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La Liga's "other 17" struggle as spending gap widens

Real Madrid and Barcelona to reassert dominance over Atlético

icon moneysave22 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.

Badge of the week ~ Annagh United FC

Annagh15020 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

WSC 331 and 2014-15 Season Guide ~ out now

September issue available online and in stores

wsc331 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

Getting shirty ~ Hellas Verona, 1995-96

Notable kits of yesteryear

verona959619 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 fairground home of Ottawa Fury in Canada

Ottawa300The 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.

Leicester 1-5 Everton, Division One, 1977

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.

Highlights of Newport v Carl Zeiss Jena, 1981

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.

Book review: The Special One

The secret world 
of José Mourinho

329 MourinhoJosé 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

Book review: Conference Season

by Steve Leach

329 ConferenceOften 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

Book review: World Cup Cortinas

by James Ruppert

329 CortinasIn 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

How fans around the planet watched World Cup final

21 July ~ Kick Off! is a global project that filmed fans watching the Brazil 2014 final between Germany and Argentina around the world. The documentary follows people's reactions to match, from a beach in New Zealand to a taxi in Moscow and market in Tokyo.

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