Football and a new purpose: More than players, more than clubs

MARCUS RASHFORD is one of the faces of 2020, a young footballer who urged the UK government to help children with school meals at a time when low-income families were being severely challenged. Rashford has become just as relevant to 2020 as Greta Thunberg was in 2018 when she led climate change protests. His elevation […]

It’s 1960, and there’s a European Super League

THE SUBJECT of a European Super League has been mooted on a number of occasions down the decades. After world war two, football became something of an emollient, a universal language that could unite nations and put aside old differences. To some extent, the creation of pan-European bodies, industrially, culturally or socially, was a way […]

How English is your club, and is it important?

IN THIS globalised age, football clubs have strayed a little from their original roles as standard bearers for their home towns and cities. They are no longer uniquely British, they are worldwide sporting entities with fans across all continents.  With foreign ownership and players, overseas coaches and international financial backing, England’s football clubs belong to […]

The Goal Show – demonstrating the best pundits are not ex-pros

JAMES Richardson is a likeable fellow, those that remember his ground-breaking Football Italia back in the 1990s will recall how. We warmed to his blokey, knowledgable persona and his love of decent coffee.  BT Sport pulled off a coup in getting the [surprisingly] diminutive Richardson, now equipped with middle-aged beard, to host their Champions League […]

The convenience of supporting football: Why the establishment made friends with the game

WHEN football hooliganism was at its peak, culminating in the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985, the game appeared to have played into the hands of the British government. Repeated incidents during the 1970s and 1980s meant football was already considered to be a pastime for louts, an outlet for working class yobbery. The government, led […]

You don’t have to spend if you’re champions, but it helps

EARLIER in the summer, Liverpool were receiving some criticism because they had decided not to spend to reinforce their title-winning team. Jürgen Klopp made a public statement about the club not being run by an oligarch or a country and a few people got a little bent out of shape. Sceptics suggested Klopp was making […]