UEFA’s second competition is more interesting
23 October ~ Roma v Bayern Munich on Tuesday was largely how UEFA imagined it when streamlining three European knockout tournaments into two midweek leagues: the world’s best players cutting loose in a showpiece stadium, in a glamorous city, surrounded by 65,000 fans paying top prices; one of a series of games televised live across the continent over two nights to maximise broadcasting revenue, electronic pitch-side hoardings advertising a coterie of high-end sponsors.
Football Supporters Europe initiative
23 October ~ Football Supporters Europe (FSE) have launched a campaign asking fans to donate their old shirts and other clothing to help refugees from conflict regions. The initiative is called “Second Fan Shirt” and they are looking for shirts, scarves, blankets, training clothes, hats and many other items which are no longer of use to supporters but could make a difference to the lives of refugees around the world. FSE are also looking for people to help organise the collection of these items locally. The Football Supporters Federation have more information on how you can help.
Party release details of new policies
22 October ~ Labour have released details of how they intend to implement their proposals for fan power in football. Jon Cruddas, co-ordinator of the Labour Party Policy Review, says that the process would involve passing new laws which would make it legally enforceable that the supporters’ trust would be able to appoint members of their club’s board of directors. They would also use an umbrella body to make sure the supporters’ trusts themselves were properly run, while offering training to fans before they take up positions on the board. More details of Labour’s plans can be found here.
The history of Nairn County
22 October ~ A book marking the centenary of Nairn County has been released. The History of Nairn County FC: 100 Years in the Highland League traces the origins of football in the town of Nairn in the north of Scotland all the way through to the modern day successes of Nairn County, who play in the fifth tier of Scottish football. All proceeds from sales will go to the Nairn County Supporters Ground Improvements Fund, a fan-lead fundraising group who are raising cash to replace the ageing standing enclosure at Station Park. Since the launch of the group at the start of 2013, over £60,000 has been raised. The book is available here.
Supporters want to change reputation of club
21 October ~ Ahead of their team’s Champions League home match against Manchester City, which will be played behind closed doors, some CSKA Moscow fans have set up an initiative to change public opinion of their club. UEFA closed the Russian club’s stadium for three matches after repeated racist behaviour by their supporters. Now a social media campaign, organised around the hashtag #CSKAFansAgainstRacism, aims to promote a welcoming environment inside the stadium and among fans. FARE have more information on the group.
But Slovakian team having a chaotic season
20 October ~ Slovan Bratislava v Sparta Prague may not be the most glamorous of Thursday's Europa League matches, but it evokes its fair share of nostalgia. The two most successful clubs in Slovakia and the Czech Republic respectively are, after all, meeting in a competitive fixture for the first time since 1992-93, the final season of the federal Czechoslovak league. Sparta generally held the edge over Slovan in the federal era, winning 21 titles to the Bratislava club's eight.
Landowners want it redeveloped
19 October ~ Hitchin Town are fighting to stay at their Top Field ground after plans were submitted to turn it into a superstore. The club have played there since their foundation in 1928, though football has been played on the land since the 1800s. On October 8 a meeting was held in which club members called for residents to support their battle. The land is owned by the Cow Commoners Trust, who are backing its redevelopment. Hitchin chief executive Andy Melvin said: “We believe if a superstore is built here it will be the death of the town. We also believe if they relocate us it will be the death of the football club.” Save HTFC has more details.
Posters are hand-printed
19 October ~ After the success of their 2013-14 Football League and Premier League map, Doing The 92 have launched a European version for the current season. It includes the winners of all the major European club honours plotted on a large map of the continent, with kit colours and a representation of each trophy won. It also shows which country’s teams have had the most success since the launch of the European Cup was launched in 1955. Each poster is hand printed on high-quality paper to avoid fading. The posters are available for £15, plus £6.50 postage and packing in the UK.
Petition has received 15,000 signatures so far
18 October ~ MP David Crausby has expressed his disappointment following the Government’s response to his petition, which calls for the Premier League to give 7.5 per cent of its broadcasting rights income to developing community facilities. The petition, which has received 15,000 signatures so far, was relaunched in July. Crausby said: “One year on from my first petition the Government have shown that they aren’t even considering the issues that have been raised despite the concerns of thousands of people all across the country.” More information about the campaign can be found here, and you can sign the petition here.