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26 February 2010 ~

With Portsmouth now in administration their chief executive Peter Storrie has said he will resign when a sale is completed. You would think that someone earning in excess of £1 million a year might feel at least partly responsible for the collapse of his company. Storrie, however, feels that he has been forced out. "What I am not prepared to accept is the very personal level of abuse on websites, emails and local radio which I've received over the last couple of days... I find it somewhat ironic that a couple of months ago my name was being chanted by the fans." It's a surprise that any chants are audible over the noise of that bell so it is understandable that Storrie may have misheard how his name was being used. Still, he will hardly be left out of pocket – unlike many of Portsmouth's suppliers.

Badge of the week ~ Aufbau Magdeburg
What better way to end the club's Christmas party than to have a scantily-clad man in a hard hat burst out of a giant present. Guaranteed to break the ice. And it's nice to see that Aufbau Magdeburg – the forerunner of the current 1. FC Magdeburg – could appreciate the beauty of the male form while inebriated, without kowtowing to the norms and prejudices of the overwhelmingly butch culture of professional football. This badge would have been enough on its own to convince Harry Redknapp he was right to cancel Tottenham's Christmas party last year. Clearly Aufbau took pride in being a tolerant and inclusive institution, as well as one that had excellent parties where everyone celebrated sexuality full stop. The model/stripper's decision to appear brandishing a monkey wrench is a dubious one, though, as someone could do themselves a mischief with it in the course of the evening – especially if the German equivalent of Craig Bellamy is in the squad. Cameron Carter

from Kevin Forbes
""I used to dismiss a friend's claims to have seen Ashley Cole in his local kebab takeaway in Godalming, Surrey. But it turns out be true. In last weekend's Daily Star Sunday (I read it on a train, honestly) there's a photo of Ashley, just about recognisable in a woolly hat, with the takeaway manager. He always gets a chicken kebab with chilli sauce and buys another five or six which he takes out with him. Perhaps he sticks them in the freezer then has one each day. Or, just as likely, he throws them in the bin as soon as he gets home, with a sigh and a sad little smile. It's the process of buying that he enjoys rather than the consuming."

Getting shirty
Notable kits of yesteryear

Bradford City home, 1999-2001
A club's new strip is rarely approved of by all supporters and often what elevates it to classic status is the achievements of the players who wear it. Take Bradford City's home kit worn between 1999-2001. The launch was greeted with audible groans from most fans. It's dark red not claret, it's yellow not amber and there are barely any stripes to it either. But the fact its life cycle coincided with Bradford's Premier League adventure means it now invokes warm memories.

Now in League Two Bradford are still paying the price for the financial excesses at the turn of the millennium, but this shirt reminds us of the on-the-field exploits. It was the kit used in stunning victories over Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle. It was the kit worn by such improbable stars as Benito Carbone and Dan Petrescu. It was the kit shown on Match of the Day every week as Bradford briefly enjoyed national fame.

City were relegated back to the Football League in 2001 and this shirt was replaced by one with proper claret and amber shades – a seemingly obvious requirement for a club which celebrates its rare colour combination. The subsequent kits have also featured the right colours, although this season's all-claret effort is widely unpopular for lacking the famous stripes. Jason McKeown

Buy this shirt and hundreds of others at Classic Football Shirts

from David Lockyer
"Clark Carlisle's successful appearance on Countdown has been widely reported this week. It was also previewed in Janine Self's thunderously cheesy report on Villa's 5-2 defeat of Burnley in Monday's Sun, headlined 'Wembley-Bound Villa Spell Trouble For TV Contestant Clarke'. 'Cult daytime telly show Countdown has apparently become must-see viewing for footballers over the country. Burnley skipper Clark Carlisle is even going to appear to the show this week as a contestant. Yesterday he stumbled across Aston Villa's alternative version – CountUP... It was not much a case of "give me a vowel" as "give me a goal".' The previous footballing contestant on Countdown, Neil Mackenzie, then with Notts County, appeared in five shows in a row so stand by for increasingly desperate match report punning in the next few weeks."

It's been suggested to us that this musical celebration of Andy Hinchcliffe on Wikipedia is real. Does anyone know?

from Damon Green

"I was leafing through February's issue of The Racing Pigeon – as you do – and noticed, in Keith Mott's regular 'Champions of Yesteryear' column, a feature on Gerry Francis. It contains the plaintive quote: 'Whenever one reads of Gerry Francis, one always reads "Gerry Francis, Crystal Palace and England football ace, winner of many major awards including 13 international caps for England", but you never read of Gerry Francis the pigeon fancier.' Gerry only got 12 caps, of course. There's also a bit about maize being a very underrated feed. It's the kind of question that never gets asked in the mixed zone these days."

from Gary Andrews
"Former Spurs and Toronto winger Rohan Ricketts has started his own blog. It's only two posts old but has already treated us to his views on the 9-5 daily grind of Tiger Woods's infidelity. I doubt he'll be filling in for David James in the Observer anytime soon, but it's endearing in a bad reality TV show kind of way:

"Now he needs to practice self control or do a Hugh Heffner [sic] and open up a mansion where he can live with all those sexual partners he had."

Stickipedia A mine of information constructed from sticker cards

Crystal Palace 1979-80 Panini Football 80
Certain teams come to be known forever by a name given to them in a contemporary newspaper report. So, the Scotland side that beat England 5-1 in 1928 are the Wembley Wizards, while the Hungarians who won 6-3 at Wembley in 1953 are the Magical Magyars. In the reports of Crystal Palace's recent tribulations you'll have noticed references to Terry Venables's young side of 30 years ago having been dubbed "the Team of the Eighties". But this wasn't the popular perception of the Palace side who won promotion from Division Two in 1979-80. The term was coined by the Daily Mail's Jeff Powell, a close friend of Terry Venables who was still putting the case for his old mate to return as England manager as recently as a couple of years ago. The hype around the team derived from the fact that a group of 20-year-olds were regulars – future England left-back Kenny Sansom, Welsh midfielder Peter Nicholas and winger-turned-midfielder Vince Hilaire. As an article in an early WSC pointed out, Hilaire was destined to be described as a "promising youngster" for almost the whole of his career.

Palace scarcely had time to establish their credentials as the coming team as they were relegated after two seasons. Things had gone well for the first half of 1979-80. A 4-1 win over Ipswich in late September took them top for a week and they were fourth at New Year. But they then slumped into the bottom half, undone by a lack of goals – striker Dave Swindlehurst was the top scorer with seven while the team managed just 41 in 42 games. Venables left in October and subsequently signed several Palace players for his new club QPR, as Neil Warnock may hope to do this summer. The team finished bottom of Division One in 1980-81 and took eight years to get back.

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