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A letter to Gianni

UEFA General Secretary Infantino asks the audience for silence before the draw for the play-off matches for UEFA Euro 2016 at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon

Dear Gianni, A non-exhaustive list of things that are broken and need fixing in world football: Corruption Nepotism Cronyism Patronage Sexism Homophobia Racism Transphobia Sexual abuse The Ballon d’Or voting Simulation Player wages that could feed entire countries Transfer fees that could feed entire continents Abuse of referees Fan violence […]

Top of the pops

Rolston celebrating with Moore

2016 wasn’t a great year in a lot of ways – what with all the much loved famous folks who died not to mention Brexit, Trump, Syria, and the like. But it has been a vintage year for ITBOTN. Way back when I first started this thing I said that […]

Five of the most inaccessible

Kaeo

You thought I’d forgotten about this, didn’t you? I hadn’t. I was just slowly taking my time to recover from the wrath of the Wellingtonians who accused me of not mentioning [insert random miserable enclave of their city here] when I did the five most windblown a few months ago. […]

Club World Cup: Bloody Bambi

Kiwitea Street

A year ago, normal service was resumed in the game against serial bus-parkers Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Auckland City went to Japan and were beaten without scoring, a tradition established in our first appearance there in 2006. If last year saw a much changed team from the heroics of 2014, this year […]

Guest Post – The Birko Recipe

Damian Hirst mobbed when Birko's third went in

[Following on from John’s excellent post about his experience reaching out to the local community to build support for Auckland City FC, I thought it might be cool to ask a few other clubs to tell us about what they do. With more people sharing what works for them, there might be […]

Five freaks

The moment Waitakere's penalty went in

I’m not ashamed to admit that last Sunday afternoon I reached peak football freak – a state of being that is reserved only for the rarest, most magical of occasions when everything falls perfectly into place. Ideally, there are a few key ingredients that are required before one can ascend […]

#ForçaChape

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There are English men of a certain age, in their late sixties onwards, who will insist that Duncan Edwards was the greatest player to ever pull on an England shirt. My father’s one of them. He was nine years old in 1958, his own father a staunch Manchester United supporter, […]