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Late 1970s proposal for a British Super League


In the late 1970s a company called Marshall Cavendish released a series of football magazines which the avid reader would slip into binders to create their very own football encyclopaedia. One of the articles contained within is a lament about the struggles of the British game and part of the argument for improvements made by the author suggests the introduction of a British Super-League.

The author has chosen an interesting selection of sides, many of which would be unlikely to feature should the list be drawn up today. He uses criteria such as recent attendances as well as success to decide whether clubs should be admitted to such a league.

 

Would these be the super-clubs?

Would these be the super-clubs?

The proposed British super-league contains a few oddities. The first being that the two Edinburgh and Sheffield clubs are expected to merge (and are even wearing half-and-half kits to denote that). Other interesting aspects of the proposal are that teams like Coventry City and Derby County are included amongst the elite.

Clubs proposed: Celtic, Rangers, Edinburgh, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Manchester United, Leeds United, Sheffield, Everton, Manchester City, Wolves, West Brom, Coventry City, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Southampton.

Interesting omissions: Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Sunderland and the exclusion of all Welsh/Irish clubs (though perhaps understandable).

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Club

 

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Game 39: We’ve been here before haven’t we?


You might assume that the practice of two English clubs facing one another abroad was a recent invention, something adopted as part of the Premier League’s plan for global domination, however that assumption is far from correct. We haven’t quite reached the point where a Premier League match is hosted abroad, but that can’t be too far away, however friendly matches involving two English clubs are commonplace in the pre-season calendar (America and the far East being the two favoured destinations).

I was pleased to see on twitter early this evening James Dart posting a link to a match programme from 1989 featuring Middlesbrough and Coventry City. The two clubs were both on tour in Bermuda at the time and played one another in a friendly. A poorly filmed YouTube video shows Peter Davenport scoring a goal for Middlesbrough. (Hat tip to Christopher Ledger for that).

 

 

Whilst 1989 may seem like the dim and distant past, there are instances of English teams playing one another on foreign soil from early in the 20th Century. A great example of this comes from Willy Meisl’s book “Soccer Revolution”:

“Then on 7 May 1905 Hugo* staged an exhibition game between Everton and Tottenham. The two teams fought as if it were a Cup-tie. Never before had the 10,000 spectators – the crowd record was doubled by this sensational encounter – seen such tackling. Tottenham were favourites, but Everton won 2-0.”

* – Hugo Meisl, the author Willy’s brother who managed the Austrian ‘Wunderteam’ during the 1930s

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Club

 

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League One 2012/2013: Players who started the first and last game of the season for their club


The following list shows the players who started the first and last league games for their League clubs in the 2012/2013 season.

  • Stevenage (8) – James Dunne, Luke Freeman, Marcus Haber, Darius Charles, Chris Day, Mark Roberts, David Gray and Bondz N’Gala.
  • Carlisle United (7) – Liam Noble, Brad Potts, Lee Miller, James Trevor Berrett, Danny Livesey, Matthew James Robson and Paul Thirlwell.
  • Crawley Town (7) – Nicky Adams, Josh Simpson, Billy Clarke, Matthew Sadler, Paul Jones, Dannie Bulman and Mark Connolly. 
  • Hartlepool United (7) – Andy Monkhouse, Jonathan Franks, Simon Walton, Sam Collins, Scott Flinders, Neil Jeffrey Austin and Peter Hartley.
  • Leyton Orient (7) – Dean Cox, Lloyd James, Kevin Lisbie, Jimmy Dean Smith, Gary Sawyer, Jamie Jones and Nathan Clarke. 
  • Tranmere Rovers (7) – Jean-Louis Akpro, Andy Robinson, Liam Palmer, Danny Holmes, Zoumana Bakayogo, Ash Taylor and Ben Gibson. 
  • Brentford (6) – Harlee Dean, Clayton Donaldson, Shaleum Logan, Simon Moore, Toumani Diagouraga and Jonathan Douglas. 
  • Doncaster Rovers (6) – Chris Brown, David Cotterill, Robert Jones, Paul Quinn, Jamie Paul McCombe and Tommy Spurr. 
  • Notts County (6) – Alan Judge, Jeff Hughes, Yoann Arquin, Gary Liddle, Bartosz Bialkowski and Dean Leacock. 
  • Preston North End (6) – Nicky Wroe, Keith Keane, Jack King, John Mousinho, Paul Huntington and David Buchanan. 
  • Yeovil Town (6) – James Hayter, Edward Upson, Marek Stech, Luke Ayling, Sam Foley and Dominic Blizzard.
  • AFC Bournemouth (5) – Charlie Daniels, Marc Pugh, Shaun MacDonald, Tommy Elphick and Simon Francis.
  • MK Dons* (5) – Antony Kay, Dean Peter Bowditch, Daniel Powell, Luke Chadwick and Darren Potter. 
  • Scunthorpe United (5) – Jimmy Ryan, Mark Duffy, Sam Slocombe, David Mirfin and Tom Newey. 
  • Walsall (5) – Adam Craig Chambers, Jamie Paterson, William Grigg, Nicky Featherstone and Dean Holden. 
  • Crewe Alexandra (4) – Byron Moore, Max Clayton, Ajay Leitch-Smith and Harry Davis.
  • Sheffield United (4) – Harry Maguire, Kevin McDonald, Michael Doyle and Neill Collins.
  • Swindon Town (4) – Raffaele De Vita, Alan McCormack, Wesley Foderingham and Joe Devera. 
  • Colchester United (3) – Magnus Okuonghae, Marcus Bean and Brian Wilson.
  • Coventry City (3) – Adam Barton, John Fleck and Richard Wood.
  • Oldham Athletic (3) – Lee Croft, Christian Alexis Montaño Castillo and Jean-Yves Mvoto.
  • Bury (2) – Mark Hughes and David Worrall.
  • Shrewsbury Town (2) – Luke Summerfield and Chris Weale. 
  • Portsmouth (0)

Not one player who started Portsmouth’s first game of the season also started the last game of the league season. This perhaps demonstrates what a turbulent season the club has had. The club didn’t even have the same manager for their first and last games of the season.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Club, Statistics

 

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Alliterative Footballers in the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two


A list of footballers who have played in the Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two this season with their first name beginning with the same letter as their surname. Please let me know if you are aware of any others.

  • Adebayo Akinfenwa (Northampton Town)
  • Adebayo Azeez (Wycombe Wanderers & Leyton Orient)
  • Ahmed Abdulla (Barnet)
  • Akwasi Asante (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Ali Al Habsi (Wigan Athletic)
  • Almen Abdi (Watford)
  • Andreas Arestidou (Morecambe)
  • Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal)
  • Antolín Alcáraz (Wigan Athletic)
  • Barry Bannan (Aston Villa)
  • Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County)
  • Billy Bodin (Torquay United)
  • Brian Barry-Murphy (Rochdale)
  • Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest)
  • Christopher Chantler (Carlisle United)
  • Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
  • Clarke Carlisle (York City & Northampton Town)
  • Conor Clifford (Portsmouth & Crawley Town)
  • Courtney Cameron (Rotherham United)
  • Craig Cathcart (Blackpool)
  • Craig Clay (Chesterfield)
  • Craig Conway (Cardiff Dragons)
  • Craig Curran (Rochdale)
  • Cyrus Christie (Coventry Dragons)
  • Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace & Ipswich Town)
  • Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
  • Darryl Duffy (Cheltenham Town)
  • David Davis (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • David De Gea (Manchester United)
  • David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers)
  • Diego De Girolamo (Sheffield United)
  • Donervon Daniels (Tranmere Rovers)
  • Dorian Dervite (Charlton Athletic)
  • Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Bury)
  • Frank Fielding (Derby County)
  • Gábor Gyepes (Portsmouth)
  • Gaël Givet (Blackburn Rovers)
  • Gary Gardner (Aston Villa)
  • Gianluca Gracco (Dagenham & Redbridge)
  • Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion)
  • Harry Hooman (Cheltenham Town)
  • Heidar Helguson (Cardiff Dragons)
  • Jake Jervis (Portsmouth, Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United & Birmingham City)
  • Jake Jones (Walsall)
  • Jamie Jones (Leyton Orient)
  • Jermaine Jenas (Nottingham Forest & Queens Park Rangers)
  • Jermaine Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday)
  • Joe Jacobson (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Johnnie Jackson (Charlton Athletic)
  • Jussi Jääskeläinen (West Ham United)
  • Kei Kamara (Norwich City)
  • Keith Keane (Preston North End)
  • Leon Legge (Gillingham & Brentford)
  • Leroy Lita (Sheffield Wednesday & Birmingham City)
  • Marcus Marshall (Bury)
  • Mark Molesley (Exeter City & Plymouth Argyle)
  • Marko Marin (Chelsea)
  • Marvin Morgan (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Mathieu Manset (Carlisle United)
  • Matt Mitchel-King (AFC Wimbledon)
  • Matthew McClure (Wycombe Wanderers)
  • Matthew Mills (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Michael Morrison (Charlton Athletic)
  • Modibo Maïga (West Ham United)
  • Nyron Nosworthy (Watford)
  • Olanrewaju Oyebanjo (York City)
  • Osayamen Osawe (Accrington Stanley)
  • Oulwasanmi Odelusi (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Paul Parry (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading)
  • Phil Picken (Bury)
  • Richard Ravenhill (Bradford City)
  • Robbie Rogers (Stevenage)
  • Sam Saunders (Brentford)
  • Sam Slocombe (Scunthorpe United)
  • Sam Sodje (Portsmouth)
  • Scott Shearer (Rotherham United)
  • Scott Sinclair (Manchester City)
  • Sean Scannell (Huddersfield Town)
  • Sean St. Ledger (Leicester City & Millwall)
  • Stéphane Sessègnon (Sunderland)
  • Steve Sidwell (Fulham)
  • Steve Simonsen (Preston North End)
  • Steven Schumacher (Bury)
 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Alliteration XI, Club

 

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CHAMPIONSHIP 2011/2012 SEASON REVIEW WORD CLOUDS

CHAMPIONSHIP 2011/2012 SEASON REVIEW WORD CLOUDS

With the new season upon us we at Spirit of Mirko are continuing our retrospective on the 2011/2012 season. Following on from our Premier League word-clouds we’ve now constructed twenty-four clouds that represent each Championship club’s season via the words used in their respective BBC match reports.

If you wish to use one of these images for your own site, then feel free. Just ensure you set up a link to this page and also give full credit to tagxedo (the wonderful site that these images were created in).

Barnsley

Barnsley

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Statistics

 

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Foreign players in the Championship 2011/2012


Of the 699 players who appeared for Championship clubs during the 2011/2012 season 387 were English. As you’d expect the other nations from the British Isles also featured heavily with (and no, this isn’t a joke) 52 Scotsmen, 50 Irishmen, 28 Welshmen and 19 Northern Irishmen.

The table below shows data on each of the twenty-four clubs in the Championship and the nationalities who played during the 2011/2012 season. The columns are as follows, Nats: number of nationalities used, Plyrs: total number of players used, Eng: Englishmen used (Sco, Wal, NI, Ire self-explanatory). %Eng is the percentage of the total number of players used who are English whilst %B&I is the percentage of players used who are from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. Whilst I understand that Ireland is a foreign country I feel that this metric is useful as players from the Republic of Ireland have been integral parts of squads in the football pyramid for many years.

Championship nationalities 2011/2012

Championship nationalities 2011/2012

Relegated Portsmouth are the side that can most adequately be labelled as the division’s “foreign-legion”, though it has to be said that the term “foreign legion” exited the football lexicon a few years ago. I think it dropped out of common usage at the same time that the goalkeepers union was finally disbanded.

Doncaster Rovers’ (Willie McKay inspired) policy of recruiting anything that moved during the second half of last season leaves them having used the most players in the division (41). Play-off semi finalists Birmingham City used the fewest players having only used 22 during the season. It’s a real credit to the Blues as they also had a gruelling (and very fun) sojourn in the Europa League to navigate.

Peterborough United fielded the highest percentage of English players (79%) but it was Barnsley who used the most (28). In fact the only player that Barnsley used who originated outside of the British Isles was Ricardo Vaz Te, and he signed for West Ham during the January transfer window.

Blackpool used the most Scottish players (7), Crystal Palace used the most Welshmen (4), Burnley were the club who fielded the most Northern Irish players (5) whilst Palace and Ipswich Town fielded the most Irishmen (5).

In 2011/2012 an incredible sixty-seven different countries were represented in the Championship. They were Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Iceland, Brazil, Netherlands, Denmark, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Spain, Senegal, Grenada, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Trinidad &Tobago, France, Mali, Slovakia, Malta, Jamaica, Slovenia, Serbia, Ghana, South Africa, DR Congo, Finland, Australia, Cote d’Ivoire, Bulgaria, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Israel, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Antigua and Barbuda, Curaoao, Czech Republic, Malawi, Morocco, Guadeloupe, Chile, Comoros, Argentina, Cameroon, Algeria, United States, Belgium, Estonia, Honduras, Hungary, Barbados, Switzerland, Fiji, Canada, Mexico, Croatia, Italy, New Zealand, Turkey, Austria, Sweden, Germany and Burundi.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Statistics

 

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