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The Week That Was

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Another week, yet more upheaval off the pitch, as we bring you a ‘departure special’ issue of The Week That Was. We must first direct our gaze to the FA headquarters at Wembley, where on Monday we saw the resignation of FA Chief Executive Ian Watmore, sending reverberations throughout the game.

As rumour and counter-rumour of scandal and bust-ups flew throughout cyberspace and the media, it eventually transpired that that Watmore had simply had enough of the intransigence of those at the pinnacle of the game, particularly one David Richards.

A leaked email was the straw that broke this particular camel’s back, but Watmore’s frustration at being unable to make substantive reforms in the way the game is run in this country will only be compounded by his exit from the game’s regulators, leaving the upper echelons of football administration in something of a limbo.

The power struggle between the FA, Premier League and Football League was not helped when everybody’s favourite soundbite, Dave Whelan, chirped up with his view that the Premier League should run the England national team, and that the FA should be left to amateur football and the FA Cup. No conflict of interests there, then? Of course not.

Watmore’s was just the first in a week of departures, as Spurs knocked Fulham out of the cup after a fine comeback, Mancini knocked Moyes off the ball in a dugout spat that saw both managers sent to the stand, around the same time that FSF ‘favourite’ Gary Cook was ejecting an Everton director from the prawn sandwich seats at the City of Manchester Stadium.

A bit of an ugly night all round for City, then, as their 2-0 loss was compounded by Mancini today being charged with improper conduct over the incident, while David Moyes was written a letter ‘reminding him of his responsibilities’. How wonderfully understated a disciplinary measure, eh?

Even the Scots were getting in on the act, as Tony Mowbray received his marching orders (well, his P45) from Celtic bosses.

Departures from Portsmouth could well be on the horizon too, after the Premier League gave the stricken south coast club permission to sell players. Well, sort of.

Any clubs wishing to buy out of the transfer window must apply to Fifa for their agreement, and as the governing body have intimated in the past that they’re unwilling to bend the rules, we do wonder what the point in all of this was anyway, short of making the Premier League look like they’re helping out Portsmouth. It appears they’re giving them every assistance short of actually helping them.

Still, nobody wanted to buy the players in January, and surely clubs will be keeping their powder dry until an inevitable fire-sale once Pompey are relegated anyway?

Another team announcing a departure were FC United of Manchester, although there’s was much more symbolic than most this week. The club announced plans for a new 5,000 capacity stadium, leaving behind Bury’s Gigg Lane, to move to a new stadium in the area of Newton Heath in Manchester.

Those of you who haven’t been living under a rock for the last few months or have more than a passing interest in football history will know that Newton Heath was where Manchester United were ‘born’, and a return to the club’s original roots will prove popular among the following of FC United, as well as with those who support the Green and Gold protests at Old Trafford.

From a club set up in protest against ownership to a protest video; we received this rather unique silent protest at club ownership in our inbox this week – we’re not quite sure what to make of it, other than we’re pretty sure that that’s not the real Elton John!

And the last departure this week? Well, that’ll be ours, as it’s nearly 5 o’clock on Friday, and we’re off to the pub. Have a great weekend!


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