Yeah, then what?

16 04 2014

Imagine that the protesting fans of Hull City and Cardiff City eventually win.

Imagine that Hull City will still be called Hull City and that Cardiff City will have reinstated their blue home kit.

On a superficial level, the protesting fans will look like they have won, Hull City will have retained their name and Cardiff City will have reinstated their blue home kit.

On a deeper level, what difference will the protests have actually made?

The premier league will still exist.

The favoured economic model of premier league, and world football, won’t have changed.

No fans will have forced their way on to club boards.

The protestors, and other fans, will be content with their small victory.

The owners will turn their magnanimous gesture into a PR victory because they will have gracefully given in to the democratic desires of the fans.

Football will revert to normal.

The commentators will immediately mention how happy football club owners look.

The fans will once again expect the owner to provide a team that worthy of their club’s level.

The fans will demand that their once hated owner matches their ambitions by stumping up the cash for more players.

The fans will somehow forget that they once hated their owner when a new player arrives.

If the present owner no longer matches their expectations the fans will demand that the club is sold to an owner that’s able to match their expectations.

Relegation will once again become the abyss of disgrace.

Ticket prices will continue to rise.

People will continue to pay for season tickets in installments.

Direct debits will continue to pay for Murdoch’s television channels.

Radio phone-ins will continue to feature callers that tell us their club owner is a legend “for what he’s done at this club“.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a jackboot stamping on a human face for eternity, with analysis by Robbie Savage.

More of the greatest football kits in the history of the world (according to the Jet Set)

10 04 2014

Crystal Palace 1982-’83

AS Monaco 1970s


Wales 1980-’84


Dukla Prague 1970s


Fortuna Dusseldorf 1979


Juventus Away 1976


Adidas Goalkeeper early 1980s


Borussia Monchengladbach mid 1970s


Tennis Borussia Berlin 1976



Timeline of possibilities

9 04 2014

Twitter’s often throws interesting stuff your way. A few weeks ago this juxtaposition floated on to my timeline.


It appears as though the French national team of 1978 faced a pretty stark choice; play in the world cup and legitimise a dictatorship or stand up for the principles of humanity.

We can see the usual dichotomy in the posters, the left asking people to think carefully about the world and the right asking people to turn off their critical faculties. The fascists were too stupid to spot the irony of a political party producing a poster that condemns the politicization of sport.

The day after a price list from 1981 floated on by. (Click to enlarge)


In 1981 £42 for a Manchester United season ticket was a “crazy” price. I wonder what 1981′s journalists would make of the tantalizing notice I saw in a St. Asaph petrol station a month ago. The A4 piece of paper blutacked to the counter offered a genuine ticket for the Manchester derby. All you had to do was hand £50 to the guy behind the counter. I remained silent and paid for my petrol.

It’s a beautiful life without the Franchise of the Marches

3 04 2014

The morning after we’ve decided to ignore XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise life became beautiful once again.

I awoke on Saturday morning and life was in Glorious Technicolor once more, the sky was bluer, the sun was warmer and the air was clearer. Oh yes, Welsh football was pure once again.

At this point in the post I would like to congratulate Airbus UK Broughton for winning the Welsh Premier League title for the second successive season, what a great achievement for a young manager!

We mustn’t forget to congratulate Neville Powell as it looks as though he put a summer of doubt behind him to secure the runners’ up spot for the second year in a row. So that’ll be two league titles and two runners’ up spots in the last four seasons. What a record!!!!

This is how Nev’s achievement rates in the WPL ROLL OF CHAMPIONS.

1992–93 – Cwmbran Town
1993–94 – Bangor City
1994–95 – Bangor City
1995–96 – Barry Town
1996–97 – Barry Town
1997–98 – Barry Town
1998–99 – Barry Town
1999–2000 – Barry Town
2000–01 – Barry Town
2001–02 – Barry Town
2002–03 – Barry Town
2003–04 – Rhyl
2004–05 – Rhyl
2005–06 – Llanelli
2007–08 – Llanelli
2008–09  – Rhyl
2009–10 – Llanelli
2010-11 – Bangor City
2011–12 – Bangor City
2012–13 – Airbus UK Broughton
2013-14 – Airbus UK Broughton

Again we must offer congratulations to Airbus UK Broughton. As you can see, they’re slowly catching up Bangor City and Rhyl in terms of WPL titles.

8 – Barry Town
4 – Bangor City
3 – Rhyl
2 – Airbus UK Broughton, Llanelli
1 – Cwmbran Town

Let us all celebrate, for Welsh football is a beautiful place once more!!!

A flat farewell to the Franchise of the Welsh Marches

27 03 2014

1. The Advice

In case you’ve been unable to SPOT the subtle subtext of this post, this is the post’s subtext;

(A subtext is “the underlying theme of a piece of writing.’)





THIS POST IS A SATIRICAL READING OF THAT PR (Satire being “the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule.”)


2. The Actual Post

Right now that’s clear, it’s time to make something else clear, from now on this blog will refer to the “The New Saints Luxury Football Franchise” as “XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise”, all posts have been retrospectively changed.

It seems that your humble narrator horribly misjudged yesterday’s events.

I now realise that yesterday’s pitiful display of PR bullshit wasn’t actually a pitiful display of PR bullshit, it was a brilliant work of PR genius. (Two people tweeted so).

I now realise that even though XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise’s PR supremo decided to broadcast what they were actually hoping to do – “Create more publicity” – in an off-guard moment on social media it was still a certified work of PR genius.

It was still a certified work of PR genius even though the off-guard admission might convince people that this time should be the last time that they seriously consider an item of PR output from XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise.

I now realise that yesterday’s certified work of PR genius wasn’t actually being criticised by other fans because the other fans weren’t criticising with criticism, they were actually helping to promote XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise  instead. (XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise’s tweeted so).

I now realise that yesterday’s certified work of PR genius wasn’t The New Saints Luxury Football Experience Franchise’s pathetic attempt to pay people to be their friends, it was actually an altruistic attempt to get some publicity for the league. (Again XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise  tweeted so)

I now realise that the Welsh Premier League desperately needs its champions elect to tell the world  that “We’re so desperate for fans we need to bribe people to say they are fans”. Yeah, you just can’t buy that kind of publicity.

I now realise that if anything’s going to force people to notice the WPL it’s the impression that  XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise, the champions elect, Jeff Stelling’s favourite club, are bribing people to be their friends. This won’t look pathetic in any way and no-one will belittle the idea, given enough time people will actually become entranced by its brilliance.

When you’re faced with such brilliantly convoluted reasoning it’s time to sit back and let them get on with it. With this is mind your humble narrator will completely cease mentioning  XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise forthwith.

Your humble narrator now realizes that every word of his pointed criticism towards  XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise was actually advertising  XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise to the world. My God, I’ve been working for them years now!! Your humble narrator does feel silly!

Consequently I will no longer be helping well honed and finely oiled publicity machine behind  XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise, call me “picky” if you like.

I have also retrospectively replaced every reference to XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise with “There’s no place for franchising in Welsh football.”

Satire Is Dead, officially this time

26 03 2014

A couple of days ago a Welsh Premier message board wag asked why people didn’t seem to like visiting XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise.

Xxxxxxxxx (The obscured user name of a Welsh Premier Message Board User) the park hall luxury experience is as difficult to swallow as a rancid 6 day old kebab in a mould encrusted pitta that’s smothered in putrefying chilli sauce whilst your so-called mates squirt mace in your eyes, kick you in the shins and force you to listen to the new Kaiser Chiefs’ song. Having said that at least you’d have your dignity after that kebab experience.

Blueroyle laaaaaa if I were you I’d stop handing out cold custard skin otherwise within a decade the park hall luxury football experience will have fallen in to complete disuse. You’re probably putting people off.

Two weeks ago we were watch Man Utd v West Brom / Arsenal v Everton in a pub full of football fans in the centre of Oswestry and no-one followed us out of the door when we left for the park hall luxury football experience, even though a poster near the door clearly offered free TNS tickets.

Perpetual success, a relatively decent standard of local football and yet no-one’s interested. People won’t even take free tickets. That’s got to tell you something.

On the other hand, the park hall luxury football experience has only been there for nearly 7 years, let’s give it chance, some people in the Oswestry area won’t know that it’s there yet.

With this in mind the park hall luxury football experience should involve a publicity-hungry person to sell the idea of a luxury footballing experience in the local area. If I was them I’d start with getting stories to the local press or making sure the BBC Shropshire covered matches……

…..Whadda ya mean that already happens?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I’m confused now, why aren’t people going?”

Someone connected to that luxury football experience replied to that post so the wag offered some satirical solutions for the crowd problems of The New Saints Luxury Football Experience Franchise;

What a comeback xxxxxxxxx, what a comeback.

Bravo, encore, encore!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, back to the point, why aren’t people bothering your luxury football experience?

Even with perpetual success, a relatively decent standard of local football no-one’s interested. People won’t even take free tickets. Why’s that?

I’d say that you need a few more marketing ideas and I’ve got a few more ideas that can help you out.

1) Launch a “much-needed” takeover of Newtown, Aberystwyth, Caersws and Cefn Druids and then rechristen the new club “THE MID WALES COSMOS OF MID WALES OF PARK HALL, NEWTOWN, CEFN MAWR, DRUIDS, CAERSWS AND ABERYSTWYTH FC”
2) Launch a hostile takeover of the other 11 WPL clubs and rename the club “THE WPL ALL STARS OF THE PARK HALL LUXURY EXPERIENCE FC”
4) Press gang people out of the pubs of Oswestry and then rechristen the club “PRESS GANGED FANS OF THE PARK HALL LUXURY FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE FC”
5) Pay people to attend home games, then rechristen the club “WE PAY YOU TO TURN UP FC OF PARK HALL BUT NOT OSWESTRY OR LLANSANTFRAID”
6) Hand free megaphones, with 3 different pre-programmed tunes!!, to every paying customer upon entry and then rechristen the club “A FREE MEGAPHONE AT EVERY GAME AND I’LL GET MY COMPANY’S NAME (INSERT COMPANY NAME HERE) ON FINAL SCORE OF THE PARK HALL LUXURY FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE FC”

Be grateful not nasty xxxxxxxxx, I could have charged you for this blue sky thinking but I’m letting you have it for nothing.

The day after the wag made the suggestions, today, XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise put this on their website;

Talking TNS

March 26, 2014

The New Saints of Oswestry Town and Llansantffraid Football Club, are on course to win a third Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League title in a row this season, thus ensuring qualification into the UEFA Champions League.

Any supporter of The New Saints (TNSFC) who gets to talk on either Radio 5 live, Talk Sport or Radio Wales in regards to the Oswestry based side, will be donated £20 by the club.

These National Radio stations regularly have phone-in programmes promoting the beautiful game.
Get ringing and win £20!

Some of the Radio stations that have popular Football shows that you can call include the following:

You can call BBC Radio 5live on 0500 909 693, and share your opinions on the following shows.
5liveSport – Presented by Mark Chapman or Mark Pougatch.
606 – Presented by Darren Fletcher or Kelly Cates.
The Non-League Football Show – Presented by Caroline Barker.

You can call Talksport on 08717 22 33 44, and share your opinions on the following shows.
Call Collymore – Presented by Stan Collymore.
Andy Goldstein’s Sports Bar – Presented by Andy Goldstein.
The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast – Presented by Alan Brazil.

You can also call BBC Radio Wales on 03700 100 110, and share your opinions on the following show.
Radio Wales Sport – Presented by Simon Davies.
BBC Radio Wales phone in show – Presented by Rob Phillips.

To claim the £20 , fans must record the interview/phone-in conversation and send it to the club.

Please send your TNS related audio clips to”

God how I wish I was joking but this really happened, it really happened. Yes, it really happened.

XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise are actually going to “donate” £20 to people if they phone up radio stations and mentions XXX NXX SXXXXX Luxury Football Franchise. Yes, they’re going to donate money to people as though we’re lepers

There’s no place for franchising in Welsh football.

Did you know that 30 years ago Bangor City were playing at Wembley?

25 03 2014

Cambridge United beat Gosport Borough in the FA Trophy final on Sunday. 30 years ago Bangor City also played at Wembley in FA Trophy final. Here’s some footage;

On Sunday there was an outbreak of lovely nostalgia on the Bangor message board;


“Our Wembley visit was in May – a bit warmer than its been today. I don’t think even the first leg of the SF against Dagenham  had been played (was he second leg was a scorching day ?)The attendance then was around 25, 000, if memory serves me right, and it was considered a very low figure. Both Cambridge and Gosport (area) have considerably higher populations than ours.”


“I thought it was around the 13k mark,remember talking to a copper and he said there was 10k less than expected.Good crowd at the replay if memory serves but the dingler in the crowd who kept blowing a whistle sticks with me.”


“13,000 makes sense, now. You needed a telescope to see the Northwich fans. I’ve wondered for years where all the 25, 000 came from. Am I correct in saying it was the lowest ever attendance at that final?”


“I was there

Great day out

And still think we’d have beaten them on pennos.”


“Yep we travelled down with future city keeper Darren Owen… 14k there, spike should have won it in extra time… Wembley, wembley, we’re the famous Bangor city and we’ve been to wembley.”


“I always thought it was 14000 (sorry to split hairs) and so it seems:

What a day out!

No amount of WP wins or Welsh Cups will replace that day in my memory.

Bangor City at Wembley, the old twin towers, the walk down Wembley way and the scarves and flags.

Fantastic memories.”


“When the train stopped at Crewe on the way there, there were a couple of other football specials on the platforms. One was full of Liverpool supporters ( I reckon they won the league somewhere that day). They were all sitting down, looking rather bored. Our train was like monkey cage on wheels, to put it mildly. One of the Scousers put his head out of the window (You could on trains those days) to ask who we were . You can imagine the rest……..”


“I remember talking to a few Northwich fans that day and they reckoned they’d lost a few thousand fans going because S4C were showing it live and their supporters in surrounding areas could get it.( just like MaesG and Beumaris could get Granada and CH4 at the time!!!) So as they’d been the previous year many stayed at home.”


“A disappointment that day was that after god save the queen we were all waiting to sing the welsh anthem but the band stopped playing. We should have sung it ourselves then. How many welsh players were in the team?”


“Just watched that clip,happy days..  “


“In the seats around where I was sat with my brothers and Dad we did”


“The semi at dagenham will always stick in my memory, john griffiths spending the whole match in the police station for his own safety because he went into the dagenham spporters area and hadto be rescued,what a laugh. “


“we ever have those halcyon days again? “


I’m always a sucker for the social history that flows from football fans reminiscing in a certain way. I felt the poignant lament of the last entry keenly. I was too young for a Wembley story and “I went to TNS three times in the season we won the league” comes from an entirely different book.


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