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5 August 2011 ~

Manchester United have offered Wesley Sneijder £180,000 a week but he is said to be holding out for £220,000. With the top tax rate at 50 per cent, if Wesley gets what he wants that could mean an extra £20,000 per week for the UK economy. The outcome may be that hospital wings and schools are named after David Gill and the Glazers but so be it.

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Badge of the week ~ FK Jauniba Riga, Latvia
Not many teams think of doing this. The artistic marriage of football iconography with road signs does not have a well-documented history and Jauniba's badge is a rare example of the breed. The designers have selected a No Entry sign here to make a statement about the club. Perhaps they are saying: "You know, hey, we are a closed shop here, a close-knit group, like the Freemasons or library staff. Beware, all outsiders." Which is reminiscent actually of the title of Curiosity Killed The Cat's first album, Keep Your Distance. The preening soul boys were fooling around the streets in the mid-1980s while proper people were going about their business when they saw a road sign and thought it would be a good name for their forthcoming album. They were wrong. Despite Jauniba Riga's unorthodox choice of image, it does communicate a strong message, a combination of mystery, solidarity and the jaunty deafness to argument of nightclub security. Had they chosen Soft Verges or Adverse Camber as the other half of their image the robustness of the message would have been compromised. Cameron Carter

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Villa's new keeper Shay Given was introduced to the fans via an escalator. He should have had to make diving saves on his way down while holding on to a full bag of shopping, with every item spilled costing him a week's wages.

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from Keith Rooney
"I didn't think that the Cesc Fàbregas transfer saga could get any more tedious, but the Metro plumbed new depths with this triumphantly banal item featuring Prime Minister Bumface."

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Violence in Thailand from which no one emerges with any credit. This wild kick by the keeper from the Siam Navy team is bad enough but look at the reaction it produces from his target, a Brazilian striker called Edvaldo

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from Richard Huston
"Presumably keen to show that they keep up with trends, the FA have asked hard rocking Reef to play before this year's Charity Shield. I don't know quite when we all jumped back in time to 1996 but I am looking forward to starting college again in the autumn."

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That Venky's advert is the most embarrassing promotional video featuring Blackburn players but it is almost matched by Rovers' Jermaine Jones struggling to remember his club's name.

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from Rob Weston
"I'm not surprised that Bangor City conceded ten in their Champions League tie in Helsinki having seen the shape of their keeper's legs. Or was he just dying to go to the toilet?"

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Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

Colchester United away, 1990-91
Clubs relegated to the Conference react in different ways. Ahead of their first non-League campaign since the 1940s, Colchester United decided that looking like West Brom was the way to go. Colchester had won their only major honour against the Baggies, the Watney Cup in 1971, though if that was the logic the legendary FA Cup win over Don Revie's Leeds the same year was surely more worthy of remembrance. In that season, Colchester wore a rare all-blue design, still with the medieval town crest on the shirt – they only began experimenting with a badge of their own the following season.

Aping West Brom did mean retaining the long-standing home blue and white stripes, albeit with a darker blue than seen before or since. More obviously the away strip evoked the iconic yellow and green stripes of Laurie Cunningham, Cyrille Regis and co in their pomp.
 
Remaining full-time and giving a young Ian Atkins his first of many managerial posts, Colchester were strongly tipped for an immediate return to Division Four. In the event Barnet under Barry Fry were to clinch the Conference title and the U's had to make do with the runners-up spot. At the end of a season probably better remembered in the town at large for the outbreak of the Gulf War, Atkins joined Birmingham as assistant manager. His replacement Roy McDonough would lead the club to the title and FA Trophy glory the following season. By then, though, the West Brom tribute had been dropped. Tom Prideaux

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