Just four months ago, England were the victors. How did it all crumble into ashes?
By Ed Smith - 09 January 8:45

Dynasties, after all, can wind up frighten­ingly quickly, with or without hubris at the top.

Phil Thornton: “Football is a gangster’s game and it always has been”
By Martin Cloake - 03 January 9:15

Ten years after Phil Thornton's insightful cult book <em>Casuals</em>, Martin Cloake discusses with him how the state of football's counter-culture has changed.

What a £26,400 cricket ball tells us about our mania for sport
By Martin Cloake - 19 December 16:20

The ball that cricketing legend Sir Garry Sobers smashed for six sixes in one over at St Helen's in 1968 was sold at Christie's in 2006 - only, it turned out to be the wrong ball.

The Fan: topless goal celebrations
By Hunter Davies - 19 December 16:11

In the old days, goal celebrations were gentlemanly affairs – and what's wrong with showing a bit of skin?

Illustration of Alex Ferguson by Ralph Steadman
Alex Ferguson: the last great Briton?
By John Bew - 19 December 15:37

From shipyard socialism to the pioneer spirit of the American dream, the evolution of Alex Ferguson’s political thought.

Obama snubs the Sochi Games, giving Putin a star spangled middle finger
By Eleanor Margolis - 18 December 17:43

By snubbing the Sochi Games himself and picking tennis star and lesbian icon Billie Jean King to represent him, Barack Obama is effectively waving a rainbow flag in Putin's face. Three cheers for the “we’re here, we’re queer”-ness of the US Olympic delega

Aeris Houlihan speaking about her dispute with her local team on YouTube.
Is enough being done to remove unfair obstacles to transsexual people playing football?
By Juliet Jacques - 13 December 11:37

Progress on their participation is being made – but not quickly enough.

Undisputed Truth: Mike Tyson’s autobiography
By Austin Collings - 12 December 12:14

Tyson's early life was characterised by incarceration and petty crime, but he lucked when he fell under the tutelage of boxing trainer Cus D’Amato.

Will a small northern town's football club ever get in the Premier League again?
By Hunter Davies - 05 December 8:43

The thing about the north is that, of course, there is no such place. It’s full of different places, just like London or Paris, some parts being looked down on, ignored, feeling chippy, feeling slighted.

The future of football depends on the fans
By Martin Cloake - 03 December 16:28

Despite football’s efforts to hamper it, the supporter governance movement is thriving.

This is what my ideal Premiership club would look like
By Hunter Davies - 21 November 6:35

Pink shirts, a statue of Alfred Wainwright, and absolutely no interviews.

New Statesman
How should we mark the last hurrah for Sachin Tendulkar, India's greatest sporting legend?
By Soumya Bhattacharya - 14 November 13:44

Sachin Tendulkar is reported to have requested 500 tickets for friends and relatives for his final match before retirement.

New Statesman
Alex Ferguson's style of management was innate, with a faint whiff of violence
By Ed Smith - 14 November 13:07

The commonest myth about leadership is that it’s a skill. It isn’t.

Why the rising price of TV football is bad for all of us
By Martin Cloake - 12 November 16:11

The news that BT has secured exclusive rights to all pan-European club competition has serious long-term implications for the game and for BT.

New Statesman
Travels of a transsexual football fan
By Juliet Jacques - 12 November 11:10

Normally, once I'm comfortable with people I don't worry too much about ‘passing’– that is, hiding my transsexual past – but I'm not sure how to play this. Are they reading and treating me as male or female?

New Statesman
A football match in the executive box: pop stars, DJs and former England physios
By Hunter Davies - 07 November 7:37

Disgusting, shouldn’t be allowed, ruining football as we know and love it. So naturally, when invited to be a guest in an executive box, I said brilliant, count me in.

Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United
Why are football clubs able to ban journalists when they don't like what they report?
By Martin Cloake - 01 November 14:38

Reporters across the UK are constantly fighting against overbearing clubs and their petty behaviour. As freedom of the press is examined in other spheres, we should remember the sports writers who are trying to balance the need to maintain access with the

Gary Lineker: Pushy parents screaming abuse from the sidelines are killing their kids’ love of football
By Gary Lineker - 24 October 11:05

It’s the pushy parents screaming at little Liam from the touchline, making him feel clumsy and putting him off his stride, who are partly to blame for the decline of English footie, says Gary Lineker.

Sachin Tendulkar.
Throughout the long journey from prodigy to legend, Sachin Tendulkar honoured his gift
By Ed Smith - 24 October 7:50

Sachin Tendulkar has announced that he will retire from cricket, after a career in which he scored 100 international centuries. I often imagined what it would be like to be that good - but looking at the challenges he faced, I'm not sure I'd want to.

Ron Greenwood.
The FA and London Underground have more in common than you'd think
By Hunter Davies - 23 October 7:00

The Football Association is 150 years old this month - so, too, is the London Underground. But the similarities don't stop there.

Roger Federer.
The last days of Roger Federer
By Ed Smith - 21 October 14:49

What does it mean to call a tennis player a genius? Ed Smith reflects on his own career and asks - should Roger Federer just give up?

Will Brazil 2014 be the last time the football world cup matters?
By Martin Cloake - 21 October 11:28

International football could be the purest of competitions, but the dominance of the global club brands, the bloated finals tournament and lack of surprise factor together with distaste for FIFA mean that it's increasingly becoming irrelevant.

New Statesman
The FA's first non-white board member is also its first woman
By Sophie McBain - 17 October 15:23

"Many young people feel hopeless. And I don't think I ever felt that."

New Statesman
The Fan: Sending psychotherapists onto the pitch
By Hunter Davies - 17 October 14:19

How often have we heard a manager say that the trouble with his star striker is that “his head is not in the right place”? Fergie frequently observed that today’s players are fragile.

It's time to take Englishness outside of the football stadium
By Sunder Katwala - 16 October 19:13

Englishness finds a confident voice in sport, but has little cultural or political voice. Cameron and Miliband should not remain mute.

Sunday league.
From economics to the England football team: Immigration is a scapegoat for everything
By Sam Bright - 13 October 11:52

The real reasons for our economic, social and sporting woes is not unfettered immigration: it's bad management and dishonest politics.

New Statesman
The Fan: Why I'd rather interview Silvia Neid than Arsène Wenger
By Hunter Davies - 10 October 13:03

Wenger is so miserable, he's beginning to make W H Auden look positively baby-faced. The manager of the German women’s team seems like she has a lot more to say.

Let's all stop kicking Joe Hart
By Joshua Funnell - 05 October 11:27

The footballer deserves our compassion. Not cruel psychological abuse.

New Statesman
John Betjeman wanted more sex. I want more football
By Hunter Davies - 03 October 16:09

Sex doesn’t take up that much time, unlike football: you get 90 minutes, a chance to change ends, extra time and then often a penalty shoot-out. Football, it does put in your day.

New Statesman
We can't rid football of anti-semitism unless Spurs fans stop chanting "yid army"
By Lee Barnett - 29 September 16:38

Replace the word "yid" with any other racist hate term, and you'll see why the argument for keeping Spurs' "yid army" chant doesn't work.