Phil Tanner grinds his teeth over the Welsh FA's hypocrisy and says they may have jeopardised the national team's status
Declaring interests has not been a central theme of Lancaster Gate-gate (or Westgate-gate as it might be termed on the other side of the Severn Bridge), but what the hell. I support a Welsh non-League club which in 1995 had to go to court to establish its right under restraint of trade law not to be forced into the League of Wales. The pillar of the Welsh FA’s defence was that national associations outside the UK were stepping up pressure over the so-called home nations’ independent status and that even minor anomalies such as three clubs, each with a few hundred supporters, playing on both sides of the border might ultimately threaten the existence of the Welsh national side. (For some reason the fact that three much larger clubs did likewise was discounted, but we’ll skip that.)
John Sugden & Alan Tomlinson put forward their view of the transition from Havelange to Blatter, who became FIFA president in 1998
At FIFA’s 51st Congress in Paris, on the eve of the World Cup finals, Sepp Blatter – the man most responsible for outlawing the tackle from behind – felled Lennart Johansson with a late challenge that Tommy Smith would have been proud of. After a secret ballot, Blatter swept to the FIFA presidency by 111 votes to 80. The result stunned Johansson’s supporters. Only days before they had been confidently predicting a comfortable victory for the man who for the past four years had been tirelessly promoting a campaign to reform FIFA based on principles of democracy and transparency.
Drug taking may be a problem in English football, but Tim Springett wouldn't recommend random testing
A further wave of revelations of professional footballers in England testing positive for drugs is, predictably, leading to a clamour for the football authorities to get tough on drug use and follow the example set by the International Amateur Athletics Federation. It is to be hoped that, instead, the FA and their international counterparts learn from the IAAF’s mistakes.
The Premier League conduct an annual survey. John Williams of the Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research explains what it's all about
The idea for a national fan survey of Premier League club supporters was hatched around three years ago following discussions between Carling and the FA Premier League itself, primarily its Chief Executive, Rick Parry.
Like it or not, the Bosman law is now always with us. And the European Commissioner responsible for enforcing the judgement foresees more upheaval just around the corner, as Philip Cornwall investigates
There are two problems with covering the Bosman ruling. Firstly, like the Venables saga it is endlessly technical, has nothing to do with anything which is remotely attractive about following football and has no end in sight. Secondly – like the Venables saga – it requires acceptance of the world as it is, not as one would like it to be.
Few people have spent more time studying the Bosman Judgment than Glyn Ford, Labour MEP for Greater Manchester East, and he thinks that a lot of what has been said has missed the point. This could turn out to only be the beginning
Pages and pages have been written on the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in the Bosman Case. And they’ve all been wrong. Jean-Marc Bosman took two issues to the Court. Firstly, that of the transfer system, and secondly, limitations on ‘foreign’ players. He won both arguments, but not in the way it has been commonly described. The European Court did not outlaw the foreign player rule – three foreigners plus two assimilated players. They ruled instead that under Article 48 of EC law it was illegal to discriminate against nationals of other Member States, thereby making all EC citizens domestic players.