June issue available now online and in store
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Relegation: Fan fury at Oldham | Scunthorpe's dramatic decline
Historic champions: Ipswich's unique League title | When the Belles ruled
Brighton's best ever team? | Messi unhappy in Paris | Euro 2022 venues under fire | The meltdown at Man Utd | Zlatan on film | From The Oval to Wembley: The FA Cup's search for a home | NAC Breda fans fight back | Swindon's star striker | Design Museum exhibition | End-of-season non-League uncertainty | Matt Le Tissier controversy | Spanish phone leak scandal | West Cheshire League | Cardiff's title win in red | Focus on Carlo Ancelotti
Iron curtains Scunthorpe's rapid decline to relegation
After 72 years, Scunthorpe United will start next season as a non-League club. Just four years ago, the Iron were League One play-off semi-finalists; how has it gone so wrong so quickly? Warning signs were there during that run to the play-offs in 2018, when manager Graham Alexander was sacked despite the club being in fifth place. Opinion is still split as to whether this was the right response to a poor run of form or a desperate last throw of the dice to get to the Championship on the back of relatively big spending.
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Southampton Seagulls aim for highest ever League finish
Almost exactly 25 years ago, on April 26, 1997, Brighton & Hove Albion played their last game at the Goldstone Ground. Falling apart and hemmed in by housing, the place was no longer fit for purpose. Its death could have been less traumatic, but it had to go. And though it took 14 years, a long battle in the courts and the largesse of chairman Tony Bloom to build it, the American Express Community Stadium was worth the wait: not least for its three Harvey’s real ales on tap. Beer does matter, you know.
Line of succession Erik ten Hag takes on the impossible job
Manchester United currently have an “interim manager” – no caretakers any more, a change of emphasis that is appropriate for the world’s most disengaged managerial appointee. Ralf Rangnick loves to talk about “transitions” and his replacement is “all about transitions” too. Transition is a term pertinent to unravelling why United find themselves “in crisis”.
First timers Remembering Ipswich Town's 1962 League title
Suffolk’s reputation as a sedate, humble sort of a place is mostly well founded. Its countryside is soothing rather than spectacular; the locals’ sense of regional pride is expressed with modesty rather than flamboyance. Accordingly, the Ipswich Town Supporters’ Association handbook for 1962–63 – the season following the club’s only Football League championship – commences by offering “the Highest Praise and Congratulations to all our Players, Management, etc”, before moving straight on to the important business of reminding members about their entitlement to accident insurance. Sixty years on from that 1961-62 title, it’s surprising that it doesn’t have a more prominent place in the history books. Ipswich won the League in the season after their first ever promotion to the top level – something never achieved before or since – only 24 years after joining the Football League. Remember Wigan reaching the Premier League in 2005? Imagine if they’d won it straight away. That’s what Ipswich managed six decades ago.
Scunthorpe United photo via Getty Images, Brighton & Hove Albion v Southampton photo by Simon Gill/WSC Photos, Manchester United photo via Getty Images, Ipswich Town photo via Getty Images
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