New today, the latest in the Lower League Week I write for BornOffside, covering the big events in League 1 and League 2. Stories include the FIFA regulation stopping Shaun Derry continuing as a player, the bad form of Peterborough, Crewe and Portsmouth, Gillingham losing in the FA Cup, and a really, really bad miss.
I wasn’t able to get a Lower League Week finished last week, so earlier this week a Lower League Fortnight went up.
It covered Celtic’s offers for Peterborough’s Lee Tomlin; some other interesting late transfer window action; Hartlepool’s 5-0 win over Bradford and the context to explain why this was so bizarre; Bradford bouncing back with a 4-0 win over Brentford; Tom Pope opening his account for the season; Greg Abbott being sacked by Carlisle; Sheffield United’s new Saudi Arabian owners; Coventry winnin to cancel out their ten point deduction; and the huge figures Portsmouth owe to their former players.
The Football League is set to start again today, so it’s about time for me to get round to linking to a couple of articles I wrote during the week for Bornoffside.net, summing up the events concerning the teams of League One and Two.
Wolves have been named as the favourites for League One after being relegated for two years in a row, but haven’t done all that much in the transfer market; Coventry have been in deep financial trouble, and have made the deeply unpopular decision to move the team 30 miles from home, with only 300 fans following them (seriously). Swindon and Walsall have stripped their team away, while Exeter have arranged to follow the example of Arsenal, Manchester United and others by jetting off around the world for a pre-season tour next summer. But in there case, there is a justification beyond ‘we like money’.
Click here to read Lower League Summer: League One
Click here to read Lower League Summer: League Two
The second last Lower League Week went up late in the week last week, so appropriately enough, the link to it is going up late as well.
This edition covers John Hughes’ sacking by Hartlepool, James Beattie’s appointment as Accrington manager, and former Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler announcing his intent to return to management… and his belief that he would also have taken them up this year.
After two years of spending heavily, Swindon have announced their intention to make massive cuts for next year. Portsmouth will probably not be able to pay a transfer fee for a few years, as a result of being required to pay ‘football debts’ in full, and there’s the potential for a Coventry buyout by Preston Haskell IV, and investment as a result.
An Oxford supporters’ group, OxVox, have helped force the club’s ground to be designated as a ‘community asset’, protecting it against owners who want to sell it for a quick profit.
Aldershot and Wycombe have had financial problems, while a Yeovil fan has been denied the chance to take a flag into the playoff final… unless he paid £1500 for eight people to help him.
It’s a bit late in the week, but I’ve covered the events in Leagues One and Two.
Barnet have played their last game at Underhill, home of the famous sloping pitch; Portsmouth have been deducted points this season rather than next, despite already being relegated; Scunthorpe are all but relegated, for the second time in three years; Coventry City FC are – I’m sorry if I don’t seem to be taking it seriously, just laughably villainous.
I’ve also written about the teams still with something to play for on the last round of league matches this weekend.
I do have a bad habit of neglecting this blog from time to time…
During the week, the latest Lower League Week was published at Bornoffside.net.
Portsmouth were taken over by their fans, but, along with Bury and Hartlepool, were relegated from League One with two games to play. Yeovil vs Oldham saw father and son managers on the touchline; Torquay’s new chairman is a lottery winner, and the country’s highest positioned female chairman; Danny Wilson was sacked by Sheffield United; and Coventry have outdone themselves in their battle over the Ricoh Arena.
After missing last week, I’ve written a Lower League Fortnight, which has just gone live today.
Typically, there’s been some biggish stories breaking while the column was being checked over by the editor, but there’s still been a fair bit going on.
It was decided pretty quickly that Coventry were talking out of their backsides when trying to avoid a points deduction by claiming it’s only an arm of the club that’s gone into adiministration.
Walsall, Port Vale, and Portsmouth have all been in good form; Notts County and Stevenage have appointed new managers that the fans will be familiar with; the Football League Trophy final has been played, with a pro singing the anthems and everything; and Crawley Town decided to stop their local reporter interviewing their manager and players, because they didn’t like the headlines above a few of her articles.
Two weeks ago I couldn’t find the time to write a Lower League Week, so last week I wrote a Lower League Fortnight for Bornoffside, covering the events of both weeks.
Coventry are in a legal mess of their own making; things are starting to look up for Portsmouth (relatively speaking); Bury’s players are on low wages; several of Accrington’s players haven’t been paid, but they now have two England international strikers on their books; the Fleetwood chairman has used Twitter to criticise his players; Southend defender Bilel Mohsni might be taking part in a cage fight; and Dani Lopez scored hat-tricks on two successive weekends, for two different teams, in two different divisions. Not bad.
I’ve been intending to link from here to everything I write elsewhere, but occasionally I have a massive memory lapse. So, seven days later, here is a short post linking to last week’s Lower League Week.
League Two’s bottom teams were fighting fiercely to break away from the relegation zone, while League One’s top sides seem intent on falling away from the top.
Mark Robins walked away from Coventry, Graham Westley was sacked by Preston, and Notts County spent about two minutes in court as a result of HMRC proceedings.
Hartlepool’s draw with Portsmouth made it seem that relegation had became a formality for both, and Torquay have been without manager Martin Ling because of a ‘mystery illness’.
Yesterday there I wrote a new edition of the Lower League Week for Born Offside.
Swindon’s new owners have pissed of Paolo di Canio, Bournemouth are doing quite well, the Dalai Llama has declared his support for a League Two side, Hartlepool United won (remarkable in itself) with the goals scored by Hartley and Poole, Dickov and Curle were sacked by Oldham and Notts County, while Graham Westley praised himself in the Daily Mail, in the week his Preston side set a new club record for home games without victory.