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Via The Set Pieces

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.

Tournaments such as the World Cup foster jingoism and are exploited by sponsors

10 August ~ Nation states are the result of wars, intrigues, marriage, propaganda, blackmail, lies and deception," wrote former German cabinet minister Norbert Blum in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper yesterday in a column headed Nationalism Equals Idiocy.

Tifosy launch push to increase awareness of Non-League Day and raise money for charity

GlossopNLD

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.

September issue available online

wsc355The new WSC is out now, available to order from the WSC shop.

- England appoint Allardyce
- Premier League 2 is here
- The story of replica shirts
- "I was an intern at Crystal Palace"
- Pitfalls of Panini collecting
- Naples' other clubs

wsc355 preview2016-17 Season Guide
Club-by-club guide for Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, Scottish Premiership
Predicted league tables
How will your team do?
Who did you like and dislike?
What were the best and worst moments?
Alternative club merchandise
National League roundup
Buy here to read the full guide

“Competitions” such as the International Champions Cup miss the point of pre-season games

8 August ~ Last week I went to a football match in which nothing was won or lost, the pace was slow and the flow stilted by 13 substitutions. I’ve seen Burnley before. I’ve watched Rangers for decades. And I’ve attended more friendlies than most fans would think advisable in one lifetime. But when the post denied Burnley the chance to go 3-0 up after just 23 minutes I realised it could become the biggest defeat I’d ever seen my team suffer and that, consequently, I cared deeply about this match.

Latics faced hunt for new manager, a winding-up petition and ownership uncertainty

6 August ~ The start of 2016-17 can't come soon enough for Oldham Athletic fans like me. Last season ended on something approaching a high. From near certainties for relegation, the return of John Sheridan as manager kickstarted a remarkable recovery that saw us survive for another season in League One.

For the first time the second tier will have more title winners than the top division

5 August ~ For the first time ever, Bundesliga 2 hosts a higher number of former national champions than the top division. Tonight, Kaiserslautern and Hannover 96 contest the inaugural match of the new season. A pairing like that wouldn't look out of the place in the Bundesliga given that those two sides share no less than six national championships between them. Indeed, preceding the set-up of the Bundesliga, Kaiserslautern and Hannover met in the 1954 national final, the rank outsiders from the north thumping their more illustrious opponents 5-1.

wsc355GuidePreview

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.

If you haven’t already, simply register with Exact Editions here (you will need your subscriber number, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you don’t know it) and you’ll be able to see the predicted league tables, find out how we think your team will do, last season’s best and worst moments, likes and dislikes, plus suggestions for your club’s alternative football merchandise. It features the Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, National League and Scottish Premiership.

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.

After six years in non-League the Mariners pulled together under Paul Hurst

4 August ~ “Clap, clap, clap, clap… Fish!” is still reverberating around my head a couple of months after Grimsby’s play-off final victory and return to the Football League. It doesn’t seem over six years since I wrote about going to work past the street named after Mariners legend Jackie Bestall and how he would be turning in his grave as we slipped into non-League. There is a whole generation of Grimsby fans (my own boys included) who had never experienced promotion, only relegation.

Dundee United mid-table, Hamilton rock bottom and Ross County in trouble – what WSC contributors got right and wrong from the previous season

4 August ~ “Right at the very top (of the bottom half of the table),” predicted Dundee United fan Ken Gall ahead of the 2015-16 Scottish Premiership season. He wasn’t the only one who didn’t see their relegation coming – the rest of the division’s contributors had United in seventh too. Yet manager Jackie McNamara was sacked by the end of September and they won just two matches before Christmas as they went down for the first time since 1995.

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