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Uli Hesse on the fraught play-offs to reach the Second Bundesliga in 1991

icon japanball4 June ~ Twenty-five years ago Hansa Rostock won the last-ever East German cup final, but that wasn’t the end of football in the GDR. After the German reunification, East German teams were distributed into the West German league pyramid. When the Bundesliga was formed in 1963 the clubs were admitted base on a ranking calculated over the previous 12 years, yet for the teams in the GDR’s Oberliga, it came down to how they performed over just one season.

The Tilehurst End blog argues the club are an “enabling development”

ReadingMadjeski

2 June ~ Brian McDermott’s sacking by Reading last week came as a surprise to some but the Tilehurst End blog argue that it is just the latest sign that the owners do not have a coherent strategy for the football club. Instead, the blog suggests that the consortium in charge of Reading are more interested in the Madjeski Stadium’s potential as an “enabling development” for the surrounding Royal Elm Park. “You can be sure that without the property development opportunities afforded to them the Thai owners – who have a background in property development – would not be interested in Reading FC,” the blog says.

Vulgar commercialism aside, the European Cup’s lustre is built on a monopoly

1 June ~ Liverpool v Milan in 2005 then 2007; Manchester United v Barcelona in 2009 and 2011; then, on Saturday, Real Madrid defeated Atlético Madrid in the Champions League final for the second time in three years. UEFA competition has become a boring fait accompli, yet I still love the European Cup final. A marathon of cynical commercial tat, including some of the preening participants, it remains the most genuinely heavyweight fixture in club football – and an unmissable date with the television.

We are pleased to announce the return of the annual WSC writers' competition, in memory of contributor David Wangerin. Entrants are invited to submit an article of between 800 and 1,500 words, about any aspect of the 2018-19 football season. The award was David's idea and he requested that it should only be open to amateur writers, ie those who don't make their living from writing. DEADLINE EXTENDED! The closing date for submissions is Monday, June 3, 2019.

Please read the rules and the declaration before submitting your entry. By entering the competition you declare that you have read and agreed to the terms specified in the rules and the declaration.

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