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Red Mist

Not proud of my reaction, but brings an interesting debate on what ‘crossing the line’ actually means – and when a fan has ‘gone too far’. 

Crossing the line certainly doesn’t refer to County putting the ball over the goal line (for a goal). As we didn’t even come close to scoring. I prayed that the new lad with the Turkish sounding surname might score and I might even sponsor him,  if he extended his loan from Scunthorpe – but the one real chance falling to Dünnwald-Turan almost hit the corner flag. His stats are unimpressive as a goalscorer, so unless I’m missing something, despite his playing in EFL, this recruitment theory smacks of desperation. 

One supporter, was expressing dissatisfaction, with five minutes remaining. We had lost to Yeovil Town 0-3 at EP and picked up a red card for Ashley Palmer in the process- who I personally like at the back. That supporter was being shouted at by second choice goalkeeper, Ross. I retorted for him to stand down as I feel fans have every right to aire discontent, when a display is so shambolic. Maybe I should target someone other than that goalkeeping giant who towered above me. I was leaving early, an unusual action by me. As the newest ‘Assistant Manager’, then desired to chip in, this brought down the ‘red mist’. Or maybe he wasn’t an AM – with a DOF, M, AM x2 and Coach I now get confused who is who and who does what?

Anyway, having already had my Birthday spoiled by the display, I then lambasted him/them for both an ineffective Plan A and certainly no Plan B. It was a dreadful display and we are making a mockery of being one of the bookies favourites for promotion. I’d be amazed if we make the play offs based on this – although of course, I realize it’s only September. That mouthy AM, or whatever, inferred I should ‘walkon’. Not wise words from someone who must be guilty in someway for that woeful showing.  Afraid IMVHO, we the paying public, fan of 45+ years, sponsor and people of Stockport have every right to comment. We’ll be there long after their tenure is up.

I have to say none of the players deserved credit and the so-called superstars didn’t turn up. I know the grapevine infers they may have contributed to the departure of ‘Jim’ under accusations of not fitting in with the new culture.  Ironic really when culture was the explanation of his disdain of Rooney after a wreckless sending off that catapulted County to a heavy loss away during his regime. Gannon would not have tolerated such a gutless performance.

In fairness, to Simon Rusk, who I do think is a good person, his post match interview was articulate and honest. He begs for more time based on coming close last year. Personally, I hope that I’m wrong and he can come good – but I said at the end of last Year, that was our best chance of going up and we missed the opportunity. Of course, we are throwing more and more money at ‘this Project’, but the tactics and recruitment aren’t working. 

Time for change? If so, for me it would take an experienced management team used to getting promotions, not a rookie. Hope for more memorable days of blue mist celebration rather than this red mist misery.

S’PORT Wallball

Stockport Wallball Club has landed. This week saw key stakeholders in the Borough’s sporting scene commit to this exciting and growing sport.@stockportvolleyball is pleased to have brought this initiative to the North West in collaboration with the National Governing Body, @ukwallball Want to know more: 💙🧡🖐🥎

It’s not coming HOME!

Well I prepared my English, war-cry equivalent, video clip, to celebrate victory. The Win didn’t come, but the footage is here anyway – it would be a shame to go to waste. 

So football isn’t coming home and like many with the benefit of hindsight we ‘post mortem’ the Tournament and Finale.

England got to a Tournament final. Probably unexpected and nevertheless a great achievement by a Team showing superb togetherness. For me it never was “football coming home” – as only the World Cup means that ultimate accolade to mirror 1966.  But a step in the right direction, nevertheless.

The statistics show we were the second best team and I don’t begrudge the Italians being crowned Champions. They were the better Team in the Euros and Final and deserving.

It is a shame racism raises its ugly head again, as I like many never even thought of the colour of the players’ skin, before or after any of the failing penalties. It all seemed so orchestrated, that we put on.our best ‘pen’ takers and lift that Trophy. Well sorry to say it, but those penalty misses were poor. Didn’t see any signs of practice makes perfect there.

Hopefully the younger players including those who missed penalties will benefit from Tournament experience and take the better aspects of performances in to Qatar 2022. Blending with experience is a must – the defence was a credit throughput and the combination of blue, Stones and red, Maguire awesome.  Shaw was a candidate for England player of the Euros (though no doubt Mourinho will still try and undermine!). 

I’d obviously have preferred a Stockport County return to the EFL over a Euros win this time. But I’ll dream again in 2022 that both that and a World Cup victory could result. This adaptation of the England and Stockport crests hits it home for me (@OTCountyCulture) and the message of us ‘dreamers’. What is spectating, following and supporting without hope? Some countries and so called fans have branded us arrogant, with our singing ‘football’s coming home’. Clearly, they can’t understand the lyrics.

So what else isn’t coming home? Thinking maybe any future World Cup hosting with deficiencies in security. Not only a safety concern but a serious concern with potential terrorism targeting. Media coverage also does us no favours with fans being tarred with same brush, yet a minority of a minority are the culprits.

What is coming home? Likely more COVID19 cases with uncontrolled or at best, inadequate, major events. And the usual suspects jump on the bandwagon for self-publicity or politics to state the bleeding obvious.

Isn’t it amazing that something that brings so much togetherness – also can be so divisive.

Turkey: Foreign players rule

So our friends at the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has brought in the new foreign player rule. The new laws stipulate that any Club can only have a maximum of eight ‘foreign’ players on the pitch at any given time and no more than fourteen in the squad.

We checked with some of our esteemed contacts and former clients and the instant feedback was:

“It is scandalous that the decision was taken on the night of match which was played badly and said goodbye to the Euro2020.”


 “This is going back to old rule which local players worth more then their ability. At the moment there are players who started their career in Turkey and play in teams like Leicester, Juventus, Liverpool, Lille, Frankfurt because they have to develop themselves to ger better contract, but if it is obligatory to start with locals, you either pay more than worth or play with lower class players. We will see what will happen in future.”


“The number of foreign football players is a long term problem in Turkey. There is a high population of young people living in Turkey and many young football players play football in the lower leagues and amateur leagues. There aren’t many football players who are foreign immigrants and Turkish citizens in Turkey. The laws do not allow this. Turkey is not a country of immigrants. Turkey is not multi-cultural like England, France, Germany or Spain. There are not many football players who are Turkish citizens of African origin. In addition, if the number of foreign football players is high, it reflects negatively on the formation of the National Team and prevents young Turkish football players playing in the lower leagues and amateur leagues and progressing to professional football players in the upper leagues. Also, if the number of foreign players is high, it negatively affects the competition between the 4 big clubs (Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Trabzonspor) with the clubs in Anatolia in terms of budgets and transfers. Since Anatolian clubs and lower leagues have insufficient budgets and cannot transfer good foreign players, they cannot compete with the upper leagues with the big 4 clubs. But, if the number of foreign players is low, it reduces the competitiveness of Turkish teams in the Champions League and European Leagues. The Turkish Football Federation sometimes reduces or increases the number of foreign players in order to maintain these balances. My opinion is that Turkish Teams can compete in Europe with no-limit to the number of foreign players in the Super League and lower professional leagues. “




Through, UEFA, the TFF has commented:

“Our primary target is to transform Turkish football, into a better structure that educates and develops elite football players and make Turkey a leading power in Europe and the world.”

It needs to do something after the shambolic showing in Euro 2020!

In a statement, the TFF released the spending limits for the 20 clubs competing in the Super Lig. Not one size fits all however, and the limits, can be exceeded for some up to by twenty five percent. For example, Galatasaray will be able to spend the most, with a TL 546 million ($63 million) limit. This takes the full excess allowance into account.

Other restrictions include regulations to prohibit foreign players signing if in excess of 32 years’ old. Guess that rules me out then! Much of this is catalysed by the crazy transfer fees and remuneration packages trying to woo international elite to Turkey. The trend has been under investigation with penalties shown to leading clubs and bans from European competitions. 

Clearly the above is aimed at the Turkish trying to get their own house in order and make a solid future where more opportunities for the indigenous population to thrive.