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.
Larrett Roebuck played for Huddersfield Town
18 October ~ Today is the 100th anniversary of the death of Larrett Roebuck, the first player from the Football League to be killed in the First World War. Roebuck joined Huddersfield in March 1913 and the left-back made his debut on January 3, 1914. He played 19 games for the club, the last one a 1-0 victory against Leicester Fosse. He signed a new contract but as a reservist Roebuck was called up in August 1914. Six months after his final Huddersfield match Roebuck was declared missing in action near Beaucamps-Ligny and eventually presumed dead. The Western Front Association have more information on the life of Larrett Roebuck.
Fifty years since famous friendly
17 October ~ Last weekend Hibernian drew 0-0 at home with part-time Dumbarton in Scotland's second division. Fifty years ago, in October 1964, life was much better for Hibs fans. Jock Stein was their manager, they had some of the most exciting young players in the country and they beat Real Madrid. Stein was in charge at Easter Road for just a year, squeezed between his first managerial post – when he'd transformed Dunfermline from provincial also-rans to European overachievers – and his famous reign at Celtic.
League form should be ignored for "prestige"
16 October ~ In the 1990s AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi complained that it did not make economic sense that the European season of top clubs such as his Milan could be over by the beginning of November, or even earlier. Those were still the days of European competitions with straight knockout rounds and no seedings. So, in 1988-89, Napoli found themselves up against Real Madrid in the first round and promptly went out, a fate which also befell Inter two years later against the much more modest Malmo.
Sound and aesthetic add to the spectacular
15 October ~ During his side's Euro 2016 defeat on Saturday, Germany striker Lukas Podolski volleyed one off Poland's crossbar from just inside the box. ITV co-commentator Clarke Carlisle raved about Podolski's accuracy, technique and, most of all, the power he imparted. Essentially he missed and Germany didn't score in Warsaw. But replays showed the crossbar visibly reverberating after Podolski's strike. Bending the biggest piece of the goal frame is a more spectacular indicator of impact than any ruffled net. Wherever the ball ends up in the immediate aftermath, connecting with the bar is frequently more dramatic than scoring.
Questions over why City couldn't buy ground
14 October ~ The prospect had been circulating for some time, but the news that Coventry City Council were about to finalise a deal to sell the Ricoh Arena, "home" of Coventry City FC, to Wasps RFC caused a little consternation among Sky Blues fans and indeed the football club themselves. As the council met to discuss the deal, the club’s owners – hedge fund Sisu – and a number of fans groups pleaded with the council to delay approval in the hope of heading it off. Fat chance.
Tension over countries' first ever meeting
14 October ~ If it were another game – against Finland or Greece, perhaps – there would be mild surprise if the crowd exceeded 10,000. There certainly would not be the 3,500 armed policemen expected outside Partizan Stadium this evening, and nor would the newspapers be stoking up story after story about busloads of visiting supporters that included at least one "terrorist". And if it were another game, there might not be the sinking feeling associated with knowing that it would take an extraordinary outcome for football to make the biggest headlines.