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Sunderland and Hull – The Double Droppers?

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Sunderland & Hull

Both of these clubs currently find themselves lingering towards the bottom of The Championship having recently felt the pain of PL relegation back in May 17.

Friday night’s first half horror show saw Hull dumped from the FA Cup and even tho Sunderland a slight improvement  with this weekends draw against Middlesbrough, more games pass these two by as they stare back-to-back relegations in the face.

Not all is doom and gloom though! Despite last seasons’ poor performance bank balances will still be given a shot in the arm…

Over the next three years, Sunderland will receive 55% of the near £100m they made from TV revenue, 45% the following year and 20% in the third. However, Hull will only be entitled to the first two payments. Because they suffered relegation after only one season, thus voiding them of the final £20m payment.With the business end of the season fast approaching it is difficult to make a case for either of the sides escaping given how the first 30+ games have gone.

Chris Coleman and Nigel Adkins are now the men with the world on their shoulders, having inherited inferior players from Simon Grayson and Leonid Slutsky respectively. Each dugout has been occupied on a number of occasions in recent seasons, this has not helped either cause.


Adkins was looking for a way back into the game so was always going to accept the offer from the Tigers but Chris Coleman must spend his evenings wondering what ever made him say yes to one of the most undesirable jobs in the country. You have to question yourselves when you can’t tempt a manager from outside the Old Firm north of the border to leave his club for yours at this level. Derek McInnes looks to have made a shrewd decision to stay put.

The transfer dealings over both windows would indicate nothing other than sheer panic. I mean Ashley Fletcher, Lee Camp, Ovie Ejaria and Marc Wilson have come through the doors at the Stadium Of Light while slightly further south at the KCOM the incomings such as Seb Larsson, Michael Hector and Fraizer Campbell aren’t the players required at this particular stage of the clubs history.

They both need proven footballers and perhaps a couple of “statement signings” in order to get the fans back in the stands. Both of their last home league games have seen a total attendance of 45k watch on, not even enough to fill The Mackems 49k capacity once over!

Speaking of home games the SAFC fans have had to endure more pain than most, they recently went a year without gaining a needed 3 points to their total.We all know that there are no easy games in the Championship and that will be the case in the coming weeks as most sides will have something to play for.

Finding themselves in League One next season and lining up against the likes of Walsall and Gillingham will be a glaring reality check of their poor performances both on and off the pitch.
Both clubs, like most, carry debts with them year on year and realistically you have to wonder that if they both succumb to relegation this year will we ever see these clubs climb back up the leagues?

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Liverpool vs Roma – A throwback 1984

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As a Tuesday night unfolded in both Manchester and Rome the watching masses had a feeling that the two triumphant sides on the night were destined to be drawn against each other in the Semi Finals of the Champions League.

Klopp’s Kop had seen off City, following up an impressive 1st leg lead with another victory at The Etihad despite a lot of early home pressure. Over in Italy a modern-day miracle was happening, Roma were overturning a 4-1 deficit and were 3 up against a Messi led Barcelona. They held on and the raucous celebrations began right through until Friday’s draw.

Out came Bayern vs Real and left us with the tie we all just knew was going to happen, all things pointed to it as soon as both final whistles went.
Coutinho knocked out, Dzeko and Kolarov through, A Mo Salah return and of course a replay of the 1984 European Cup Final.

The side have met on 3 previous occasion but none more important than the final of this renamed and revamped competition back in 1984.


On that night Liverpool would go on to secure their 4th title before waiting nearly two decades to once again add to that list with that famous night in Istanbul, also against Italian opposition.
The game was decided on penalties after a 1-1 stalemate through 90min and Extra time. A goal from Phil Neal gave Liverpool the lead before an equalizer from Pruzzo just before half time.
After Nicol’s miss early in the shootout it was subsequent failures from Conti and Graziani that handed the Merseyside club the trophy.


Now if you rewind to the Semi-Finals of that season you’ll see an anticipated battle of Britain on the cards.

Roma were up against then Scottish Champions Dundee United and with the showpiece in their own backyard felt it was their right to line up at the Stadio Olimpico as one of the finalists.

The first leg ended 2-0 at Tannadice Park, meaning that Roma had to win by three clear goals to progress to the final. Roma did indeed score three goals to win the tie 3–0 and progress to the final, by virtue of a 3–2 aggregate victory.
In 1986, it emerged that Roma attempted to bribe referee Michel Vautrot with £50,000 before the match

 

The Italian club were suspended from European football for a season, and their chairman, Dino Viola, was banned from official UEFA activities for four years. The referee maintained that he never received the £50,000 – some claimed that the middleman did a runner with the money – but in 2011, Riccardo Viola, the chairman’s son, shed new light on the mystery. He told of a dinner on the eve of the match, when Vautrot was alleged to have informed them, in coded language, that the deal had been done.

Sadly this potentially historic final never materialised and we’ll never know if history for all of the clubs involved could have been changed forever.

There is still a link that holds this whole thing together in the shape of Andy Robertson, A former Dundee United defender that will line up against the once money paying Romans.
There is no doubt that Liverpool will head into the tie as favourites and perhaps it would be some level of comfort for British or maybe just Scottish football if the Italians suffered just like their Scottish counterparts at the same stage of the competition all those years ago.

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Managers – Are the casualties being looked after?

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The latest high profile manager to go was Alan Pardew at West Brom. He leaves the baggies a country mile from safety having guided them to just one solitary victory under his charge.


Rumours are that Pardew is departing with a £500k golden handshake for his “efforts” and this is not the 1st time that he, like many others, will have received a huge pay out for a performance deemed underwhelming by a board of directors. This of course, is at the highest level and with a guaranteed opportunity at another job in a few months’ time. But what about lower down the chain?

Last week we saw the devastating news announced about former Crawley Town Manager Dermot Drummy’s death back in November 17. An inquest has concluded that the former Chelsea youth coach had taken his own life.


Drummy, 56 had been seeking counselling for his “low mood” after parting company with the League Two side just a few months prior. Now let’s be honest being dismissed at this level is totally different to the riches of the PL or the top end of the Championship for that matter.
Guys like Drummy have been hard working coaches, craving a shot at being a number one and just because it doesn’t work out doesn’t make them poor managers. They are dealing with a totally different set of circumstances that a lot with similar job specs will never understand.
Take a look at this extract from a local journalist following the sacking:-

“The appointment of Drummy, whose background was as a vastly experienced development coach, was an interesting one, not least in terms of the style of football he had pledged to instil.
“The early signs were promising, with the club reaching fifth place by mid-October and fans clearly appreciative of the brand of football on offer.”

A glowing reference for a man just weeks into a role and this story got us thinking, what becomes of some of the under the radar sackings lower down the divisions and what becomes of some of the managers. Just how are they looked after? As this clearly shows that Drummy slipped through the net.
A staggering 45 mangers in the professional leagues in England have lost their jobs this season. A near 50% sack rate and we’re yet to reach the business end where key promotions, relegations and ultimately fates are decided.


The LMA is supposed to play a key role in looking after its members, now they do have a “Mental Health” awareness section… Let’s just inform you that it is situated in the 4th category and the 7th subject down on their list. They do however provide a managerial performance table right there on the homepage. A proper own goal from where we’re sitting!

Some other cases include that of Martin Ling and Neil Lennon both of whom have admitted to having their own personal battles, It also looks like we’ll never know just what triggered Gary Speed’s decision on that terrible day.

With all the money in the game we love, every available penny should go towards protecting the people that actually make the game what it is.
They should be rewarded for their services and utilised accordingly even if that is providing local level coaching to grass roots and their salaries are covered by governing bodies.
We don’t want to be reading more stories like the tragic one of Dermot Drummy.
RIP

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Englishman trying to make amends for fans behaviour in Amsterdam.

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An Englishman living in Amsterdam has gone to great lengths — or depths — to right the wrongs o.

 Lance Roberts jumped into action after seeing the videos of an England fan throwing a bike into one of Amsterdam’s canal.

Amsterdam police chiefs described the England fans behaviour as “appalling” ahead of the friendly match last Friday.

Roberts, who has lived in Amsterdam since 1991, later took his boat on the canal and fished out the sunken bicycle.

Roberts’ good deed was spotted by locals and was later gave an interview with Amsterdam broadcaster AT5.

“It was mainly shame, I felt ashamed and I wanted to do something positive,” said Roberts, 48, talking about what sparked him into action. “It was one of these small acts of diplomacy, I wanted to put the bike back.”

“It’s been a positive reaction from people in Amsterdam,” the father-of-two told Euronews. “I think everyone needed a good news story after that.

“The English people who are living here can feel like they can hold their heads up a little bit higher.

“There’s at least some evidence of another side of the English nature.”

The self-employed carpenter said he was also moved to act because his two-year-old’s creche is near where the incident happened.

“I went down to pull the bike out because my kid goes to a creche there and we’d walked past them the night before on the way home,” he continued. “The bike had a kid’s seat on it and I saw that and thought: ‘that could be someone I know or one of the other parents’. In Amsterdam, that’s a family’s transport.”

The troubles saw 100 England fans being arrested over the two days.

“The behaviour of a large number of England supporters was appalling,” said deputy chief constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) head for football policing. “Any attempts to downplay it are wide of the mark.

“The sad fact is that the drunken mob’s behaviour reinforces the negative stereotype of England supporters, and will impact on the treatment all fans can expect when they follow the team abroad.”

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