Romanian Land Grab

November 29, 2013
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Romanian Land Grab

Romanian football bears the stamp of a sporting movement pilloried by a generation or more of the most egregiously infectious corruption. The passage of time has sugared the pill a little – the match-fixing practices that spawned semi-legal cartels in the chaos that followed the collapse of communism have eased their vice-like grip on...

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Cyprus: Island Games

November 17, 2013
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Cyprus: Island Games

Rarely throughout the winding story of modern football, that great social tranquilizer that can whip the sting from a generation of national unrest with one blast of a FIFA-branded whistle, has much been made of the role that the game has played amongst divided populations. When the going gets tough the tough are encouraged...

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Greenland: Northern Promise

November 14, 2013
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Greenland: Northern Promise

Michel Platini is selective about who he lets in through the doors of his private members club in Nyon and prior to May of this year he had good reason to be. Before this summer’s UEFA Congress in London any enquiries made by prospective members regarding crossing the veil and being ushered into the...

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Humble Beginnings in Jordan

October 31, 2013
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Humble Beginnings in Jordan

When Jordan began their World Cup campaign back in July of 2011 memories of the previous summer’s final in Johannesburg were still fresh. European eyes were still firmly fixed on the business end of Euro 2012 qualifying and nowhere but in the most out-lying islands of the Pacific and the remotest out-posts of world...

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Rising tensions between Poland and Lithuania leads to grassroot unity campaign

September 27, 2013
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Rising tensions between Poland and Lithuania leads to grassroot unity campaign

Polish taunting of ethnic Lithuanians at last month’s Europa League qualifying match between Lech Poznan and Zalgiris Vilnius in Poland was to most observers little more than a symptom of the increasingly fractious relations between the two countries, albeit on a more internationally conspicuous stage than the usual diplomatic discourtesies and thinly euphemised needling...

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Issues with racism slow Hungary’s rebuild

September 25, 2013
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Issues with racism slow Hungary’s rebuild

Football east of the Danube is becoming by reputation a cradle for something unsavoury in the European diplomatic stakes. The season, still in its infancy but maturing quickly in its propensity to shock, has brought a cloud over this part of the continent with ethnic tensions across four countries spilling onto the terraces and...

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No one wins at Oxford United

August 29, 2013
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No one wins at Oxford United

When Firoz Kassam stumped up the £1 being asked by outgoing chairman Robin Herd to assume control of Oxford United in April 1999 the tune being sung by the club’s PR operators cooed a fresh harmony that promised to deliver the U’s from the threshold of financial ruin. Memories of fans attending matches with...

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Home From Home

August 19, 2013
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Home From Home

The bottom end of the League Two table in May 2013 could have provided the definitive case study of the cultural and financial impact of small businesses that fail to adapt to shifting landscapes. Two of the bottom five could be said to be working from blueprints drawn up in sunnier fiscal climes that...

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Day Tripper

August 15, 2013
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Day Tripper

When Spencer Day leads out his Farnborough side in the Blue Square Southern Conference against Barrow on Saturday he will join a small and exclusive club. Following a deal this week that saw a consortium led by Day haul the club out of administration the Boro manager will become one of a rare breed...

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Five Managerial Disasters

July 21, 2013
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Five Managerial Disasters

The public eye is littered with examples of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some, of course, have greatness thrust upon them. Then there are the others. Those who clamour after disaster, become skilled in seeking it out and spend entire careers writhing under its fitful influence. Football, littered though it...

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