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Author Archive for Barney Ronay

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World Cup questions: what did Zidane’s head-butt in Berlin mean? | Barney Ronay

Using the Fifa archive we rewatch a series of memorable games in search of answers we didn’t find at the time“It was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness” – Albert Camus, the OutsiderThe World Cup final, France v Italy in Berlin’s …

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Is the gravity-defying Manchester United brand facing a fall back to earth? | Barney Ronay

United are the most extreme debt-loaded commercial model, predicated on constant growth. What happens when it crashes?What’s your favourite bit of non-football-football so far? In my opinion the best new sub-genre to emerge is pictures of José Mourinho…

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Is the gravity-defying Manchester United brand facing a fall back to earth? | Barney Ronay

United are the most extreme debt-loaded commercial model, predicated on constant growth. What happens when it crashes?What’s your favourite bit of non-football-football so far? In my opinion the best new sub-genre to emerge is pictures of José Mourinho…

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World Cup questions: Were England robbed by Argentina at Mexico 86? | Barney Ronay

Using the Fifa archive we rewatch a series of memorable games in search of answers we didn’t find at the timeYou can take our freedom. But you can’t take our grainy old football videos. In this short series I will be exploring the contents of Fifa’s ne…

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Resistance to Fifa is futile: fall in line or prepare to be Normalised

There is plenty up for grabs after the collapse of club football’s TV rights power base – and Fifa is ready to grab itNobody wants a visit from the Normalisation Committee. This was the fate of the Samoan FA in June 2008 after concerns were raised abou…

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Exit, the House of Karrimor. Enter, the austere and unforgiving House of Saud | Barney Ronay

Newcastle may be the headline act but they’re not even half the story – the fact is, the Saudis aren’t coming. They’re already hereAs the takeover of Newcastle United by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund loomed closer this week, an uplifting tweet f…

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World Cup questions: Why didn’t the great Dutch teams of the 1990s win it?

With the help of the Fifa archive we rewatch a series of memorable games in search of answers we didn’t find at the timeYou can take our freedom. But you can’t take our grainy old football videos. In this short series I will be exploring the contents o…

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Everything exists in a vacuum in the month that never was | Barney Ronay

In the weeks since sport came to an abrupt ending, its only significant story has been its own cancellationThe best way to annoy a group of scholarly historians, if you ever have an urgent need to annoy scholarly historians – perhaps in some kind of em…

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My favourite game: Italy v Brazil, 1982 World Cup

Two classic teams in two classic kits played out a classic match with John Motson’s excitement a perfect accompaniment“Socrates scores a goal … That sums up the philosophy of Brazilian football!” Even during John Motson’s mid-80s pomp, I was always mor…

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Closing the UK’s parks and public spaces really could be a tipping point | Barney Ronay

There is always compromise, always managed space – but banning exercise in this country would be a disasterYou can take our pubs and our shopping centres. You can wall us up behind the front door with Netflix and newsagent wine. But don’t take away our…

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Jamie Vardy’s shot at golden boot is one of season’s great unfinished subplots | Barney Ronay

Spare a thought for the Premier League’s current top scorer, whose own season is one of the great unfinished subplotsThere have been a lot of lists doing the rounds this week of the best foods to boost your immune system. These seem to be mainly things…

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Tokyo 2021 is golden chance to close Big Sport circus and give the Olympics back | Barney Ronay

Games officials have the power to purge profiteering from elite competition and rewrite how we watch and enjoy sportCitius. Altius. Cancelled by a bat virus. In the end the decision to postpone the Olympic Games came as no surprise to anyone. Tokyo 202…

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Far from the gladdening crowd: live sport is our collective therapy

There are lots of unpleasant things about large crowds but many like being part of one – to congregate is part of our nature“The future belongs to crowds,” Don DeLillo wrote in Mao II, a quote that makes DeLillo sound po-faced and serious, when he also…

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How will club cricket survive the coronavirus crisis? | Barney Ronay

The decision to suspend all levels of cricket is the right one in the escalating coronavirus crisis – but it leaves clubs in grave danger while the Hundred’s debut season looks in doubtThe doomsday clock ticked a little closer to midnight for cricket’s…

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Cursed Euro 2020 might just give us what we need next year | Barney Ronay

The 1950s idealism behind the European Championship has been replaced by a ludicrously distended tournament – but celebration and collectivism could re-emerge at Euro 2021 The lamps are going out. They will be lit again across Europe – 15 months from …

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Sport’s role as the great distraction reluctantly cancelled but it will be back | Barney Ronay

The beauty, the grace, the basic pleasure of these gaudy entertainments will remain unaffected though help needs to go to everyone, not just the loudestAnd, breathe. Preferably, it goes without saying, into a vacant space. At the end of a week when the…

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Manchester United turning a corner with Bruno Fernandes at the wheel

The Portuguese midfielder is the expensive, talented player United actually needed, a Paul Pogba who wants to be thereFor Bruno Fernandes this must have felt a bit like a coronation. For the last two months there have been rumours of the rebirth of the…

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Manchester United turning a corner with Bruno Fernandes at the wheel

The Portuguese midfielder is the expensive, talented player United actually needed, a Paul Pogba who wants to be thereFor Bruno Fernandes this must have felt a bit like a coronation. For the last two months there have been rumours of the rebirth of the…

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Eric Dier’s trip through the fourth wall was an oddly moving act of defiance | Barney Ronay

Sympathy for Spurs player’s action reflects an age where anonymised abuse isn’t just aimed at sporting celebrities“Where can there be a place in the game for a man of such extravagant talent, a man of such wicked temperament? A man who has now … OH MY …

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Michel Platini’s appeal over ban rejected by European court of human rights

ECHR concludes ‘complaint is manifestly ill-founded’Platini said football ban had violated his human rightsMichel Platini’s appeal against his ban from football has been thrown out by the European court of human rights.The ECHR announced on Thursday mo…