Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Jersey and Coventry City

Now and then I get complaints about this page going off topic. This is, of course, the only Charlton blog that also covers Leamington, but that fact is well known.

The Chicago Addick includes stuff about American sports other than 'soccer' and also about places he has visited in the US and elsewhere. He writes well, I am interested in the US, and I enjoy these pieces. If you find something boring or irrelevant, the answer is simple: don't read it. But a blog is a personal enterprise and must to some extent reflect the person who writes it.

Today I got a call from BBC Television in the Channel Islands. The big sports story in St.Helier today is that the 'national' team has landed an annual sponsorship worth at least £100k a year. Nurturing football in an island away from the mainland is difficult, although the Isle of Man has run quite a successful pre-season tournament for lower level Football League teams.

When I got down to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, I found the FA Cup on display. Soon a rather portly John Sillett arrived, joined by two players from the FA Cup winning team: Dave Bennett and Micky Gynn. Some rather elderly Coventry fans were hanging around in full kit. In the mayhem I got a microphone in my face, but fortunately I wasn't asked a question about Iain Dowie.

When we finally got the camera set up and a line to the Channel Islands, one question they put was quite difficult. Why should the Faroe Islands be in internatonal competitions and Jersey not? After all, the Faroes are nothing more than an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark and elect two members to the Danish Parliament. Andorra, Liechtenstein and San Marino, the other leading minnows, are all UN members. Vatican City is not, although the current pope is said to be hatching plans for an Italian League team, perhaps to be called the VC Cardinals?

My answer was that, given the level of complaint about the existing minnows, Fifa was not likely to be admitting Jersey (let alone fierce rivals Guernsey) any time soon. But how the Faroes got admitted in 1988 to compete in 1992 is an interesting mystery. I am sure someone knows the answer.

We have published a story on this topic at our football economy page: Jersey (One Guernsey fan has written in to complain that the Jersey team is full of Scottish and Portuguese 'ringers')


Blogger Chicago Addick said...

Wyn, I know this is not the answer but I wonder why they can't be accepted to the English FA and play in the pyramid - I believe it has a status of an English county?

By the way thanks for your kind words. I remember one comment I got. It said "This site is sh*t, there's nothing about Charlton."

I directed them to, if they wanted to read solely about that subject.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Wyn Grant said...

They do have the status of a county within the FA. I think the travel costs are a real problem for sides like 'Jersey Scottish', the current top side. The current discussion is about the Jersey national side. I think that there is some underlying 'big' politics here to do with Jersey's offshore status. I have a PhD student working on this.

On the other point, I don't know why people make comments like that, you only have to stay on a site for a few seconds if it doesn't have what you want.

5:35 AM  

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