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8 February 2013 ~
So, Premier League clubs have agreed to lose only £105 million each over the next three seasons. Hurray for sensible housekeeping.
Badge of the week ~ Cheltenham Town
Most badge-fanciers read Cheltenham's image as a white dove, like the one released by Noah from the Ark. Noah sent the dove because he wanted to know if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground – this was after a couple of initial failed experiments with a snail and a cow. When the dove returned at last with an olive branch, there was great rejoicing and feasting and an envelope and card went round for the dove.
Traditionally, the symbolism is clear: the eternal promise of new life, the calm after the storm and triumph over adversity. However, this image has unfortunately been confused in some southern states of the US, with the publicity poster for the 1966 Klu Klux Klan musical Rustlin' In The Moonlight, an embarrassing visual overlap which has led the club to investigate the possibility of a less ambiguous redesign in which the dove does not appear to be a cavorting, singing supremacist. Cameron Carter
from David Sutton
"Still waiting for the DVD release of the 2011 Kirin Cup highlights."
Some Reading residents might not be keen to live on Death Row or Death Close.
from Simon Tyers
"Once you've seen John Motson singing You Can Call Me Al, you'll never forget it."
from Dave Wallace
"During the recent Reading v Chelsea game Jonathan Pearce described Chelsea opening the scoring with the 'first decisive move of the game'. Am I on my own in thinking that surely this happens in every football game worldwide – the first decisive move would always result in a goal? Or am I simply looking for reasons to criticise the most irritating mouth on the television?"
from David Marsh
"The reporter from the Nottingham Post seeks help from Madonna in summing up Keith Curle's management. Not sure if that was wise."
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Brighton & Hove Albion home, 2004-05
Brighton had been used to wearing royal blue and white stripes until the beginning of 2004-05, when a new Argentinaesque sky blue and white combination was introduced. A by-product of the kit's introduction was a rumour that Ossie Ardiles and Diego Maradona were to take over. Skint Records were the aptly named sponsors for this and eight other seasons. The label's artists included Fatboy Slim, one of Brighton's more famous supporters.
The kit was used for two years and oversaw a period when the club was merely attempting to survive. With a paper-thin squad, Albion avoided relegation on the last day of 2004-05 by drawing with Ipswich. Because the club was unable to afford a striker, centre-back Adam Virgo was converted and ended up scoring an impressive eight goals. He was eventually sold to Celtic for £1.5 million, and the additional departures of Darren Currie and Danny Cullip during the course of the season were financially pivotal to a club that was dying in its search for a new stadium.
A good start the next season was followed by the recruitment of Colin Kazim-Richards, via the Coca-Cola "sign a player" online competition – in which the winning fan's club was given £250,000 to spend. Kazim-Richards developed a habit of both scoring stunning long-range goals and sulking. With only seven league wins Brighton returned to the third level, still without a stadium. At least we were playing in normal blue again. Ed Woodhouse