Sunderland: The revealing footage that makes you wince

I WAS relatively late to the excellent series, Sunderland ‘Til I Die, largely because I am naturally cynical about carefully-scripted documentaries that supposedly tell the inside story of a club or institution. However, having watched the entire two-series offering, I not only feel I know Sunderland a little better, but the revealing content confirmed conventional […]

Football behind closed doors is inevitable, but clubs need protection

EXPERIENCE of human nature tells us that panic and knee-jerk reactions are as infectious as the Coronavirus itself, so English football may be heading for “behind closed doors” matches just like Italy’s Serie A. The same fate could await football in Germany, Spain and other countries around Italy. Whether this strategy is effective or not […]

Bury may be the first sad domino to fall

FOOTBALL in Bury now depends on the creation of a so-called “Phoenix Club” after the club was expelled from the English Football League. Bury is a relatively tiny club (average crowd 2018-19: 4,044), one that sprung-up when industrial Britain was creating the roots for the people’s game. Football enthusiasts have always known the basic keynote facts […]

Ground debate: League One – between a rock and a hard place

WITH Sunderland now in League One, attendances in the third tier of English football are enjoying a revival, with the average above 8,000 for the first time since 2009-10 when Leeds United, Norwich City and Southampton were all in the division. Sunderland’s Stadium of Light is averaging almost 30,000 this season – some 12,000 more […]

Goals are not the only fruit: Peterborough United v Swindon Town

MOST people use the number of goals in a game as a barometer of the entertainment they have witnessed. It’s a benchmark that usually works – even the most error-strewn game can seem acceptable if the nets have bulged a few times during the 90 minutes. The game between Peterborough United and Swindon had four […]

Calling in on….Chesterfield – getting bent out of shape

The symbol of Chesterfield is the crooked spire of St. Mary and All Saints Church, which can be seen from almost every vantage point in this Derbyshire town. Chesterfield FC are known, appropriately as “The Spireites”, a bit of a mouthful but needless to say, an original nickname if ever there was one. The power […]

Calling in on….Walsall, at the heart of the conurbation

“All life is here, and it ‘aint too pretty,” said the Walsall fan on the train from Birmingham New Street. “We’ve got everything…railway lines, canals, rivers, motorways and industrial units. Wonderful.” He was describing Walsall’s home since 1990, one of the first new grounds to spring up post-Taylor Report. The stadium itself is perfectly acceptable […]