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14 October 2011 ~

Garry Cook has only been gone a few weeks and already he has a successor as the embodiment of crass corporate bluster in the Premier League. It's Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre for his suggestion that clubs should be able to negotiate their own foreign TV deals. Ayre's proposal was quickly slapped down by other clubs, with the best response from the chairman who said "You won't get more money by killing the heart and soul of football in England". Making Dave Whelan sound like the voice of reason is quite an achievement.

Badge of the week ~ CD Motagua, Honduras
This is another case of a perfectly serviceable club crest being changed, not inexpensively, for a new, soullessly abstracted version. The earlier crest depicts a falcon or kestrel (where is Bill Oddie when you want him?) alighting with deadly suddenness on a stray football – an image full of movement, tension and drama, as the prey is bungeed up into the heavens like a squealing rabbit. And yet this was perceived as too literal, too traditionally representational for the 21st century owners of Motagua and a new design was sought, one that conveyed more style and less content. So now the Motagua falcon or kestrel resembles not so much a born killer of the unseen heights as the next speaker at the Young Conservatives annual conference. From a Janis Joplin falcon/kestrel to a Kathryn Williams falcon/kestrel – easier on the eye, but with, as it were, no flawed heart to crack the voice. This is the way society is going, I'm afraid. You'll get moved on by a community policeman these days for standing within 50 metres of Downing Street with unmanageable hair. Cameron Carter

from Glyn Teesdale

"Some people have got into a flap about this junior league not publishing their real match results, but having been on the end of double-figure thrashings as a ten-year-old goalkeeper it looks OK to me. (My therapist says I'll be over it by the time I'm 50.)""

from Nick Dunmore
"A poignant moment in the twilight of Junior Agogo's days at Forest." 

Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

IFK Gothenburg home, 1997-98
Sponsorship deals scattered carelessly across every nook and cranny of shirts have been the norm in Sweden for 20 years. One notable exception comes from the two-time UEFA Cup winners, IFK Gothenburg, who have left the experimenting solely to their away tops while keeping the blue and white striped home shirt clean. In 1982, the new main shirt sponsor, a domestic supermarket chain, agreed to change its original font from red to blue to blend in better with the club colours.

The sponsorship deal also directly benefitted the players at a time when full-time professionalism was almost unheard of. Pacy attacker Johnny Ekström famously kept dozing off behind the steering wheel of a forklift truck at the supermarket warehouse during the day, before leaving his marker trailing a few hours later at the Ullevi stadium.

After successful Champions League campaigns in the earlier part of the 1990s, IFK Gothenburg had money to burn and squandered a great deal of it on transfers that more often than not backfired badly. The club finished second in the Swedish top flight in 1997 but fell to eighth the following year and haven't done much better since.

At the start of this year, IFK Gothenburg announced that the supermarket chain would soon be replaced as the club's main sponsor, perhaps fittingly, by a debt collection agency. Henrik Manninen

from Stephen Hughes
"With regard to animals at football matches mentioned in last week's Howl, I saw a butterfly flitting along the Kop goal-line at Anfield a few years ago. Nothing unusual in that you might think, but it was on New Year's Day. That was when I first started worrying about climate change."

This week in history ~ Division One, October 8, 1932



After Arsenal's draw with Derby – to which their centre-half Herbie Roberts contributed two own goals - a run of ten wins in 11 games took them to the top, where they stayed. The only blip was a 5-3 defeat to nearest rivals Aston Villa in mid-November. Villa were to finish second, four points behind the champions.

The 1932-33 title was the first of three in a row for Arsenal, who had won their first championship two seasons previously. Their manager Herbert Chapman had guided Huddersfield to two of their three consecutive League titles in the 1920s before leaving for Highbury. Chapman didn't see Arsenal complete their own treble, however, as he died in January 1934 after catching pneumonia on a scouting trip.

Arsenal scored 118 goals, recorded the biggest win of the season (8-0 against Leicester) and also beat Sheffield United 9-2 on Christmas Eve. Derby's Jack Bowers was top scorer with 35 goals, two ahead of Villa's George Brown and Arsenal winger Cliff Bastin.

Leicester were in the bottom two from December but avoided the drop by winning their last three games, ending with a 6-2 defeat of West Brom. Along with Wolves and Chelsea they finished two points clear of Blackpool and Bolton.

Reigning champions Everton finished 11th but won the FA Cup, beating Man City 3-0. In the final the players wore shirt numbers for the first time, 1-11 for Everton and 12-22 for City.

Distinctive names playing this season included: Ellis Gee (Everton), Billy Fogg (Huddersfield), Cyril Done (Liverpool), Alf Strange (Sheffield Wed) and Harry Raw (West Brom).

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