16 August ~ Blackburn Rovers fans have launched a petition demanding that the FA investigate the running of their club. Since the Indian poultry processing company Venky’s took over Rovers in November 2010 the club have gone from mid-table in the Premier League to bottom of the Championship. With reported debts now around £100 million, supporters have had enough of owners who they say refuse to communicate with either fans or staff.
15 August ~ Former Aston Villa striker Dalian Atkinson has reportedly died after being shot with a Taser by police in Telford. Atkinson, who was 48 years old, also played for Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Real Sociedad and Fenerbahce. His brilliant solo goal for Aston Villa against Wimbledon on October 2, 1992 won Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season competition.
11 August ~ Last season Wolves supporters were stuck in a state of apathy. Then over summer Fosun, a Chinese investment group, efficiently and professionally completed their takeover, transforming the mood among the fanbase.
9 August ~ Last weekend Tifosy launched a fanfunding campaign to increase awareness of Non-League Day and to raise money for their charitable partner Prostate Cancer UK. Non-League Day takes place on September 3 and, since starting in 2010, has become one of the highlights of the non-League season.
4 August ~ WSC 355, including the 2016-17 Season Guide, will be out next week but subscribers don’t have to wait for their copy to arrive in the post – you can access the digital edition now on smartphone, tablet or computer at no extra cost.
Plus there is your normal WSC – England appoint Allardyce: what could go wrong? | Premier League 2 is here | The story of replica shirts | “I was an intern at Crystal Palace” | The other clubs in Naples | Kosovo set for international debut | The pitfalls of Panini collecting | Clampdown on football in Turkey.
19 July ~ Charlton Athletic’s long-time matchday announcer has stepped down from his role and will now join fans’ protests against club owner Roland Duchatelet. Dave Lockwood, who has been on the mic at The Valley for 24 years, released a statement to the South London Press yesterday in which he said: “It isn’t Charlton anymore is it? Not our Charlton. For 24 seasons I have had the privilege of being the announcer, maybe the voice of the Valley? But I can take no more. When a statement on the website accuses fans of wanting failure.”
16 July ~ Millwall fans who were denied entry to the Etihad Stadium as neutrals have had their complaint upheld by the Independent Football Ombudsman (IFO). Nick Weavis and his group of friends had originally been planning to attend Millwall’s match at Oldham but, when it was cancelled, opted to watch nearby Manchester City play Swansea instead. However, upon learning they were Millwall fans the cashier at the Etihad refused to sell them tickets. When Weavis initially complained Manchester City put the decision down to police advice, but a freedom of information request to Greater Manchester Police revealed no such advice was given.
11 July ~ In spite of both Sweden’s and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s underperformance at the Euros, the latter's status and commercial drawing power is just as strong as it was before the tournament. After a decade of pilgrimage to Milan, Barcelona and Paris it is now time for Manchester to be the hottest destination for the relatively well off among Swedish football fans. It’s fair to assume that the weak British pound will also contribute to the stream of travellers.
7 June ~ John Gaustad, the founder of the influential bookshop Sportspages, died over the weekend. The first Sportspages was opened on Caxton Walk, just off Charing Cross Road, in London in 1985 and became hugely important in the rise of sports literature, offering fans and journalists a dedicated place to go to find writing about football. The shop was also one of the early stockists of WSC, as well as many other fanzines at that time. Gaustad went on to co-found the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 1989 and opened a second branch of the shop in Manchester in 1992.
5 June ~ On May 19 the Football League put forward proposals to reorganise the domestic system into five divisions of 20 teams from the 2019-20 season. The League claim that clubs would not be financially worse off despite having fewer games, while it would also help to ease fixture congestion. The suggestions received a mixed response from both those running and supporting clubs in the divisions that would be affected. Now Supporters Direct are asking their members’ opinions on the proposals – you can take the survey here.