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Another musician gone: RIP Keith Tippett, pianist/composer, once of King Crimson
at 12:44 17 Jun 2020

Another sad loss. Here is some of his recent work. Is it jazz? Prog? Simply rock? Unusual, yet haunting, in my humble opinion, and it shows that the piano still has a lot to offer even in this hi-tech age.

Stay-cation holiday blues
at 13:26 29 Apr 2020

Well, just another day and a half of work and I am on holiday...at home. In these troubled times, I am extremely grateful to be fit and well and to have a job and income, mind.

We were due to be heading to the south coast of Crete but something like that will be a pipe dream for months to come.

My employer won't allow people to cancel previously booked holiday - which is fair enough, the company would grind to a halt if everyone put off their holidays until the lockdown ends - so we will be sampling the delights of the parish in which we reside and trying not to murder each other

Anyone got any good holiday at home survival tips?

PS: I am soooo glad I booked an extra day for packing and getting organised especially now all "packing" is going to involve is removing my work laptop from the dining room table.
Haircuts! What's your plan? Will you cut your own?
at 12:37 31 Mar 2020

OK, so this is a pretty trivial subject at this time of crisis and upheaval, but I am getting to the point where my crowning glory - or to be more accurate, grizzled French crop - is going to need some serious attention. I've never cut my own hair and am nervous as hell.

What are you lot planning to do? I am considering getting some electric clippers but am such a clumsy oaf that I will probably end up slicing the curtains in half, along with my own ear.

Off topic: Quality local journalism alive and well in Rochdale
at 18:26 14 Feb 2020

Sample article:
With VAR, Blackburn's second goal might have been chalked off
at 16:50 29 Jan 2020

OK, the game is gone, but just for your interest, if you stop the video at 1:17 in, you can clearly see that the ball is outside the quadrant for the corner.

That said, VAR might have penalised us for something. You know, like breathing, not being a big club, wearing socks with too coarse a weave...

We continue.
Anyone been to all these now defunct football grounds?
at 13:56 18 Oct 2019

I don't go to many away games - lightweight - but was surprised to find that I have actually been to five of them.

I'm impressed by The Old Showground's collapsible floodlights!

One-venue mini-tournament to kick start the Champions League
at 13:05 18 Jun 2019

Do you think FC Santa Coloma's Ultras will make it all the way to Pristina?
Off topic: Which adverts would you *like* to keep popping up on here?
at 13:15 14 May 2019

I've always liked this one:
That Mark Hughes aftertaste: A Stoke fan's view
at 12:24 12 Apr 2019

"Jese, Berahino, Imbula, Wimmer, N'Diaye ...has any club in the history of the Premier League ever assembled such a cesspit of a dressing room? (Oh yeah, QPR did. Who was their manager again?) Just to put NJ's task into perspective, 4 of those w@nkers are still here. #scfc"

I feel their pain, even though we have moved on, scars and all.

Hats off to those of you who went last night
at 12:49 11 Apr 2019

I have been critical of our fans recently but man alive, take a bow, those who went

That place...
After the results we’ve had this year...
And yet you could clearly be heard on the radio (BBC Radio London), above the howling wind and some of the most inane, irrelevant and pointless – cough – “commentary” I have ever heard in my life. Respect!

Mind you, I was grateful for their babbling because it did serve to conceal the horrors on the pitch. I really didn't want to think too hard about what was going on so listening to Emma Jones and "Paul" - an ex-Millwall player I think because he seemed to have forgotten that he was on Radio London not Den FM - going on about litter, the weather, and umpteen other topics of no relevance to what was apparently going on on a football pitch below them was a blessed relief.

The high - or low - point was when there was the stadium announcement about the issue with the trains. I know that you need to band together for safety at The Den but it had sounded for some time as if our two intrepid pundits were getting rather too close and so when Emma said Paul would need to give her a piggyback home, only for Paul to say he couldn't because of the state of his back and Emma to then offer him a piggyback, my monocle started to steam up.

Occasionally, they got bored with their directionless chuntering and offered a few asides about what was unfolding on the pitch. My wife was upstairs and could hear me shouting “Tell us what’s happening!”

Still, we got a point and (magical thinking alert) if I need to listen to 90+ minutes of endlessly meandering waffle for us to get a point or – gasp – points, if that's the sort of sorcery it takes, so be it. I was too scared to go back to the telly, not just because it was an awful game with serious consequences for the team which conceded but also because I thought I might break the spell and put a curse on us.

We continue. COYRsss
Taarabt watch: Another false dawn, or....?
at 16:38 22 Feb 2019

The corset has finally been sent to the dry cleaners and the mercurial Moroccan is back! Perhaps....

*If* we can stay up reasonably comfortably, this will be one of my fave seasons
at 13:03 21 Feb 2019

We still need to grit our teeth, break out of the current dip, and get enough points to secure our future in the division, but if we can do that – and we must not be complacent, it is not a given – this will be one of my favourite seasons for a long while.

Don’t get me wrong, it has not been perfect and we have a lot of major issues to address (minor stuff like long term financial viability, the new ground conundrum), plus I was unhappy to see Ollie go, but I think there are a lot of positives to take from this season so far. Most of all, I like the way we have – so far- defied the odds and kept ourselves away from the dropzone in spite of the limitations imposed on us by the ludicrous and flawed FFP regulations and fine, while at the same time establishing some of our home-grown talent. I love to see our unfashionable club overcoming obstacles and often unfair and unjust decisions and regulations. In your face!

This is not meant to be “happy clapping,” but these things amongst others have made me proud and quite upbeat:
- The youngsters coming through
- Excellent loan signings
- McLaren’s willingness to work on things and to change his tactics if they don’t work, plus his drive, professionalism, and dare I say it, pride in his role and his players
- The effort and commitment the players have shown; they all look up for it and there are no passengers any more
- The training ground is moving forward
- 10 years of QPR in the community
- Some surprise results (FA cup run, Forest away, a reasonable number of away wins)

We face a very tough future, mainly thanks to the football authorities, and it is going to be hard to stand still, let alone progress, but I am probably more proud of our battling little club now than I have ever been.

“I say stay long enough to repay all who caused strife” – Alice in Chains


The no pressure* match thread: QPR v Portsmouth (* irony)
at 13:46 5 Feb 2019

So, barring an amazing upturn in our form or a prolonged slump, our season all comes down to this game.

I just hope we can at least compete and stay in the game. Anything can happen in a one-off game but please please please, Rangers, put in maximum effort and give the fans a performance!

I think it will be close but I just can't call it. Come on my team!

German football fans creating quite an atmosphere
at 12:23 30 Nov 2018

Here's a spectacle which would have Russ Abbot clearing his throat and stepping up to the mike. Is it a bit OTT? I wonder if it actually puts too much pressure on the players. If things had gone wrong after this build-up - they didn't, they won 4-0 v Marseille - many if not all of the players would have been mortified, surely?

Which international are you watching?
at 20:59 16 Nov 2018

Liechtenstein v Macedonia chez nous, and it's pretty spicy! Horror tackles, red card, players getting "physical", dreadlocked physio, what look like paramilitaries doing the security....

Ch'ship clubs led by Leeds, Derby threaten EFL breakaway in row over TV rights
at 17:09 14 Nov 2018

From The Times....

A majority of the Championship’s 24 clubs have written to the EFL threatening to form a breakaway league if the board signs a £590 million television deal with Sky Sports for the 2019-2024 seasons.

The Times has seen documents sent by 15 clubs to Debbie Jevans, the EFL interim chairwoman, last week in which they warn of “drastic action” if their demands to reject the proposed Sky deal and return to the market are not met.

The letter makes clear that they are threatening to leave the EFL by referencing an anonymous survey of 16 clubs conducted last Tuesday in which all those present were asked whether they would be willing to “leave the EFL and form a new League, eg PL2”.

Andrea Radrizzani, the Leeds United owner, called for the creation of a Premier League 2 last month and he is understood to be the driving force behind the clubs’ rebellion alongside Mel Morris, the Derby County owner.

In a letter sent by the EFL to all the Championship clubs last Friday updating them on the situation, the extent of the threat to the existing league structure is made clear. “While the letter received from a number of clubs only referred to ‘more drastic action’ if an agreement [with Sky] was reached, it was made clear during Tuesday’s meeting that the threat of a breakaway had been discussed,” the EFL wrote.

Earlier in the week the EFL had received the letter from 15 Championship clubs containing the threat of a breakaway. The letter spelt out the clubs’ opposition to “entering into a binding multi-year agreement with Sky” and their proposal to create “a new task force comprising certain Championship club owners and/or senior executives” to pursue a new commercial strategy.

In addition to the leading duo, the 15 signatories are believed to include Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, Reading, Preston North End, Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Swansea City and Birmingham City, with smaller clubs such as Rotherham United and Millwall siding with the EFL. Brentford are understood to be the only club of the 16 who attended the meeting not to support the threat to leave the EFL.

The Championship rebels believe that the deal on offer from Sky, which at £119 million per year is an increase on the existing contract of £88 million a season, undervalues their television rights and they want the EFL to reopen the tender process.

Such is the strength of feeling that 16 Championship clubs met in secret last Tuesday morning before a planned meeting with the EFL later that day.

The organisers of the first meeting insist that all 24 Championship clubs were invited, with some choosing not to attend, while others have claimed that they were lured to the meeting under false pretences.

“A significant number of Championship clubs who deliver the majority of the EFL TV audiences were sufficiently concerned about signing this agreement that they felt compelled to convene outside the formal meeting,” the clubs wrote to the EFL. “Furthermore, in this meeting — when surveyed anonymously — almost all attendees expressed the view that if the EFL were unwilling to give these clubs more involvement in the process of commercialising their rights, they would, in extremis, be forced to contemplate more drastic action.”

The survey contained nine multiple-choice questions, with question five asking: “If the only way to control our future direction as a league, achieve fair value for our media rights and league sponsorship deals required us to leave the EFL and form a new League, eg PL2, would you be in support?” The responses available were “a. No, we would not support a breakaway league under any circumstances” and “b. Yes, we would support a breakaway league if it was necessary/advantageous.”

Hammering home their intentions, question six asked: “If you answered no to supporting a breakaway league, but the majority of Championship clubs proceeded to create a breakaway league which adequately addressed the frustrations, concerns, media/sponsorship rights revenues and governances issues discussed, would you then change your stance?” Again the choice of answers was stark, being “a. No, we would still remain with the EFL” and “b. Yes, we would join the breakaway league if it offered better terms and conditions”.

The EFL held an emergency meeting on Monday with all the Championship clubs, which broke up without resolution. The EFL has secured an extension to its provisional agreement with Sky until next week, but the contract must be signed by 4pm on Monday, with the broadcaster understood to be concerned by the stand-off.

The EFL board has the authority to sign the contract without the support of the biggest Championship clubs, as those in League One and League Two are all in favour. While they are planning for both scenarios, they have made it clear that their preference remains to complete the deal with Sky, which was provisionally agreed in September 2017.

There is no other offer on the table from any other broadcaster. The contract is due to start next season.

The disgruntled Championship clubs have yet to contact the Premier League, who would have to endorse the creation of a PL2 and sanction promotion and relegation. The Premier League is believed to be opposed to such a project.
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