Fan engagement – now is time to act

This week’s publication of the 2019/20 Fan Engagement Index was understandably delayed because of the Covid pandemic, but ultimately it could hardly have been better timed. In light of the protests at Old Trafford last Sunday against the owners and the universal condemnation and subsequent implosion of the European Super League [see https://bit.ly/3gziruc%5D, the thornyContinue reading “Fan engagement – now is time to act”

Decline and Fall of The Super League

The dust barely had time to form let alone to settle when the whole edifice came tumbling down. As fans gathered outside Stamford Bridge to express their opposition to the formation of the Super League there were already cracks appearing within the dozen clubs. The protests had been gathering ever since the news broke onContinue reading “Decline and Fall of The Super League”

Own Goals Part Two – Double Trouble

When the ball cannoned off Craig Dawson past Lukasz Fabianski during West Ham’s helter-skelter draw with Arsenal last weekend it was the centre back’s second own goal in consecutive matches. It was also the second that West Ham conceded in this game as Tomas Soucek had inadvertently deflected Alexandre Lacazette’s shot into his own netContinue reading “Own Goals Part Two – Double Trouble”

London Calling: Palace’s curious derby habit

Most fans have a sneaking suspicion that fate conspires against their club now and again. In extreme circumstances this feeling develops into rapidly escalating levels of paranoia reaching a consensus that firstly, the whole world is against you and secondly and more worryingly that there is very little that can be done about it. ForContinue reading “London Calling: Palace’s curious derby habit”

Own Goals Part One – Keepers’ Clangers

They are football’s equivalent of tragicomedies. Own goals litter the football landscape with an intoxicating mixture of laughter and tears. Over the next few weeks here on The Football Mine I will be publishing an occasional series of pieces that focus on these captivating slices of football history, those little vignettes that can define aContinue reading “Own Goals Part One – Keepers’ Clangers”

Half-term report: No fans, plenty of pens and tightest of title races

At this stage last season Liverpool were already thirteen points ahead of their nearest rivals, Leicester City. While the second half of the season was not exactly a walk in the (Stanley) park, there was the sense of an orderly procession towards their first league championship for thirty years and that elusive Premier League title.Continue reading “Half-term report: No fans, plenty of pens and tightest of title races”

Brentford’s wartime Final: a missing player, Wembley success and a missing trophy

As soon as Brentford had despatched Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final talk centred around the club’s first-ever appearance in a major semi-final in their 131-year history. The Bees’ trophy cabinet is not exactly bursting at the seams but even though this will be their debut in the last four of the two mainContinue reading “Brentford’s wartime Final: a missing player, Wembley success and a missing trophy”

Is Allardyce’s return a step towards normality?

There is something faintly reassuring about Sam Allardyce being appointed to rescue a club that looks destined for the drop. It has happened a few times before and no doubt will happen again. In this season of all seasons perhaps this is what we all need, some familiarity, a return to what we perceive ofContinue reading “Is Allardyce’s return a step towards normality?”

Kenny Sansom’s fight against his demons and dementia

Kenny Sansom was one of my first football heroes. He made his debut as a 16-year-old and was described by club historian Reverend Nigel Sands as “the first tangible product of the youth policy instituted by Malcolm Allison…and was unquestionably Palace’s best ever left-back.” He was an integral member of that enticing, exciting “Team ofContinue reading “Kenny Sansom’s fight against his demons and dementia”