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Free ticket for the game today...
at 11:05 2 Dec 2017

…if anyone wants it.

Just let me know and it'll be first person to say yes that can have it.
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The Ashes
at 06:04 18 Nov 2017

I can't wait for Thursday.

The first ball bowled in an Ashes series is one of my sporting highlights every couple of years.

This is an interesting series. Not the best two squads to go head to head, in all honesty. Here are my thoughts:

Australia don't look unbeatable. However, Warner will score a quick 80 - 110 in a few innings and Smith will probably make 150+ at least a couple of times. On the Australian pitches, they'll get close to 500 on two or three occasions.

England will do OK with the batting. Cook will score 40+ in several innings with a couple of 70s and Root will score between 50 - 80 in lots of innings. Moeen and Bairstow will score runs and the tail will wag.

The Aussie bowling unit is so much better though. I think they will often have a small first innings lead and their bowling attack will dominate in the latter part of matches.

I'm going for a 3-1 win to them. We'll obviously miss Stokes and I think Mark Wood could have given us an edge - those two could be the difference between 3-1 and 2-2, and Ashes retention.

I can't wait for that first ball...

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Premier League
at 10:07 2 Nov 2017

I listened to some discussion about staff in 'ordinary' jobs at Premier League clubs the other day. Only Chelsea and Everton guarantee that cleaners, caterer's etc. get the living wage. Currently a cleaner at Old Trafford would have to work for 20 years to earn what Pogba does in a week. I can't stand that.

I've also thought about the arguments that football clubs are businesses, so they can't be regulated by something like a minimum number of English players in each team. That's rubbish too - we should say at least 5 of the starting 11 should be English for each team, otherwise we just block the progress of young players.

The Premier League is a league in England, not an English league. We may as well make it like Formula 1, where a round of games is played each weekend in different countries (USA, China, India, Australia etc.) - it would generate more money, which is what it's all about now anyway.
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Marcus Evans and our debt
at 07:56 23 Oct 2017

Some Norwich fans yesterday asked why we weren't protesting every week against Marcus Evans and it made me think a bit.

We do seem grateful and I guess he stepped in when we were in a really bad way and injected some cash.

I know that he bought about £35m of debt for £8m and the rest was written off. I also know that he can't sell that £27m of written off debt on.

What I don't know is if he can sell all of the debt loaded since then. He invested £12m initially into transfer funds and the money the ME Group put in each year (to balance the books) is loaded on to our debt to the company, rather than a personal investment.

Can he sell the new debt on? If so, that would require someone to buy £70-80m of his debt before considering what other money they need to invest. With no assets, it doesn't make us an attractive purchase.

If this is correct, he's in a no lose situation really. If he can keep the debt to ME Group stable with player sales (as in recent years), he either gets it back at some point by selling the club or it doesn't go up much and he gets the advertising etc.

I doubt he would write off the debt in order to sell the club so he may as well maintain things, hope for a miracle promotion and look to sell players to keep the company investment where it is. It means there's no need for him to sell.

Or have I misunderstood it all?
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Really good article on Jonny Bairstow
at 08:24 16 Oct 2017

I love him as a player but he seems like a brilliant bloke who has been through a lot.

His dad killed himself at the same time as his mum had cancer and he talks about how he wants to be a good role model, and about how boys do cry.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/41523011

Worth a read, as his book will be.
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World Mental Health Day
at 06:37 10 Oct 2017

Today is both World Mental Health Day and World Homelessness Day.

If anyone is in Norwich today, pop long to the Birdcage pub, where I'll be doing an event.

In partnership with a few organisations, we're offering free showers, clothes, food, laundry services and haircuts to people who need them. We're also promoting our 12th Man mental health campaign.

In my mind, it's a day to think about people who are having a tough time.
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The Joey Garner Song
at 05:40 17 Aug 2017

I loved the Joey Garner song at Barnsley and heard it on the radio at Millwall. It's great!

One thought I had is that the second verse of the original song, with a few adaptations, works even better, and makes it ours, rather than copying Rangers. This is how I'd sing it:

You make us happy (make us happy)
You'll always be blue (always be blue)
You'll have no sorrow (have no sorrow)
Cause we'll always be true (always be true)

'Cos we've got…Joey Garner
We've got…Joey Garner
We've got…Joey Garner
So glad you're ours

I think this is too late as it's caught on now and that's great. It would be a better and more original version though.
[Post edited 17 Aug 5:41]
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12th Man at the ITFC Open Day
at 12:53 5 Jul 2017

After a few decent chats on here about mental health I mentioned a project I'm working on, called 12th Man, to several people who sent me PMs.

I'll be taking our 12th Man gazebo to the Open Day on Thursday 27th July and anyone who would like to join us, either as a volunteer, or just to find out more about the project, would be very welcome.

We're looking at developing a pilot project with 2-3 clubs (hopefully including Town), the FA and Mind and I'd be happy to talk to people about our progress.

Feel free to check out our website - 12th-man.org.uk - be warned though, my business partner is a budgie!

I'll be sending a PM to some people who have already expressed an interest.
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J2 - Have you seen Kay's Good Cooking - this one is eggs...
at 13:40 30 Mar 2017



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Terrorist Attacks
at 08:51 23 Mar 2017

On Radio 5 Live they just said that yesterday's terrorist attack was the first to slip through the counter-terrorism net since the murder of Lee Rigby.

I was a little surprised because I remember an MP being murdered in the street by someone with extreme views. Is the murder of Jo Cox not a considered a terrorist attack (and if not, why not)?
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Marcus Evans Group Business Model
at 07:16 19 Mar 2017

I genuinely wish we knew more about the MEG business model.

My suspicion is that when he took over, other parts of the business were doing well, with a forthcoming Olympics in London and a better general economic climate. Converting money from other parts of the business into debt at a football club, particularly one with a decent chance of reaching the Premier League riches, was probably low risk for potential high gain.

Now things probably don't look as good elsewhere in the MEG, with the challenges of the aftermath of Brazil and more uncertain economic times. I wonder if that means money from transfers is moved around the business, rather than going directly into our coffers. Minimising losses until things change elsewhere in the MEG may well make sense, especially when there's £80m+ to recoup.

It might be the difference between having a rich fan and a business man as owner. It's definitely depressing to know our club is one division of a business, rather than an entity in it's own right. It definitely means that ME won't sell in our interests, only those of the MEG.
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Was the average age of home fans in the seventies...
at 08:06 17 Mar 2017

…really only 17? That's extraordinary and I'd love to know where those stats come from.

I started going in the early eighties and on the coach from our village there were about 5 or 6 of us at school age and everyone else was a pensioner!
[Post edited 17 Mar 8:06]
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Berra
at 10:53 8 Mar 2017

I think we have an interesting situation with Berra.

It seems pretty clear that he'll go back to Scotland in the summer - he's been a decent player for us but I don't mind losing him too much.

However, knowing two of the bigger teams in Scotland want him, do we trigger the extra year and ask for a fee or be 'nice' and let him move on a free?
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Mental Health - Time to Talk Day
at 09:22 2 Feb 2017

Hi everyone - in recent weeks there have been some excellent discussions on TWTD about mental health. There was one thread in particular that was amazing - during that discussion, I mentioned that my work is in community mental health and I had several PMs from people.

Today is Time to Talk Day - a day conceived by the national mental health anti-stigma campaign, Time to Change. Here's their website - http://www.time-to-change.org.uk

The day is focussed on getting the whole country to talk openly about mental health. I usually organise public events on this day but today I'd like to offer an opportunity through this thread, and the PM facility, for anyone to have a conversation about mental health, should they wish to.

I will make a note of the number of people posting here or contacting me through PMs to add to the national tally on the Time to Change website.
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Why would Preston sell Hugill now?
at 07:45 29 Jan 2017

Whilst I like the fact that Mick has identified a player he feels he needs, I just can't see why Preston would sell him at this point.

They have a shot at the playoffs and he's having his best month of the season, with 4 or 5 goals and good performances. Even if we go to £3m, surely they won't have time to get a better replacement.

Given that they're not far off the playoffs, surely it would be worse than our timing of selling Murphy - it would be more like us having sold him at the end of one of the last two January windows.
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