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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.
3 August ~ “With a takeover saga looming, a half-finished stand and rumours rife about matters financial, it isn’t the pre-season preparation Cobblers fans would have hoped for,” wrote Northampton Town fan Mark Pacan ahead of the 2015-16 League Two season, before predicting: “Best case scenario, play-offs. Worst case scenario, relegation and oblivion.”
2 August ~ “I’ll be pleasantly surprised if we make the play-offs,” said Wigan fan Ian Aspinall ahead of the 2015-16 League One season, after pointing to their high turnover of players, untried manager and the League’s youngest chairman. Ian must have been amazed, then, when his team were promoted as champions come May, top scorers in the league thanks in large part to the form of Will Grigg. It won’t as come as much of a shock to the other League One contributors, however, who had Wigan down as runners-up.
Ramsbottom United 1 Barwell 3, 03/10/2015, Riverside Stadium, Northern Premier League
1 August ~ “Automatic promotion,” asserted Burnley fan Kevin Clarke ahead of the 2015-16 Championship season. “It goes against everything I believe in as a Burnley fan to predict this, but there really is no reason why not.” It took them a couple of games to get going but in the end Kevin’s confidence was well placed and his team sealed an immediate return to the Premier League, going up as champions by four points.
Port Vale 3 Doncaster Rovers 0, 22/08/2015, League One, Vale Park.
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.”
The new WSC is out now, available in all good newsagents or to order from the WSC shop.
- England exit in confusion
- Marvellous month for Wales
- Portugal: teamwork triumphs
- From Bilic to Shearer: TV analysed
- Views from Lille and Marseille
- Taking on Europe in 1973
Crewe Alexandra training ground shoot, 2002.
Another major international tournament has been and gone, which means it’s time for you to have your say on the state of the game in the 2016 WSC Survey – and maybe win a WSC T-shirt. Who put in the best underdog performance at Euro 2016? Who do you trust to run football? What would you change about WSC? We promise we read all your responses, so don’t hold back. As ever we’re grateful for your participation and it should take you about ten minutes.