THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Saturday 1 Berlin’s stadium announcer is replaced after urging the crowd to cheer Germany during their quarter-final. Glenn Hoddle resigns at Wolves. “My expectations and the club’s have drifted too far apart,” he says. Paul Ince is tipped to step in.

Sunday 2 David Beckham quits as England captain, although he wants to keep playing. He tearfully mentions Steve McClaren and Peter Taylor twice, with a solitary nod towards “Sven”. “Maybe we’re a victim of our own honesty and Wayne more than most,” reasons John Terry as the campaign against “Sly Senor” Ronaldo gathers momentum. Honest Wayne is quoted as telling team-mates over breakfast that he wants to “smack him on the head and split him in two”, though he may have been referring to his boiled egg.X

Monday 3 All Greek teams are suspended by FIFA over government interference in the running of the FA. Jason Roberts joins Blackburn, who will also have a go at reviving Francis Jeffers’s career.

Tuesday 4 The FA’s official response to Wayne Rooney’s dismissal won’t include the apology that FIFA had been hoping for. “We believe there were one or two potential fouls against Wayne during the same move,” says a spokesman. The Italian FA prosecutor recommends that Juventus be relegated to Serie C, with Juventus, Fiorentina and AC Milan demoted one level.

Thursday 6 Germany’s Lukas Podolski is named the best young player at the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo had been favourite, but Winkygate seems to have cost him: “We want to have decent behaviour and I admit we were critical of this,” says a spokesman. Wigan pay £5.5m for Emile Heskey.

Friday 7 John Terry is the only Englishman in FIFA’s squad of the tournament, with seven Italians and four Frenchmen. Marcello Lippi denies reports that he may be Sir Alex’s successor at Old Trafford: “How can you work in a place where you don’t even know the language?” Ronaldo is very keen to leave: “I think I should get out of Manchester.”

Monday 10 Zinedine Zidane is named FIFA’s player of the World Cup in a poll conducted among journalists before the end of the final. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink signs for Charlton. Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen will have treatment for “anger management” after being sent home from a club trip to South Africa for alleged bad behaviour on the plane.

Wednesday 12
Dietmar Hamann joins Man City a day after changing his mind about a move to Bolton. Marcello Lippi and Jürgen Klinsmann both resign as national-team coaches. FIFA lift their ban on the Greek federation, imposed last month for political interference.

Thursday 13
Robert Huth’s move to Middlesbrough is scuppered by an ankle injury. West Brom tell Arsenal that they want £10 million for centre-back Curtis Davies. The Football League announce that their clubs paid £7.6m in agents fees last season, two per cent less than in 2004-05.

Friday 14 Tough sentences for most of the clubs caught up in the Serie A match-fixing scandal. Juventus are stripped of their last two league titles, relegated to Serie B and docked 30 points for next season. Fiorentina and Lazio are also relegated and docked 12 and seven points respectively. Milan get to stay in Serie A with a 15-point handicap. Marco Materazzi appears for two hours before FIFA officials telling them exactly what he said to Zinedine Zidane during the World Cup final. Aston Villa players issue a joint statement criticising the club’s failure to replace them with other more expensive players. Further complaints include the sacking of a masseur and the club physio’s inability to claim expenses for a cup of coffee at an airport. Craig Bellamy is officially unveiled as a Liverpool player. “I’m not naive enough to think that, by coming here, everyone will suddenly think I’m a nice guy,” he says.
Saturday 15 Newcastle can only draw 1-1 at home to Lillestrom in the first leg of their Intertoto Cup tie, Albert Luque scoring his first competitive goal at St James’ Park. Andy Johnson is stripped of his shirt and boots at the end of his Everton debut, a 3-1 friendly win against Bury. “Andy didn’t feel in any danger,” says assistant manager Alan Irvine, after club staff are sent out to rescue him. Ashley Cole and Cheryl Tweedy get married at a stately home. Football food is served at the reception: prawn cocktail followed by steak and chips.

Monday 17 Publicity for Wayne Rooney’s forthcoming autobiography reveals he can’t go to sleep without the sound of a hoover in the background. “I not only like to have the TV and light on but also a vacuum cleaner. Failing that a fan or hairdryer will do.” Southampton are signing a 19-year-old centre-half called Pelé from Portuguese club Belenenses.

Tuesday 18 The big four in the Premiership are all being linked with loan deals for Juventus players wanting to escape relegation, but Arsène isn’t interested: “Not many clubs in the world can afford to pay these kinds of wages.” Cardiff accuse West Brom of “jeopardising the career” of Jason Koumas after their £2m bid is rejected. Doug Ellis is said to be “furious” about alleged player unrest at Villa. “We don’t know what the conclusion is, but we’re going to speak to the chairman about stuff,” says Lee Hendrie.

Wednesday 19 David O’Leary leaves Villa after an inquiry into his role in the players’ message of discontent. Man Utd turn down a Real Madrid approach for Ruud van Nistelrooy for whom they want £10m. Nicolas Anelka says he will consider an offer from Portsmouth: “My ambition would be to join a club that regularly plays in the Champions League, but I cannot force them to recruit me.” West Ham’s Shaun Newton is banned for seven months after testing positive for cocaine. Alexandre Gaydamak completes his takeover of Portsmouth with supposedly his own money, though Milan Mandaric will stay on as chairman.

Thursday 20 Zinedine Zidane, who has retired, receives a three-match ban for his World Cup headbutt. It’s not clear whether FIFA can extend this to include kickabouts with his children, though community service is an option. Marco Materazzi receives a two-match ban for his alleged trash talking. Feyenoord reject a Liverpool offer for Dirk Kuyt.

Friday 21 Mick McCarthy is the new manager of Wolves. “He has all the qualities we are looking for in a manager,” says chief executive Jez Moxey. Darren Bent will miss the start of the season after slicing his hand open while chopping onions. Chelsea full-back Asier Del Horno is to return to Spain with Valencia.

Saturday 22
In the Intertoto, Hibernian lose on away goals to Odense of Denmark, but Newcastle beat Lillestrom 3-0 to progress into the UEFA Cup qualifiers (are you following this?). There’s more good news for Newcastle as Damien Duff signs from Chelsea for a reported £10m. “He’ll really excite the fans,” promises Glenn Roeder. Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial game against Ajax is a sell-out at the Emirates Stadium, the first match there. Gillingham’s friendly against QPR comes close to being cancelled after the club has their electricity cut off. “I spent 36 hours arguing with the electricity company,” says chairman Paul Scally, fresh from a day and a half spent listening to The Four Seasons and being told how important his call is.

Sunday 23
Premier League chairman Sir David Richards is cleared of any wrongdoing over allegations of illegal payments at Sheffield Wednesday. Thieves steal England caps, a World Cup shirt and the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year trophy from Wayne Rooney’s parents’ house. Police warn members of the public they may be offered the items in a pub.

Monday 24
A statement to the Stock Exchange reveals Newcastle paid just £5m for Damien Duff. Plymouth captain Paul Wotton has hospital treatment following a fight between players at a restaurant on the club’s Austrian tour. Ruud van Nistelrooy turns up for the first day of pre-season training with Manchester United.

Tuesday 25 Sunderland’s new chairman Niall Quinn names himself as team boss, for the time being: “We have to get to a point where I can pick the phone up, go to a world-class manager and say ‘come now’.” Sheffield Utd spend £2m on Leeds striker Rob Hulse. The four Italian clubs caught up in the Moggi scandal have their sentences reduced on appeal – Juventus will start in Serie B with minus 17 points, Fiorentina and Lazio are reprieved from relegation, while Milan will be allowed into the Champions League and have their points deduction halved. Dunga becomes the first QPR director to be appointed as coach of Brazil, replacing Carlos Alberto Parreira, who resigned last week.

Wednesday 26
A consortium fronted by Birmingham businessman Michael Neville offers £64m for Aston Villa. Randy Lerner, billionaire chairman of credit card company MBNA, is also expected to bid. Sunderland wing-back Julio Arca is Gareth Southgate’s first signing for Middlesbrough; Quinton Fortune is lured to Bolton by their appliance of science: “The methods put into practice here are at a technologically advanced stage and that is something that interests me.” Fernando Torres is the latest player to rule out a move to Old Trafford: “If I wanted to leave Atlético I would have gone years ago.” Hearts win 3-0 against Siroki Brijeg of Bosnia in the Champions League second qualifying round.

Thursday 27
“I always wanted to come to Liverpool,” says Jermaine Pennant on completing a surprise £6m move. Sven’s agent Athole Still is reported to be part of another consortium bidding for Villa. Former UEFA Cup winners IFK Gothenburg are knocked out of this season’s tournament 2-0 on aggregate by Derry City. Another Swedish club, Gefle, lose to Llanelli of the Welsh League. Ireland’s Drogheda beat HJK Helsinki.

Friday 28 Arsenal’s David Dein claims to have had “a couple of very civilised conversations” with Chelsea about wantaway flankman Ashley Cole. Ruud van Nistelrooy is to complete a move to Real Madrid. Benni McCarthy leaves Porto for Blackburn. Liverpool are paired with Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League qualifiers while Arsenal will play Dinamo Zagreb. In the UEFA Cup Newcastle get FK Ventspils of Latvia, while it’s Gretna v Derry, Drogheda v Start Kristiansand of Norway and Llanelli against Odense.

Saturday 29
Celtic win 4-1 at home to Kilmarnock in the SPL’s first game. “If you want to play for Celtic, you have to put up with the nonsense,” says Gordon Strachan, referring to criticism of the club’s poor form in pre-season. The champions are the only team to win at home, with newly promoted St Mirren’s 2-1 victory at Inverness the main surprise. Scotland lose 2-1 to Spain in the UEFA Under-19 Championship final.

Sunday 30 Rangers begin with a 2-1 win at Motherwell in Paul Le Guen’s first competitive game in charge. “We missed many chances but it does not matter,” says Le Guen, who seems to have sized up Scottish football. Alan Shearer turns down the chance to join Terry Venables as an assistant to new England boss Steve McClaren.

Monday 31 Michael Carrick signs for Man Utd for a fee that could end up rising to £18.6m. Carrick, who joined Spurs from West Ham for £2.75m two years ago, is clear about his reasons for moving: “This is a football decision, a decision not driven by money.” Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s director of coaching development, says his attempts to reform youth football are being resisted by factions at the FA: “The game is at a standstill. Everything I’ve tried to do has been blocked.” Football League chairman, and FA council member, Brian Mawhinney responds to what he describes as “an outburst” by saying: “I am not impressed with Sir Trevor’s arguments or the methodology... When an employee goes public over the head of his line manager, I think you are entitled to be concerned.” The FA charge Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink with bringing the game into disrepute over his claims Chelsea paid their players an illegal bonus after the 2004 Champions League quarter-final win against Arsenal. William Gallas, apparently hoping for a transfer, fails to turn up to Chelsea’s training camp in the US. Wolves chairman Rick Hayward resigns. “The family business interests in the Bahamas are expanding. I’m finding it more difficult to spend time in Wolverhampton,” he says, sipping a drink with a pink umbrella in it.X

From WSC 235 September 2006. What was happening this month

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