Clubs

Mike Ticher explains how Glenn Hoddle changed the culture at Chelsea without changing there fortunes

There’s a saying about the underlying sameness of German history, despite all the turmoil on the surface: “It was a very German revolution. That is, not a revolution at all.” In some ways, Glenn Hoddle’s already-mythical reign at Stamford Bridge was a very Chelsea revolution. He has been rightly praised in all quarters for implementing a highly technical, intelligent and aesthetically pleasing style of play. Or, as the Daily Telegraph so graciously put it, for “achieving the monumental feat of educating Chelsea supporters about what constitutes good football”. Yet in terms of consistency and ultimate achievement, it was the same old Chelsea.

Dick Sharman examines Rushden & Diamonds' success in 1996

Something is stirring in East Northants. In the little-known market town of Irthlingborough, one of many such places in the area separated by unremarkable, gently rolling fields, a a fledgling club are being nurtured by a multi-millionaire. Rushden and Diamonds are the new champions of the Beazer Homes League, already priming themselves for Endsleigh League status – and beyond. The galling thing for Northampton Town fans is that is should have been us.

Poole Town have had a nightmare season. Colin Tapner reports

It is too easy to be seduced by pre-season form. When Poole Town beat an understrength Dorchester 1-0 in a friendly in August, I was brimming with confidence for the season ahead. Eight months and thirty-nine straight defeats later, we were on the brink of breaking a British record.

Adam Brown looks into how a group of Manchester United supporters are successfully challenging the club hierachy

Victory on the pitch might be nothing new for Manchester United but victory for United’s fans certainly is. A year into their existence and the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (lMUSA) are claiming limited success in their efforts to get Manchester United plc to take a bit more notice of their fans and to improve the stagnant Old Trafford atmosphere.

Nick House explains how Torquay Utd have come to find themselves light years adrift at the bottom of Division Three

They say when things are looking brightest the worst should be expected, when things look bad the best is to come. Such has been the story at Torquay United where spells at the foot of the Football League give way to play-off appearances before depths are plummeted again. The score since 1987: Fights for League Survival, 3; Play-off Heroics, 3.

Borussia Dortmund's recent success in the Bundesliga is a throwback to the days when their region dominated German football, as Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger explains

Just over a month into the New Year and Borussia Dortmund are exactly where they were twelve months ago: at the top of the Bundesliga and in the quarter finals of a European cup. In 1995 they beat Lazio to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. This year their Champions League run seems likely to end at the hands of Ajax. If you had predicted this scenario a decade ago, you would have been taken to a place where the rooms have no windows.

Archie MacGregor explains why Edinburgh clubs have little need of trophy cabinets

On the top of a hill in the centre of Scotland’s capital rests a sorry-looking, unfinished 19th Century monument to the dead of the Napoleonic Wars. Intended to be a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, it has for many years now been popularly referred to as ‘Edinburgh’s disgrace’. As a symbol of inflated grandeur, unfulfilled potential and downright farce it has few rivals throughout these isles, yet, oddly enough, two of the closest contenders lie within its immediate environs. They are called Hearts and Hibs.

Doug Stenhouse explains why Berwick Rangers, rescued from the brink of oblivion, have more reason than most to be thankful to their supporters' club

You might know Berwick Rangers as the only English team in the Scottish League. You might even know that through a quirk of history, the town of Berwick was left out of the peace treaty at the end of the Crimean War, so Berwick was technically at war with Russia for over 100 years. You probably do not know that Shielfield Park, Berwick Rangers’ ground is owned by their supporters, a unique situation brought about by a tale so bizarre even the script writers of Baywatch would have found it too far-fetched.

Shotts Bon Accord of the Scottish Juniors are the latest club to be embroiled in legal intrigue. Graham McColl takes up their case

On paper, Scottish Junior club Shotts Bon Accord should be one of the contenders for this season’s Junior Cup. But that’s where their chances of winning the Juniors’ premier tournament will remain – on paper. A plot that looks as though John Le Carré and the Monty Python team have put their heads together has led to the club being taken out of service for the 1995-96 season.

Joe Ferrari reports from Norwich on why the clamour for Robert Chase's departure is getting louder by the day

Norwich City’s traditional Yuletide slide – two points from seven games – took on deeper significance this year, set against a backdrop of bitter division on and off the pitch, blame for which can be laid squarely at the door of club chairman Robert Chase.

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