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Football PoDs and alternate possibilities.

Ed Costello

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You could play with the historic foundations of the game with the FA covering all the United Kingdom rather than just England. Queen's Park got to a few FA Cup Finals in the early years of the game, and Rangers(who officially retained FA membership until 2012) got to a few FA Cup Semi-Finals, so it is possible to create a unified British set-up early on.

All you need to do is stop the creation of the other Home Nations FAs.
I think if you do have a nationwide football association, the Home Nations are still going to have their own FAs in some form, but they'll function more like the County FAs do in OTL (i.e. as grassroots-focused organisations). Home Nations teams will also probably still happen, but might only show up for things like the Commonwealth Games where there is no GB team.
 

Ed Costello

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Two suggestions of my own:

*Alternate team colours of national sides - I have the mental image of the Wales side being known as 'Y Melysod' ('the daffodils' pls do not fail me google translate) because of their yellow jerseys, possibly in a TL where the St David's Cross became the national flag over the red dragon, but I'd be interested to hear suggestions from non-Home Nations/people who know what they're talking about

*Everton being relegated from the top flight in 1998 - quite apart from the ramifications on the pitch, this could have interesting effects at a boardroom level given Kenwright (then a mere director) was influential in bringing Kendall back in 1997. Is it too much to hope that the worst professional Scouser of them all might be out on his ear?
 

Geordie

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Interesting PoDs, @Ed Costello.

The latter might stop Kendall appearing at Sunderland as the "most qualified manager ever", and promptly relegating them with a record low points total.

Almost (not quite, but almost) John Carver/ Joke Kinnear levels of incompetence and misplaced self-belief.
 

Gary Oswald

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Interesting PoDs, @Ed Costello.

The latter might stop Kendall appearing at Sunderland as the "most qualified manager ever", and promptly relegating them with a record low points total.

Almost (not quite, but almost) John Carver/ Joke Kinnear levels of incompetence and misplaced self-belief.
What?
 

Geordie

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On the former, Scotland could potential have gone for yellow as well.

Most nations use colours derived from the flag, but alternate oaths are open. Could a Chartist England (or Britain), or surviving Republican Spain wear purple? Could the Abruzzi have taken the field in red, white, or green? Juventus, famously, owe their colours to Notts County. If the UK contact was from elsewhere, then the Old Lady of Turin would dress in different colours.

Closer to home, Newcastle is one of the relatively few clubs called United which is actually a union if two clubs. If West had not suffered financial issues, the occasional "burgundy and blue hoops" away kit would be the home shirt. If they'd fallen any further, allowing East an outright takeover, they'd have ended up in... red and white stripes.
 

Gary Oswald

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Have I misremembered? Wasn't he brought in as Director of Football or something that season?
I know he was a local lad but I'm positive he never actually had any role for Sunderland.
 

Geordie

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I know he was a local lad but I'm positive he never actually had any role for Sunderland.
Bugger. I've mixed up my Howards, haven't I? It was Wilkinson, wasn't it?

Made a huge song and dance about the likes of Roeder and Southgate being appointed without UEFA A licences when her was head of coaching at the FA, left to take Sunderland over, and screwed the pooch so badly it broke records.

My mistake.
 

Ed Costello

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Closer to home, Newcastle is one of the relatively few clubs called United which is actually a union if two clubs. If West had not suffered financial issues, the occasional "burgundy and blue hoops" away kit would be the home shirt. If they'd fallen any further, allowing East an outright takeover, they'd have ended up in... red and white stripes.
Never mind the strips, the two Newcastle clubs maintaining a separate existence is a fascinating PoD in itself. Suppose West End avoid their financial difficulties and become a professional side like East End; does Newcastle have the population to support two professional sides long-term?

On alternate club kits, the one that immediately springs to mind is Tranmere not changing from blue to white in the '60s, which is likely if New Brighton manage to stay in the League beyond the mid-'50s. If Dave Russell decides to then give Tranmere 'their own identity', he could then go for the Edwardian-era 'dazzle strip': maroon and orange shirts with navy shorts...
 

OwenM

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Never mind the strips, the two Newcastle clubs maintaining a separate existence is a fascinating PoD in itself. Suppose West End avoid their financial difficulties and become a professional side like East End; does Newcastle have the population to support two professional sides long-term?

On alternate club kits, the one that immediately springs to mind is Tranmere not changing from blue to white in the '60s, which is likely if New Brighton manage to stay in the League beyond the mid-'50s. If Dave Russell decides to then give Tranmere 'their own identity', he could then go for the Edwardian-era 'dazzle strip': maroon and orange shirts with navy shorts...
I think they do, but they're both unlikely to be top flight sides.
 

Dom

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Never mind the strips, the two Newcastle clubs maintaining a separate existence is a fascinating PoD in itself. Suppose West End avoid their financial difficulties and become a professional side like East End; does Newcastle have the population to support two professional sides long-term?

On alternate club kits, the one that immediately springs to mind is Tranmere not changing from blue to white in the '60s, which is likely if New Brighton manage to stay in the League beyond the mid-'50s. If Dave Russell decides to then give Tranmere 'their own identity', he could then go for the Edwardian-era 'dazzle strip': maroon and orange shirts with navy shorts...
It'd be very easy to have Thames Ironworks retain their dark blue, sky blue and white colours (which West Ham still rotate through for the away / third kits). The story is that one of the blokes who was involved in the coaching of the club, was training in Birmingham and challenged a few of the Aston Villa players to a race (he was a professional sprinter, but didn't look it). As he won, a full teams set of kits went 'missing' from the villa changing room as way of prize and he donated them to the club. Just make him have a worse day.

Also my granddad was well on his way to being in the West Ham squad if family history is to be believed, but one day at a training session he got tackled and broke his leg and the drugs they gave him made the bone grow over his knee so he couldn't bend his right leg for the rest of his life.

How's "WI: Doms granddad was a West Ham Legend" for parochial? :D
 

Ed Costello

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Keeping with my regional chauvinist theme: giving Merseyside as many League clubs as Greater Manchester (GM currently has seven).

There's the three current league clubs to start - Liverpool, Everton, Tranmere (the latter only just returned after a three-year absence, albeit with ninety-odd years of continuous membership beforehand).

Then there's the two former league clubs, Southport and New Brighton. The Sandgrounders were a League team until 1978 - and were actually the last team voted out of the Football League - and are currently bouncing around between the upper and lower divisions of the National League, but New Brighton were voted out in 1953 and have since ceased to exist entirely on two separate occasions. Given they were already the second iteration of League football in the town, New Brighton does not seem to like football.

After that it gets a bit tricky. South Liverpool (who were actually a phoenix club, the original club having become the second New Brighton team) applied for league membership ten times but never got more than a handful of votes. They were also exceedingly illustrious for a non-league side, winning the Welsh Cup in 1939, hosting the first match under permanent floodlights, and being the scene of a charity fundraiser that pitted a side captained by Billy Liddell against one led by Ferenc Puskas that is the first place I am headed if they ever invent time travel. But again, the limited company responsible folded in 1991 and while the team haven't disappeared as completely as New Brighton they are currently languishing somewhere very far from the league pyramid.

That's six candidates so far; you'd have to dig pretty deep for a seventh. Runcorn FC would probably be the best bet, having won what is now the National League in 1982 - but they were barred from League eligibility to not meeting stadium requirements (given said stadium literally fell apart a few years later, this is not an unfair call), and once again they ceased to exist in 2006. Also, they aren't actually a Merseyside team. Prescot Cables and Marine both have lengthy and notable non-league histories but have never really showed any prospect of getting beyond the Northern League. Any further and we won't just be scraping the bottom of the barrel, we'll be falling in and drowning in the runoff.

In short: it might be doable, but it wouldn't be easy.
 

Fletch

A deviant for attacking Nazis apparently.
Closer to home, Newcastle is one of the relatively few clubs called United which is actually a union if two clubs. If West had not suffered financial issues, the occasional "burgundy and blue hoops" away kit would be the home shirt. If they'd fallen any further, allowing East an outright takeover, they'd have ended up in... red and white stripes.
One story I like about Dundee United is how they got their name. They started out as Dundee Hibernian, but it was realised that it was helping foster sectarianism so they promptly changed their name to United in a bid to garner support from across the city and show their opposition to sectarianism.
 

Ed Costello

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One story I like about Dundee United is how they got their name. They started out as Dundee Hibernian, but it was realised that it was helping foster sectarianism so they promptly changed their name to United in a bid to garner support from across the city and show their opposition to sectarianism.
This is appropriate, given one that occurred to me while perusing the non-league results this morning: alternate club suffixes. Not necessarily for existing teams, just ones that aren't as common as the usual suspects (United, Rovers, Town, City, Albion, Wanderers...).

To start with:
Social clubs - Accrington Stanley, Litherland REMYCA (actually an amalgam of two different social club acronyms)
Workplace teams - Leigh RMI, a name that will forever remind me of childhood Saturday evenings watching the BBC pools broadcast, and Cheshire Lines
Blatant product placement - Prescot Cables
Assorted royals - Crewe Alexandra, Northwich Victoria
Local imagery/mythology - New Brighton Tower, Maidstone Invicta, Heart of Midlothian
Club mergers - Rushden & Diamonds, Inverness Caledonian Thistle
'why are you called this' - Stalybridge Celtic
 

Ed Costello

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Gainsborough Trinity. I've always thought they should be a league club btw for vague reasons I can't place.
According to Wikipedia, they were a league team for about twenty years before WWI.

Two things I learnt from the resultant Wikitunnel:
Middlesbrough Ironopolis have the best suffix
There was (briefly) a league team in Bootle, which would have made my previous Mersey-centric post so much easier* if I'd known about them at the time
 

OwenM

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What would the consequences have been if Herbert Kingaby had got a competent lawyer and successfully argued in court in the 1910s that the retain and transfer system was an illegal restraint of trade rather than it being fine in itself but being used against him maliciously (which would therefore not be illegal)?
 

Simon

Oblivious
Originally posted in the general football thread but probably more appropriate here.
As much as I wouldn't normally wish Fat Mike on my worst enemy–not even a Mackem–supposing for a moment that Hall and other shareholders had sold to someone else, were there any other clubs around that time which Ashley might have had a shot at buying?
 
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