserved end, and a nation can rest easy, safe in the knowledge that now football has fallen into line, people will actually start wearing poppies for...

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Football Cannot Deliver the Reform Needed Without Outside Assistance

Posted on July 28th, 2011 in Football, Published Writing

Originally published on The Guardian on the day the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into Football Governance was due to issue its final report. I had organised the submission of evidence from supporters’ trusts and given oral evidence to the committee some months earlier. The Culture Select Committee’s report on football will not be as eagerly awaited as its forthcoming one on phone hacking, but to football fans involved in trying to make the game more sustainable, it represents the...

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Football Club Licensing

Posted on March 28th, 2011 in Football, Published Writing

Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in March 2011. The article was published as the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into the finances and governance of English football neared the halfway point, by which time some clear themes were beginning to emerge. We’re past the halfway point in the select committee inquiry into football governance, and some clear common points are emerging from the evidence the MPs have had submitted in writing and heard...

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Time to Blacklist the Blackout

Posted on February 23rd, 2011 in Football, Published Writing (1 comment)

Written for news and analysis site Sporting Intelligence on the potential ramifications of the Karen Murphy case working its way throughout the European Court of Justice, and how the end of the 3pm rule might not be the end of the world as we know it for smart clubs. What will be the long-term impact of the Karen Murphy case be? Assuming the European Court agree with the view of the Advocate General which was announced last week, some have predicted the end of Civilisation As We Know It, whilst...

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