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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Conceal, don’t feel – the rational under-exuberance at the heart of English sport

English people cannot be entirely trusted with their own feelings. That was the unspoken view of institutions established in the era of empire, when respectable racists saw it the duty of English men to manage the populations of many nations without being corrupted by them.

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Why the European Super League is a great idea for English football

There has been an outcry today about rumoured negotiations involving Manchesters City and United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to abandon the Premier League and join a Euro League. I’ve written about this possibility before and, having given it a bit of thought, I don’t think it can happen fast enough. Continue reading

Piece for ‘Failure is not an option’

Below is a guest piece I wrote recently for The Secret Footballer’s site.

Looking at youth development policy, it was published in the week that Richard Scudamore declared that the Premier League has just two metrics for its success: attendance and global viewing figures. In the piece, I examine the effectiveness of the Premier League’s EPPP and the FA’s B teams proposal, and then question the assumptions that what’s good for the top PL sides is good for the national side and for the rest of football generally and that, even if it isn’t, the needs of the PL outweigh the needs of lower-division football.

To me it’s pretty clear that policymaking in this area, as with so many others in football, needs a much broader definition of success…

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