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:lol: Mourinho. Love him, hate him. I do a bit of both.

At a press conference later in the day, Mourinho drew attention to Arsenal's current eight-year spell without a major trophy, saying: "He is a specialist in failure, I am not.
"If he is right and I have a fear of failure it is because I don't fail many times. So maybe he is right?
"The reality is he's a specialist because eight years without a piece of silverware, that is failure. If I did that in Chelsea I would leave London and not come back."

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11668/9166123/jose-mourinho-arsene-wenger-a-specialist-in-failure
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That's ridiculous. He's played well, only narrowly losing to Liverpool and getting a well-deserved draw at OT.

 

I hope he gets another chance somewhere as I think, with the right chairman, Meulensteen will be a decent manager.

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They didn't even announce his sacking, simply that Magath was taking over. Classy.

I'd understand if Performances hadn't been improving, but they clearly had. I suppose they might be hoping for a "New Manager Boost"?

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Very interesting (IMO) and disturbing piece which doesn't shock me at all;

 

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/02/everyones-equal-eyes-law-unless-you-are-football-fan

 

 

Everyone’s equal in the eyes of the law – unless you are a football fan

Are we seeing the emergence of a two-tier legal system in which football fans are treated as a class apart? Martin Cloake and solicitor Darren White examine the evidence and ask whether we should have cause for concern.
BY MARTIN CLOAKE AND DARREN WHITE PUBLISHED 17 FEBRUARY 2014 11:33
The perception of football supporters primarily as a problem to be dealt with is now a thing of the past, we are told. And it’s comforting to believe that is true.
Unfortunately, while organised supporters have been able to articulate and embed some better practices, there is still plenty of evidence of football fans being treated primarily as a problem. This matters. It matters because singling out and demonising a particular set of people – prejudice in everyday parlance – is just plain wrong. But it also matters because of the impact on the rest of society. Those of us who grew up in the 1980s and who went to the football but were also politically active soon understood how techniques honed against football supporters were also used on organised labour.
A number of legal experts dealing with the area have spoken of the emergence of a two-tier legal system in which football fans are treated as a class apart from everyone else. Key to this is the ability to demonise football fans, something that has been done by mobilising the traditional fear of the “hooligan” that has run through the establishment and been used as an excuse for social control for centuries. The prejudice that still exists was characterised neatly by barrister Alison Gurden, who wrote on her blog:
When I explain to people that I represent football fans the usual reply is ‘oh, what, football hooligans?’. My reply to this is usually: ‘No, men, women, teenagers, students, doctors, police officers, architects, chefs, builders and baristas – all of whom are also football fans!’.
This year, with a World Cup coming up in the summer in Brazil, there will be a flurry of stories in the national press about “risk groups” of fans, of banning orders and restrictions on travel and all the measures being taken to prevent the carnage that, no doubt, a few wannabe hooligan generals will be more than happy to talk up the prospect of. With a moral panic duly created, and accepted without challenge or question by much of the media, it will be so much easier to justify the use of repressive measures which, once established, can be expanded. So it’s important to attempt to provide some context, to ask questions about the assertions being made, and to consider if the control being talked about moves beyond the relatively simple concept of public order. Especially important at a time when we have a government committed to pushing the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill through Parliament, a bill described by George Monbiot in the Guardian as “the most oppressive bill pushed through any recent Parliament”.
Living in a bubble
In August 2011, Cardiff City played West Ham United at the London side’s Boleyn Ground. The police designated the game a partial “bubble match”. This meant travelling Cardiff fans had to catch a designated coach from Cardiff at 5am and rendezvous with the Metropolitan Police at South Mimms service station. There, their coaches would be searched, vouchers exchanged for match tickets, and the coaches then escorted to the ground. Cardiff fans received half their full allocation, and no fan was allowed to travel independently to the game. Some groups of Cardiff and West Ham fans have a history of organised violent behaviour although, over the last couple of decades, the kind of disturbances that fuelled their reputations have been few and far between. But for many, Cardiff versus West Ham means potential trouble, and so arguments against the “bubble” restrictions are easily dismissed as being soft on hooliganism.
Fans of Huddersfield Town and Hull City have no history of animosity. But in March 2013, West Yorkshire Police designated the match between the two clubs a bubble match under the C+IR security categorisation – the highest possible. Hull City fans, whose travel to the game was to be restricted, have no record of involvement in fan trouble. The decision provoked outrage. John Prescott, former MP for Hull and deputy prime minister, branded the arrangements “the most draconian travel restrictions since miners’ strike pickets were targeted”. The club itself took the unusual step of issuing a public statement protesting at the “effective criminalisation of our supporters” and “the implications for away fans in general”. Supporters groups from both clubs opposed the restrictions, and protested on the day of the game. One 15-year-old Hull City fan, Louis Cooper, took the police to court, arguing the restrictions had no lawful basis.
The police responded by saying that they had “listened carefully to the concerns of fans” and by easing the restrictions. But that easing still did not allow independent travel to the match. Hull City FC offered to make whatever arrangements were necessary for Cooper to attend the game, but this meant that – as he was no longer restricted by the conditions of the bubble match – he could not continue to challenge them. Cooper refused to attend the match, saying he did not want special treatment.
When police tried to make this year’s Newcastle v Sunderland derby a bubble match, and then claimed they had no power to restrict travel by fans or influence kick-off times, the clubs themselves were so outraged they jointly rejected the move. The police claim is even stranger in light of the fact that Northumbria police had carried out the review of the West Yorkshire force’s handling of the Huddersfield/Hull bubble.
According to research by the libertarian-leaning Manifesto Club, at least 48 matches in the last 10 years have been designated bubble games. Those matches involve 14 major clubs in England and Wales, and have occurred in six police authority areas. As the Manifesto Club points out, these figures are likely to be conservative. The information was compiled from Freedom of Information requests, and “a handful of police authorities have either delayed production of the information, or pointed to the exemption under Part II Section 31 (law Enforcement) of the Freedom of Information Act”.
Amanda Jacks, the caseworker at the Football Supporters’ Federation who deals with bubble matches, says: “The FSF is opposed to bubble matches for the simple reason they curtail the movement of ordinary, decent fans and that they do not necessarily prevent disorder. Further, they do little to dilute matchday tensions and arguably may even enhance them.” But, she says, bubble match designations are “difficult to challenge via the courts. You do not have a human right to travel unimpeded to a football match and it is important to consider that the judiciary will take into account that, effectively, you are buying a ticket for such a game on a voluntary basis”.
Rather worryingly for those who recognise the civil liberties implications of bubble matches, seeking a system of accountability for their implementation is also fraught with difficulty. As the Manifesto Club says: “It is often difficult to know who is responsible for the decision to instigate a bubble match.” Every professional game in England and Wales is partly governed by a Safety Advisory Group, comprised of members from the emergency services, the licensing body the Sports Ground Safety Authority, local council representatives and officials from the clubs concerned. (Note, there are no fan organisations involveddespite both the Association of Chief Police Officers and the FA recommending dialogue with supporters). As the Manifesto Club points out, this means “no individual party necessarily takes responsibility for the decisions being made” which means “it is easier for the buck to be passed”.
In 2010/11, 37 million people attended professional football matches in England and Wales. Total arrests were 3,089, 0.01 per cent of all spectators. Bubble match designations criminalise and punish all away fans in the hope that a tiny, violent minority will be deterred. As the Manifesto Club points out: “Under Britain’s common law, people are treated as innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. People are held to account for their own actions, not punished for the actions of others.”
It is one thing to criminalise groups of football fans. What of the treatment of individual fans? Again, there is a body of evidence that raises questions about the kind of decisions being taken, and the accountability of those who take them – all underlying a worrying assault on individual freedom and a tendency to let prejudice play a part in the legal approach.
Serving the public
When Liverpool visited Old Trafford to play Manchester United this year, Liverpool fan Kieth Culvin was among the travelling supporters. Kieth is a 53-year-old father of three who runs his own plumbing business. He’s also a member of Liverpool’s Spirit of Shankley supporter’s union committee, and in that role meets regularly with the police at their request to help improve the way fans are policed.
Games between the two clubs are often volatile affairs, with the fierce rivalry between the two cities providing an edge that has been known to spill over. As a result, Greater Manchester Police hold back away fans after the game in order to reduce the risk of confrontation between rival sets of supporters. In recent years, fans have complained that, while they are held back in the stadium, they have been denied access to the toilets. During the meetings between SOS and GMP, the police recognised the issue and it was agreed that police would be briefed to allow use of the toilets during the hold back, while the SOS website carried a press release outlining the arrangements.
Some five minutes after the game ended, Culvin noticed there was a problem developing at the stairs by one of the exits. He could hear fans asking to use the toilets and see a crowd beginning to mass at the top of the stairwell. “Amongst these fans,” remembers Culvin, “were women, children and older fans who were clearly getting distressed because they couldn't use the toilets after thinking that this had all been agreed, and they were telling the police that.” Culvin decided to try to resolve the situation.
After about five minutes, he says, it became clear that the two officers at the top of the stairs “were listening to no one”. They were also “becoming aggressive towards me and the fans around me which in turn was starting to cause a problem”. Culvin phoned the officer whose number he had been given as a contact. The officer was outside the stadium but said he would try to get someone to sort the problem out. The situation was getting worse by the minute. Culvin spotted a senior officer at the bottom of the stairs and asked the officers at the top if he could get past to speak to him. His request was aggressively rebuffed – an incident that suggests that, while a lot of senior officers ‘get it’, the message has clearly not filtered down to the officers on the ground.
By now, Culvin could see there was a high level of distress and anger among the fans. He asked again to be allowed down the stairs to speak to the senior officer, and was again refused. He managed to walk down a few steps, keeping his arms carefully by his side and noticed a yellow-clad figure falling into the seats by his left. “The next thing I know I'm getting dragged out down the stairs by the two officers who I was trying to talk to at the top of the exit,” says Culvin. “They dragged me down onto the concourse below into the toilets where they pushed me against the wall face first and started to punch me in the back and legs. They then handcuffed me.”
Culvin was taken to a holding cell, then to a police station to be formally charged with assaulting a police officer. He was read a statement from the officer he was accused of assaulting. Culvin was said to have put his arm against the officer’s chest, which made the officer lose his footing.
The case went to court, but was thrown out. It was thrown out because Culvin, an experienced hand at dealing with these situations, had asked a fellow fan to film his encounter with the police on his phone before he approached them. And that film showed that Culvin categorically did not assault the police officer. Solicitor Melanie Cooke, who represented Culvin, says: “Once the CPS had reviewed the case in light of the defence representations and after viewing a DVD of the camera phone footage, the criminal proceedings were immediately discontinued”.
“Without that video,” says Culvin, “there is no doubt I would have been found guilty of something I hadn’t done. I find it totally disgusting that this could have happened to me and that even now, after the charges have been dropped, that the CPS can still think it’s OK for them to keep on record that I had been charged and by doing so can keep on their records my DNA, fingerprints and photograph.” Culvin is currently pursuing a complaint against Greater Manchester Police.
In the summer of 2010 Tony McManus was on his way to the World Cup in South Africa. He had been saving up for ages and had booked a month off work. McManus is a builder in his early forties, who lives in Middlesbrough. He travels all over the UK and abroad supporting Middlesbrough FC and England.
Like a lot of men, McManus got into a bit of trouble when he was young; nothing too serious. He grew up, settled down, and hasn’t been in trouble for a long, long time.
When McManus and his friend turned up at the airport early that summer morning to get their flight, they were stopped by the police. There was apparently intelligence that they were “risk” supporters. In police speak, that means nothing more than that the police believed they might get involved in football violence. Not that they have a violent record or even that there is a suspicion that they been violent – just a vague belief that it was possible they might be violent in the future.
McManus and his friend were stopped from boarding the plane, their passports were confiscated and they were held in police custody for nearly seven hours. They were then told that the police would be applying for an order banning them from attending football matches and that they had to go to Court that day. The police suggested they should just agree to the order as it would cost a lot of money to fight it. McManus said no and got a lawyer.
The evidence from the police turned out, as it emerged, to be quite revealing. There was CCTV of McManus coming out of a pub in Tottenham in 2002 when Middlesbrough played there. Apparently the pub was known to be frequented by Middlesbrough hooligans, so anyone using it was deemed to be guilty by association. McManus had also once been seen in a minibus at Stoke with someone who looked like he had been injured in a fight. The police did not see the fight and there was no suggestion McManus had been involved in a fight.
McManus found that, when the police applied for his banning order, they described him as one of the leaders of a group of 750 Middlesbrough hooligans. How they gathered that from evidence that showed, at the very most, that he has a few people amongst his acquaintances who are less than angelic, was not explained. What it does show is the carelessness with which the police throw around allegations when it comes to the policing of football.
McManus says: “It seems all you have to do is speak to someone who is a ‘risk’ supporter or go to the same pub as them and you become a ‘risk’ supporter yourself. That must mean every Boro fan who has ever spoken to me is now a ‘risk’ supporter.”
Perhaps more sinister is the fact that the police are quite clearly keeping detailed records of the apparently innocent activities of those attending football matches which they can then summon up at will – even eight years later.
The police got the case adjourned repeatedly (until long after the World Cup had finished) and then decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to get a banning order against the two men and dropped the case. So McManus had lost his holiday and his chance to see England’s football team humiliated for no reason.
Take a moment to think about this. A man was stopped from going abroad and locked up not because he had been violent or committed any sort of crime but because he was seen associating with people the police thought to be dodgy characters. It might sound hyperbolic, but that’s the sort of policing usually associated with, well, police states. But the police thought he might just possibly be a football hooligan, so that was OK.
McManus brought a legal action against the police. It came to court last week. Cases against the police are usually decided by a jury and McManus and his lawyers were confident that a jury would see the injustice of the case and find in his favour. However, the police argued that the case was just about a technical legal argument as to whether the police had acted “reasonably” – and that was for a judge to decide. The judge agreed and said he would try the case without a jury. He dropped strong hints that he thought that what the police did was “reasonable” as defined by the relevant law. McManus and his lawyers felt it very likely the judge would find against them and that their chances of success before a judge were low.
The case was backed by an insurance company and when they were told it looked like McManus would lose, they pulled the plug. McManus could obviously not carry on without insurance, so he was forced to drop the case. What is perhaps most startling here is that it can appear to a judge to be entirely reasonable and in accordance with the law for the police to suspect someone of being a hooligan and prevent them travelling abroad, just because of the company they keep. The judge may well be right, which says something startling about the law in this area.
Then there is John (not his real name). John is 15 and a fanatical Portsmouth fan. He lives with his mum and dad and has never been in any sort of trouble. At the end of last season Portsmouth had been relegated to the fourth tier before their last game at Shrewsbury. However, the club had been taken over by a fans trust and there was expected to be a big presence of Portsmouth fans at Shrewsbury to celebrate the new start.
John travelled up to Shrewsbury on a train with his friend and his friend’s dad. He was 14 at the time. When they got to the station his friend and his dad went to the toilet. John mooched around outside the station with other Portsmouth fans, waiting for them to rejoin him.
Without warning, a large number of police formed up in two lines and told the fans they had to go with them. John tried to explain that he had been parted from the adult he had come with, but was ignored. The fans were marched to an empty nightclub and were told they had to go inside. They were searched by someone who appeared to be a bouncer before going into the club and then locked in for some two hours. There was no access to food or drink in the club. John was, however, allowed out to purchase some fried chicken, but given the danger he obviously posed, only when accompanied by a police officer and on the basis that he went straight back to the club! At no point was John given any explanation as to what was going on.
After two hours, the fans were released and allowed to proceed to the ground and John was eventually re-united with his friend and his dad.
When he got home, John told his parents what had happened. They got in touch with the FSF who put them in touch with a lawyer. The local police were contacted and told that they had no right to treat a child in the way they had. The police said that the operation was justified as the train that John came on had some “risk” (that word again) supporters on it. However, they accepted that they should have paid more attention to the fact that John was a minor and have agreed to pay him a four-figure compensation sum.
In John’s case, it’s guilt by association again. The police had concerns about some of the people on the train, so it was OK to lock up lots of innocent people – including children – as well.
A robust policy
In the last 12 months alone, the FSF estimates it has dealt with a number of cases which seem to indicate there is a two-tier legal system that separates football fans from other members of society. Their caseworker, Amanda Jacks, has been told by fans that the police themselves have admitted that if this wasn’t football they’d be on their way. There’s the case of the 17-year-old arrested in handcuffs for taking a match ball home as a souvenir, the fan banned by his club after the police failed to secure a conviction relating to an incident entirely separate from football, groups of young men being stopped and made to provide personal details on camera, fans detained on civil matters who have their details sent on to the police and kept on file. And, says Jacks: “In every single case that we can assist with, if a fan is put before the courts a banning order will be applied for regardless of the offence or the offender’s history”.
In guidelines issued in August 2013, the Crown Prosecution Service says it will “continue to operate a robust prosecution policy for football related offences” and that “This means there will be a presumption of prosecution whenever there is sufficient evidence to bring offenders before a court”. This issue of presumption of prosecution is an important one. It means that other methods of disposal, such as fixed penalties or cautions, are rejected in favour of the significant step of prosecution. As the Heresy Corner blog pointed out at the time of the Twitter joke trial, guidance on the presumption of prosecution does not “consider the proportionality of subjecting someone of previous good character to the full rigor of the legal process, which can be shattering even if they are ultimately acquitted.” And legal bloggers have expressed concern about the CPS’s decision making on prosecutions, and the implications of taking such a significant step.
We are not arguing that football fans are the only section of society to be singled out or stereotyped. What we are saying is that each time this happens, each time authority or mainstream opinion excuses the relaxation of the normal standards of justice and fairness by claiming it is done to make us all safer, we all in fact become that little bit less safe. The boundaries of acceptable judgement are pushed back, and we stumble towards demonisation and dehumanisation.
We completed this article a few days after the Merseyside derby at Anfield. Everton fans claim there was “pandemonium” outside the away end as they tried to enter the ground. Only four turnstiles were open as a crowd of about a thousand built up. A crush developed, with fans pinned against walls. A 13-year-old boy had the skin taken off his toes when a police horse stepped on his foot. Video footage on the Liverpool Echo website shows the scenes.
The police have responded by saying fans were advised to arrive in good time, and pointing out that: “At 7.45pm, less than half the 2,700 fans in the away section had entered the stadium.” They point out that extensive publicity had been given before the match to appeals to arrive early because Liverpool FC had “a stricter than usual searching policy in place to identify anyone carrying flares or other forms of pyrotechnics”. The threat of pyrotechnics is one of the latest ways in which the inherent threat of football supporters is being talked up, witness this sensationalist report on the BBC website.
The response to fan’s complaints about safety is to infer that the fans themselves are to blame. If this was any other set of customers, questions might be asked about why the authorities had no plan to deal with an entirely predictable build-up of numbers outside the gates, or whether priority was given to searches or safety. But these were football fans. They arrived late. They were a potential threat.
The perception of football supporters primarily as a problem to be dealt with, we are told, is now a thing of the past.
Darren White is a solicitor with Deighton Pierce Glynn. He acts for a number of football supporters mistreated by the authorities

 

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Canny read that. I did some work last year involving sports 'hooligan' legislation. Some of it is absolutely nuts, I was shocked at how draconian some of the measures were. A particular poignant case was of young lad who has been in a pub at an away game in Manchester when a fight had kicked off, with his friend being hit over the head with a bottle. He had not been involved in the fight at all - in fact, he had been out of the premises at the time. However, when police came and arrested his friend, he was arrested alongside him. Now, due to his 'risk' nature of being affiliated with known criminals, he is banned from any football games for (I think) the next 3 years.

 

It's a funny thing, hooliganism legislation, because the term does not umbrella everyone who the police desire it to. I am obviously against hooliganism in any form like, it has no place in football. However, some of the laws on 'hooligans' (I use the term loosely) are utterly insane. Like, stuff that constitutes EU human rights violations on restriction of freedom to move. The handing in of your passport whenever there are any British teams (international and club) matches overseas for instance. Another one was that if you are not allowed within a mile of the city centre on a match day, but live within that mile area anyways, you are essentially housebound. Not allowed to leave the house unless it is out of the city, in which case you are given one route to take, and if you divert in any way, down any street, you will be arrested.

 

I understand the 'reap what you sow' element to it. And fair enough, for knobs who genuinely want to cause violence. However, these legislations should be highlighted more than they are at a time when what constitutes 'hooliganism' is becoming more and more vague.

Edited by ADP
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Came out of 'Rosies' a couple of years ago for a bog standard game, (can't even remember which one), and the Police were filming me and the blokes I went to the game with, in fact they were just filming everyone coming out. I was very tempted to get my phone out and stand filming them back but luckily I'd only had a couple of pints and knew there'd be only one winner. Am I on record now for having the audacity to have a pint with my mates pre-game in a bar where there may have been someone in there they deem a 'risk'? The Police get away with an unbelievable amount when it comes to football supporters. You'd think things might've calmed down with them but it seems they've more powers than ever to do what they want.

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Look at those figures, man, "In 2010/11, 37 million people attended professional football matches in England and Wales. Total arrests were 3,089, 0.01 per cent of all spectators." :lol:

 

I wonder what the percentage of shoppers in The Metrocentre who have shoplifted are? Better get some banning orders on Doris and Maureen who got off the same bus as a known thief.

 

No fucker would get in The Bridges without a Police escort!

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Interesting reading that HMHM.

Me and my brother used to sit next to some "characters" in L7 a few years ago, one of whom was a "Well known Newcastle businessman" ( J.S.) ;)

We got searched every game.

It became a running joke with us, but , perhaps naively , we never connected it to who we sat beside.

Wonder how thick our file is?

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As long as I can remember those arrest figures being published, we've been in the top 5 of all the 92 clubs every single season, and in most of those either first or second. So at least we have a chance of coming first in something every season.

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I keep thinking the growing contempt for the police among the public at large will help curb their powers but its forlorn.

 

A mate of mine who's a Blackburn fan told me about a mate of his who's a burnley fan but who lives in one of those terraced houses outside Ewood park. They had a bubble game a couple of years ago and he was forced to travel to Burnley and catch a bus to a ground he can see from his window and then do the reverse trip after the match.

 

I really wish somebody with enough money would sue the cunts.

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http://www.nufc.co.uk/articles/20140219/united-freeze-or-reduce-season-ticket-prices_2281670_3676426?

 

Flapping?

 

 

Newcastle United is rewarding the loyalty shown by supporters who signed up to its innovative prize-freeze season ticket deals with extended price-freeze terms and reductions of up to £53 on selected seats for the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season at St. James' Park.

Supporters who are signed up to the deals, which guarantee a freeze on the holder's season ticket price for the duration of their respective term, will be the first fans to receive confirmation of their automatic renewals and individual direct debit payment plans for the new season from this Wednesday morning. Further renewal plans will be sent to all other season ticket holders in March.
The revision of the price-freeze scheme is part of The Magpies' commitment to making football affordable, with those on ten-year deals paying from as little as £327 for adults, £286 for students and seniors and £90 for juniors for the 2014/15 campaign.
John Irving, finance director at Newcastle United, said: "Keeping football affordable for supporters continues to be a hugely important aim at Newcastle United so we are delighted to announce our ticketing plans for the 2014/15 season.
"Supporters on long term price-freeze deals continue to show incredible loyalty to their football club so it is only right that their commitment continues to be acknowledged and rewarded. We look forward to finishing this season as strongly as possible with those supporters right behind the team before we look to build into next season."
The club is also introducing a new, lower-priced category for supporters aged 18-21, with seats available in selected areas of the lower Leazes End and Level 4 of the Leazes West Corner. This is in addition to the 8,200-capacity Family Area, which includes the entirety of Level 7 in the Milburn Stand and Leazes West Corner.
PRICE-FREEZE DEALS
Fixed-term price freezes were introduced with a ten-year deal ahead of the 2011/12 campaign, with season ticket holders on the long-term scheme guaranteed to keep their price as low as possible and protect it from potential future price increases.
A nine-year price-freeze deal was introduced a season later, with the eight-year deal launched in the following season.
Supporters can still opt out of their deal before 31st January prior to each new season but they lose their entitlement to their respective protected price and must pay the standard price for that season if they change their mind.
TEN-YEAR DEALS
In recognition of their loyalty for the 2014/15 season, all supporters on ten-year deals will have their price freezes extended for an additional three-year term (running until the 2023/24 season), with prices remaining the same across all categories. Since signing up to the scheme, supporters on the ten-year deal have saved up to £271 for Category One seating and up to £225 for Category Two seating compared to standard prices.
Supporters on the scheme will be paying from as little as £327 for adult seats, £286 for student and senior seats and £90 for junior seats (all Family Area) for the 2014/15 season.
NINE-YEAR DEALS
Supporters on nine-year deals in Category One seating sections, which are located in the East Stand and Level 1 of the Milburn Stand, will continue to have season ticket prices frozen.
Supporters on nine-year deals in Category Two seating sections, which include the entire Gallowgate End, sections of the Leazes End and all four lower corners - representing over 50% of seating at St. James' Park, will see reductions of up to £24 for the season (based on adult tickets).
EIGHT-YEAR DEALS
Supporters on eight-year deals in Category One seating sections will have prices reduced by up to £29.
Supporters on eight-year deals in Category Two seating sections will see price reductions of £53 for the season.

 

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http://www.nufc.co.uk/articles/20140211/creased-comedy-at-st-james-park_2281670_3664776

 


 

There are sure to be laughs a plenty as the first ever comedy night at St. James' Park takes place on Saturday, 1st March.

Featuring Gary Delaney and Steffen Peddie, standard tickets cost just £10, which includes a bottle of Singha beer on arrival.
There are also five VIP tables on a raised area of the Magpie Suite, each seating ten people, costing £250. A VIP table includes two buckets of beer and a five-item finger buffet. Delaney is a razor-sharp, one-liner comedian, widely regarded as being the most quotable comic on the circuit.
A regular on Mock The Week, he has also written for a variety of television and radio shows including 8 Out of 10 Cats, Russell Howard's Good News, and Jason Manford's Comedy Rocks.
Peddie is one of the stars of BBC2 sitcom Hebburn and an original member of Newcastle's Near The Knuckle team.
Doors open at 7pm with the show beginning from 8.30pm, and to secure your seat click on the button below.

 

Someone has to be taking the piss here, mind.

 

:lol:

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If you are arrested and charged,remember that if you go to court,the police officer (s ) will be being paid to attend,be represented by a solicitor or barrister free of charge,and are legally allowed to confer when writing up their reports.I used to spectate around local magistrate courts and on every occasion i was approached by a person with a clip board,wearing `court clobber' ,and asked if they could help me, whilst looking for my name on the ( accused ) clip board.If you have the misfortune to have to go to court having being arrested for any offence,attend a couple of sittings to get the drift on what goes on.

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http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/feb/15/ravel-morrison-west-ham-united-waste

 

Ravel Morrison's unravelling at West Ham United is a tremendous waste

Midfielder who gloriously waltzed through Tottenham Hotspur's defence is cut loose by club and heading to QPR

There is a clip of Ravel Morrison, from an England Under-21s training session, when a corner comes in from the right and no matter how many times you watch it, even in slow motion, it is still almost implausible how he creates that lovely sound of ball against net.

It is as if heading the ball, or going for the volley, is just too straightforward and too bland for a player with his gifts. He twists his body, his back leg flicks around and he is mid-air, facing away from goal, when it connects. It is the kind of finish that would ordinarily be found only on a computer game but Morrison saunters away as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

Morrison had already had one round of applause on those blowy pitches in Staffordshire, after chipping the goalkeeper with the delicacy of a champion golfer pitching in and before anyone raises the obvious, nobody can say he is just a training-ground player. His goal at Tottenham earlier this season, waltzing past a couple of challenges and advancing from the halfway line, was a demonstration of high skill and balance that suggested we were seeing the flowering of the potential that once had Sir Alex Ferguson acclaiming Morrison as the most talented youngster he had seen since the schoolboy Paul Scholes.

The two he scored in his first full match for England's Under-21s were not too shabby either and it does not feel too long ago since a group of us journalists were breaking bread with Roy Hodgson in the Soho Hotel, reflecting on the senior team qualifying for the World Cup after the previous night's win against Poland, and the conversation turned to which players could force their way into his squad. Morrison was one of the first names the England manager mentioned and there was nothing at the time that felt incongruous about it.

Hodgson met us for lunch again a few days ago but this time nobody brought up Morrison. A player who was bewitching Premier League audiences before Christmas will join QPR this week, dropping down into the Championship in a three-month loan arrangement that pretty much takes a sledgehammer to any chance of him being on the plane to Brazil. After that, it is unclear what happens, other than to say it is amazing how quickly everything has unravelled for him at West Ham. As it stands, it is difficult to imagine him playing for the club again.

It is an unusual, complex story and, inevitably, football being the business it is, there will be some who automatically assume he must have done something wrong. In football, it has always been easier to get a bad name than to lose one and Morrison's previous means there is an instinct, sometimes, to apportion blame his way. It would be a lazy assumption. Morrison has done some stupid things but it has been a few years now since he knotted a tie for court. He is still paying the price for those juvenile misdemeanours and he has had to get used to seeing his name prefaced in print with words such as "wayward" and "bad boy". Yet everyone at West Ham can confirm he has knuckled down and shown a level of dedication and professionalism that was not always there. Morrison does not drink or go to nightclubs. His diet is right. He has a steady girlfriend and better influences outside the club than people realise. Of course, he still needs guidance, but at 21 he is not the same impulsive kid of 17. Now, three months after Sam Allardyce talked of Morrison reaching the very top of his profession, he is being cut free. It is no wonder West Ham fans are feeling confused.

The first thing to say is that it all feels like a tremendous waste, and there is something deeply unsatisfactory about the chain of events that has brought him to this point.

Towards the end of last year, Morrison was invited to a meeting with the football agent Mark Curtis to see if he wanted to become one of his clients. Curtis does this a fair bit with Allardyce's players. At West Ham, he either represents or has links with Allardyce, Kevin Nolan, James Tomkins, Jack Collison, Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Adrian. Look through his history and there is a fairly astounding pattern of players signing up to him from Allardyce teams. He also has a chequered past of his own, with an official warning from the Football Association after the 2008 investigation into Luton Town's illegal transfer dealings.

Morrison was not keen but, since then, his complaint is that he has felt under considerable pressure from Allardyce and Nolan to change his mind, claiming it is brought up on an almost daily basis. His grievance is that he wanted to go into training to learn and improve, not to have endless conversations about an agent he did not want to employ.

West Ham have put this to the relevant people and they strenuously deny it. Curtis says it is "nonsense", and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing. But Morrison has become disillusioned with his manager and captain. Allardyce has talked of Morrison complaining about a groin injury when the medical staff could find no problem. Relationships have broken down. A few months ago, Morrison appeared to have the keys to the football universe. Now he cannot wait to get out of the club.

The issue has been discussed as high as it goes at Upton Park. Morrison was advised by one senior figure to put in a transfer request but decided against it. Fulham put in a £4m bid and West Ham reported them to the Premier League for alleged tapping up because of René Meulensteen saying he knew Morrison wanted to join them. The dispute may have put off Fulham from making an improved offer – West Ham wanted £10m – but no one should be too surprised if the complaint ultimately comes to nothing. The relevant people at Craven Cottage believe they have hard evidence, in line with this newspaper's information, that Morrison had been informed he should look for another club. If that is proven, West Ham's complaint will look hollow, to say the least. It will also leave their co-owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, with some awkward questions to answer.

The really perplexing thing is that a club with West Ham's ambitions should, surely, want to build their future around players of this refinement. It is not going to be straightforward filling 54,000 seats when they move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016. Morrison, playing as he was before Christmas, would have helped the process enormously. Instead, if the paperwork goes through, Morrison will not be at Upton Park when Allardyce's team play Southampton next weekend. He will be a few miles across London, making his QPR debut at Charlton Athletic, with a permanent deal possible in the summer.

His story is a reminder of how quickly everything can change in football. Except Morrison's belief is that little of this is actually about football. His emergence at West Ham was probably the most exciting since the early years of Joe Cole and Michael Carrick. He was the club's leading scorer and outstanding player. It seems strange, to say the least, for West Ham to shuffle that player out of the back door, especially when they are a club who normally pride themselves on looking after their own.
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