FootballOpinion

Legacy Issues – How Hartlepool United Made it to the Brink

News emerging over recent weeks have revealed that Hartlepool United have some major financial issues to overcome in the next few weeks. Ian King of TwoHundredPercent.net has a good summary of Hartlepool United’s situation. As a fan I’ve a few more things to add.

First of all, a bit of recent history. Going back years Pools were owned by IOR, an Aberdeen-based oil company who subsidised the club’s finances. The spending was never anywhere near as much as al Fayed at Fulham or Whelan at Wigan, who were in the lower leagues around the same time, but enough to help compete with Cardiff, Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City etc.

IOR’s motives seemed to use Pools as corporate entertainment (showcasing their business skill in the process) and as a tax write-off (Pools made losses of around £1m a season under their leadership despite going up and down divisions, which seems too steady to be coincedental.) The impression grew over time that IOR had gotten bored of Pools, and were happy for us to tread water. There was disaffection with them long before they sold the club.

A deal was initially struck for the club to be sold to Stephen Murrall and Peter Harris (known as The Monkey Hangers 2014 – a business set up for the purpose of buying the club). Gate money was transferred into their accounts during the transitional period before the formal takeover, which led to the deal collapsing. In financial terms this is classed as ‘self-dealing’, and was one of the reasons that they were later jailed.

Continue reading “Legacy Issues – How Hartlepool United Made it to the Brink”

FootballOpinion

Two Games in – A Perfect Time to Announce Some Predictions

This went up a little later than it should have, but yesterday BornOffside published predictions made for the Football League and Conference by myself and two others – Lucy Waldon and Dan Rawley.

Obviously, predictions should be made before the event begins, as the word, broken down, should make clear: pre- meaning previous to, and -diction meaning… to pronounce correctly. Actually, that just about makes sense.

This picture of a hamster, however, makes no sense.
This picture of a hamster, however, makes no sense.

Though it’s been published after two Football League games and one Conference game, all predictions were made before the Football League started.

Click here to read Football League & Conference Predictions

FootballOpinion

Bias In Wales

In English football, there are a number of Welsh teams competing within the English football leagues. This came about essentially because there aren’t enough professional teams for a fully professional Welsh league to be sustainable. So, for a century, Welsh and English teams have intermingled.

There is a strange detail to this – though they compete in the English leagues, when their players are disciplined, the Welsh teams are punished by the Football Association of Wales, rather than the English FA.

Recently, this has led to a conflict of interests, with a Wrexham player having a ban rescinded, allowing him to compete in the Conference playoff semi-finals.

This is what Wales looks like from space... if you squint really hard.
This is what Wales looks like from space… if you squint really hard.

I’ve written about this for BornOffside.

Click here to read Time to End Welsh Independence

Comedy, FootballOpinion, Recaps

Hey – I forgot I had this blog!

Nine days without posting – if I don’t write more often, I’ll never clog up people’s inboxes.

Right. After spending a few days away, I missed a week of lower league column for Born Offside, and compensated with Born Offside’s first ever Lower League Fortnight.

Knowing my issues with reliability and consistency, I’m sure it won’t be the last time that happens.
This issue covered transfer movements, changes in management, Bournemouth paying a huge £800,000 transfer fee…it’s crazy, a tell thee.

I’m so happy to have signed for Bournemouth. Yayyyyyyy.

This past week, Fabio Capello, the Italian manager of the England national football team, walked out. It was the culmination of a long series of irritating events – the media attacked Capello for not walking on water, Wayne Rooney did something stupid and Capello didn’t stop him from doing it so is therefore dangerously incompetent, John Terry may or may not have said something potentially hugely offensive and faces a trial for it, Capello wanted to stick by him, his bosses didn’t, Capello told Italian television he wanted Terry to remain as captain.

Continue reading “Hey – I forgot I had this blog!”

FootballOpinion

Born Offside – Lower League Week

Just a brief post to tell everyone reading this (and statistically, that means you’re probably a random googler who was searching for a picture of a mountain or jawless zombie) that my latest column for BornOffside is now up.

In it you’ll be able to read about Les Parry at Tranmere, Paolo di Canio’s actions at Swindon, and Giles Coke making a bad impression at Bury, which is pretty much  the same thing, right?

Go on, you know you want to.

FootballOpinion

The Third Week Since Last Friday

My new column is now up on Born Offside.
Once again I offer a brief summary of the events in the lower leagues of English football, the big events this week and in recent weeks.

Yep, still what the  cool kids are talking about

Anyone foolish enough to have wasted their time reading the first two columns (and it’s foolish to wsate time reading anything I write) will notice I’ve given each column a name.
A name should be something that in some way summarises or explains what’s within.
Being an observant sort, I noticed, after completing the column, that a majority of the subjects are, in one way or another, are moving up.
Some are players moving to bigger clubs, one is a club moving up the leagues, and so on.

It’s called creating a theme, and I am truly a master at it.

Click here to read my latest column

FootballOpinion

Two Weeks in a Day

Being an indisciplined and irregular writer has many interesting consequences, for the writer, employer, and reader. For instance, there’s the curiosity as to whether a planned feature will appear, wonder over how long a character will remain on a cliffhanger, and the legal mystery of what happens to expenses if that lazy so and so doesn’t finish off the work for once, grrr.

You can just tell he’s disappointed with me

One of the positive consequences for the reader is that, at times, several features appear all at once.
Yesterday (okay, technically this morning you damn pedants) I mentioned I’ve started writing for Born Offside.

Well, you lucky lucky people, the second edition is now online.

Try not to get too excited.

The hope is that, when the feature gets settled in, it’ll start appearing early in the week, so you may even be able to read a third edition within a few days.

You can read the second edition, Glory of the Cup, here.