Football Cities: Newcastle upon Tyne

October 7, 2015

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“Perched on a hill, visible from all directions as you head into Newcastle, towering into the air in the centre of town – St James’ Park couldn’t really be much more symbolic. Its location befits its status as an iconic focal point, right at the heart of the city metaphorically and spiritually as well as literally. A compact, soulless, identikit new-build stadium on the outskirts, encircled by acres of car park, big-box retail units and McDonald’s drive-thrus just wouldn’t be right. Writing about football and so-called ‘failing’ towns (as labelled by the Economist) on this site two years ago, I discussed an article that appeared in local paper the Chronicle in which fans expressed what Newcastle United mean to them, and to the city as a whole.” thetwounfortunates, W – Newcastle United F.C., W – History of Newcastle United F.C., W – Newcastle upon Tyne

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The Financial Underbelly: Coventry City

June 18, 2015

“Okay, okay – when it comes to Coventry City, the financial situation is less an ‘underbelly’ than a gaping open wound that has festered for several seasons now. Here, Ian Palmer sums up his personal fatigue with the whole business. Ian can be followed on twitter at @iancpalmer. … Coventry City have been losing fans. In fact, I’d bet no club has lost as many fans over the last three years as the Sky Blues. Picture the scene: a breezy August afternoon, kicking off the first ‘home’ game of the season, 35 miles away from home. We’re bottom of the league table on -10 points, yet no team has played a single game.” thetwounfortunates


Chelsea – Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)

January 14, 2015

“By the standards of most clubs, Chelsea’s 2013/14 season was pretty good, as they finished 3rd place in the Premier League and were semi-finalists in the Champions League, but it must have felt a little disappointing after capturing silverware in each of the previous two seasons: the Europa League in 2012/13 and, most memorably, the Champions League and FA Cup in 2011/12. However, this did not stop their progress off the pitch, as they reported record revenue of £320 million, up 25% on the prior year, and profit of £19 million (before tax), compared to a loss of £51 million in 2012/13. Equally importantly, given Chelsea’s history of being bankrolled by their owner Roman Abramovich, these results ensured that ‘UEFA’s break-even criteria under the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations continue to be satisfied.’” The Swiss Ramble


Promotion Tales: The Rise of ‘Unfashionable’ Blackburn Rovers

January 1, 2015

“A supplementary treat this morning. Regular contributor Phil Lloyd enjoyed our Promotion Tales series so much that he decided to come up with this own version charting Blackburn Rovers’ re-emergence as a force in English football over two decades ago now. Best wishes to all TTU readers for 2015. Once, it seemed that Blackburn Rovers existed mainly to exemplify the word “unfashionable”. As with the TV advert that featured the “Rovers FC” sign above the old Blackburn End turnstiles, it was an icon for a bygone age. By the start of the 1990s, my early recollections of watching football were becoming increasingly hazy, as if nine seasons of Division One football and blue-and-white memories of Bryan Douglas, Ronnie Clayton and Keith Newton were no more than childhood fantasies.” thetwounfortunates


Promotion Tales: Bradford’s City’s Top-Flight ‘Fairy Tale’

December 12, 2014

“Continuing this series of posts on clubs promoted to the top-flight of English football after a considerable gap or, in some cases, the first time ever, Michael Wood turns the clock back to the year 2000. The location? Bradford.” thetwounfortunates


Reflecting on Relationship Between Britpop and Football

October 8, 2014

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“Unless you’ve been hiding under a stone for the past month you’ll have noticed the media, and in particular the BBC, working itself into a frenzy over the 20th anniversary of ‘Britpop’. To many this level of nostalgia for a musical movement which was, if anything, merely the collection of a handful of zeitgeist wresting retrograde magpies sticks in the craw. ‘Britpop’ wasn’t a cohesive genre, less still a cultural movement, it was a confection – a label for ideas at best, a marketing tool at worst. This is right, to a degree. Britpop was a label. As Alexis Petridis noted in the Guardian last week, there’s little to sonically link the titans of the era in the way that there was with grunge, its direct precept.” thetwounfortunates


Dilemmas of Football Ownership: Marching on, Direction Unknown

September 24, 2014

“As we move into Day Three of our Football Ownership series, Gary Hartley tries in vain to make some sense of what, exactly, Massimo Cellino is up to at his beloved Leeds United. It’s not particularly new, this football clubs subsumed by rich men’s egos thing. It’s just that in the presumed halcyon days, the egos were more the Rotary Club, cigar on Sunday type of affair – vaguely but not entirely unapproachable, with no offspring on Twitter. Things are different now; we’ve supported or allowed the cult of moneyed personality, accepting that since it’s all ultimately a game, we can in turn allow our game to be gamed. Sigh. But hey, down at Elland Road, at least our rich man has a personality. Right? You with me? Right?” thetwounfortunates