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Claridge Kicks Off

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Steve Claridge | 17:21 UK time, Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Hello, and welcome to 'Claridge Kicks Off', the video blog where Steve Claridge tackles all the big talking points in the Championship, League One and League Two.

This week, Steve reflects on the uncertainty over QPR's promotion to the Premier League until the result of the hearing over their signing of Alejandro Faurlin is announced.

He also looks at the way Norwich boss Paul Lambert has masterminded the Canaries' incredible turnaround in his 20 months in charge at Carrow Road, how Southampton pipped Huddersfield to promotion in League One and gives his take on the unresolved issues at the top and bottom of League Two going into the final weekend of the season.

You can submit your questions for Steve below, or contact him on Twitter. He will answer them on a future 'Claridge Kicks Off' rather than posting a reply.

Non-UK users can see a special international version of Steve's video blog here.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It pains me to hear such an uneducated analysis of the Faurlin situation. There are so many differences between this and the Tevez saga. Steve, why would you even bother attempting to dissect its complexities during two minutes of a video blog? It beggars belief.

    P.S. First post!

  • Comment number 2.

    It's just lazy TV journalism... let's see what happens at the FA, but it doesn't help when various 'celebs' who don't know the facts just blow off. Palios too - he doesn't know, he's just looking for a little airtime.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    It would have been helpful if the situation had been reviewed after some more in-depth investigation. There is so much mis- information and unfounded speculation being spouted at the moment this is just more of the same. I am confident that Rangers will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a fine (probably a large one) and we can get on and enjoy our Championship winning party on Saturday in earnest. We have been far and away the best team in the division all season (the table does not lie) and nothing and no-one will take this momentous season away at this late stage. So it's off to the PL (Premier League or is it promised land) we go. Sadly no more Football League Show for us by Steve the pleasure has been all yours!

  • Comment number 5.

    Another blog of fair and informed comment. As a Saints fan, I know it must come hard for you Steve, your heart being from that blue side's town, but thanks for your positive comments all the same. We'll look forward to a resumption of the local derbies next season.

    BTW, I agree with your comments re QPR. The Football League have got themselves into a right pickle over this, and any punishment will almost certainly be seen as something that has been fumbled or merely conjured up. Isn't it possible to just deduct points from next season's Premiership campaign..? Otherwise, I can easily see QPR not having enough points for the playoffs, if all the infringements to the rules, they are supposed to be guilty of, are handled singly, in points deductions, and then added together, to acrue something like 20 points. That would leave them on 68 points with one game to go. Is it a punishment that fits the crime, or is it just a big stick to hit QPR with..? One thing is true and that is, the timing of a punishment is not the Football League's problem. However, by leaving it until the end of the season, they could indirectly affect other clubs in the mix, some of which would prefer QPR to be out of the playoffs entirely, either by straight promotion, or by finishing midtable. This is a situation that has got out of hand by not being acted upon quickly enough. Rules should be in place.

    As to the nature of the punishment itself, surely it must be points alone. It would set a fair precedent, as a major cash fine could kill off one club, whereas it might be a flea bite to another. Points deductions are equal to all who break rules.

  • Comment number 6.

    Saints fan here absolutely delighted that the lads have done us proud and held off Huddersfield under all that pressure :). To play as well as they have done recently has been amazing and to show the determination to get results (e.g. Brighton and MK Dons). Great Stuff. Saints feels like a community/family club again this year.

    Just wanted to say well done to Huddersfield too though....to go 2011 unbeaten is incredible and they certainly had this Saints fan worried, seen as they wouldn't stop winning:). However, I have to support Bournemouth now in the play-offs, really hope they can move up with us and make next year an unbelievable year for the South in the Championship :).

    The whole situation with QPR is scandalous in my opinion. How the league haven't got off they're backsides and dealt with this sooner is simply STUPID. They've made they're own problems now, and I agree with Steve and think they will get enough points deducted to put the title in doubt; but not promotion. The League have backed themselves into a corner. Massive problems in the future if they hit them hard.

    Up the Saints :)

  • Comment number 7.

    Decent comments re QPR Steve.

    We are all guessing as to why the FA have left it so late. Also, all guessing (Palios included - although he seems to think otherwise) as to the outcome.

    On a personal level I feel that QPR haven't actually done anything wrong: They bought Faulin in 2009. The Tevez case only changed the rules in the Premiership, not the entire Football League. In 2010 when the Football League changed their policies to fall in line QPR went up to them to ask to buy the 3rd party out. It's at this stage the FA turned and said "Hang on, you have a 3rd party owned player? Lets take our time over this important matter and meet on the penultimate day of the season" (or something to that effect)

    #5: Final point about how a financial penalty could kill off a club and point is "fair". Surely the team, the players, the fans deserve to see their team finish in the position relative to the points they've earned? Surely if the situation/crime is relating to a transfer situation then the consequence should be along that particular line: ie a shut out from 1, 2, 3 etc transfer windows? Suspended financial penalty too perhaps? That points are taken off just punishes all the wrong people.

  • Comment number 8.

    Steve, thanks for the kind words about Norwich but you missed out one of the most important players in your run down. Russell Martin has probably been the best right back in the Championship this season.

  • Comment number 9.

    Oh dear,where to begin. The QPR situation. Yes it is ridiculous that we are only now getting around to dealing with it but then as you said when there is no direct precedent the legal complexities are time consuming and this situation whilst 'similar' to the Tevez affair is not exactly the same. Applying the same punishment as a matter of course would be like giving an armed robber the same prison term as a shoplifter. Each case must be heard on its merits. I believe QPRs case could have been heard a little earlier than this and would like to hear the Football Leagues explanation as to why it has taken quite so long. As for punishment, I must say I think meatier sentances should be handed down as a deterent. If QPR are not only denied promotion but infact relegated to League One you can bet no club will ever again venture down this particular path or anywhere near it. I would promote Norwich and the play-off winners and reprieve the club finishing 18th the Premier League. Similarly I would reprieve the 22nd placed club in the Championship and send QPR down. QPR may have acted in good faith as they claim but ignorance cannot be a defence and indeed is not a defence in any other sphere. What we need is clubs refusing to touch any player whose contract is owned,part owned or even influenced by a third party of any description. My plan would bring that to fruition. I have sympathy with QPR fans of course but if we do not act in such a way it can only be a matter of time before this type of situation occurs again.

    Agree on the need for promoted clubs to have in place the basis of team good enough to compete at the higher level. No coincidence that WBA and Newcastle had managed to retain several players and their coaching structure etc from previous campaigns in the top flight. Both also 'tweaked' the personalities on their coaching staff and added players of experience at modest cost. I also agree that Southampton (more so than Brighton infact) have the infrastructure in place to compete in the Championship. What I cannot see is how Norwich will have a chance in the top flight. They are a nice club,I always enjoy going there but Surnam and perhaps Hoolahan apart Im afraid they are going to be relying an awful lot on the 'surprise' element which served Burnley and this season Blackpool fairly well at the outset but which is ultimately not really the answer. The only Championship club with an earthly of surviving comfortably would be QPR who have recruited well and have money to spend but that takes us full circle and I don't expect QPR to be playing Premier Le

  • Comment number 10.

    As a Norwich fan I too wonder how we will survive. However, it would be very unusual if the squad that completes this season (at any club) will be the same squad that starts next season. All promoted teams will have money to spend and it is how they spend it that will have a major bearing on how they fare next season.

    City have also recruited well (otherwise we wouldn't have gained successive promotions) but Lambert, McNally and all associated with NCFC recognise that this is still work in progress. The long term plan is to retain Premier League status but if that means astute recrutiment of players and, relative, financial stability at the cost of an immediate (but short lived) return to the Championship then I would gladly take that.

  • Comment number 11.

    It comes down to a pretty simple decision for the FA.

    1. Give a massive fine to one of the richest clubs in the world and a meaningless points deduction. This will pay for a bit more of Wembley and still shows they have authority and power.

    2. Wrap themselves up in years of legal battles with one of the World's most powerful and influential men (Mittal). Forget the FA 10 day appeal period, what about The European Court of Arbitration. If the FA loses what can they be sued for? 90 million? Don't forget that's how Sheffield Utd got their 30 mill of West Ham. It's just not worth the risk for the FA.

    This decision comes so (conveniently) late that they must have always been thinking we can get away with decision 1. My only worry is that this is so obvious and unsubtle that they get forced into meaningful action by the press to keep the tiny scrap of credibility they have left.


  • Comment number 12.

    I hope QPR are geninuely innocent and are found to be so at the hearing. Otherwise, I hope they are suitably punished.

    If found guilty then they cannot any longer catergorically say they are the best team and deserve the win the league, given one of their better players might not of been there had they abided by the rules. In the same way a runner will struggle to keep their gold medal if they then fail a drugs test (whether or not it was a deliberate attempt at cheating), if guilty QPR's whole race to the title should rightly called into question.

  • Comment number 13.

    Thought the QPR situation was different to the tevez affair as there were other charges too, rather than just the issue of third party ownership.

    Would have liked some more comment on the division 2 situation regarding Shrewsbury and Wycombe. As a Shrewsbury fan sat right behind the linesman when he made that appalling decision - which he clearly can't have been sure of and guessed - I've no idea why more has not been made about it - particularly given how wycombe have effectively gained 3 crucial points from it.

  • Comment number 14.

    @11. At 10:36a.m. 5th May 2011, hoopsa17

    Learn your facts
    1. SU got £20m not £30m .
    2 . CAS will only get invovled after FIFA/UEFA
    3. THE BIGGY !!! -
    Suing the FA in normal civil courts could exclude the club involved from any FA competition , PL , League (they are answerable to the FA) and cup competiton , its in the rules . FIFA/UEFA rules otherwise deem the FA involved can lose their right of invitation to comps they control , club and National level , that would mean no CL no Europa League for English clubs and no WC or Euro Champs at ANY level for England . Years of legal proceedings by "one of the World's most powerful and influential men (Mittal)" would effectively kill either the game in England (not gonna happen -EVER!!) or QPR (would you really like that ?)

    I do sincerely hope its a fine and a token points deduction , with probably a suspension of those involved in the registration and the irregularities of such . But if it is more I hope for the fans sake the club bite thier lip .

  • Comment number 15.

    if leeds had been playing a player for 2 seasons wrongfully, they would be relegated twice, one relegation for every season played

  • Comment number 16.

    I would love the following scenario this weekend:

    QPR deducted 10 points.
    Swansea beat Sheffield Utd
    Cardiff lost to Burnley
    QPR lose to Leeds.

    Swansea will be in the Premier League for definite then :)

  • Comment number 17.

    yet again the biggest followed sport in this country is let down by prehistoric idiots who run the game... What should be a time of celebration for QPR and a time for preperation for the teams in th play offs is in fact a time for confusion, the teams in the plays offs don't yet know who they will be playing and can't prepare for that and lets be honest if QPR are docked points are they really going to be up for a two legged tie and a possible final at Wembley.... And this is all to do with a signing of a player in 2009 well my calander says its now 2011 a 2 year gap! we can gather evidence to convict murderers quicker than that!! and i think if they are docked 10 points then they should be docked 5 from 2009/10 season and 5 from 2010/11 season this will still leave them in the top 2 but needing to win their last game to be champions

  • Comment number 18.

    I simply do not buy "QPR have been the best team this season" nonsense. Norwich have been the best TEAM, playing the best attacking football and scoring the most goals in the process. Oh, and not to mention - promoted fair and square with a game to spare. QPR could not even score against us let alone beat us but would be worthy runners up should they get off with just a minor points deduction tomorrow.

  • Comment number 19.

    Surely, the best if not ONLY way to deal with the QPR issue is to allow them go up as they have and dock them points from next seasonin the premier league? Any other solution effects other teams and is unfair to punnish them for a mistake/infringement by QPR. It's farsical it has take this long to deal with but to my mind that is the most logical conclusion.

  • Comment number 20.

    #18. If Norwich were the best team, why haven't they won the title? The table never lies. Still, you'll be the 20th best team in the Premiership next season.

  • Comment number 21.

    #20 - I agree totally, the table doesn't lie. Have a look at the final one Saturday afternoon at 3pm!

  • Comment number 22.

    Re #7:

    Although initially and as a football fan I hope QPR don't get a points deduction and do go up as they have deserved it. (And that's from a Cardiff fan!)

    I do wonder, if it's only a fine, what is that telling the richer clubs, that they can do as they please? Any smaller club would face administration from a hefty fine. But with the amount of money behind QPR they wouldn't particularly care. Play whoever they want and acquiring them however they wish, filling in documents as they please with whatever information they deem to be good for the day.

    That is the burning issue really. As bad as it is for the fans/players etc. Is it really something that should be overlooked? It bares little resemblence to the Tevez saga and a lot to the Luton points deduction.

  • Comment number 23.

    @mustardman

    Fair play to the Canaries they haven't half made it interesting, I'm pretty sure at least 60% of your goals have been in the last 10 minutes plus injury time! :P

    Makes for good watching and a lot of excitement at that. Good luck in the PL next season!

  • Comment number 24.

    must admit that im none too impressed with the coverage of the fight between shrewsbury and wycombe.... as always the focus was on THAT goal between the two teams but I have to ask, so what??? Goals like that happen in football and you have to deal with it.... former wycombe man matty Harrold scored a controversial equaliser against stevanage for shrewbury in november and I am sure that there have been many more dodgy goals for shrewsbury this season as well as dodgy goals that have gone both for and against wycombe...... the truth of the matter is it happened and that should be that..... if im honest i hope we win and shrewsbury lose on the last day.... that may at least shrews fans cant claim what might have been...

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    18. At 13:22pm 5th May 2011, mustardman wrote:

    I simply do not buy "QPR have been the best team this season" nonsense. Norwich have been the best TEAM, playing the best attacking football and scoring the most goals in the process. Oh, and not to mention - promoted fair and square with a game to spare. QPR could not even score against us let alone beat us but would be worthy runners up should they get off with just a minor points deduction tomorrow.

    ---

    No, QPR have gathered the most points throughout the season, therefore making them thr best team. Norwich have been very good, but are not the best team. Sincerly hope against any points deduction, as I was against deductions for Luton, Leeds and Bournemouth etc.

  • Comment number 27.

    I cant see how a points deduction can possibly work at this stage as it is far too messy - any total which pulls them out of the promotion spot would be met with a lengthy appeal and if they remain in the top two then no doubt the FA will be ripped to shreds as "bottlers" . Perhaps a "compromise" solution would be better, even if FL rules probably wouldn't allow it. How about just saying (along with a fine) that QPR can keep the title, but not the promotion. Instead they play the third placed team in a one-off match with the winner going up and the loser dropping into the regular play-offs.

    I will admit that I would only favour this if any irregularities that have found to have occured were considered more of a techincal oversight which is how I seem to read it in the media, rather than a deliberate/intended breach.

  • Comment number 28.

    Poor old Steve. Every week his blog becomes the put down QPR blog.

    People people people!!!!

    Lets all calm down abit shall we. Noone really knows what is going on so therefore noone really knows if we are guilty of anything. I understand it helps a few other clubs if we are guilty and get points deducted so I expect some to be praying that their lack of success is rewarded by default.

    If we are guilty I expect us to be punished in a way fitting of the crime, as I would expect any club to be if they were guilty of similiar crimes!!! If our punishment is 2nd place, play offs, relegation, or minus points next year we will STILL have been the best team this season.

    A one of match you could argue the best team may not have won. Over a full season the best will be at the top so I understand Norwich think they are the better team. They wouldn't be very good supporters if they didn't but clearly they aren't so chill out...second isn't all bad ,just isn't top...which is a position you haven't experienced at all this season due to the fact its been us all year (bar a couple of weeks when we didn't play)



  • Comment number 29.

    Dear me Steve.....You really struggled to say something nice about Southampton. Full of praise for Norwich but you wonder how some Saints players will fair in the Championship!!!

    One thing I can guarantee is that we will finish above Pompey.

    P.S I saw you play many a time for Aldershot and you were never as good as Lambert or Barnard. Oh and we also beat Norwich twice last season (Barnard scored both at Carrow Road)

    Well done Norwich and lets hope Huddersfield make it into the Championship.

  • Comment number 30.

    Good grief, they're delaying the decision on QPR's future due to weight of evidence. Just shows that deliberations should have been started months ago after the first objections were taking place.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/13301409.stm

    Now it appears QPR will be presented with the Championship trophy at the weekend, and will quite possibly have it withdrawn by Monday. Dear, oh dear.

  • Comment number 31.

    Re 29. - are you being serious? One of those ''defeats'' was on penalties in the JPT! Hardly the two (outright) wins you are claiming.

    Saints have a lot to prove at Championship level as well. Don't forget we ran away to the League One title last season, yet still had to bring in a significant number of new (better) players to mount a challenge at this level. It surprises me that you can deign to be so cocky when you couldn't even win League One this season, in spite of the massive gulf in resources between yourselves and ''little'' Brighton.

  • Comment number 32.

    taking points from next years premiership campaign would almost certainly mean relegation. All that serves in doing is deferring punishment for a year. It's the league's mess, they are inept and slow to act. This COULD have been finished months ago.
    I am a lifelong rangers fan, and to think one of the rare good times is going to be taken away sickens me. The club has not had a great time the last 15 years , they even went into receivership. The fans deserve this moment of glory, as do the players and staff.

  • Comment number 33.

    @18 If Norwich were the best team they would have won the NPC, wouldn't they. Come on, think about it, its not that complicated to grasp is it?

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm not one to post repeatedly in this forum but I do want to have a reply to #9

    Demote to League One? Reprieve the team in 18th in the Premier League? 22nd in the Championship? That's ludicrous. I understand that if found guilty a sanction should be placed, but one that does fit the crime. You'd be tweaking 3 leagues of professional football for the sake of one transfer.

    You use a comparison of an armed robber and a shoplifter - but your talk of setting a precedent is the same as sending a pensioner to jail for 15 years for not wearing a seat belt while driving.

    I'm not looking to start a to-and-fro, just want to point out that a demotion of a club (by which you are throwing out the idea of a points deduction itself) would only lead to "Well this team had 2 players 3rd party owned, they should go down 2 divisions" or "they paid off an agent, that's worse, they should be in the conference" being applied to any club - Premiership downwards.

    I'm sorry but it's an absolutely wild call and will never be done.

    I completely see your point about financial issue. A few years back (3 in fact) a financial fine would have made us fold quicker than a house of cards on top of a lighthouse. I do think though that a transfer window fine/penalty would be the best punishment. It would mean that when we get to the Premier League then we won’t be able to build on our squad and will have trouble staying up. Means we won’t be able to spend our millions/billions. Probably would mean we come straight back down. But it does mean that a precedent would be set: have dodgy transfers and you can’t do transfers. Had we won the league by 20 points people would be calling for 30 to be docked. It’s not about the points, it’s about the crime. IF found guilty, the crime is transfer irregularities – so ban us from transfers.

    No?

  • Comment number 35.

    @34
    Spot on. I hope those baying for QPR to be given a draconian punishment as a deterrent for their alleged misconduct accept that similar punishments will be meted out to other clubs in the future. Would you have been so keen to demand that a league 2 club playing an ineligible player be fined millions of pounds and ejected from the football league? What will be the implications for other clubs, big and small, if the FA bow to demands from some fans to effectively destroy QPR as a club over this matter. Will you all demand that the next club who plays a weakened team jn the Carling Cup be relegated as punishment? The possibilities are endless.

  • Comment number 36.

    The whole Faurlin situation is amazing. The FA have managed to create a situation where they can only either look very weak or place the whole league into disarray. I think the only way out for them is if QPR are found innocent of all allegations. If found guilty then a fine is imposed they will look very weak. If found guilty and a meaningful points deduction is made there are such massive grounds for a legal challenge, just thinking articles 6 and 7 of the European convention on human rights as a start point. Given the litigious history of QPR's owners a legal appeal would be a racing certainty. I would also imagine that many other clubs may believe themselves disadvantaged and seek legal redress both from the FA and QPR.

    Even as a life long QPR fan who will be celebrating at the weekend, I'm curious to see if the FA decide to dive into the abyss and make a significant points deduction. Common sense would suggest they would be mad to make such a move but football's governing bodies and bizarre decisions often go together.

  • Comment number 37.

    #18 - yes Norwich looked like world beaters when they were thrashed 3-0 at Swansea only 3 weeks ago. To be fair they have got there but it's hard to work out how. Sour grapes maybe but of the top 6 I'd say Norwich are the least suited to succeed in the Premiership. And for them to perhaps go up as champions if QPR are deducted points is absurd. QPR have wronged but the manner of the FA investigation just makes the FA look incompetent.

  • Comment number 38.

    Shameless, Gutless and Spineless spring to mind as this is a decision that should have been made prior to thisweekends round of matches. If their decision is for QPR to be promoted so be it but let it be a fair decision and not made once this weekend round of results make things easy for them.

  • Comment number 39.

    This is the typical rollercoaster we call QPR , the club we love. My question comes from a different angle. None of us outside the club or the League know exactly what has happened so we cant comment on what should happen.My question is why are they against 3rd party ownership with regard to the players ? What difference and /or what harm does it do.So long as the player is tied to the club, would it make any difference if he gave his Mum 90% of his wages ?
    Can somebody explain this to me please .

  • Comment number 40.

    P.S. -- Rule change call for I think

  • Comment number 41.

    37. Very much sour grapes, I think. The Swansea result was an anomaly - two wonder goals and a defensive mistake made the result considerably more flattering than it should've been. Rather pathetic of you to judge us on just one performance, rather than over the entire course of the season.

  • Comment number 42.

    @41 if you want pathetic have a look at 18.

  • Comment number 43.

    I think Faurlin has been a good player this year but not outstanding in the sense that without him we would not be champions. on hindsight I wish we hadn't bothered signing him, even though we were given permission by the league to do so its not worth all this. I'm sure we could have got just as good a midfielder or used our squad more ie Rowlands, Buszaki, Cook, Leigertwood, Moen, Mahon...you get my drift. I'm not blaming Faurlin either in anyway but if any other team (especially Norwich fans) think that without Faurlin we wouldn't still have won the league they are deluded.

    Take 50 points off us we are still the best team this season

  • Comment number 44.

    Let's admit that QPR are the best team in the Championship. The table does not lie!
    Let the Chamipons go into the Premiership.

  • Comment number 45.

    Steve's comments are spot on. After the Tevez saga rules were drawn up to deal with subsequent player registration violations. As QPR have violated these rules they should have the book thrown at them, sooner rather than later.

    The FA can not stage the play-offs with this issue un-resolved. It will be totally unfair for all those clubs involved in the play-offs.

  • Comment number 46.

    Im all for fairness and equality but theres a limit.Some of the comments being posted on here are just sour grapes by the clubs in the play off positions.Plain an simple.Like vultures waiting for the bad news so they can jump on the corpse.Lets keep things in context,if Norwich or anyone else for that matter were the best team in the division then they would have won it.QPR had the best defence,2nd highest scorers,most clean sheets,MOST WINS,hence they won the championship.You dont win it by proclaiming yourself better,you do it by proving you are the best over the season.Faurlin isnt Zidane or Messi,or even Tabbs.He didnt win countless games single handedly for us.The team did that,he just played his part.This whole situation has been blown out of all proportio.Cardiff will escape the same accusations because there governed by the Welsh FA,thats how ridiculous this whole scenario is.A small bit of respect,the best team won.

  • Comment number 47.

    QPR do not deserve to go into the Premiership.
    Loftus Road stadium is a dump.
    Their attendances are woefully poor even when they are doing well.
    The last thing we want is another London club in the Premiership.

  • Comment number 48.

    I am moderately interested being some 200 miles away from QPR as I live in the sticks ( come on Exeter City ). I do have a lot of sympathy with QPR and their fans for the prolonged uncertainty and for the last few weeks I have been thinking that the FA might have a cunning plan. They wait for QPR to get a decent points lead over the third placed club ( say 6 or 11 points ahead ) and they then deduct 5 or 10 points as a punishment. result is QPR are punished by not being champions but they still are promoted. everone gets on with life.

  • Comment number 49.

    OK, QPR are guilty of breaching two rules of the 7 alledged. There are no points being deducted this season or next, or ever connected with this enquiry. Congratulations to QPR, a thoroughly well deserved title. The nature of the punishment is going to make for an interesting read.

  • Comment number 50.

    Yorkshire Terrier (47) One day someone should explain to you it's how many points you get in a season that gains Premier League promotion and not how many fans your team has!

    And to the Welsh fans I say in the words of Vera Lynn, 'There will be Bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover; but not in the Premier League'.

    Come on you R's!

  • Comment number 51.

    See you next season Steve .... oh, that's right, you're sticking with the lower leagues. I for one won't miss you.

    From a QPR fan.

  • Comment number 52.

    Get rid of the money grubbing play offs, best 3 or 4 go up, worst 3 or 4 go down. Whatever next - play offs to decide who gets relegated?

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi Steve,

    Just wanted to hear your views on Swindon Town's beyond terrible season which has seen us go from Play-Off Finalists to bottom of the League and on our way to League Two. Many fans blame the now ex-Chairman Andrew Fitton for selling Gordan Greer to Brighton for 250k, which has been seen as catastrophic business leading to the likes of Charlie Austin understandably wanting to move on. The fans see this summer as one of the most important summer's in the club's history with the club needing to be re-born into a new lease of life. The big question is do we offer the job to Paul Bodin full-time who has the club's interest and passion at heart or do we opt for a more experienced Manager with the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Richard Money, Paul Trollope, Paul Ince and Roberto Di Matteo in the mix of Fan's banter???

  • Comment number 54.

    Steve Why are you so patronising and negative about Wycombe's promotion?

    1. We can't stay in Lge 1 - 11 of our 17 years in league football have been in league 1 incl. a 10 year spell
    2. Why keep showing and raising the Shrewsbury game 'goal' - more gracious Shrew's fans than you have been in touch via our message board and told us to forget about it as they can't, hand on heart,say that all of their, or any other's teams have been 'clean goals' this year. And it has been ever thus.

    Maybe it is something to do with your spell at Wycombe when you scored 4 goals and wouldn't stay as you wanted a lot more money. Journeymen footballers taking our valued funds without offering any loyalty either at the time or years later could be the root of our problems that you keep being so patronising about.

  • Comment number 55.

    Claridge is atrocious, but so is the football league show in general. He was so intent on moaning about Ainsworth's goal and saying that was the only reason that Wycombe went up. Has it crossed his mind the 79 other points we picked up helped? Also I can't stand how he keeps saying Wycombe will never stay in league 1. Does he even know anything about the quality of our team, or even who plays for our team apart of his number 1 target Gareth Ainsworth?

    More generally, this video blog is lazy and unprofessional and shows the quality of Claridge's journalism that he can't even write a proper article. More generally, the football league show is too late, and concentrates too much on average championship games instead of focusing on important games in league 1 and league 2, such as this weekend's promotion and relegation battles.

    I, as many other people do, would greatly like a complete re-vamp of the completely unprofessional way the bbc deals with the lower league for next season, including first of all replacing Claridge with someone who is competent and has the least bit of lower league knowledge.

  • Comment number 56.

    As a QPR fan, I think Steve deserves some support, yes he has his views, doesn't everyone and you must admit he certainly stirs up some debate. Thought his comments on the BBC for the match on Saturday were very fair (just seen the recording as I was lucky enough to be at the game). There has been so much speculation about the charges and too many assumed the club were guilty of the major charges. We now know that not to be true.

    Congratulations to Norwich, an excellent achievement, you are certainly one of the best sides to have done what you have done over the last few seasons, great for the fans (I must admit to loving you ground etc).

    Also, hats off to Leeds, what excellent support, the best in the division by miles. As it was for us at Cardiff, it was a shame that the allocation for the game on Saturday was so low for the Leeds fane. Only the most loyal away support managed to get tickets. Shame the result was not enough to get you into the play offs, but can not see if you can keep hold of your best players why you shouldn't be in top 6 next season.

    Great to see Swansea finish the top team in Wales .... and wouldn't it be great to see Swansea v Cardiff in the play off final ......

    Watching some of the goals on Saturday, fantastic, what a standard the Championship is setting.

    Keep up the good work Steve and best wishes to all true football fans for next season. I for one, have great memories of this season, just hope all can experience the joy we had after the game on Saturday, after all, we all deserve it, now and again.

  • Comment number 57.

    Excuse me, but if the Claridge Kicks Off link appears at the bottom of every football league club's webpage, why aren't there new editions of the blog. Steve is always informative and entertainingly serious in his delivery, so where has the blog gone, and why is there a link for the final blog from season 2010-11, when we are halfway through season 2011-12..?

 

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