Friday, 24 October 2014

Matchday 8 Results


Burnley  2  Stalybridge Celtic   6
Gainsborough Trinity  5   Blyth Spartans  3
Hungaria  2  Matlock Town   1
Manchester City   1  Audenshaw Dynamo   0
Marlow  0   Wrexham  3 
Mossley  5   Hartlepool United   1
Northwich Victoria  3   Liverpool St Helens  1 
Red Star Sunderland   7  Oxford Excelsior  0 

Second Division

Crewe Alexandra  6   Sheffield Wednesday  6
Crystal Palace  2   Bradford City  1
Hendon Hotspur  1  Merthyr Tydfil  2
Manchester Newton Heath  2   Atletico Espanol  2
Marine  6   Spartak-Slavia  0
Nelson CBR  2   Gateshead Dynamo  3
Newcastle Blue Star  2   Inter-Italiano  2
South Liverpool Red Star  5   Newcastle United  1

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Archive #2: European Cup Finals 1982 - 2011

A second dip into the archives, this time going beyond domestic matters and featuring the history of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup Finals, at least up until 2011 – there are obviously 3 seasons’-worth of the competition I need to catch up with and record before launching this season’s edition, which will of course feature reigning league champions Marlow as England’s representatives.

It quickly becomes apparent that Hungarian teams have dominated matters (winning exactly half of the 30 tournaments recorded so far: the competition between the Budapest clubs, and provincial Raba ETO Gyor’s with them, being expanded onto a continental scale and generating fiercer rivalries yet), making their complete absence from the last 3 finals a notable one, whilst Internazionale are the third club to have triumphed on 4 occasions, with, particularly, Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon also being serial finalists, Sporting finally winning the cup at the sixth (ninth including replays) attempt most recently. Immediately prior to that, Marlow (who have acquired a pronounced French influence over recent seasons) became the first English club to lift the trophy, after losing the previous final, with Gainsborough Trinity also having reached the final twice, without ultimate success.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Archive #1: League Champions 1981 - 2014

As our first contextual offering, here's the roll call of league champions since the EWFA national league's inception in the 1980-81 season:

As can be seen, Mossley and Gainsborough Trinity lead the way with 5 championships each, with Marlow earning their fourth most recently, being, with twice-winners Wrexham, the team of the last few years. Hartlepool United, also with 4, achieved their score in an earlier 7-season period.
Championship retentions have been relatively rare, with Gainsborough's consecutive hat-trick being unique: the only thing that prevented them winning 4 in a row (which would then have become 5) was a last-day, winner-takes-all home defeat to Blackburn Rovers (who this season, having been absorbed in a merger, form the 'B' in Nelson CBR - the 'C' is Colne, the Dynamoes being an earlier merging with Nelson), the latter's only championship.
Currently bottom of the championship, Matlock Town were the first league winners, then waiting 31 years before achieving their second title.
Newcastle United have fallen furthest from their champions' perch, spending last season languishing in the fourth tier (a few have dropped to the third at one time or another), before being included amongst those clubs constituting the new Second Division upon the league's restructuring for this season.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Matchday 7 Results & Updated Tables


Blyth Spartans  2  Mossley  1
Gainsborough Trinity  3  Marlow  5
Hartlepool United  3  Northwich Victoria  2
Liverpool St Helens  2  Manchester City  1
Matlock Town  1  Audenshaw Dynamo  1
Oxford Excelsior  2  Burnley  1
Stalybridge Celtic  2  Hungaria  1
Wrexham  0  Red Star Sunderland  1

Second Division:

Bradford City  3  Nelson CBR  2
Crystal Palace  3  Marine  2
Gateshead Dynamo  3  Newcastle Blue Star  2
Inter-Italiano  6  Manchester Newton Heath  2
Merthyr Tydfil  2  Atletico Espanol  1
Newcastle United  1  Crewe Alexandra   1
Sheffield Wednesday  2  Hendon Hotspur  0
Spartak-Slavia  5  South Liverpool Red Star  3

Friday, 17 October 2014

Season 2014 – 15: Getting up to speed

On the day before what will be Matchday 7 in the current League season, here are the results and tables to date for both the Championship and 2nd Division.

More will be explained about the member teams, etc, in due course, but, in the Championship, Marlow are the defending champions, whilst Hartlepool, Northwich and Audenshaw (rebranded ‘Dynamo’ from ‘Athletic’) are the newly-promoted teams (3 promotions in 3 seasons for the upwardly-mobile Vics). Early leaders Liverpool St Helens, relative newcomers themselves to the top flight, have never previously threatened the top spots, so their presence at the summit is something of a surprise.

In the Second Division, early pacesetters Marine are one of last season’s relegatees from the Championship, obviously aiming for an instant return.

The presence of ‘ethnic’ named clubs is due to my long-standing devotion to European teams, as detailed in the past on my other blog (specifically here but also through the evidence of my badge collection over the course of the last year), which itself has gradually become obsessed with football, not least in the form of its current drawing project. Hopefully, some drawing might appear on this site too.

See you for the latest results tomorrow!

The First Post

Welcome to ‘Delusions of Randomness’, which is, essentially, a fantasy football blog.
Anyone who follows football knows that, for the most part, the reality is a bit rubbish, mostly disappointing or at the very least falls some way short of anyone’s ideal, even allowing for the vagaries of life.

Hence the need to make things better, to imagine a world where our favourite teams might occasionally have more of an opportunity to prevail and the particularly horrible ones (and we all know/agree who they are) needn’t even exist (some of them are way beyond pantomime villainy, so appalling and/or corrupt are they). To this end, some years ago I created a fantasy Football League based on the real English one and its structure, just featuring a selection of the teams/team names I actively liked or otherwise, to make up the numbers, didn’t mind as much as some of the others or regard as pointless.

Having over the last couple of years discovered a similar enterprise in the form of Marc Renshaw’s ‘The Sporting League’ – although it must be admitted, Renshaw’s is a more imaginative and rounded enterprise – presented as artistic practice, it feels time, as an artist myself, to go live online with my own creative football endeavour, the ‘England & Wales Football Alliance League’ and the adventures of its members.

By way of contextual introduction, continued intermittently since about 1990, 2014-15 will be the 35th season of the league’s history in terms of its results and tables archive, the structure having been through a number of changes over the course of that time to the point where its launching on the internet here sees possibly the most radical overhaul yet, with a reduction from four to two essential national divisions of sixteen teams each.

The league began with 5 divisions of 16 teams – at that particular time, we had a lot of free time to devote to its upkeep – the constitution of which had been decided by 3 ‘prequel’ seasons’-worth of 8 regional leagues, with combined points totals within deciding the national divisional placings, underwent various ‘improvements’ (play-offs have been and gone) and streamlinings, before settling upon the most recent form of 4 divisions, the top 2 of 16 teams & the lower 2 of 14 each.

The break from these pre-online times has, then, been seismic and quite ruthless in some of the decisions taken about exactly which teams would constitute the new league as it will appear here, although a significant core has remained, particularly in the ‘Championship’ which is mostly faithful to its continuing history, whilst the 2nd Division is about half consistent with its immediate past and half new/rebranded or manipulated (one of its number, Newcastle United, for instance, had finished last season languishing in the fourth tier, having declined alarmingly from consecutive championship-winning seasons a decade previously, but seemed to have the historical heft that  demanded inclusion in the brave new world).

Otherwise, things remain the same. The points system has endured from the very beginning: 2 for a home win, 3 for an away win, 1 for a draw.

The member teams – a few familiar English league teams, more non-Leaguers, a few invented clubs and others of an ‘ethnic’ nature that reflect my European football obsession - will be introduced and explained in more depth as the blog goes along, as, hopefully, will the posting of the historical archives to help illustrate how we got to this point.