English football’s eco-system – cause for concern

THE LACK of true democracy in English football, which has long adopted a “survival of the fittest” culture, is an imbalanced class system that is surely unsustainable. Although many people in the UK look at American sport’s structure and self-protectionism with some cynicism, we may have come to a stage where the governing bodies have to look at creative alternatives to introduce more competitiveness to … Continue reading English football’s eco-system – cause for concern

Ground debate: League Two and its ancient homes

FOOTBALL is full of financial imbalances and the gap between the Premier and, for example, League Two is painfully vast. The gulf is so substantial that there is an argument for shifting the bottom two division of the English Football League to part-time status. However, the emotional pull of the game is such that this is unlikely to happen in the near future. Supporters of … Continue reading Ground debate: League Two and its ancient homes

Newport and the search for renaissance

WALES were one of the darlings of Euro 2016, and rightly so, for their performances put more celebrated nations to shame. But whether the success of Chris Coleman’s team marked the start of something significant and sustainable remains to be seen – at the moment, they are in a three-way battle in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group with the Republic of Ireland and Serbia. … Continue reading Newport and the search for renaissance

Southend – sea, sand and success

SOUTHEND used to be all about the “lights”, jellied eels, the nightlife, “kiss me quick” hats and a paddle in the freezing cold sea. From a football perspective, Southend played on Friday nights and they had one Billy Best in their line-up. The Kursaal, an amusement park, once played host to legendary rock bands like Queen, Deep Purple, Mott the Hoople and Black Sabbath. Roots … Continue reading Southend – sea, sand and success

A far cry from concrete cows

IF there’s a better football ground in League One than the MK Stadium, then I haven’t seen it. Some say it lacks atmosphere, but that’s nothing to do with the design, for it’s as good as any modern stadium and certainly comfortable. Padded seats, decent access, facilities nearby and a reasonable pricing policy – MK Dons have a good home. And contrary to some reports, … Continue reading A far cry from concrete cows

Bees, a hive, but no honey

BARNET have always struggled to shake-off the image of a non-league club playing in the Football League, but they surprised most people by returning to the league for a third stint in 2014-15. The club’s first spell in the Football League, presided over by characters like Stan Flashman and Barry Fry, lasted 10 years before they went down in 2001. They returned in 2005, but … Continue reading Bees, a hive, but no honey