Concern for fans over poor performances and finances
26 August ~ Ally McCoist's current Rangers team, like everything at the club, are either acclimatising slowly to their only season in Scotland's second tier or are about to flatline. Performances in the first five games varied. Supporters' groups pushing for boardroom influence have boycotted season ticket sales. Directors, currently organising a "Fan Board", are hawking devalued shares to cover the shortfall. Anything less than a comfortable, stock exchange-pleasing win over Queen's Park in the League Cup first round tonight could force McCoist out. But dwindling crowds are weakening the board's mandate to sack him.
August 20, 1966, Division One
27 August ~ The 1966-67 season kicked off just three weeks after the World Cup final, and there was no break for West Ham's medal-winning trio of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, who took to the field ahead of the other players on a hot afternoon to be greeted by a widely bare-chested crowd. Not only did they play 90 minutes against Chelsea, but they had played through against Kaiserslautern seven days after the 4-2 win against West Germany, and in subsequent tour games at Lausanne and Karlsruhe. Across the three pre-season games, the Hammers used a single sub.
September issue available online and in stores
The new WSC is out now, available in all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.
- Liverpool v Man City in New York
- When the FA Cup was king
- Football and First World War
- Soundtrack to the game
- Palestinian team in Chile
- League's lost counties
20 August ~ In the wild forest outside Annagh there lived a troll who challenged all who passed over his bridge. It wasn't really the troll's bridge, it belonged to Lord Annagh and was built by the tenants of his estate, but one thing you tend to find about trolls is that they are no respecters of legal documents. Read more
Notable kits of yesteryear
19 August ~ After wearing blue-and-yellow stripes for the previous three seasons, Hellas Verona president Alberto Mazzi designed this unique shirt for 1995-96 and presented the idea to Italian sports manufacturer Errea on A4 graph paper. The badge in the centre of the shirt was used for the first time that season, featuring a ladder and two mastiff dogs (symbols of the city) and Verona's coat of arms, a yellow cross on a blue background. The club was sponsored by famous Veronese chef Giovanni Rana, a fan of the club since birth and main shirt sponsor of Verona from 1989 to 1996.
The TD Place Stadium is the 24,000-capacity home of North American Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury. Located in the Lansdowne Park fairgrounds of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, the ground has been used since the 1870s for a range of sports including lacrosse, rugby and equestrian events. It has undergone plenty of renovations, including in 1967 when an ice hockey arena was integrated underneath in the Ottawa Civic Centre.
15 August ~ Everton travel to newly promoted Leicester City this weekend for their opening match of the Premier League season. In 1977 the two teams met at Filbert Street in only the fifth game of Leicester's seventh consecutive season in the top flight. However, this match was a sign of things to come, with the visitors – who eventually finished in third place behind champions Nottingham Forest and runners-up Liverpool – winning 5-1. Leicester only won four games in the remainder of the season and went down on 22 points, bottom of the table and 11 adrift of QPR in 19th.
Cup-Winners Cup quarter-final
25 July ~ Newport County welcome Carl Zeiss Jena to Rodney Parade tomorrow in a friendly that rekindles memories of the clubs' European Cup-Winners Cup quarter-final in 1981. The Welsh club, in the Third Division at the time, managed a 2-2 draw in East Germany with Tommy Tynan's double cancelling out two goals from Jürgen Raab. The second leg was played in front of around 18,000 at Somerton Park, where a first half goal from Lothar Kurbjuweit saw the Germans progress. Carl Zeiss Jena went on to beat Benfica in the semi-finals before losing 2-1 to Dinamo Tbilisi in the final. Below are highlights from both legs of the quater-final, though the first is a bit blurry and has no commentary.
The secret world of José Mourinho
José Mourinho is a strange, as well as a special, one. He seems quite consciously and gleefully to play up to the stereo-type of a conniving practitioner of cunning tricks and brazen gamesmanship – a living affirmation of the lower morals of the southern European sort, with decent Englishmen being advised to be on their guard and lock up their wives and daughters should he attempt to beguile them with his oily ways. Read more
by Steve Leach
Often erroneously likened to a fifth division of the Football League, the Football Conference could more accurately be described as a halfway house. Non-League's top tier is home to a curious mix of teams; professional clubs who have fallen on hard times compete alongside new names making their way up the pyramid and getting a first taste of the big time. Read more
by James Ruppert
In 1970 the Ford Motor Company loaned every member of the England World Cup squad a car ahead of the forthcoming Mexico World Cup. With the exception of Jack Charlton – who requested a Ford Zodiac because he needed a bigger boot for his fishing tackle – they each received a Cortina 1600E. This is the story of how motoring journalist James Ruppert sets out to track down the 24 original "World Cup Cortinas". Read more
Last season's top two meet at Etihad tonight
25 August ~ It seems likely that fans of Manchester City and Liverpool will approach tonight's Premier League clash in stark contrast to the way they left their previous league encounter in April. A 3-2 win at Anfield left Liverpool on a high: with only four games left the elusive title was in their grasp and a sensational run of form had left their fans exuberant and full of expectation. City, meanwhile, skulked away with the resignation that it wasn't going to be their year. Neither set of fans envisaged the impending dramas to come.
24 August ~ The broadcaster James Alexander Gordon died this week. He had read the football results on BBC radio for 40 years before retiring last year. In WSC 60 (February 1992) Harry Pearson met him – and even discovered what he wore when doing his job
For over 18 years now, James Alexander Gordon has read the classified football results on Sports Report. His voice, with its immaculate enunciation and sternly stressed syllables, is as much a part of British Saturday tea-time as the jaunty rumpity-tum-tee-tum music which precedes it, Battenberg cake and meat paste sandwiches.
Commemorating Coventry's munitions factory workers
23 August ~ A match recreating a game played during the First World War between women from Coventry's munitions factories will take place this at 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday. Coventry City Ladies FC play the match at the Butts Park Arena and will be wearing First World War era kit with the names of the original players printed on their backs. The match is part of a project called "No Game for Girls", which seeks to tell the untold story of women's football during the War. More information on the background to the match can be found here.
Includes levels one to four of pyramid
23 August ~ A new app has been launched that shows the nearest non-League matches to the user for any day of the 2014-15 season. The app, currently available for iPhone or iPads only and includes lists for steps one to four of the non-League pyramid, encompassing 12 leagues. It means you can easily find non-League matches going on around you on any given day of the season and also has information on each club. It is available from iTunes and costs 69p.
Real Madrid and Barcelona to reassert dominance over Atlético
22 August ~ Diego Simeone, coach of reigning La Liga champions Atlético Madrid, was in typically sharp form as he spoke this week about Spanish Supercopa opponents Real Madrid. "With €95 million [£76m] we have signed nine players," Simeone said. "Real Madrid have signed two players for €95 million. That is the difference." He had a point, even if his sums were actually wrong. Real's two new galacticos James Rodríguez and Toni Kroos cost a combined €105m, while a further €10m was spent on goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Face tough test against KSC Lokeren
21 August ~ Hull City's Europe League tie at KSC Lokeren has been deemed too unexciting for ITV's thrill-packed Thursday night schedule. But for those of us who spent a chunk of their 1970s and 1980s childhoods surreptitiously listening to other British clubs' adventures in Europe on a crackly transistor radio secreted under the bedcovers, a trip to a rickety old stadium in Belgium is an almost unimaginable delight. Hull spent most of those decades bumbling round the lower divisions between bankruptcies. Consequently, their ticket allocation for the first leg in Flanders sold out rapidly.
Competition modelled on English FA Cup
20 August ~ The FA Cup may have lost a good deal of its credibility in England in the past couple of decades, but it's still thought of fondly in Australia, where for many years the final was the only English domestic game screened live on TV. But when Football Federation Australia (FFA) finally achieved its long-awaited goal of a national knockout competition, that residual affection was much less relevant than the pressing need to breach the gaping and often fractious divide between the A-League and the semi-professional state leagues below.
Two administrations still haunt the Eagles
19 August ~ "Who needs a manager?" sung the Crystal Palace fans at the Emirates on Saturday after new signing Brede Hangeland put is in the lead at Arsenal. However mischievously sung, and however tempting a managerless scenario for us might be, Tony Pulis had barely left before the unseemly scramble to replace him had begun. It was reported that over 30 applications had been received within 12 hours. Co-chairman Steve Parish apparently claimed that the board had a successor in mind with significant experience in the Premier League as both a player and manager. All while the aftershocks of Pulis's departure were still being felt.
New structure and kick-off times for Lega Pro
18 August ~ The Italian professional leagues are due to kick off on August 29 and yet apart from Serie A we still do not know their final composition, even though the fixture lists have been published. This is because when cash-strapped Siena were excluded from Serie B it was decided not to replace them, but to continue with 21 clubs as part of a plan to reduce this league to 20 clubs as soon as possible. However, orders have gone out that Serie B must revert to 22 clubs, and so now the question is who will take Siena's place.