Not enough variety in the teams
24 May ~ A Lyon v Paris Saint-Germain final next season might mean the Champions League can pack up and go home. Now we have an all-German decider to go with the Spanish, Italian and English ones we've enjoyed this millennium, would a one-nation final from the last of its "Big Five" leagues mean UEFA can do no more for its richest members? Would an all-Ligue 1 affair be the natural end of the commercial revolution instigated by Napoli drawing Real Madrid in the first round of the 1987-88 European Cup? Considering what we've grown accustomed to, not likely.
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
24 May ~ Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund meet at Wembley this weekend for the Champions League final. While Bayern have won the trophy four times, Dortmund's only success came in 1997 when they overcame Juventus at the Olympic Stadium in Munich. A Karl-Heinz Riedle double gave underdogs Dortmund a 2-0 lead at half time and, despite sustained pressure and a goal from Alessandro del Piero in the second half, substitute Lars Ricken chipped in a third for Dortmund to seal victory. Man of the match was Paul Lambert, who was given the unenviable role of marking Zinedine Zidane.
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.
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
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