Sportswashing doesn’t wash with Geordies

A few years ago Palace were playing Newcastle at Selhurst and there was the customary sizeable following from the North east. The game itself, a pedestrian goalless draw, did not live long in the memory, but one particular aspect that occurred off the field did. At one stage Mike Ashley was spotted in the standsContinue reading “Sportswashing doesn’t wash with Geordies”

 The Premier League abroad – A step too far? 

Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash When John Buchan wrote his most famous book in 1915, he probably did not envisage that his indomitable hero Richard Hannay might be a precedent for the machinations of English top-flight football a century on. In “The Thirty-Nine Steps” Hannay’s enduring ability to avoid the tightest of scrapes with the forces ofContinue reading ” The Premier League abroad – A step too far? “

Queens Park Book Festival with Pat Nevin and Ricky Hill

At last weekend’s Queens Park Book Festival I had the pleasure of hosting a football panel with Pat Nevin and Ricky Hill, who both had books published earlier this year. A common theme that unites the two former internationals is that, for different reasons, both were considered as outsiders within the football world, for exampleContinue reading “Queens Park Book Festival with Pat Nevin and Ricky Hill”

Down, Down, Down – Why relegation already being decided is a pity

When Sam Allardyce finally lost his oft-quoted record of never being relegated from the Premier League there were quite a few people revelling in a spot of Schadenfreude. The memory of his grubby dethronement as England boss allied with his uncompromising and prickly persona combined to make him one of the least likeable managers. EarlierContinue reading “Down, Down, Down – Why relegation already being decided is a pity”

A tale of two owners and their under-performing managers.

While not exactly being two peas in a pod, Mike Ashley and Roman Abramovich do share a trait besides being very wealthy owners of football clubs. Both are extremely reticent when dealing with the media; curt would be a polite way of describing their attitude. And as Newcastle and Chelsea have been struggling recently, inevitablyContinue reading “A tale of two owners and their under-performing managers.”

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”

The madness of Lombardo, Goldberg and Palace: An interview with Dom Fifield

In November 1997 an aspiring journalist arrived at Selhurst Park on a work internship. No sooner had Dominic Fifield started than things changed. “Originally I was only meant to be there for a month as the editor went on a four-week trip to Australia, but I was kept on as his assistant after he returned.”AndContinue reading “The madness of Lombardo, Goldberg and Palace: An interview with Dom Fifield”