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.
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.
Although football in the Premiership and the Championship are ongoing, the normal season in Leagues One and Two are now complete.
There’s been some pretty dramatic action on the final day, including an end to the Doncaster – Brentford game you may be aware of, and amazingly, 7 teams battling to avoid relegation from League Two on the final day.
And Jeremy Kyle, daytime TV talk show host, was invited to give a pre-match team talk, during which he presumably revealed the results of a DNA test to one of the players, and yelled at others.
You know how sometimes you plan to do something, keep intending to go back to it in just a few hours, regret not doing it yesterday, and then intend to do that thing in just a few hours for a second day in a row? Then a third?
Yeah, I meant to link to my Lower League Fortnight column when it went live last Thursday. I make it a principle of sorts to make sure everything I write is linked to from here, so I’m catching up, even if it is out of date.
Last Thursday’s Lower League Week (written before the frantic last two days of the transfer window) covered Swindon’s new owners, Bournemouth’s impressive form, Sheffield United hitting a rough patch, Zoko being a bit daft for Notts County, Keith Hill’s return to Rochdale, and a banana.
Speaking of things I haven’t linked to, a couple of weeks ago there was a bit of a furore over the ballboy in the Swansea – Chelsea match. At BornOffside we wrote some quick reactions, myself included.
After missing the first scheduled Lower League Week of the year due to other commitments, today a Lower League Fortnight has gone up at Bornoffside.
In it, I write about lower league involvement in three different cups, Dean Saunders waiting for the moment he starts being quite good to leave his job (again) Port Vale spending money, Notts County’s chairman surfing the web, and Graham Westley was booed by his own fans on his anniversary.
Nottingham Forest Football Club, one of the bigger teams in England’s second tier and former double European Champions, have been underachieving for a long time. Bought out by rich Middle-East businessmen in the summer, they made what I’d consider to be a smart appointment, by naming Sean O’Driscoll as manager. O’Driscoll had put together successful, entertaining teams at Bournemouth and Doncaster, but this was his first job at a ‘big’ club.
This is a few days out of date now, but just putting up a really brief blog to say that my latest Lower League Week is up at Born Offside.
transfer news, Paolo di Canio declaring zero tolerance on players making mistakes, some thoughts on the impact of financial fair play, Sheffield United renaming a stand after Jessica Ennis, Chesterfield sacking their manager, and Oldham’s chairman going off on a bit of a rant.
Oh, and Scunthorpe’s manager was almost killed by a squirrel.