The Football League games are here! | Soccer


The new championship season starts in 37 days. For heaven’s sake, would someone please STOP the FOOTBALL. They won’t though, will they, and to clarify, The Man has now released the schedule listing for it. With 74,391 pages, that’s pretty low tide, the poor, burned-out pack mule players, no vacation for them, at some point someone has to listen to Jürgen Klopp. But such a lengthy document will inevitably contain an interesting nugget or two, and we’re pretty sure we can make two more paragraphs out of it. If we boldly vamp.

The opening game is a big deal between two old-school powerhouses. Huddersfield Town will still be affected by the promotion play-off experience in which they won two penalties but were not allowed to take either one. Not allowed. They come up against Burnley again, now managed by Not Sean Dyche, a fact that will be mentioned in every match report at least until the turn of the year in February or March when things go badly for Vincent Kompany. We’re fairly certain the newcomer will make it, given his record at Anderlecht, where he took a couple of third places in the historic Belgian league pair race, once just 13 points behind a club returning to the league for the first time in 48 years plays top division. All hail not Sean Dyche!

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Burnley are off to a difficult start, after that sobering defeat on opening day they host another defeated play-off team in Luton and travel to Watford the following week. But newly relegated teams usually recover instantly these days. Norwich, former champions of this increasingly tiring predicament, begin their recent utterly futile title-winning campaign at Cardiff City which is reportedly having to somehow accommodate Gareth Bale, 73 and now in possession of a blue badge. And speaking of Qatar’s freshly painted Human Rights Festival, the season will be sidelined for almost a month for that, after which it’ll grind again until early May, presumably no longer with Bale, who’s done his part for the old country in Qatar, will be his Focus on securing a spot on the LIV Tour.


“I just stumbled across it. I only came over with a backpack and didn’t have anything organized so just wandered around. I started volunteering at this orphanage, got involved in a few games and just loved the football culture.” – Michael Noone went to Africa looking for a change and now has an academy for boys and girls in one of the poorest areas Tanzania. Here’s the story.

The Route One Academy in Tanzania.
The Route One Academy in Tanzania. Photo: Michael Noone


“I wonder how Shortbread McFiver might feel about the fact that Big Website’s commitment to global football means I can read with interest Immanue Pherai moving from Borussia Dortmund to Eintracht Braunschweig but not hear about Paul McGinn (stellar , real Fitba dealer) left Hibs for Motherwell. Remember the days of the €$£ protests, when we all pretended football was for everyone, that all fans share the same instinctive passion for their teams and that financial hierarchies are the disease, not the cure. It seems like there’s one rule for the concord of the Brunswick world and quite another for the Motherwells” – Alexander McMillan.

“No mention of the final couple of Fivers of 2022-23 officially kicking off the Big Cup preliminary round matches with giants from Estonia, Andorra, San Marino and Iceland? Why am I wasting my lunch every day reading this so-called football newsletter when it doesn’t cover the biggest games?” – Emmett Filippelli.

“My favorite player going back to previous club history (five letter passim) is Tugay. In May 2009 everyone at Blackeye Rovers wanted him to stay, from teamaid to chief suit, and the latter had a printed contract ready to be signed. However, Sam Allardyce vetoed the one-year extension, presumably because Tugay was both skillful and popular. The Turkish legend retaliated early the following season when he was invited back for the half-time draw. Rather than rushing out of the divisions and out of the tunnel in the traditional manner, after about 10 minutes he stepped onto the ground at one of the open corners and paraded in front of an admiring Blackburn End and around the pitch to the tunnel, to the loudest roar that Ewood Park died heard all season” – Tristan Stock.

Tugay in a window, circa 2003.
Tugay in a window, circa 2003. Photo: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our award-winning daily letter is… Tristan Stock.


Eight people who took care of Diego Maradona face manslaughter charges, according to a verdict released following an inquest into his death. In the 236-page document, the trial judge questioned “each defendant’s conduct, whether active or inactive, that led to and contributed to the achievement of the harmful outcome.”

Sheffield United pair Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster have been charged following a police inquiry into the incidents following their Championship play-off semi-final loss to Nottingham Forest. What the players are accused of is not yet known.

Five members of Eritrea’s U-20 women’s team, who fled a tournament in Uganda last year, are still in hiding.

German football will allow transgender, intersex and non-binary players to choose whether to play on men’s or women’s teams. “With the rules on gaming rights, we are creating further important prerequisites to enable players of different gender identities to play,” said Thomas Hitzlsperger, DFB diversity officer.

Jed Wallace will apparently bring the four Ps to new club West Brom after arriving from Millwall. “He has pace, power, penetrating power in the last third and above all he’s a top professional”, Steve Bruce rejoiced.

Mr. P shows up for preseason practice for Baggies.
Mr. P shows up for preseason practice for Baggies. Photo: Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC/Gett

The Millers duo of Michael Smith and Michael Ihiekwe, who helped Rotherham to the Championship, have made it back to League One with neighbors Sheffield Wednesday via the A6109.

New Dundee United boss Jack Ross will not be long in waiting for his sacking by Hibs after being handed the new appearance. “I’m pretty good at parking things quickly,” he cheered. “It hurt me at the time, but you go ahead and reconsider.”

And Nottingham Forest defender Steve Cook is the new owner of Sussex non-league side Westfield. “Pleased to get this across the line,” he cheered. “The idea suited my current ambitions and desire to help local football.”


England’s Lucy Bronze modestly boasts about Suzy Wrack: “I’ve had offers from Lyon and Barça, the two best teams in the world. It wasn’t bad to choose from.”

A legitimate but gold-standard humble boast.
A legitimate but gold-standard humble boast. Photo: Naomi Baker/Uefa/Getty Images

Todd Boehly is at the wheel with Chelsea. Jacob Steinberg ponders what to expect.

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