Absent owner finally agrees to sell
23 May ~ In 2008 Racing Santander beat Manchester City 3-1 in the UEFA Cup group stages, narrowly missing out on qualification to the knockout rounds; now they are on the brink of successive relegations. Los Racinguistas are two points from safety with only three games remaining of the campaign, although back-to-back wins in their last two matches will have given them some hope of avoiding the drop to Segunda División B. They now face three huge games, starting at home against fellow relegation battlers Guadalajara on Sunday.
June issue available online and in stores
The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.
Ferguson's final season
TV dictates Cup kick-offs
Bayern & Dortmund dominate
When Villa were champions
Notable kits of yesteryear
23 May ~ Canvey Island had finished runners-up in the Isthmian League in the previous three seasons, but a new kit for 2003-04 brought new success to Park Lane. It was manufactured by Venom Sports, who still make the Gulls' kits. Owner and manager Jeff King's company Kings Park Homes adorned the shirt. The kit followed the club's classic yellow and blue colours but featured a shift towards a lighter shade of blue on the sleeves and collar.
New York Times article
22 May ~ Readers of the New York Times have been given an insight into the experiences of match-going football fans in England's top division. Sarah Lyall travelled around various Premier League grounds, including St James' Park, Villa Park and Goodison Park, talking to supporters, stewards and police about their experiences. Despite strange claims about rival fans being controlled by criminal gangs and a lack clarity about the causes of certain stadium disasters, it highlights the different views on either side of the Atlantic of crowd participation and how to enjoy sporting events.
22 May ~ This is a fun-loving club with theatrical tendencies. The Music Hall Lion is a character from Russian folklore who dwelt in the deepest and darkest forest in Siberia. It was so deep and dark that only people with a bag-for-life would return with their bag intact. Plastic or paper bags were either lost or ripped to shreds. Who takes a paper bag into a Siberian forest anyway? You'd have to expect the worst. Read more
Nearly £40 million for bottom club
21 May ~ The Premier League have released individual clubs' broadcasting revenue figures for the 2012-13 season. Along with an equal share of £13.8 million per club, plus overseas rights payments of £18.9m each, the clubs also received £755,881 for each place higher they finished in the final league table and a facility fee every time their matches were shown on TV in the UK. It means Manchester United were given a total of £60.8m while bottom-place QPR got a meagre £39.8m – how will they cope?
Documentary questions medical evidence
20 May ~ Previously unbroadcast footage of the Hillsborough disaster proves evidence that was undermined in the original inquest was actually true. The pictures, analysed in a BBC Panorama documentary, cast more doubt on the medical evidence that supporters could not have survived beyond 3.15pm on that day. The programme shows that off-duty police officer Derek Bruder, who has always said he was trying to save 15-year-old Kevin Williams after that time, was telling the truth. The programme will air tonight on BBC One at 9pm.
Sitting between a cliff and the Croatian coast, Stadion Kantrida is the home of HNK Rijeka. The stadium opened in 1913 and as well as being the home ground of Rijeka since 1954, it occasionally hosts Croatian national team matches. Following a number of renovations, the stadium now has an all-seat capacity of 12,600.
17 May ~ José Mourinho has the chance to win what could be his last trophy as manager of Real Madrid tonight, when his team take on Atlético Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey. The match is a repeat of the 1992 final, when Atlético beat their neighbours 2-0 at the Bernabéu. Atlético have not beaten Real in this millennium, though, so they'll need another bit of magic like this free-kick from former Real manager Bernhard Schuster if they're going to overcome Mourinho's men.
Because he jumps quite high
15 May ~ A group of Manchester United fans have taken it upon themselves to "bring Ronaldo home" to Old Trafford. They want each fan to pledge £10 as a deposit on a "Manchester United Ronaldo 7" shirt – the balance (no more than £55 for adults, £50 for kids, naturally) must then be paid if he is signed. But why Cristiano Ronaldo? "He generates 5G of G-force on take-off – this is five times the power of a cheetah in full flight," the website reads. Plus "his speed, height, technical ability will help ensure Manchester United win the 2014 Champions League Trophy". They could just ask for pledges to buy the trophy itself and make UEFA an offer. Or adopt an entire team of cheetahs from the WWF.
by Brian Greenhoff
Rarely can five years have generated as much football print as Tommy Docherty's stint at Manchester United. Although Docherty's managerial skills and style continue to polarise opinion, no one has argued he was a defensive genius. The statistics bear that out: away from home his United team always let in more than they scored, apart from their one year sabbatical in Division Two. Read more
Despite having to replace Owen Coyle early in the season, Bolton Wanderers were eventually disappointed to miss out on the play-offs on the final day
It tells you all you need to know about this season's Championship that Bolton were masters of their own destiny right up to the last kick, despite more or less giving it up as a bad job sometime around turn of the year. A fine run of form from mid-February put Wanderers on the verge of the play-offs, only for the season to be played out in a final-day microcosm.
In the first of a series of articles looking at various clubs' fortunes over the past season, James Baxter assesses West Brom's new status as "best of the rest"
At 3-0 and 5-2 down to Manchester United last Sunday, West Bromwich Albion's season looked to be slipping quietly away. Defeats to Wigan and Norwich in the preceding weeks had given the impression of a team keener to help relegate local rivals Aston Villa than produce a strong end to their own campaign.
When your preconceptions are wrong
22 May ~ It's not that often you find yourself on a business trip in an unfamiliar city on the same day that a title-deciding football match is played – and admission to the game is free. In fact, it had never happened to me until last Thursday – when I watched Zimbru Chisinau v Sheriff Tiraspol in the Moldovan capital. I couldn't find a local person to go with, though. A Moldovan colleague I asked told me some of his friends were "well into" football: "They were going crazy over some game the other week: Barcelona and a German club".
But plenty changed at Parc des Princes
21 May ~ Paris Saint-Germain were crowned French champions last week for the first time in 19 years. I didn't celebrate too much, having secretly hoped for a more exciting finish on the last day, similar to Manchester City last season. The celebrations at the Trocadéro square in Paris turned into a fiasco. I skipped them, having had bad memories of the Cup-Winners Cup celebrations at the Parc des Princes in 1996: soon after the team came out the pitch was invaded, first by hooligans from the "Kop of Boulogne" (KOB) stand, then by others as the players hurried back inside.
Bees fail for seventh play-off campaign
21 May ~ In recent years, it's become an established pattern that Brentford just don't win promotion via the play-offs. In their seventh play-off campaign they have failed again, this time in a tense match against a resolute Yeovil Town, who now join England's second tier for the first time. It's a memorable moment for the Somerset club and their fans. Brentford fans could only rue the defeat, their team having been so close to automatic promotion and playing attractive football for much of the season.
Finnish province overcome challenges
20 May ~ IFK Mariehamn's Europa League debut, achieved by topping Finland's Fair Play standings, will be the first time a men's club from the self-governing province of Aland has taken part in European competition (women's team Aland United took part in the Women's Champions League in 2010). Some Alanders feel they could sustain a national team just as the Faroe Islands does but FIFA's attitude to new nations ensures that is unlikely to happen any time soon. Instead, islanders have poured their energy into IFK Mariehamn.
Parent company declared insolvent
20 May ~ Hearts closed their SPL season on Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Aberdeen and the immediate threat of administration hanging over them. The club's parent company UBIG has requested to be declared insolvent, which could trigger an 18-point deduction and mean relegation to the second tier of Scottish football. UBIG are a Lithuanian investment firm that have been placed on a list of companies deemed "unable to meet their obligations" by its country's government bankruptcy management department.
Former champions almost fell to fourth tier
19 May ~ Eintracht Braunschweig are back in Germany's Bundesliga for the first time in 28 years. One of the league's founding members in 1963, Braunschweig won the title in 1967 but since the mid-1980s have been languishing in the second and third divisions. Now the city in Lower Saxony, where football was allegedly first played in Germany, can look forward to welcoming the likes of Bayern Munich and local rivals Hannover 96 next season. From the opening-day win over favourites Cologne it has been a remarkable season for the Lions.
Northampton Town v Bradford City, 1.30pm
18 May ~ Northampton Town's League Two play-off final fixture today has sparked something of a week-long nostalgia trip across the town. It was 1997 the last time Cobblers went up via the play-offs, courtesy of an extra-time free-kick from left-back John Frain that secured a famous 1-0 win over Swansea City and saw the team promoted to what was then Division Two after a seven-year absence. Since booking the trip to Wembley, after a morale-boosting 1-0 second-leg win away to Cheltenham, comparisons have been made with the team of 1997.