Editorial: On being thankful for being far removed from FIFA

Editorial: On being thankful for being far removed from FIFA

I’m writing this editorial on the day of FIFA’s annual The Best Football Awards. Ordinarily I’d be oblivious to this; not today. But that’s only because they happen to be taking place at my workplace. Right now, as I look out of the office window, tuxedoed men I don’t recognise are being ushered towards a row of photographers, a line of glamorous young women in shiny frocks are being used as window dressing on a staircase, blokes in hi-vis vests are keeping tourists behind distant barriers and an invisible man on a microphone is encouraging anyone who can hear him to ‘get ready to make some noise for Joachim Low’. Continue reading “Editorial: On being thankful for being far removed from FIFA”

County Boundaries – the case for and against Yorkshire’s national football team

County Boundaries – the case for and against Yorkshire’s national football team

Yorkshire has a national football team, no really. Formed last summer, with the aim of becoming part of CONIFA – the international governing body for Non-FIFA affiliated Associations for association football – its existence has already split opinion, including here at popular STAND fanzine. Here, first printed in issue 93 of the fanzine, Jack Peat and Glen Wilson argue the cases for and against Yorkshire’s national side. Continue reading “County Boundaries – the case for and against Yorkshire’s national football team”

Death of a club: Doncaster Rovers 1997-98

Death of a club: Doncaster Rovers 1997-98

‘As Danny said, We’re not dead, we’re still alive. But in football terms, you know, we are dead really.’
Lee Warren, April 1998

There have been many things said about Doncaster Rovers’ worst ever season. Insightful things; erudite things even, but even a thousand Shakespeare’s hammering away eternally on a thousand typewriters couldn’t have nailed better than Lee Warren. This was our captain, interviewed on the way to a must-win away game, trying so hard to say captainly things, but ultimately unable to suspend belief long enough to see out a sentence. Continue reading “Death of a club: Doncaster Rovers 1997-98”

VAR – Eats shoots and leaves

VAR – Eats shoots and leaves

This season was always going to be a big one for football referees. The evolutionary scale has shifted once again from one man, one whistle to five men, one whistle, two flags, one board, umpteen cameras and one TV screen. We’ve dropped the wand-wielding idiots on the touchline, but we’ve inherited a far more dangerous precedent. Continue reading “VAR – Eats shoots and leaves”

Against the odds: on gambling and football

Against the odds: on gambling and football

Gamble! There was a time that this was my footballing mantra. An instruction and means of approach to the game I not only encouraged of myself, but would do all I could to instil into those around me. But then this was nothing to do with ‘accas’ or spread bets. Instead this was an attempt to get the university football team I managed to take advantage of the unpredictable nature of BUSA Midlands Division 4C level defending. So, each week we gambled on the bounce of long throw-ins, but never on the minute of the first one. Continue reading “Against the odds: on gambling and football”

Editorial: We need to stop relying on football to get us through

Editorial: We need to stop relying on football to get us through

It’s not a particularly funny issue of popular STAND fanzine, this one. It has its moments don’t get me wrong, and I don’t want to discredit those who’ve submitted lighter pieces, but I feel it’s only fair to call it up front. You’re good people, you deserve honesty, and likewise I deserve a break from the inevitable ‘it’s-not-as-funny-as-it-used-to-be’s that greet any request for feedback. It’s still good though, so don’t even think about asking for your pound back. You’ve committed now, roll with it. Continue reading “Editorial: We need to stop relying on football to get us through”

Editorial: When did we become so intolerable of averageness?

Editorial: When did we become so intolerable of averageness?

‘F***ing shit’ shouted the bloke in front of me as we traipsed out of The Valley last Saturday. ‘Absolute garbage’. I wasn’t so sure. Frustrating I’d grant you; disappointing likewise, not quite good enough, sure. But what I’d just watched hadn’t been ‘shit’ – and I’ve supported Rovers long enough to know what ‘shit’ is. Continue reading “Editorial: When did we become so intolerable of averageness?”

Why ‘churnalism’ will be the death of club reporting

Why ‘churnalism’ will be the death of club reporting

Oscar Wilde once wrote ‘there is only one thing in life worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about.’ As Rovers fans filtered out of the Emirates Stadium after last month’s League Cup clash there’s reason to believe we’d just witnessed what Wilde was talking of first hand.

Continue reading “Why ‘churnalism’ will be the death of club reporting”

On visiting markets over cracking markets

On visiting markets over cracking markets

I’m not really sold on the book I‘m currently reading. It was recommended by a friend, so I’m giving it a fair go, but I’m 117 pages in and struggling to empathise with either the characters or the author. The main protagonist is from Yorkshire, but lives in London, yet any references to her life in Yorkshire are made as if written for a middle-class London audience. It’s cliched, dismissive to the point of patronisation, and I can’t get past it. Nor, given that the author is from and indeed lives in Yorkshire, can I begin to understand it. Continue reading “On visiting markets over cracking markets”

Why can’t we just enjoy winning?

Why can’t we just enjoy winning?

There’s a great photo of Liam Mandeville’s free-kick against Grimsby, taken just as the ball strikes the inside of the post. Goalkeeper already flailing, the South Stand is a blanket of expectant faces; rows of mouths all caught in the early stages of guttural roars or yells of acknowledgement of the ball’s inevitable nestling in the back of the net. All that is, except one. Continue reading “Why can’t we just enjoy winning?”