This is a late link yet again, with the final, double-sized edition of the Lower League Week going up on Bornoffside.net during the week.
Some of the bigger stories were Coventry’s stadium apparently being on fire; the playoff finals; new managers for Doncaster and Hartlepool; Wolves and Sheffield United still searching for bosses (at the time of writing); the effects and to an extent the morality of parachute payments; early summer transfers; Bury’s financial troubles, and Billy Sharp being playful. Probably.
The second last Lower League Week went up late in the week last week, so appropriately enough, the link to it is going up late as well.
This edition covers John Hughes’ sacking by Hartlepool, James Beattie’s appointment as Accrington manager, and former Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler announcing his intent to return to management… and his belief that he would also have taken them up this year.
After two years of spending heavily, Swindon have announced their intention to make massive cuts for next year. Portsmouth will probably not be able to pay a transfer fee for a few years, as a result of being required to pay ‘football debts’ in full, and there’s the potential for a Coventry buyout by Preston Haskell IV, and investment as a result.
An Oxford supporters’ group, OxVox, have helped force the club’s ground to be designated as a ‘community asset’, protecting it against owners who want to sell it for a quick profit.
Aldershot and Wycombe have had financial problems, while a Yeovil fan has been denied the chance to take a flag into the playoff final… unless he paid £1500 for eight people to help him.
On Friday BornOffside published my latest Lower League Week.
It begins with a summary of the events in the League One and Two playoff semi-finals, which were pretty dramatic.
I also covered the smaller, end of season stories.
Bury fan favourite Efe Sodje is in conflict with manager Kevin Blackwell, refusing to sign a new contract unless he leaves. Steve Fletcher has finally retired at the age of 40, not because decades of centre-forwarding have taken their toll on his body, but simply because he’s pretty far down the pecking order now.
Coventry were locked out of their stadium again after continuing to refuse to pay the rent (what are they like!) and Martin Ling, who’d been on sick leave, has been replaced as Torquay manager by Alan Knill.
Having narrowly survived relegation, Dagenham caretaker manager Wayne Burnett has been appointed as permanent manager, while Brian Flynn has decided against continuing as Doncaster boss despite their last minute title win.
And Luke McCormick has returned to Plymouth, the club that terminated his contract after he was convicted of causing the death of two young boys. Yeah, it’s not all sweetness and light.
It’s a bit late in the week, but I’ve covered the events in Leagues One and Two.
Barnet have played their last game at Underhill, home of the famous sloping pitch; Portsmouth have been deducted points this season rather than next, despite already being relegated; Scunthorpe are all but relegated, for the second time in three years; Coventry City FC are – I’m sorry if I don’t seem to be taking it seriously, just laughably villainous.
I’ve also written about the teams still with something to play for on the last round of league matches this weekend.
I do have a bad habit of neglecting this blog from time to time…
During the week, the latest Lower League Week was published at Bornoffside.net.
Portsmouth were taken over by their fans, but, along with Bury and Hartlepool, were relegated from League One with two games to play. Yeovil vs Oldham saw father and son managers on the touchline; Torquay’s new chairman is a lottery winner, and the country’s highest positioned female chairman; Danny Wilson was sacked by Sheffield United; and Coventry have outdone themselves in their battle over the Ricoh Arena.
After missing last week, I’ve written a Lower League Fortnight, which has just gone live today.
Typically, there’s been some biggish stories breaking while the column was being checked over by the editor, but there’s still been a fair bit going on.
It was decided pretty quickly that Coventry were talking out of their backsides when trying to avoid a points deduction by claiming it’s only an arm of the club that’s gone into adiministration.
Walsall, Port Vale, and Portsmouth have all been in good form; Notts County and Stevenage have appointed new managers that the fans will be familiar with; the Football League Trophy final has been played, with a pro singing the anthems and everything; and Crawley Town decided to stop their local reporter interviewing their manager and players, because they didn’t like the headlines above a few of her articles.
Yesterday, this week’s Lower League Week went up at Bornoffside.net.
Coventry, after refusing to pay the rent on their stadium for almost a year, have finally ended up facing consequences for their rudeness. (Though they’ve objected to their punishment on a legal technicality.)
Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has responded to West Ham moving into the nearby Olympic Stadium and threatening his ‘community club’ by thinking about moving the club outside of the community.
Southend and Stevenage have both changed their manager, while Northampton and Burton are on very long winning streaks at home.
And the organisers of the Football League Trophy have apparently decided that the trophy was too well respected, and responded by inviting Soccer AM hosts Helen Chamberlain and Max Rushden to sing the national anthem. Yeah, that should fix that problem.