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10 February 2012 ~

Fabio Capello's payoff from the FA reportedly includes a confidentiality clause that will prevent him from working as a TV pundit on England matches during Euro 2012. This has cost the FA £1.5 million. Let's hope they splash out a little more to extend the ban to Alan Shearer, Robbie Savage and Mark Bright.

Badge of the week ~ Maiwand Kabul FC, Afghanistan

Back in mid-20th century Afghanistan, in the wind-tossed province of Maiwand, close to the venerated city of Kabul, it was not unknown for male youths to drop from the sky. One might be out in the fields tending one's flock, if one were a shepherd, or grabbing at non-existent butterflies if one were insane, when a shining male youth would simply drop at your feet. They would be laughing-limbed young men, generally speaking, with hair of spun gold. Some witnesses reported that they detected a faint milky odour. Other witnesses detected the faint milky odour but didn't report it, in case people thought they were over-analysing the whole thing. 

As for the plummeting youths, invariably they would get to their feet wordlessly and just get on with their lives. Most incidents of this phenomenon were recorded along the route of the M6, one of the first Afghan motorways – mostly used by goats – hence the inscription beneath the main image. Maiwand Kabul FC used this historical phenomenon on their crest to remind themselves and others that the unexpected is all around us. They didn't have to do this; they are performing a public service by reminding people that the unexpected is all around them. There’s no additional revenue stream in it for them. It’s just the kind of team they are. Cameron Carter

from Ed Upright
"Fox Soccer displaying the aggregate score in an FA Cup replay didn't do anything to dispel the stereotypes about American football knowledge. They did remove it in the second half though.






‪from Peter Howard
"Chelsea fans will be delighted to hear that their stadium is 'reassuringly expensive'."

Eventmasters are delighted to offer Exclusive Hospitality at four of the biggest Clubs in the Barclays Premier League. Whether that be at the home of the current champions, the Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford, the reassuringly expensive Stamford Bridge or the unique "football atmosphere" created at Anfield and White Hart Lane. The title race has already had many twists and turns and with the prospect of more to come in the fight for the trophy and the coveted Champions League places, there is surely no more exciting time to entertain your Football-loving clients.

Getting shirty
Notable kits of yesteryear

Stoke City away, 1992-93

To Stoke fans of a certain vintage – mid-30s – the 1992-93 season brought us the first half-decent side we had seen in our lifetime. Lou Macari's team, featuring the goalscoring power of Mark Stein, the silky midfield skills of Nigel Gleghorn, the hard-as-nails defending of Vince Overson, won the league and put us back into the first division (now the Championship).

It was also the era of the Matchwinner kit. The 1992-93 home shirt wasn't too bad. If we are being picky the stripes were too wide, but generally it's hard to get red and white stripes that badly wrong – although this premise didn't hold true when Adidas came up with that monstrosity we wore last season. So to compensate for the staid old red and white, somebody within the design team at Matchwinner decided to enjoy themselves and constructed this piece of tie-dyed nonsense which made us look like the Grateful Dead's own football team. Yet it was so ludicrously, outlandishly awful that it actually became popular among supporters.

Of particular note is the magnificent badge that saw us wear the coat of arms of Stoke on Trent with pride. This was dispensed with around ten years ago as part of a "branding exercise" that was supposed to make us sleek and modern. It's rubbish, of course, and in another decade we will probably be wearing the City crest again – just probably not on a purple, mauve and yellow background this time. Andy Thorley

from Chris Ogden

"According to Wikipedia, Papiss Cissé is a keen sailor. We should probably expect more liquid goals like his volley against Aston Villa last Sunday."

Be careful what you wish for. Meanwhile this "non Corinthian" model of Graham Kelly without his glasses is being passed off as Harry Redknapp. Some people do take liberties.

 This week in history ~ Division Two, February 11, 1967











Jimmy Hill's Coventry City went top in early January then stayed in the promotion places, going unbeaten for their last 25 games. Hill quit at the end of the season to take up a job in TV but returned to the club's board in the 1970s. Coventry's Highfield Road stadium was renovated during Hill's five years in charge with average attendances nearly trebling – a club record 51,452 saw the 3-1 win over Wolves in late April.

Bobby Gould, who got Coventry's first goal against Preston, was the team's top scorer with 24. Centre-back George Curtis was the only ever-present player – he was joint manager, with John Sillett, when Coventry won the FA Cup in 1987.

Wolves were a point clear going into the final day but lost the title with a 4-1 defeat at Crystal Palace while Coventry were winning at home to Millwall.

One of the Wolves scorers in the win at Charlton was striker Peter Knowles who quit football in 1969 to join the Jehovah's Witnesses. Midfielder Ron Flowers, who had been a member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning squad, was the only player left from Wolves' title-winning teams of 1957-59. But he lost his place during the season and left for Division Three Northampton in the summer.

Northampton had been relegated after one season Division One in 1965-66 and went down again, two points above bottom-placed Bury and three behind Cardiff. They began the 1960s in Division Four and were promoted three times in four seasons then relegated just as quickly, returning to the fourth level for 1969-70.

A second World Cupwinner playing in the Second Division was former Man Utd winger John Connelly, who scored Blackburn's goal against Bristol City. Kevin Hector, who had joined Derby from Bradford Park Avenue in September, scored their goal against Cardiff and went on to feature in the club's two title wins in the 1970s. Another future England striker, Frank Worthington, made his League debut in Huddersfield's draw at Crystal Palace.

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