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Recent Reads #5 & 6 – STAND: Against Modern Football Issue 1 & 2

I started this blog just before I turned 25 in October 11, last month I turned 26 marking another notch on my bat and the first anniversary of my blog. A whole year I’ve managed to keep this blog going, you wouldn’t think it though from the sheer lack of updates on it, however despite the lack of updating I still have managed to get over 4,000 hits on it, which isn’t bad considering. SO I suppose this means I best not let it all go to waste and actually get down to some writing and who knows, now that life is finally looking up for a change, I might actually be able to start updating more frequently with actually interesting things to write about, wouldn’t that be ace eh?

With that in mind what better way to mark my 1 year blogging anniversary than with a write up of one of my favourite things, a fantastic articulate paper fanzine. Make that TWO fanzines.

STAND: Against Modern Football is a new zine put together by some of the chaps behind such other well written publications such as Halcyon and PROPER and has contributions from some of the folk behind blogs that I have in my ‘blogroll’ (over there on the right hand side of your screen) who’s sites I can be regularly found mooching through such as THE HOVIAN & THE BIG TAKE OVER as well as a variety of like minded ‘Tweeters.’

The magazine does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a magazine dedicated to taking a stand against the world of Modern football by simply dissecting, discussing and pointing out everything that has made the so called ‘Beautiful game’ into a stale, dull and pricey state that it currently is. The best thing about this publication is that it’s written by a group of average blokes who all have one thing in common. Like me, they LOVE football, they have done all their lives, they’re the folk that have watched their clubs through thick and thin, paid thousands of pounds on season tickets, away trips both domestic and European, they’re the ones who live and breath football, who’s dads did the same and their dads and so on and so forth, but now they’ve had enough and their making their voices heard, and I’ll tell you one thing, them voices make for good reading.

So what is wrong with Modern Football exactly? Well, A LOT if I must be honest and if you haven’t cottoned on yet then you’re probably living under a rock, a fan of the egg chasing, one of the stupid sods featured on “Full Kit Wankers” or generally an encourager of one of the other thousands of problems with the modern game. What problems you say? Oh I thought you would never ask. Well there’s…Soccer A.M, ‘Unbelievable Tekkers’, Soccer Sunday, The England band, Stevenage and Palace ‘Ultras’, Goal celebration music, “Who are ya?”, Jim White and Sky Souce Claims, Sky Sports in general, Man Utd on Wall Street, Sheikhs, Oil barons, What will Mario do next?, Fancy dress costumes in the stands, half and half scarves, Forest Green Rovers falafel wraps, the Poznan, MK Dons, The Sports Direct/American Express/Durex Condom stadium, Did they or did they not shake hands?, John Terry, Joey Barton Nietzsche quotes, Talksport, Ejection and banning order for standing in the STANDS, £62 admission fee’s, administration/liquidation and parachute payments, second string teams in the FA Cup, Cardiff in red, ‘Stat-bantz’ …to name but a few.

I know some people may think that by me saying that encouraging and supporting any of the above list your part of the problem as somewhat patronising or condescending if you will, but sorry it’s true and you only have to read through this zine to realise I’m certainly far from alone with this opinion and I’m certainly not the only person in my current age bracket to think this way as well. I may well only be 26 years, and yes the majority of the years I’ve been watching football has been covered by Sky Sports and no I didn’t get to experience life on the terraces before the Premier League but that doesn’t mean to say I can’t get sick to death of watching the sport I’ve loved since I was old enough to walk become stagnant and stale for all of the above reasons mentioned. Despite my young age alot of like minded, similar aged lads have been brought up watching the football with ours Dad’s, Granddad’s (in my case my Grandma as well) and in some cases our great Granddad’s. They have indulged us with stories and tales of glory and woe supporting the football club that we have gone on to support, stories that involve such legendary players of the game such as Dixie Dean, Pele, Kenny Dalgleish, Eusabio, George Best, Maradona  etc etc. Call it ‘Golden-age syndrome’ call it what you will but this was when football was truly the ‘beautiful game.’  I mean, honestly, what stories will the modern day football fan tell their kids in the future “well son, this one time Mario Ballotelli was caught playing with his iPad on the bench it was totes funny, it was all over Twitter” FUCK THAT!!!

Anyway, on to the actual zines themselves. STAND #1 was released around the start of the new football season and SOLD OUT in it’s entirety within two weeks and it’s not hard to see why. I mean this is quite literally the ONLY zine out there giving a platform to the football fan who hates the current state of the game, so as you can imagine there is a lot of heart and soul put into all of the articles but needless to say a small aspect of comedy chucked in there, I mean after all this magazine is basically tearing into Modern Football, it may as well take the piss out of it as well, for fuck’s sake though DO NOT CALL IT BANTER!

Some of the articles in the excellently presented Issue 1 include a look at the current Chicken farmer regime at Blackburn Rovers, a look at “Positive terrace culture” in Sweeden, the rise from the ashes of AFC Wimbledon and an obligatory “Are you a modern football fan” Quiz. However for me the two articles that stood out as particularly excellent where that of the current state of Cardiff and their Malaysian Red makeover written by Alex Brokenshaw who I actually met a few years ago during my unfortunate tenure in the UK Hardcore punk scene and a piece written by a chap who I’ve followed on Twitter for a while ‘Macca’ a.k.a @The_paris_angel  a City fan talking about the pros and cons of City’s big takeover and the affect it’s had on the true ‘thick and thin’ fans image. As dubious as I was about the City article at first, as you can only imagine, it is actually an eye opener and genuinely a fantastic and funny read. If you missed out on Issue #1, what can I say? Gutted for you, however you can slightly redeem yourself with ISSUE 2.

Issue #2 was released a few weeks ago and again is another excellently presented publication. Throughout this issue there does seem to be a lingering theme with alot of the articles tackling one of the biggest issues faced in Modern Football and that is the cost of ticketing, which as some people may or may not be aware has risen, on average, by 716% since 1989, quite simply shocking. However, needless to say, the most important issue tackled in this Issue is that of the recent exposing of the Lies surrounding Hillsborough which is delivered in four very heartfelt articles written by four individuals who support Liverpool, Everton, Forrest and United alike.

Like I mentioned earlier Issue 1 is now SOLD OUT but as far as I’m aware there are still copies of Issue #2 left but pickings are slim from what I’m told and I guarantee that, like issue 1, this will sell out. You can pick up a copy directly from their ONLINE STORE for a measly £2  and you can keep up with the goings on of the publication via their TWITTER and FACEBOOK . Some issues can also be found at a few stockists like Weavers Door in Liverpool or Oi Polloi in Manchester to name a few. I seriously recommend you pick this up as soon as you can because this is unique magazine with a unique insight and is definitely going to get better with time if the current state of football continues down the road it’s going.



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Prat of the Week #1

An old feature from one of my old blogs that seemed fairly popular was my weekly “Prat of the Week” piece. So, naturally, I decided to bring this regular piece back. Prat of the Week is simply my way of identifying someone in the world, famous or not, who has done or said something so horrendously offensive or stupid that they fully deserve to be exploited for complete and utter prat, helmet, tool, dickhead that they are. So with that out the way let’s start with POTW#1…

This week choosing POTW was hard. What with Mario Ballotelli burning his house down, John Terry racially abusing Anton Ferdinand and those helmets in the States dressing up as “Superheroes” I was most definitely spoilt for choice when it came to writing about complete Prats. However, The award for prat of the week goes to this man….

Baldy, Petulant, childish Prat.

Mr Andy Jacobs. Who? I hear you ask. Yeh, that’s exactly what I would of said to you last Saturday had you asked me who this guy is. So who is Andy Jacobs? Well Andy is a “pundit” (I use that term VERY lightly) and sports radio presenter on talkSPORT radio, was once the producer of Baddiel and Skinner’s Fantasy Football Show and is also the former editor of FHM. Hence straight away why I did not have a clue who this human was. I don’t read FHM, I’m not much of a fan of Frank Skinner (Baddiel was decent like) nor do I listen to talkSPORT. Never have, most likely never will, if I wanted to listen to moaning armchair redshite and boring cockney Mancs or nouveau Chelski supporters all day long then I’d go out and buy a DAB radio and tune in, but needless to say I’d rather wipe my backside with razor blades than do such a thing.

So why would I give this pundit who’s name I had never heard of before Sunday, just gone, a prat of the week award? Because on Sunday this pundit and household name (for some Sports fans anyway) took a Tweet sent to him FAR too seriously and decided to get personal and offensive, which led to tirades of abuse sent to him, which lead to him having privatise his Twitter account which all originally was aimed towards none other than, well…ME!

Ok let me explain as to how this came about. Like most football fans on Sunday I found myself engrossed in the 2 Sky Games as well as streaming Everton’s game. One of the games on Sunday as most people know was the West London derby QPR v Chelsea, so I decided to watch it whilst talking to my mate Ped (from Followtonians) in the tinychat room we use when watching Everton away fixtures that we can’t get to. Before the game kicked off Ped recommended that I watch the match via the Fanzone option in which Our prat of the week Andy an “avid” and no doubt Nouveau Chelski fan went up against Former QPR player and current Youth Coach, Marc Bircham in a special celebrity fanzone.

Well Im not going into details about what was said by him on the show, because no doubt people who are reading this were watching it, as our prat Andy kicked, screamed, and spat his dummy out for 90 minutes in a tirade of tantrums usually seen by a spoilt middle class 6 year old child who has been refused his pudding for not eating his vegetables. I mean this guy was so unbelievably petulant and childish he made most of the guests on Jeremy Kyle seem somewhat, well, Normal.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m just as passionate a football fan as the next guy and I have had moments of anger and screaming and sulking, but unlike Mr Jacobs, I’m not a celebrity and I’m not in the public eye and I didn’t do it at a level where the entire nation can watch me live. Needless to say Andy’s petulant tirade caused me to laugh so much that I felt neccesity to send our POTW a little tweet saying, and I quote “Stop moaning you mardy sod #fanzone.” Pretty innocent right? Not malicious in all fairness. Anyway a few hours later our POTW replied with the following TWO tweets –

Reply number Two











Ok, Ok I know what people are going to say and yes I did reply to the man by calling him, well, read for yourself and yeh maybe I shouldn’t have done this but as you can clearly see this guy decided to get personal and have a crack at my weight. Ok, granted I am a big lad but, for me, having people have a dig at me for my weight or anything in general is water off a duck’s back, christ I’ve dealt with it through years of school I’m sure as hell not going to be offended when some no mark z-lister tries to rip me.  However, imagine if I was a different person. Imagine for a second I was a sensitive teenager with a weight issue who has been embarrassed by a man who is followed by thousands on twitter with a personal, vindictive insult that could lead to severe depression or even suicide, hell, shit like this happens all the time.  Or let’s put it in a different point of view. For all he knows I could be a hard knock, a mental bastard, who took offence to this, drove down to talkSPORTS HQ and waited in the car park armed with a bat ready to weave his head into the tarmac. Needless to say, I’m neither of these things but still without any real justification Mr Jacobs decided to carry on spitting his dummy out and personally deal out some verbal abuse my way. Shortly after his cry baby antics Jacobs was inundated with messages from people calling him an idiot and a cry baby of such which led to the deletion of his tweets aimed at me and others which further led to the privatisation of his Twitter account.

So there you go, that is why Mr Andrew Eustace Jacobs is officially my PRAT OF THE WEEK.

Oh, and if anyone from talkSPORT or anyone with connection within talkSPORT would like to pass this on to Mr Jacobs or perhaps maybe even one of his superiors I’d be MORE than happy to talk to him or them about my piece, but OVER MY DEAD BODY, will this be getting deleted

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