Broadcasters around the world are paying huge sums to screen football, but they will not be willing to invest if they cannot be protected.
Years before it was screened live in the UK, England’s Football League was building a cult following abroad thanks to a visionary broadcaster.
Pot Of Gold
A rare meeting between two local rivals brought FA Cup fever – and a useful financial boost – to one corner of Hertfordshire
From earnest post-match punditry to being used in actual players’ matchday preparations, the virtual game is becoming increasingly blurred with reality.
The decision to walk off in the face of abuse has shone a national spotlight on a community club with a progressive approach
Bournemouth 0 Norwich City 0
Dean Court may have received a Premier League facelift but against today’s visitors the home team fail to live up to their status, although the low-quality draw they play out is still somehow reassuring.
Manchester United were not the only team to be devastated by the Munich air disaster – England also lost some of their best players, changing the course of the 1958 World Cup and, potentially, the whole national game.
Stars In Their Eyes
From cricketers to athletes, plenty of sportsmen have tried to carve out a career in football – though few have switched disciplines with much success.
Torquay United look destined for English football’s sixth tier amid increasing distrust of the motives of their owner, Clarke Osborne.
Nice One Cyrille
A raw talent who thrilled crowds, Cyrille Regis overcame vicious racism to begin changing attitudes and inspire later generations of black players.
Neville May Cry
If it seemed like Ryan Giggs had a tough reception when he was appointed Wales manager, it was nothing compared to the grief his Class of ’92 colleague Phil Neville has just experienced.
Nations Saving Grace
UEFA could never be accused of favouring the smaller nations when devising the qualifying procedures of the Champions League.
Holt – Who Goes There
Accrington Stanley are perpetually the 91st-best-supported team in the top four divisions but their owner is optimistic for the club’s future – though he isn’t so glowing about those who run the game in general.
Frankly, Mr Shankly
There are few figures from football history who are universally popular and able to transcend club loyalties. Bill Shankly is an exception, and with good reason.
It was in October 2010 that Rio Ferdinand wrote an open letter in support of England’s ultimately doomed World Cup bid.
Managers from BAME backgrounds should naturally be emerging but they are still being held back, so the FA are finally stepping in to improve the situation.
Video technology was hailed as the saviour of football, until the next day when it was a shambles. Maybe the change we really need is in the culture of blaming the referee.
The Call Of Nature
From mice in Arsenal’s kitchens to moths at the Euros and wasps in Brazil, it seems no football club can be safe from invasions of wildlife.
Fanning The Flames
Some of the country’s most fierce rivalries have been on hold for decades, yet the animosity between opposing sets of supporters somehow endures.
No Place Like Home
Brunton Park is run-down and expensive but, for the Carlisle fans who have spent their lives in its stands, the stadium also can’t be replaced.
Forty Year Itch
A fiery set of matches in 1979 resulted in red cards, police intervention and a grudge that goes beyond the two clubs’ geographical distance.
No matter how your team are performing there is something special about the experience of travelling around the country to support them.
Mark Clattenburg’s self-centred comments about his refereeing have not only damaged his own reputation – they have also hurt fellow officials.
Pros And Cons
Changes to the women’s game are intended to make it more competitive but instead increase its reliance on rich men’s clubs.
Swansea reached the Premier League by doing things differently but they are now becoming just another struggler flitting between managers.
The Wembley Way
What have a Spartan South Midlands League club and the FA got in common? Too much, according to the latter.
Barnet 2 Morecambe 1
Barnet are in a swish new stadium with facilities that feel far above the football their forlorn team are playing. Still, Morecambe are also struggling so there is always hope – and if all else fails, a nice warm bar for supporters.
Owen, Going, Gone?
Not In The Script