THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Tuesday 1 England scrape a 1-1 draw with Japan, who should have won after Shinji Ono equalised Michael Owen’s first-half goal. Sven’s not flustered: “The game today was not important. We were superb for 30 minutes but then we got tired.” Rafael Benítez resigns as Valencia coach and will shortly takeover at Liverpool. Inverness are turned down for promotion to the Scottish Premier League after failing to get the required two-thirds vote.

Wednesday 2 Jose Mourinho announces his arrival at Chelsea – “I have won the Champions League. I’m a special one” – and isn’t impressed with his predecessor: “I could say that Ranieri has been in football for 20 years and has only won the Spanish cup.” Claudio Ranieri, meanwhile, is expected to replace Benítez at Valencia. Steve Cotterill is the new manager of Burnley.

Thursday 3 France’s Jacques Santini will take charge of Spurs after Euro 2004. Having his wages trebled was a factor: “Everyone has a right to think about their well-being.” Juan Sebastian Verón takes a a pay cut to join Inter on loan.

Friday 4 Danny Wilson is sacked by Bristol City and will be replaced by Brian Tinnion.

Saturday 5 Ditching the pesky diamond formation in favour of 4-4-2, England beat Iceland 6-1. Sven’s almost bullish: “I think other countries should look at us and be apprehensive.” A Robbie Keane goal gives Ireland a 1-0 win away to The netherlands, whose group rivals Germany continue their kidology campaign by losing 2-0 at home to Hungary.

Sunday 6 Northern Ireland’s triumphal ­procession through the Caribbean concludes with a 3-0 win in Trinidad.

Monday 7 David Moyes expects to receive offers for Wayne Rooney after Euro 2004 but claims that “only one club in the world”, not named, could buy him. Colin Hendry is the new manager of Blackpool. Frustration for Real Madrid as Paul Dickov leaves Leicester for Blackburn.

Thursday 10 The Football League chairmen vote to change the name of the First Division to The Championship, with the lower divisions to be called Leagues One and Two. Dutch coach Martin Jol is to join Spurs as Jacques Santini’s assistant.

Friday 11 Joy for the headline writers as Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze signs for Man Utd from PSG for £6 million. Leeds agree to pay up the remaining two years of Michael Duberry’s contract, worth £16,000 a week, to push through his move to Wolves.

Saturday 12
Trevor Brooking is knighted for his work in sports administration and the way he used to say “niggle” on Match of the Day.

Sunday 13 Over 80 people are arrested after confrontations with police following England’s defeat, but the rioters are in Croydon, Birmingham and West Yorkshire rather than Lisbon. Steven Gerrard is alleged to have asked Liverpool for a transfer – Chelsea are set to offer him over £100,000 a week.

Monday 14 Eleven England fans are among those arrested after multi-national chair-throwing on the Algarve. English and French players indulge in a spot of name calling with Patrick Vieira saying that England “fouled and cheated”, while Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard both complain about French players “singing and shouting” in the dressing room after the match, the beasts.

Tuesday 15
The FA’s student helper will go back to tea-making and breaking the photocopier after David James claims that the video he requested of French set-pieces didn’t include Zidane free-kicks. Nicky Butt is out of Euro 2004 with a knee injury but England won’t be allowed to bring in a replacement. Russia’s Alexander Mostovoi has been sent home for heavily criticising the coach in the press after the defeat to Spain. Another 32 England fans are helping police with their enquiries after a second night of fighting on the Algarve. “At the moment we are viewing it as the sort of problem that might be encountered in any busy beach resort,” says a UEFA spokesman. Former Darlington chairman George Reynolds is arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Wednesday 16
Introduced as Liverpool’s new manager, Rafael Benítez says his first priority will be to persuade Steven Gerrard to stay. Eleven of the England fans arrested yesterday are deported while one, a 47-year-old fireman, is to be jailed for two years. Colin Todd is the new manager of Bradford City.

Thursday 17 “I ask the public to forgive me,” says Francesco Totti, banned for three matches by UEFA on video evidence that he spat at a Danish opponent. The Russian who invaded the pitch in the Portugal match is revealed to be “anarchic TV presenter” Otari Kunashvili seeking publicity for his show.

Friday 18 Former Palace chairman Ron Noades declares his interest in taking over from current owner Simon Jordan. “I can advise any club on the right way to do things.” The England fan facing jail after being arrested in Portugal is to be released on a technicality, but tough hombre home secretary David Blunkett apparently intends to “nail” him. Croatia’s Ivica Olic fails a drugs test after taking painkillers but will be allowed to face England.

Saturday 19 Switzerland’s Alexander Frei is charged with spitting at Steven Gerrard, which he denies: “Maybe I said some bad words but that’s normal on the pitch.” Coach Phil Thompson is to leave Liverpool. Bill Kenwright says Wayne Rooney is worth £50m, but: “I would turn down any bid for him and say ‘Thank you very much, what else do you want to talk about?’.”

Monday 21 Russia coach Georgy Yartsev is fired. Wimbledon are given permission to change their name to Milton Keynes Dons FC.

Tuesday 22 An England fan, Stephen Smith, is stabbed to death in Lisbon, apparently by a pickpocket. The head of the Italian federation, Franco Carraro, believes that the Sweden v Denmark result was arranged: “There’s no doubt that the way the game developed showed the two teams were aiming for a draw.” Inverness Caley win promotion to the Scottish Premier League after a second ballot among the club chairmen – demoted Partick may appeal.

Wednesday 23
UEFA take disciplinary action against Italian players and officials for their match-fixing allegations. Danish winger Dennis Rommedahl joins Charlton from PSV for £2m. Michael Ricketts is a recruit for the New Model Leeds. Joe Royle is to sue Man City after rejecting their offer of a pay-off for his sacking in 2001.

Thursday 24
Wayne Rooney has broken a bone in his foot and could be out for two months. The papers seem convinced that Steven Gerrard will join Chelsea. Rudi Völler resigns as Germany coach.

Friday 25
Among various incidents after England’s elimination, 15 people are arrested for attacking Portuguese migrant workers in a Norfolk pub. Spain fire their coach Iñaki Saez. Italy’s Giovanni Trapattoni steps down and will be replaced by Marcello Lippi.

Sunday 27
Referee Urs Meier claims to have received death threats among the 16,000 messages sent to his email address after it was published by English tabloids. Man Utd may not bid for Wayne Rooney – at present they can offer “only” £22m.
   
Monday 28 “The last three or four weeks have been very confusing,” says Steven Gerrard who holds a press conference to announce that he won’t be leaving Liverpool. Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez rebuffs David Beckham’s claim that a poor training regime at the club left him unfit at Euro 2004: “Who keeps flying back to England when he is asked to rest?”

Tuesday 29
Partick launch their appeal against the SPL’s decision to promote Inverness. Bradford City’s administrators say the club will go out of business on Thursday unless they are allowed to play rent-free at Valley Parade. Valencia are to sue Rafael Benítez for leaving with a year still left on his contract.X

From WSC 210 August 2004. What was happening this month

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