Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

WE live in extremely troubled times, a confusing era where it often feels as though the lunatics have been handed the keys to the asylum. Powerful leaders that appear to behave like Bond villains, placard-waving crowds baying for blood, the re-emergence of anti-semitism, that most symbolic of prejudices, and bull-necked extremists spouting faux-nationalism and militaristic sentiments. Although we’re more than a decade on from the … Continue reading Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

Hankering for football’s mythical “good old days”

ACROSS social media, people yearn for a return to a time they can more easily understand when it comes to football. A year ago, Emirates Stadium regulars wanted “our Arsenal back” and this season, Chelsea and Manchester United supporters are playing a similar tune. A certain age group longs for a return to “the good old days”, but sometimes, it is a misguided belief that … Continue reading Hankering for football’s mythical “good old days”

Manchester United, the religious argument

ACADEMICS somewhere in the world are probably debating right now whether football has replaced religion as a defining element of society. To some people, football is the prominent feature of their life, the opium that drags them away from the mundane. The importance of the game, to those who have little else to lift their lives, was highlighted in the press a year or so … Continue reading Manchester United, the religious argument

Embracing football’s new Industrial Age

FOOTBALL, as a business, grew out of the industrial revolution in Britain and certain parts of Europe. Hence, the early winners in the game were mostly from industrial cities and Europe’s infant conurbations. In England, the early growth was in the north and the midlands, two areas that really fuelled the development of the nation’s commercial prowess. As industrial Britain declined in the 70s and … Continue reading Embracing football’s new Industrial Age

Manchester United, the religious argument

ACADEMICS somewhere in the world are probably debating right now whether football has replaced religion as a defining element of society. To some people, football is the prominent feature of their life, the opium that drags them away from the mundane. The importance of the game, to those who have little else to lift their lives, was highlighted in the press a year or so … Continue reading Manchester United, the religious argument

Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

WE live in extremely troubled times, a confusing era where it often feels as though the lunatics have been handed the keys to the asylum. Powerful leaders that appear to behave like Bond villains, placard-waving crowds baying for blood, the re-emergence of anti-semitism, that most symbolic of prejudices, and bull-necked extremists spouting faux-nationalism and militaristic sentiments. Although we’re more than a decade on from the … Continue reading Cancel games and take the teams off – the only solution to combat racism

Commentary Box: The new hooliganism

HOPEFULLY, we are a long way from making drastic and knee-jerk decisions around the fear of pitch invasions becoming a new trend in British football. Anyone who remembers the days of fences, threats of electrification, the feeling of being penned-in like cattle and the “us and them” environment where policemen stared into the eyes of the underclass will be hoping the current spate of incursions … Continue reading Commentary Box: The new hooliganism

Hankering for those mythical “good old days”

ACROSS social media, people yearn for a return to a time they can more easily understand when it comes to football. A year ago, Emirates Stadium regulars wanted “our Arsenal back” and this season, Chelsea and Manchester United supporters are playing a similar tune. A certain age group longs for a return to “the good old days”, but sometimes, it is a misguided belief that … Continue reading Hankering for those mythical “good old days”

Commentary Box: A Passion Play

LIVERPOOL is a passionate football city, that’s what we are told. Liverpool Football Club’s fans are, arguably, the most ardent of any supporters in Britain. It is a devotion that has been built over many years, from the Shankly era, through the cultural highs of the 1960s and, in spite of the disasters of the 1980s and the city’s economic decline. But the club has … Continue reading Commentary Box: A Passion Play

English football’s “American Pie moment”

LET’S make this clear, this is not an article about judging who was guilty and who should have been punished for the events of May 1985 when 39 Juventus fans died at a dilapidated football stadium in Brussels. This is about the consequences of the Heysel Stadium disaster, what it did to English football and how it has helped shape English football today. It is … Continue reading English football’s “American Pie moment”

Football Read Review: Dissecting the football fan experience

SAVAGE ENTHUSIASM by Paul Brown is another take on the history of football fans and how they got to where they stand, or rather sit, today. People like Dr. Desmond Morris, a trailblazer in this genre, and James Walvin have contributed major works on the social relevance of the game, but Paul Brown provides an accessible – arguably the most readable – and enjoyable chronicle … Continue reading Football Read Review: Dissecting the football fan experience

Ukraine – perhaps it is the “wild east” after all….

They must pay well in Ukrainian football, because it seems to be a prime location for Brazilian and Nigerian footballers chasing the dollar. You can always tell where the money is in the game by the number of foreign players streaming into the market and right now, African and Latin American players , chaperoned by their agents, are looking at Ukraine and Russia. How much … Continue reading Ukraine – perhaps it is the “wild east” after all….