21
Oct

World-class grass: League One club uses confiscated grow lamps on pitch

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It’s high time football clubs got serious about recycling. Rochdale AFC, a team in England’s third division, League One, is doing just that.

Oli Makin, the grounds manager of the Manchester area club, is repurposing marijuana growing lamps, confiscated by police, to help bolster Rochdale’s pitch.

Spotland stadium, which is also home to the Rochdale Hornets rugby league club, gets quite a bit of wear and tear.

Makin told BBC that he got the idea from Notts County FC, who tried the same thing last year. 

"I can’t thank police enough," Makin told the BBC. "It has saved the club a fortune and the players will be happy, especially the goalkeeper."

Professional grade growing lamps don’t come cheap: they cost between $40,000 and $50,000 apiece.

(Image: Getty)

18
Apr

Brentford gain promotion to Championship, both fans and players go nuts

League One side Brentford FC needed all the stars to align to secure promotion to the Championship on Friday.

First, they had to beat Preston North End. Check:

Next, they needed both Leyton Orient and Rotherham to lose. Orient’s match ended just before the Bees won, so that result was secure.

But could Wolverhampton beat Rotherham? This video contains that answer pretty definitively:

And of course, no promotion would be complete without emotional fans letting it all out on the pitch:

Finally, after all was said and done in the Bees’ 2013-14 season, the players went down to the pub to celebrate with their loyal supporters. Party on, y’all. You deserve it!

Congratulations Brentford. It’s been a long time since you’ve been in the Championship — more than two decades — so enjoy while it lasts.

6
Mar

Wolves apologize to fan with clever letter

League One clubs seem to be having a lot of fun with their supporters this year.

Earlier this year, a Leyton Orient fan jokingly made a Twitter promise to clean seats if his favorite player was brought back. Then it happened, and he kept his word.

Yesterday, Wolves fan Richard Jon Gough tweeted his club about a misprinted jersey. Oops:

It wasn’t long before Wolves replied, apologizing to Richard for the mistake, and offering him a new kit, free ticket and player meet-and-greet. What they gave him wasn’t all that special. It was how they did it.

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50 Internet points for you, Wolves.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)

12
Feb

Trecker’s Travels: East London’s much-needed humor

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LONDON

Green Street, the approach to the Boleyn Ground at Upton Park, has a famous clock outside the Tube station. The message is grim: it reads “DON’T KILL YOUR WIFE/LET US DO IT.” It’s for a launderette, and it’s sold with typical East London humor.

There’s a lot of that around here, and the area needs it: Upton Park is in a ragged part of London, clogged with shops offering mobile phone unlocking, open-air fish markets and halal eateries. And the football here’s not offering much relief.

West Ham is an immensely proud club, fallen on some difficult times. Nearly 120 years old, they have bounced back and forth between the Premier League and the Championship in recent years and are currently locked in a fierce relegation battle. Tuesday night, they were in a classic six-pointer against an equally poor Norwich side, hoping to put a bit more distance between themselves and the drop.

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Off the field, the Hammers have been a bit more successful. Owned by two veterans of London’s now-faded pornography industry, David Gold and David Sullivan, West Ham have inked a sweet deal to move out of their aging ground and take over the Olympic Stadium in nearby Stratford. For a mere $26 million, they will get to take over a stadium that is expected to cost nearly $310 million to retrofit for football. In addition, they announced on Monday that they will sell their old grounds here to a private developer, in a deal that has been reported as worth nearly $120m. Not a bad bit of business.

Not everyone is happy about that, mind you. Tiny Leyton Orient, currently trying to clamber out of the third division, sits in the Olympic Stadium’s shadow. They fear their tiny stadium on Brisbane Road simply won’t be able to compete, and they have a point, but they have lost several legal challenges to West Ham’s tenancy there, and as it stands, the matter is settled.

The funny thing is that West Ham might not be far apart from Leyton in the tables next season. Their fabled “Academy of Football” is referenced with heavy irony these days and with just seven points separating the eleven teams trying to stay in the top-flight, they have a brutal run-in ahead of them. In the final weeks, the Hammers will play both Manchester sides, Liverpool and three London derbies (against Palace, Arsenal and Spurs). They are currently 4-1 to go down the chute.

Leyton, on the other hand, sit in third in League One and have a realistic chance of going into the Championship. They are hardly world-beaters and rely too much on a single player — defender Romain Vincelot, a steely defender who begins most of their play out of the back — but they aren’t half bad, either.

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The fact that these two clubs on opposite trajectories — one wealthy but always soggy; another plucky but well-scrubbed — might meet next year is a bit of an irony. What would be even better is if the two were in the same division come 2016. One will be playing in a taught ground that barely seats 10,000. The other might be rattling in around a 54,000 seat stadium. And both are likely to be far away from the top-flight.

3
Aug

First Red Card of the English Season Comes 13 Minutes Into the First Game

 

Usually the first game of a new season starts out a bit conservative, at least until the players get back into the flow of things and grow comfortable with the pace of an official match. 

Notts County defender, Gary Liddle, however, embraced a different strategy during his team’s first match of the English Football League season against Sheffield United, going all out from the first whistle. Unfortunately the strategy of pure aggression didn’t really pan out, as he was given a red card only 13 minutes into the match!

We’ve tried to come up with an explanation for Liddle’s De Jong-like kung-fu kick, but we’ve got nothing. That’s just a comically bad challenge.

What makes the red card even more bizarre is that Notts County ran this advertisement to market season tickets, featuring Liddle:

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Fans might want to think twice before they follow’s Gary example…