Daily Archives: 27 April, 2012

Thinking about the site

I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about how things are going here at Daly History. It’s almost three years since I began, and how things have snowballed has far exceeded my expectations.

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about how I move forwards with it all. The site remains, essentially, the same design wise as it did when I launched in July 2009, a few additions and modifications aside. I’ve been wondering if it’s time to think about a bit of an overhaul. When I started I was just a bloke interested in history who blogged in his spare time. Now, three years later, I’m a published historian.

One option to is to go down the self-hosted route, and actually host the site myself rather than using wordpress. The problem is, wordpress.com does not allow you to place adverts on your blog, whereas if you download the software and host it yourself, you can sell advertising. How would you feel about seeing adverts? It would only be a few, smallish and relevant adverts, from things that I think you my readers would be interested in. The idea is that it would help pay for the hosting costs.

In a more general sense, what do you like about Daly History? What would you change? Have you got any ideas that might improve things? In terms of content, is there anything that you would like to see more of? Am I covering some subjects in too much detail? Am I missing a trick with something? Please feel free to be brutally honest, I really welcome straight-up feedback as it makes my job so much easier!

As always, thank you for your support

James

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We’re all going on a League One tour

Entrance to Fratton Park (Frogmore Road) - geo...

Entrance to Fratton Park (Frogmore Road) - geograph.org.uk - 1266502 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It probably hasn’t escaped many people’s attention that my beloved Pompey were relegated last week, from the Championship to League One – the third tier of English football, for the first time in my lifetime.

The funny thing is, for many clubs you would expect it to be a heartbreaking event. But where Pompey are concerned, it’s very much the lesser of many evils. Firstly, it does represent a chance to clear the decks after our recent financial problems; it might make us more tempting to potential owners; and it might also enable the Supporters Trust to push forward their plans for a fans buyout.

The sad thing is, that it isn’t such a big deal to many of us long-term Pompey fans, as we are well used to ups and downs. For most of us, in any case, supporting a team is not about how well they are doing.¬†Support is exactly that – you get behind the team come thick or thin – not just in the last ten minutes when they are 3-0 up. Looking at the potential fixture list next season – if Pompey survive the summer – we face games at some pretty interesting places. I’m hoping that Exeter stay up so I can take my Devonian girlfriend to an away game in the West Country! But hopefully it will be an opportunity to remind ourselves, and hopefully other people, what football should be about. Having a good time and getting behind your team, and not having to take out a second mortgage to do it.

The plight of Pompey has re-affirmed, for me, that free market philosophy and football just do not mix. Financial fair play rules are a good start, but are they strict enough? And will the laughable fit and proper persons test be seriously overhauled? In the space of five years, Portsmouth has been owned by the son of a Russian-Israeli arms dealer, the worlds only skint Arab tycoon, another Arab tycoon who did not even exist, a Hong Kong businessman who ‘claims’ to have loaned the club ¬£17m, for which no proof has ever been proferred, and finally another billionaire Russian who was arrested when his Lithuanian bank collapsed. All of these people were found to be fit to own a football club by the FA, the Premier League and the Football League.

The problem is, even if Pompey go down the Trust route, the club would never have the muscle to compete all the time every other club is rolling in it – hardly a fair playing field. And the even bigger problem there is the indifference of most of the British public to football finance. Everyody seems to think that it is somehow our fault that Pompey have gone bust. If it is anybody’s fault, it definitely isn’t the fans. The financial culture of football makes it possible that any club could fall into the wrong hands and go to the wall – it’s almost random as to which. The ‘I’m alright Jack’ thing is endemic amongst other clubs supporters, until it affects them. And even clubs that have had problems in the past – Southampton, Brighton – tend to have short memories as soon as things start to pick up again. It’s naive, it’s narrow-minded, and it’s wrecking football.

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