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19 April 2013 ~

The charge of "bringing the game into disrepute" is often levelled at players and managers. FA general secretary Alex Horne deserves the same treatment for saying, about the FA Cup final being held at 5.15, that football is "content" we "consume". He'll be FIFA president in a few years.

OsakaBadge of the week ~ Cerezo Osaka, Japan
Medieval Japan was a scary enough place without the Jiving Hacking Lion. This monstrous creature held most of the Kanagawa district in its thrall through its nocturnal practice of slash-and-dance. Mostly it was content with cutting flowers to ribbons out of petty jealousy (people almost never come up to sniff lions) and this is illustrated in the club crest‚ but it did go after people on occasion and it was at these times that daily life became a little more difficult in the region.

The addition of an original, idiosyncratic gesture to an action as mundane as killing serves to elevate the action to the grotesque. Thus, the Jiving Hacking Lion's early form of Riverdance while creeping up to and, later, away from his human prey came to provide the most thrilling aspect of the retold story. (Incidentally, if you have ever, in a weakened moment, considered warming to Riverdance, simply imagine the swines rehearsing in the flat above you. That should make the moment pass.)

Cerezo Osaka commemorate the lion, of course, because he represents the combination of ruthlessness and rhythm. A bit like the Liverpool team of the 1970s and 1980s with their despicable pass and move groove. Accounts differ as to what happened to the Jiving Hacking Lion in the end – some tell of a fatal encounter with the Lambada Slashing Rhino, while others posit that he retired on a full pension. Cameron Carter


It appears that Harry Redknapp will sign even the most unflattering photo. What a pro.


The error page on Sunderland's official website appears to allude to Geordie horse-fighting.



from Simon Tyers
"Tony Benn meets his intellectual match – Lawrie McMenemy."


from Ian Skelly
"An unfortunate sequence of events in a Hungarian league match – the Mighty Magyars' heyday seems a long time ago."


from Marc Rajam
"A laudable aim from Southampton's Jack Cork here (Know The Score is a campaign to raise awareness of Bowel Cancer) but someone clearly hadn't told Jason Puncheon. Given that JP (in)famously took an 'extended' toilet stay during the Everton home game, perhaps we should be grateful this didn't appear on Vine too."



Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

InnsbruckFC Tirol Innsbruck home, 1999-2000
FC Tirol Innsbruck's turbulent nine-year existence is symptomatic of the impact of commercialism on Austrian football. Founded in 1915, five-times Austrian champions FC Wacker Innsbruck had a professional and amateur football section. In 1993, the federal state of Tyrol, who wanted their name to be more prominent, pressurised Wacker's professional team to declare independence and become a separate entity. With the arrival of a local dairy company as sponsors in 1995, the new team was renamed FC Tirol Milch Innsbruck and their shirts henceforth either advertised Tirol Milch yoghurt or their fruit juice Lattella.

Inspired by trainer Kurt Jara, the club won back-to-back Austrian championships in 2000 and 2001. When Jara left to join Hamburg, current German national coach Joachim Löw took over and guided the team to their third Austrian title in a row in 2002. Yet severe financial mismanagement meant that FC Tirol had accrued crippling debts, with players not being paid for six months. The reigning champions were refused a licence for the 2002-03 season and went into insolvency with debts of €50 million (£43m).

A relaunched FC Wacker Innsbruck are now back in the Austrian Bundesliga and have resolved not to allow sponsors to change the club's name again. Paul Joyce


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