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28 October 2011 ~
A few newspapers mentioned that John Terry would be opening a pet shop this week so his reasons for pulling out seem a little murky. We can only assume that the snakes didn't want to be associated with him.
Badge of the week ~ FC Honka, Finland
Now a lot of people will look at this badge and think to themselves: "Hmmm…a football and a tree, not much to see here, I'll go and watch Pointless." The truth is, these people would be missing something. If you look at the tree on the Nottingham Forest badge, for example, you will see a symmetrical, inert, well-behaved tree, of the type that could readily be used as backdrop to a photo-opportunity of an MP planting saplings with disadvantaged children. FC Honka's tree, on the other hand, is a haunted tree. It stands alone on a wind-crippled promontory and, according to FC Honka's official history, was chanced upon by the club's founder at the lowest moment of his life.
Half-crazed with vodka, herring and the lack of pony-trekking possibilities in his area, he was about to take his own life when he noticed the tree splayed against the moonlit horizon. It may have been the herring, but it seemed to him as if the tree were pointing at something, pointing the way. With nothing to lose – he had recently tried and failed to get female attention by growing sideburns behind his ears – he staggered on in the indicated direction. After only 18 miles and a few minor turnings he remarkably found an unattended plot of land, perfect for a football pitch. Here he founded FC Honka (named after the sound his mother made when she dropped a turnip in the fire) and a legend, locally at least, was born. Cameron Carter
from Gareth Cogan
"If you don't have time to read all of John Richardson's report on Newcastle v Wigan in the Sunday Express, the first four paragraphs can be summed up as: all people from the south are Cockneys; Geordies drink a lot; the Bay of Biscay can be rough ."
from William Rice
"Watching the BBC's text updates on Tuesday night's Carling Cup games I saw yet more evidence of pro-Man Utd bias."
from Simon Edwards
""Where do the Premier League get their spokesmen from? I ask because of this quote in a report on the Football League clubs' vote in favour of the Elite Player Performance Plan.
'This is a bigger step change than Howard Wilkinson's Charter for Quality,' said a Premier League spokesman. 'That was an incredible piece of work, which everybody bought into. But that was a stake in the ground and everybody has marched past it.'
Under what circumstances do people march past a stake? I think this may only happen in team-bonding weekends for Premier League employees – but we can at least be thankful that he didn't mention a roadmap."
* Football League fans are being asked to boycott the first five minutes of their teams' matches this weekend in protest at these new rules
from Brad Woodhouse
"We've long known that the football media don't give a monkey's about anything that happens outside London and the north-west. However you'd think that a sub-editor responsible for writing headlines on a national newspaper might be aware of Alex McLeish's controversial summer job change."
If Darren Bent gets a hostile reception at the Stadium of Light this weekend, Sunderland's marketing department will be pleased as it seems to be a major part of their sales strategy.
from Paul Curry
"Like many, I often find myself browsing the squads of various Asian football teams, and the current Iranian national squad has a high number of players at major European and South American clubs , including an apparently combined City and United powerhouse."
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Newport County limited edition home, 2004-05
If evidence were needed that football fans should never have anything to do with shirt design, then here it is. Described by manufacturers Errea as "really quirky", this absurdity was worn by Newport County AFC during the 2004-05 season. The limited-edition shirt was sponsored by rap artists Goldie Lookin' Chain (GLC) who had just made it big the previous summer. Many of the group were from Newport and were often seen on stage wearing County shirts. Supporters wanted to capitalise on GLC's chart success in an attempt to raise the club's profile but could only come up with this crass design.
The intention was to wear the shirt – with a chain pattern around the collar and a club crest "medallion" – in Welsh Cup games but Newport's campaign faltered at the first hurdle, losing a November tie against Caernarfon Town. Rather unsurprisingly it had only two more outings (in the same month) for Conference South league games at home to Redbridge and away at Maidenhead United. Newport avoided relegation with a home win on the final day of the season, by which time the shirt was already gathering dust in the cupboard of crap ideas. Andy Ollerenshaw