No, it is not the latest online feature the Football Manager series: this is real life. Fifty thousand football fans will soon be bidding for a lower league English team. The scheme has been dreamt up by Fulham fan Will Brooks. His site – www.myfootballclub.co.uk – encourages fans to donate Â£35 in exchange for a stake in first-team affairs at the new club. More than 47,000 people have already pledged their money, and Brooks is just waiting for that figure to hit 50,000 before beginning takeover talks with any club.
Pre-season is under way, which means Ian Holloway is conducting interviews once again. Hooray! Ollie has welcomed himself back into the limelight by claiming his sights are set on promotion to the Premier League. The Plymouth boss said: “Everything I am doing, everything my staff are doing, everything we are trying to do as a board and as a company is geared towards the Premier League. Last year, we had a good cup run, didn’t flirt with any sort of disaster, we were in the top half of the table most of the year, and finished 11th.
Blackburn’s quest for Uefa Cup football is going to plan as they took a 0-2 lead in the first-leg of their Intertoto Cup tie with FK Vetra. Benni McCarthy gave Rovers the lead on 29 minutes, but it was Matt Derbyshire’s 25-yard strike with 10 minutes to play which put them in a dominant position. Keeper Vaidas Zutautas and a bobble on the pitch in front of him can take some of the credit though!
David Beckham made his long-awaited LA Galaxy debut when he came on as a substitute for the last 12 minutes of the friendly with Chelsea. The former England skipper was expected to miss the game with an ankle injury, but made it on to the pitch much to the delight of the 27,000 sell-out crowd.
With Fergie refusing Liverpool’s Â£6.8m bid for Gabriel Heinze and claiming United would ‘never’ sell to their bitterest rivals, we take a look at a few transfers that have taken place between clubs with a history of hatred.
A comfortable win for United, thanks to goals by Cristiano Ronaldo (keeper should have saved it though), Chris Eagles (smart finish after cheeky reverse pass from Ronaldo), Wayne Rooney (more suspect keeping) and Patrice Evra (again, a top-class goalie would have saved the shot).
The Champions League: the greatest stage for elite players or a haven for overpaid wimps who wouldn’t know real football if it nutmegged them? If your opinion is the latter, this could be the t-shirt for you. This Champions League Is Gay from Stolli Clothing is as bold, brash and in-your-face as a Uefa official. It will set you back Â£11.99, but then you should have the money to spare if you are not flitting all over Europe to watch your club in the Champions League!
Name: Cozmo Age: Unknown Position: Mascot What’s his story? Universally known as a goalkeeper who can stop shots travelling at the speed of light, Cozmo has the speed and skill to play forward for any team on the planet.
Michael Owen’s knee could become embroiled in the diplomatic row between England and Russia over the extradition of a Russian spy for the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. With the two countries currently enjoying a game of pass-the-diplomat, it seems those crafty Russians might have the upper hand.
Arsenal’s new third kit, a stripey affair (in ‘redcurrant and obsidian’, or, for plain-speaking folk, ‘dark red and blue-black’), that puts me in mind of the classic Barcelona kit, is launched on August 9th, although you can pre-order it now from Arsenal’s online shop.
Seriously, is Mido worth six million pence, let alone six million quid? That’s a lot of money for a player who I would best describe as ‘mercurial’ (ie. wildly inconsistent, overweight and lazy). Spurs must be loving this deal. According to the Beeb, Blues boss Steve Bruce has also made an enquiry about Mido’s Egypt and Spurs team-mate, Hossam Ghaly. Hmm, if Mido is the second-worst player at Spurs, then Ghaly is the worst. Spurs fans would be absolutely delighted to offload both Mido and Ghaly to a Premiership rival. Cheers Brucey.
‘Put your faith in Jossy’s Giantsâ€¦’ An awesome programme, which used to be essential viewing in the Pies’ household. And it was written by legendary darts commentator Sid Waddell. Who could ask for more?
In the messy wake of the Tevcherano affair, many non-West Ham fans would love to see the cheeky cockneys go down this season. The chances of that happening are slim, I’d say, but at least God is doing his best and striking down their new players before they’ve even had a chance to pull on a claret-and-blue shirt.
Angel Di Maria of Argentina celebrates scoring the first goal against Chile during their semi-final game at the Fifa U-20 World Cup, held at the National Soccer Stadium in Toronto, Canada. It was a very ill-tempered game that ended with ugly scenes after the final whistle; Chile also had two men sent off. What is it with these crazy South Americans and Latin types? They’re such badlosers. Anyhoo, watch video highlights of the match after the clickâ€¦
[Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images]
Well, that was the appalling I Believe by Thai-American singer Tata Young. It dates from 2004, but for some reason has been re-hashed to be the official song of the Asian Cup 2007. Not that us English can talk. Anyone remember the offical song to Euro 96? Answer after the jump, pop pickers.
The fourth offical at Arsenal’s friendly with Genclerbirligi must be pleased he was relieved from electronic board duty for this mammoth, seven-man substitution. In fact, he wore himself out just walking down the queue to check the studs!
Mystic Pies strikes again. The minute we start joking around about seeing Kieron Dyer move to West Ham for a reunion of the St James’s Park Amateur Boxing Club, and Alan Curbishley makes it be known that he is interested in completing the whole set of ex-Newcastle bad boys. Curbs is desperate for a replacement for unspeakably stupid Â£6 million winger Julien Faubert who is out for six months with a ruptured achilles tendon.
There’s tough and then there’s John Terry. Despite breaking his toe during Chelsea’s pre-season jolly against the Suwon Bluewings, he played on and still expects to be fit for this weekend’s game against Beckham’s LA Galaxy.
The first Finn to play in the Premier League? Jari Litmanen. Nope. Sami Hyppi. Nein. It was in fact journeyman Mixu Paatelainen. The striker played for 10 clubs before his retirement in 2005, but it was at Dundee, Aberdeen, Hibs and Bolton that he really made himself at home. With a name like his, Paatelainen was always likely to be decent Cult Hero material. Indeed, he has the unusual honour of being framed for a prank phone call in Bolton-born Peter Kay’s sitcom Phoenix Nights.
A few of Portugal’s U-20 squad react, how can I put this, like spoilt kids, in the dying minutes of their 1-0 loss to tournament favourites Chile in the U-20 World Cup, currently taking place in Canada (Czech Republic will play the winners of Chile vs Argentina in the final, by the way).
Here’s a handy tip for all young players: it’s generally a very bad idea to snatch the red card out of the ref’s hand as he’s trying to send off your team-mate – unless you want said ref to grab it straight back and shove it in your face too.
[Spotted on Left Back]
Arjen Robben has reportedly agreed personal terms over a move to Real Madrid, according to the BBC. Chelsea have not yet agreed a fee with the Spanish giants, but the Dutch winger is set to fly to Madrid on Friday.
This excellent documentary, first shown on Bravo I think, covers Paul Gascoigne’s time at Lazio in the mid-Nineties. The great James Richardson (he really should be Match of the Day’s anchor) narrates.
This is part one of five clips. To watch the remaining four parts, click the link belowâ€¦
South Korean fans of Manchester United (Cristiano Ronaldo to be specific) cheer up during the team’s training session at SangAm World Cup Stadium on July 19, 2007 in Seoul, South Korea. Manchester United will play against South Korea’s Seoul FC on July 20.
[Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]