Sacred cows: Martin O’Neill

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
Sacred cows: Martin O’Neill

A new series offering a different take on some of football’s most exalted reputations.

For the first time in his managerial career, Martin O’Neill appears under pressure. Next Monday marks the first anniversary of his appointment at Sunderland, amid much fanfare.

But the Black Cats sit a disappointing 16th in the Premier League, even after spending £22m on new players in the summer.

It can hardly be what Sunderland …

Franchise football: lessons from Australia

Posted by on Sep 28, 2012 in AFC Wimbledon, Milton Keynes | No Comments
Franchise football: lessons from Australia

Ahead of grand final weekend down under, Frank Heaven examines the ambition and resentment at the heart of Australia’s sporting franchise systems.

This Sunday is a massive occasion for one of Australia’s most controversial sporting teams.

Melbourne Storm play in their first National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final since 2010, when it emerged that the club had been breaching the competition’s salary cap on a massive scale for over five

Conversations on… how promoted Championship clubs can survive in the Premier League

Posted by on Sep 21, 2012 in Conversations with | 2 Comments
Conversations on… how promoted Championship clubs can survive in the Premier League

Tomorrow, last season’s Championship winners Reading travel to West Bromwich Albion, who are enjoying their third consecutive Premier League season. Biscuitman Lanterne Rouge asks Throstle Frank Heaven what other promoted clubs can learn from Albion’s widely praised model.

LR: On Sunday, I sat through one of the most one sided matches I have attended for some time as Spurs cantered to victory over Reading.

It left me wallowing in existential …

TTU Season Preview 2012-13: Can Clark revive the second city Blues?

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Birmingham City | 5 Comments
TTU Season Preview 2012-13: Can Clark revive the second city Blues?

Lee Clark is trying to reignite his managerial career at Birmingham City — but he may be hampered by off-the-field troubles at St Andrews. By Frank Heaven.

“Why would anyone take this job?”

It was a sentiment often expressed by disgruntled Birmingham City fans after Chris Hughton’s unsurprising but much-lamented departure to Norwich City earlier in the summer.

At the time, the club’s problems, even by the standards of modern …

Geographies of football: Worcestershire sores

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
Geographies of football: Worcestershire sores

There are smaller counties which support league football — so what has gone wrong in Worcestershire? Frank Heaven explains.

It is a dubious honour.

After Kidderminster Harriers narrowly missed out on the Conference play-offs this season, Worcestershire remains the largest county in England without a Football League club.

Shropshire and Cumbria both have smaller populations, but they are obviously doing something right that Worcestershire is not.

Harriers did enjoy a …

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