The demon-haunted trophy cabinet – how to conduct a sporting exorcism

Is it possible, by reliving your most painful loss, to come to terms with it?

There are some defeats that linger, some sporting injuries that, like Michael Owen’s hamstrings, seem never to heal. This summer, I decided to poke these old wounds and see if they still ached.

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Sign here to run a football club – a short guide to what’s actually in the Owners and Directors Test

We’re all furious about the Owners and Directors Test (ODT) these days, aren’t we? We know that it’s deeply flawed and hopelessly ill-equipped to prevent wrong-uns from buying clubs. But, have you actually read the ODT? Do you know what’s in it and, crucially, what should be in it? I had a read to check …

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For Whom The Chimes Toll – What Portsmouth’s sale tells us about the limits of fan ownership

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Having rescued their club from ruin at the hands of a string of bad owners, Portsmouth was a club that was going to do things right. But that’s easier said than done when everybody else is still playing fast and loose…

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The end of the EFL

[This piece was updated on Tuesday 02 May to include a section exploring what the EFL decision to suspend ticket sales to Orient fans tells us about the future of the league.]

Yesterday Leyton Orient fans called the league’s bluff. But it turned out the league wasn’t bluffing, it really does only care about one thing.

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Harvey Headbanger – the EFL chief presses on even though his plans lie in ruins

The numbers are in: Shaun Harvey and his Checkatrade Trophy have failed. Both must be scrapped.

With just the final left to play, we can begin to measure the success or otherwise of this season’s changes to the Checkatrade Trophy. By bringing in young players from top academies, did it – as promised – revitalise a struggling competition? Did it inject new excitement for fans, new money for clubs and new hope for the future of the England national team?

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