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The Week That Was

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Sad news this week as Stockport County fans have seen their side enter administration. Stockport are the 89th league side to be declared insolvent since 1986, and despite the best efforts of the Supporters’ Trust at Stockport (the only group willing to take on the ownership of the club in the face of huge debts racked up by the previous owners after they’d sold off the assets of the club) the side had to give up the losing battle yesterday.

The FSF are all for supporters being involved with the ownership of their clubs, and we think this shows that they should be involved as soon as possible, rather than being the last resort and being left to pick up the pieces from greedy or incompetent owners.

Elsewhere, it’s been a big week for Ryan Giggs – first he walked off with the PFA Lifetime Achiev… sorry, Player of the Year Award, and followed that by making his 800th appearance for Manchester United in this week’s Champions League. No sooner had he finished the match and gone home to polish his gong he was being touted as a future Wales manager by his countryman John Hartson. Perhaps they’ll get another manager in for the friendlies?

Chelsea put up a particularly obdurate performance in the Camp Nou on Tuesday, securing a 0-0 to take back to Stamford Bridge, whereas it’s advantage Man United after their 1-0 win over Arsenal. Both home sides may live to regret some missed chances, however. In the UEFA Cup, Hamburg and Shakhtar Donetsk can feel happiest with their work in the first leg of their respective semi-finals.

Concerning news from Italy, as there’s talk of Serie A forming a breakaway league from Serie B, in much the same way that the Premier League was formed back in the early 1990s. As if there weren’t enough problems with wealth distribution in Italy as it is.

Roy Keane’s first match at Ipswich was more notable for off-field events (despite an impressive 3-0 win in the last ever league game at Ninian Park), as Cardiff fans applauded the visitors’ supporters, who held up a ‘Keep Standing’ banner. Nice to see. Not that Roy’s the only new manager in town – the managerial merry-go-round is in full swing already, with Joe Royle leaving Oldham to be replaced by Dave Penney, who is leaving Darlington.

And it’s good to see that it’s not just English clubs that can be accused of short-termist managerial policies, as in Germany Jurgen Klinsmann got the boot from the Bayern Munich hotseat after only 8 months with the side currently 3rd in the Bundesliga table.

Lastly, the FSF’s column in the Daily Mirror this week championed reforms in the game’s governance suggested by the All-Party Parliamentary Football Group, that we’ve been banging on about for ages. They include beefing up the ‘Fit and Proper Person’ test for owners and getting more transparency in the way our clubs are run financially, to prevent the likes of what’s happened to Southampton happening agin. If you agree with us, then get involved!

 

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