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  #2521  
Old 25-04-2021, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Martin H View Post
I don’t doubt that it will be strongly opposed (I didn’t say that either). I just doubt that it is finished. Not the announced ESL specifically but rather the hoovering up of control and cash that the ESL represents. Put it another way, does anyone think that those same club owners will just say, just kidding, it’s not important, carry on as you were?

Actually just read that Parish expects those same clubs to look to pressure the various bodies to give them super League II so he obviously doesn’t think it’s all sorted either. It’s classic Trump, threaten/walk, negotiate and grab, and repeat, and repeat.
These clubs have lost massive leverage over this by the response that they can’t just walk away as a threat over demand, also more importantly they have woken a collective spirit among supporters that want justice over this this incident which has been escaped due the weak response of the PL and UEFA, had there been some punishment, maybe more people would have moved on. This was a huge PR disaster for these clubs, they will think long and hard about their next move, so to suggest it played into a future negotiation technique is incorrect in my mind. I say all these as your post seem to have the slant that these clubs havent been damaged by this and is in-fact some powerplay (Trump reference) , Im seeing the opposite. Sure they will still want more for themselves but I think it has got harder for them.
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Last edited by MFBias; 25-04-2021 at 07:09 AM.
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  #2522  
Old 25-04-2021, 08:15 AM
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Anyone else still feel sick about all this? Was looking forward to this League Cup final this afternoon, thought it could be quite intriguing but after last Sunday’s revelations, I can’t even listen to team news about any of those clubs. Got the radio on and hearing hosts talk about their games like nothing has happened and it just feels wrong. Maybe I’m being over sensitive about it but despite all the obvious wrongs that existed prior to last Sunday, that just felt like a step over the line for me.
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  #2523  
Old 25-04-2021, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
I wonder if they’ve explored the possibility of running this as a summer tournament in the same mould as the World Cup or Euros?

32-36 qualifiers in various groups with games daily throughout the summer. Do away with the Mickey Mouse cup (League cup) and ‘maybe’ even reduce top leagues to 18 teams.

Maybe even make it a world tournament. I think I’d engage with it more if it was an intensive tournament like this. Fans could ‘book time off’ to follow it more easily.
Make it franchises, let them draft new teams, play 7 a side.

Every 2 years in between the WC/Euros, even if it means shifting AFCON/Copa etc.

New merchandise, teams across the world. Let them “earn” more money with no effect on the regular teams and competitive advantage.

Commercial-wise, they’d make a fortune by doing a draft over a few nights.
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  #2524  
Old 25-04-2021, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by pauldrulez View Post
Make it franchises, let them draft new teams, play 7 a side.

Every 2 years in between the WC/Euros, even if it means shifting AFCON/Copa etc.

New merchandise, teams across the world. Let them “earn” more money with no effect on the regular teams and competitive advantage.

Commercial-wise, they’d make a fortune by doing a draft over a few nights.
Actually, they could do something as ghastly as the Cricket 100. Have a Manchester joint team, Liverpool, London, Glasgow etc. Then we could safely turn off the television for the summer in the full knowledge that we wouldn’t miss anything worthwhile.
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  #2525  
Old 25-04-2021, 09:22 AM
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Like many others I have been mulling this over during quiet moments in the past week or so.

My very earliest football memory was the 1978 FA Cup Final, Ipswich vs Arsenal. It was a couple of weeks before my sixth birthday. My dad introduced me to the cup final ritual, watching the build up, Tizer, some crisps and peanuts as a special treat. Then the game itself, like all cup finals seemed to be back then Wembley was bathed in hot sunshine and the sweat-drenched blue and yellow kits left an indelible impression. Ipswich’s victory in that final marked the start of a golden era for them as they regularly challenged right at the top of the table. The title eluded them but they came agonisingly close in 1981, pipped by Aston Villa on the final day.

A year after that Ipswich win I watched Nottingham Forest win the first of their two successive European Cups. Then in 1980 second division West Ham won the FA Cup on another gloriously sunny day. As we moved into the 1980s Watford came all the way up through the divisions to finish second in the top flight at the first time of asking. Swansea had done something similar a year or two previously, looking like genuine title challengers during the first half of their debut season before fading a little to finish sixth. The likes of Southampton, West Brom and Norwich also enjoyed strong seasons, it was not unusual for a team like that to finish high up.

Everyone feared Liverpool in the 1980s, they had objectively proven themselves to be the strongest team in Europe, possibly the world, over a sustained period. But they had done so on merit, with the best recruitment, the best tactics and the best coaching. No-one could replicate their success but it wasn’t down to money, they weren’t outspending everyone else. At around the same time as serial under-achievers Manchester United were splurging £1m on mega-flop Garry Birtles, Liverpool invested £300k in some kid called Ian Rush from Chester who few people had heard of. But most decent sized clubs could spend big every now and again – when Palace got promoted in 1979 we splashed out £650k on our own flop Mike Flanagan, a fee which wasn’t that far off the £1m British record which Forest had paid for Trevor Francis the previous season.

For all the big teams bar Liverpool, a poor season in the league wasn’t finishing fifth, it was finishing fifteenth or lower. But if they won a cup then the fans were generally OK with that – winning silverware was valued more highly than pursuing a fourth place finish. The likes of Manchester United and Spurs used to finish in the bottom half of the table reasonably regularly. Chelsea and Manchester City of course both spent plenty of time outside the top flight altogether. Even as we moved into the premier league era Arsenal endured several seasons of mid-table mediocrity until Arsene Wenger arrived and changed everything.

There was a reason for this. Although sponsorship was starting to come into the game, TV money was largely an irrelevance since so few matches were shown live and the vast majority of clubs’ income came from gate receipts. The founding fathers of the league had decreed, as people started to attend en masse, that gate receipts should be shared between the home and away sides, an egalitarian method which ensured spreading of the income. If you were a club like Manchester United who enjoyed large crowds most weeks then over the course of the season your income would be higher, but not by huge amounts as a chunk of that money would go across to every away side which rolled into town. This recognised that, whether the game was a thriller, a dull 0-0 or a crushing home win, it involved two teams who were equally responsible for the spectacle people were paying to see.

Another crucial rule which the Victorians had put in place was that no owner of a football club should extract money from it, by way of a salary or dividends. Originally this encouraged people to get involved in running a club on altruistic grounds, recognising the crucial role these entities played in acting as a community anchor. Being associated with a successful club might have some spin-off benefit if you ran the local meat pie factory or whatever, but you gave up your time voluntarily. Over the years the boundaries became a little blurred and owners found ways around the system, most obviously by creaming off a portion of the cash gate receipts and then under-reporting the attendance figures to keep the accountants and the taxman happy. Ron Noades of course was well known for this, the most obvious example I recall being the 1989 play-off game against Swindon when a laughably low crowd of just over 20,000 was recorded. But this was really only playing at the edges, the footballing equivalent of fiddling the electric meter or bumping up an insurance claim.

Noades was one of a new breed of owners and chairmen coming into football in the 1980s, along with the likes of Ken Bates at Chelsea, Irving Scholar at Spurs and the odious sex offender Martin Edwards at Manchester United, who only got a foot in the door to start with because his dad had previously owned the club – nepotism at it’s finest. These people were more brash, more commercial, and they could see the financial opportunities that football was starting to offer. Edwards in particular was at the vanguard of seeking change to his own and his club’s personal advantage, his infamous statement ‘the smaller clubs are bleeding the game dry and they need to be put out of their misery’ preceding a decision by the FA that going forward, there would no longer be any sharing of gate receipts between the home and away teams.

An immediate advantage for the bigger clubs, but what about these people who ran them? They were still stymied by the rule about directors not drawing any income out of the club, a measure which had stood the test of time for 100 or so years. Irving Scholar and his advisors found the answer. They created a holding company with the original football club as a subsidiary, then transferred ownership of the ground into the holding company. The parent company could then charge the club rent to play at the stadium they previously owned, and this company was not bound by the same rules as it wasn’t a football club, just a standard commercial enterprise. As such the directors of the parent (in practice the same people as the directors of the club) could then extract as much money as they were able to via the rent being charged to the club.

Others including Ron Noades at Palace soon caught on to this ruse and followed suit. Now some on these board have over the years vehemently defended Noades’ actions as some sort of paternalistic attempt to safeguard the future of Selhurst Park should the club fall into the hands of a rapacious owner with designs on building houses on it. This is total nonsense, he did it as a means of making money out of the club, pure and simple. Noades’ defenders would surely gain more respect if they recognised this point and argued that the rules were arcane, that people like Noades did deserve some sort of financial recompense for the hard work they were putting in to keep the club on a even keel. The model would reach its nadir at Notts County, where the owner discovered that due to certain clauses in the title of the land that Meadow Lane was built on, he was not able to transfer the whole ground to a separate company. So instead he simply transferred the main stand including the executive boxes. The club charged the holding company a peppercorn rent for this privilege, who then charged an extortionate rent back to the club for use of the facilities on match days.

So as we moved into the premier league era things were already shifting in favour of the largest teams and the most commercial (some might say greedy) owners. The notion of football clubs being community assets was starting to erode. Easy to forget now but the premier league momentum was relatively slow to build in the first decade. Although Manchester United emerged as the new Liverpool, the jostling for position below them was still relatively open. Blackburn (admittedly bankrolled by a wealthy benefactor) had a few years in the sun. Newcastle challenged hard in the mid-90s. Norwich, Villa and Leeds also put in credible title challenges. It’s really only as we’ve moved into the 21st century and the TV money has exploded that the gap between the haves and have nots has widened and been exploited. This includes dubious foreign ownership, mega-salaries for players and of course agents leeching money out of the game.

As the Plimsoll guy has already said on this thread, as fans we have broadly been complicit with this. Liverpool fans celebrated like hell when Hicks and Gillett took control of the club. When that went sour they celebrated like hell when FSG stepped in. Now that has also gone bad for them. Newcastle fans are generally outraged that they cannot be taken over by the state of Saudi Arabia. Manchester City fans are sanguine about the fact that their success is bankrolled by a similarly oppressive gulf state regime. Corruption within football is tolerated and accepted. Tony Pulis is still pictured as a respected figure within the game and gets regular media work, he swindled £2m from his employers. Many Palace fans would be fine with Sam Allardyce returning to manage the club, his dealings with a favoured agent were laid bare in court from his time at Bolton and we have similar evidence from Ravel Morrison and Kevin Kilbane that people seem happy to overlook. Blatantly corrupt transfer transactions such as Bebe to Manchester United and Fabio Silva to Wolves go unchecked. Generally speaking, people don’t seem to mind too much as long as the product remains entertaining. The rise of social media has developed an array of new income streams for people, football has become a 24/7 phenomenon where peripheral content is almost as important as the games themselves.

And tinkering with the format has become the norm. It started with Manchester United, as defending champions, not bothering to enter the 2000 FA Cup - the thin end of the wedge. Limitless replays were first restricted to just one before a penalty shoot-out, now there are no replays at all. Playing reserve teams in the earlier rounds of both domestic clubs is regarded as sensible by the bigger clubs. As a result attendances for these games have fallen through the floor and the magic of the cup has died. The preservation of cup final Saturday as a sacred occasion to bring the curtain down on the domestic season had gone, these days we have league games on the same day.

The Champions League of course sits at the pinnacle of this. The only people who really had a problem with the old European Cup were the big clubs who faced jeopardy from round 1. Straight knockout over two legs and a random draw, it was the essence of cup competition. I just about remember the Liverpool vs Forest first round tie in (I think) 1979, it was a massive event in this country. The old format gave the best teams from all over Europe the chance to progress, success wasn’t directly driven by money. Steaua Bucharest pleasingly beat Terry Venables’ Barcelona in the 1986 final; in 1991 a dynamic and enthralling Red Star Belgrade team went all the way (admittedly then stinking the place out in the final against Marseille). Compare that to this season’s semi-finalists – Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and PSG. Gripping stuff, where do I sign up?

So the proposed ESL, whilst quite rightly provoking outrage amongst right-minded football fans, will have come as no surprise to most of us. It will come back again before too long, and for all this talk of a root and branch review of football governance I fear the game has gone too far down the rabbit hole now. How can you get rid of a megalomaniac billionaire who is taking your club in the wrong direction? The only feasible option is probably to find another billionaire who you hope won’t turn out to be a megalomaniac. But there tends to be a good reason why these people become billionaires.

The money that’s come into the game has brought about loads of positives. But has it improved things overall? I’m not so sure. As mentioned over on the ‘Big Match revisited’ thread, I’ve been dipping in to those old programmes and it does take me back to that time when it seemed like we were all in it together. There was an honesty about football then which we simply do not have now. I will not be watching the Champions League semi-finals, it simply doesn’t interest me. I find the Championship more fun to keep tabs on, it’s like the first division of old with just about anyone capable of mounting a promotion challenge if they get off to a decent start. For that reason I wouldn't be too bothered if we did go down, I'm not all that interested in these arguments about sustainable infrastructure and whatnot. For me that is not what football is about. The ups and downs are what have enthralled me since the late 70s, another decade of lower mid-table finishes and early cup exits doesn't really hold the same appeal.

Maybe it does need a worst case scenario reset like the ESL to get back to something like it used to be – as long as that means a completely clean break from the brands who want to rake in more money and launder it via their super-agents. I don’t know what the answer is but I am reaching the point now where I do not really care about football anymore, I just don’t recognise it as the same sport I fell in love with.
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  #2526  
Old 25-04-2021, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Nth Kent Eagle View Post
Actually, they could do something as ghastly as the Cricket 100. Have a Manchester joint team, Liverpool, London, Glasgow etc. Then we could safely turn off the television for the summer in the full knowledge that we wouldn’t miss anything worthwhile.
Good point that. It's such a shite idea that it's amazing they haven't thought of applying it to football yet. The bit about changing the actual laws of the sport is truly special.
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  #2527  
Old 25-04-2021, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bipe View Post
Like many others I have been mulling this over during quiet moments in the past week or so.

My very earliest football memory was the 1978 FA Cup Final, Ipswich vs Arsenal. It was a couple of weeks before my sixth birthday. My dad introduced me to the cup final ritual, watching the build up, Tizer, some crisps and peanuts as a special treat. Then the game itself, like all cup finals seemed to be back then Wembley was bathed in hot sunshine and the sweat-drenched blue and yellow kits left an indelible impression. Ipswich’s victory in that final marked the start of a golden era for them as they regularly challenged right at the top of the table. The title eluded them but they came agonisingly close in 1981, pipped by Aston Villa on the final day.

A year after that Ipswich win I watched Nottingham Forest win the first of their two successive European Cups. Then in 1980 second division West Ham won the FA Cup on another gloriously sunny day. As we moved into the 1980s Watford came all the way up through the divisions to finish second in the top flight at the first time of asking. Swansea had done something similar a year or two previously, looking like genuine title challengers during the first half of their debut season before fading a little to finish sixth. The likes of Southampton, West Brom and Norwich also enjoyed strong seasons, it was not unusual for a team like that to finish high up.

Everyone feared Liverpool in the 1980s, they had objectively proven themselves to be the strongest team in Europe, possibly the world, over a sustained period. But they had done so on merit, with the best recruitment, the best tactics and the best coaching. No-one could replicate their success but it wasn’t down to money, they weren’t outspending everyone else. At around the same time as serial under-achievers Manchester United were splurging £1m on mega-flop Garry Birtles, Liverpool invested £300k in some kid called Ian Rush from Chester who few people had heard of. But most decent sized clubs could spend big every now and again – when Palace got promoted in 1979 we splashed out £650k on our own flop Mike Flanagan, a fee which wasn’t that far off the £1m British record which Forest had paid for Trevor Francis the previous season.

For all the big teams bar Liverpool, a poor season in the league wasn’t finishing fifth, it was finishing fifteenth or lower. But if they won a cup then the fans were generally OK with that – winning silverware was valued more highly than pursuing a fourth place finish. The likes of Manchester United and Spurs used to finish in the bottom half of the table reasonably regularly. Chelsea and Manchester City of course both spent plenty of time outside the top flight altogether. Even as we moved into the premier league era Arsenal endured several seasons of mid-table mediocrity until Arsene Wenger arrived and changed everything.

There was a reason for this. Although sponsorship was starting to come into the game, TV money was largely an irrelevance since so few matches were shown live and the vast majority of clubs’ income came from gate receipts. The founding fathers of the league had decreed, as people started to attend en masse, that gate receipts should be shared between the home and away sides, an egalitarian method which ensured spreading of the income. If you were a club like Manchester United who enjoyed large crowds most weeks then over the course of the season your income would be higher, but not by huge amounts as a chunk of that money would go across to every away side which rolled into town. This recognised that, whether the game was a thriller, a dull 0-0 or a crushing home win, it involved two teams who were equally responsible for the spectacle people were paying to see.

Another crucial rule which the Victorians had put in place was that no owner of a football club should extract money from it, by way of a salary or dividends. Originally this encouraged people to get involved in running a club on altruistic grounds, recognising the crucial role these entities played in acting as a community anchor. Being associated with a successful club might have some spin-off benefit if you ran the local meat pie factory or whatever, but you gave up your time voluntarily. Over the years the boundaries became a little blurred and owners found ways around the system, most obviously by creaming off a portion of the cash gate receipts and then under-reporting the attendance figures to keep the accountants and the taxman happy. Ron Noades of course was well known for this, the most obvious example I recall being the 1989 play-off game against Swindon when a laughably low crowd of just over 20,000 was recorded. But this was really only playing at the edges, the footballing equivalent of fiddling the electric meter or bumping up an insurance claim.

Noades was one of a new breed of owners and chairmen coming into football in the 1980s, along with the likes of Ken Bates at Chelsea, Irving Scholar at Spurs and the odious sex offender Martin Edwards at Manchester United, who only got a foot in the door to start with because his dad had previously owned the club – nepotism at it’s finest. These people were more brash, more commercial, and they could see the financial opportunities that football was starting to offer. Edwards in particular was at the vanguard of seeking change to his own and his club’s personal advantage, his infamous statement ‘the smaller clubs are bleeding the game dry and they need to be put out of their misery’ preceding a decision by the FA that going forward, there would no longer be any sharing of gate receipts between the home and away teams.

An immediate advantage for the bigger clubs, but what about these people who ran them? They were still stymied by the rule about directors not drawing any income out of the club, a measure which had stood the test of time for 100 or so years. Irving Scholar and his advisors found the answer. They created a holding company with the original football club as a subsidiary, then transferred ownership of the ground into the holding company. The parent company could then charge the club rent to play at the stadium they previously owned, and this company was not bound by the same rules as it wasn’t a football club, just a standard commercial enterprise. As such the directors of the parent (in practice the same people as the directors of the club) could then extract as much money as they were able to via the rent being charged to the club.

Others including Ron Noades at Palace soon caught on to this ruse and followed suit. Now some on these board have over the years vehemently defended Noades’ actions as some sort of paternalistic attempt to safeguard the future of Selhurst Park should the club fall into the hands of a rapacious owner with designs on building houses on it. This is total nonsense, he did it as a means of making money out of the club, pure and simple. Noades’ defenders would surely gain more respect if they recognised this point and argued that the rules were arcane, that people like Noades did deserve some sort of financial recompense for the hard work they were putting in to keep the club on a even keel. The model would reach its nadir at Notts County, where the owner discovered that due to certain clauses in the title of the land that Meadow Lane was built on, he was not able to transfer the whole ground to a separate company. So instead he simply transferred the main stand including the executive boxes. The club charged the holding company a peppercorn rent for this privilege, who then charged an extortionate rent back to the club for use of the facilities on match days.

So as we moved into the premier league era things were already shifting in favour of the largest teams and the most commercial (some might say greedy) owners. The notion of football clubs being community assets was starting to erode. Easy to forget now but the premier league momentum was relatively slow to build in the first decade. Although Manchester United emerged as the new Liverpool, the jostling for position below them was still relatively open. Blackburn (admittedly bankrolled by a wealthy benefactor) had a few years in the sun. Newcastle challenged hard in the mid-90s. Norwich, Villa and Leeds also put in credible title challenges. It’s really only as we’ve moved into the 21st century and the TV money has exploded that the gap between the haves and have nots has widened and been exploited. This includes dubious foreign ownership, mega-salaries for players and of course agents leeching money out of the game.

As the Plimsoll guy has already said on this thread, as fans we have broadly been complicit with this. Liverpool fans celebrated like hell when Hicks and Gillett took control of the club. When that went sour they celebrated like hell when FSG stepped in. Now that has also gone bad for them. Newcastle fans are generally outraged that they cannot be taken over by the state of Saudi Arabia. Manchester City fans are sanguine about the fact that their success is bankrolled by a similarly oppressive gulf state regime. Corruption within football is tolerated and accepted. Tony Pulis is still pictured as a respected figure within the game and gets regular media work, he swindled £2m from his employers. Many Palace fans would be fine with Sam Allardyce returning to manage the club, his dealings with a favoured agent were laid bare in court from his time at Bolton and we have similar evidence from Ravel Morrison and Kevin Kilbane that people seem happy to overlook. Blatantly corrupt transfer transactions such as Bebe to Manchester United and Fabio Silva to Wolves go unchecked. Generally speaking, people don’t seem to mind too much as long as the product remains entertaining. The rise of social media has developed an array of new income streams for people, football has become a 24/7 phenomenon where peripheral content is almost as important as the games themselves.

And tinkering with the format has become the norm. It started with Manchester United, as defending champions, not bothering to enter the 2000 FA Cup - the thin end of the wedge. Limitless replays were first restricted to just one before a penalty shoot-out, now there are no replays at all. Playing reserve teams in the earlier rounds of both domestic clubs is regarded as sensible by the bigger clubs. As a result attendances for these games have fallen through the floor and the magic of the cup has died. The preservation of cup final Saturday as a sacred occasion to bring the curtain down on the domestic season had gone, these days we have league games on the same day.

The Champions League of course sits at the pinnacle of this. The only people who really had a problem with the old European Cup were the big clubs who faced jeopardy from round 1. Straight knockout over two legs and a random draw, it was the essence of cup competition. I just about remember the Liverpool vs Forest first round tie in (I think) 1979, it was a massive event in this country. The old format gave the best teams from all over Europe the chance to progress, success wasn’t directly driven by money. Steaua Bucharest pleasingly beat Terry Venables’ Barcelona in the 1986 final; in 1991 a dynamic and enthralling Red Star Belgrade team went all the way (admittedly then stinking the place out in the final against Marseille). Compare that to this season’s semi-finalists – Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and PSG. Gripping stuff, where do I sign up?

So the proposed ESL, whilst quite rightly provoking outrage amongst right-minded football fans, will have come as no surprise to most of us. It will come back again before too long, and for all this talk of a root and branch review of football governance I fear the game has gone too far down the rabbit hole now. How can you get rid of a megalomaniac billionaire who is taking your club in the wrong direction? The only feasible option is probably to find another billionaire who you hope won’t turn out to be a megalomaniac. But there tends to be a good reason why these people become billionaires.

The money that’s come into the game has brought about loads of positives. But has it improved things overall? I’m not so sure. As mentioned over on the ‘Big Match revisited’ thread, I’ve been dipping in to those old programmes and it does take me back to that time when it seemed like we were all in it together. There was an honesty about football then which we simply do not have now. I will not be watching the Champions League semi-finals, it simply doesn’t interest me. I find the Championship more fun to keep tabs on, it’s like the first division of old with just about anyone capable of mounting a promotion challenge if they get off to a decent start. For that reason I wouldn't be too bothered if we did go down, I'm not all that interested in these arguments about sustainable infrastructure and whatnot. For me that is not what football is about. The ups and downs are what have enthralled me since the late 70s, another decade of lower mid-table finishes and early cup exits doesn't really hold the same appeal.

Maybe it does need a worst case scenario reset like the ESL to get back to something like it used to be – as long as that means a completely clean break from the brands who want to rake in more money and launder it via their super-agents. I don’t know what the answer is but I am reaching the point now where I do not really care about football anymore, I just don’t recognise it as the same sport I fell in love with.
This is quiet superb and better than anything I have read in the press. Thank you so much for the time effort and eloquence. I agree with your feelings completely
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Old 25-04-2021, 09:44 AM
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Sorry I went on a bit actually, started ranting and didn't stop.
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Old 25-04-2021, 09:46 AM
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Wasn’t a rant it was something that deserves a slot in the Athletic
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Old 25-04-2021, 01:18 PM
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Good piece, Bipe
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Old 25-04-2021, 01:35 PM
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Fantastic post Bipe!
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Old 25-04-2021, 02:04 PM
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palace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minepalace64 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mine
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Fantastic post Bipe!
i concur loved the reference to tizer
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Old 25-04-2021, 03:08 PM
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Fantastic read Bipe, thanks for taking the trouble. My first FA Cup Final was Ipswich Arsenal in ‘78 too; only a week after my very first trip to Selhurst to see us smash Blackburn 5-0.

Funny you wrote that great post as I was about to begin a thread entitled ‘Where did it all go wrong?’, about how we’ve got to a place where 6 clubs can destroy football as we know and loved it. Your post would make a cracking opening gambit!
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Old 25-04-2021, 03:19 PM
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Fantastic post Bipe!
I agree just a point that he is to young. Both Man Utd and Spurs were relegated in the 70s. Liverpool at the start of the 60s were in Division Two.
One of my memories of Cup Finals is 1965 the first time a club name starting with an L would win the Cup.
This season the fight at the top is more exciting because its not the normal top 6.
I would say we are in a period of time what hsppens when those currently funding club's move on. No club however big right now are guaranteed its future. Which is why they will try to time and again. Clubs will rise and fall tell the Wolves or Burnley fans in the late 50s or early 60s how far they would fall they would of lsughed. As much say as my Grandad would of if you told him we would be 1 season in the top flight and twice in a Cup Final
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Old 25-04-2021, 03:31 PM
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that's a wonderful piece of writing Bipe. My first FA Cup final that I really remember was the year before: Man U 2 Liverpool 1; Utd were quite likable then--Tommy Docherty was larger than life and all their players were cheeky chappy types as I remember.

I wonder what a piece in 1978 looking back on 20/30 years before would look like. Quite a lot of positive changes between the 1950s and the 1970s I would have thought, though also the demise of some great clubs like Blackpool and Preston North End.
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Old 25-04-2021, 04:30 PM
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Sorry I went on a bit actually, started ranting and didn't stop.
Very good except I'm sad enough to still have the Swindon play off attendance in my head all these years later; 23,677
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Old 25-04-2021, 05:27 PM
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Couldn't make the Brøndby game today, but there was 10k fans today for Brøndby v Randers - mate sent me this from the match, I am sure we will see plenty more like this over the next few weeks...


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Old 25-04-2021, 05:39 PM
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Very good except I'm sad enough to still have the Swindon play off attendance in my head all these years later; 23,677
No way was that the real attendance. It was absolutely rammed that night. In fact, it felt as big if not a larger than the Blackburn 2nd leg.
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Old 25-04-2021, 05:41 PM
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Couldn't make the Brøndby game today, but there was 10k fans today for Brøndby v Randers - mate sent me this from the match, I am sure we will see plenty more like this over the next few weeks...


This is great btw. UEFA and FIFA claiming the moral high ground this week was as much a disgrace as the ESL 12.
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Old 25-04-2021, 05:56 PM
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No sign of any punishments whatsoever? F*cking disgraceful.
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