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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.

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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.

Accrington relegated, Luton champions and chaos at Northampton – what WSC contributors got right and wrong about the previous season

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.”

Burton mid-table, Barnsley not doing much and Doncaster troubling the play-offs – what WSC contributors got right and wrong about the previous season

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.

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Ramsbottom United 1 Barwell 3, 03/10/2015, Riverside Stadium, Northern Premier League

Middlesbrough up, Brighton floundering and Charlton safe – what WSC contributors got right and wrong in their predictions for the previous season

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.

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Port Vale 3 Doncaster Rovers 0, 22/08/2015, League One, Vale Park.

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