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27 July 2012 ~
With Portsmouth facing liquidation it's good to hear that someone with an impeccable record of financial propriety is offering to help out. "There must be a group of people or someone out there who could take over," says the club's former manager Harry Redknapp. A dog with a bank account in Monaco has now been linked with a bid.
Badge of the week ~ PSM Makassar, Indonesia
This serene nautical scene is perfect for a region of Indonesia that has historically prized fair play, comradeship and a philosophical outlook. The olive branches, symbolic through the ages of peace-making, cradle the ship, protecting it against the tempest, while reaching out in promised harmony to fellow ocean-goers. One would think that a place like this has no enemies and yet, historically speaking, it does. Rival factions, or anti-Makassars, once surrounded the area and perpetrated guerrilla raids on the citizens. The people of Makassar, reared on non-violence, had no answer to the assaults from their more warlike neighbours who painted their hair with the blood of monkeys before attacking.
Finally, a shy young tailor's apprentice came forward, requesting audience with the elders of the town. He believed that the reason their neighbours were so warlike stemmed from an unexpressed rage at the amount of times they had to replace quality furniture because the monkey blood from their hair stained the backs. The apprentice had invented a square of cloth that one might place behind one's blood-smeared hair for domestic and social use. Once supplied with large amounts of these, the enemies of Makassar ceased their outrages immediately and only crossed the border thereafter to exchange recipes and hair treatments. For his part in the peace-making process, the tailor's apprentice was awarded a hand-made doorstop, the Indonesian equivalent of an MBE. Cameron Carter
from Phil Town
"David de Gea tweeted this photo of Olympic team-mate Iker Muniain, who'll no doubt get the keeper back in training, with the comment: 'Here's a photo of the biggest sleepyhead in the team!'"
from Jon Millard
"Someone on Wikipedia doubts the veracity of John Cornforth's professed loyalty."
from Nick Dunmore
"My friends should expect to receive these… distinctive cards for any future birthdays, marriages or condolences."
Starcount claims to rank the social media popularity of the most famous sports people via some obscure formula. According to them Stephen Warnock is currently the 48th most talked about sportsperson in the UK
WSC, meanwhile, is currently 44,692nd in the global chart. Well done everyone.
from Owen Amos
"Spot the unlikely name of the referee from San Marino in the first leg of Valetta v Lusitans. He will have made his own overnight arrangements."
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Scotland away, 1991-92
The most notable Scotland kit design of the early 1990s is famed not only for the wearer appearing to have been severed across the torso, but also for being the one worn for away matches in the team's first successful qualification for the European Championship in 1992. The colour scheme was also included in a splash on the shorts, which made it look remarkably like the players had spilt paint on their thighs.
Scotland won their group by a solitary point – just two separated the top four teams – and performances in the shirt itself were solid. An away win in San Marino was sandwiched between two draws in Bulgaria and Switzerland, which saw luminaries such as Ally McCoist, Gordon Durie, Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan pulling on the headache-inducing jersey.
The campaign threatened to derail in Romania, as a 75th-minute Gheorghe Hagi penalty brought the home team, who had two matches remaining to Scotland’s one, to within two points of Andy Roxburgh's men. But the Romanians stumbled at the last, beating Switzerland before only mustering a 1-1 draw in their final game against Bulgaria and sending Scotland through. There was to be substantially less colour for Scotland at the tournament proper where, although they defeated the CIS 3-0 in the final group game, their fate had already been sealed, with no sign of the famed away shirt, by defeats to Holland and Germany. Rob Macdonald