WE are fast approaching the time when clubs will be sending out fancy brochures to their supporters imploring them to renew their season tickets for the 2011-12 campaign.

Fancy buzz phrases such as ‘moving forward,’ ‘customer focussed’ and ‘you are our lifeblood’ will be trotted out as chief executives try and get as much cash in before deciding their budgets.



Well, according to a report by the Football Supporters’ Federation, some clubs fall well short when it comes to considering the needs of their fans.

The FSF examined customer care guidelines in the top two divisions and weren’t impressed.

Indeed, they reckon English clubs still take fans for granted.

“Many clubs just pay lip service to their fans, a truth reflected in the charters,” said the FSF’s Amanda Jacks.

“It’s quite obvious many documents had little thought put into them and were given a very low priority by the clubs.”

Stoke City, who have just reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, are not too happy with the media at the moment.

Their chairman Peter Coates has slammed ‘lazy journalism’ that criticises Stoke’s style of play. A lot of commentators have focussed on Stoke’s robust approach and the use of Rory Delap’s long throw-ins.

Coates told BBC Radio Stoke: “We’ve got two of the best wingers [Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington] in the country, they play exciting football.

“There’s a load of garbage talked about us and it’s just lazy journalism. I don’t think we want everyone to play like Arsenal, we’d be bored to death.”

He also wasn’t too happy with radio phone-ins either.

“They drive you off your head some of the things they come out with. If you took it all seriously you’d be a pretty stupid individual.”

There has been a mixed response to the decision of Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed to erect a commemorative statue of singer Michael Jackson at their Craven Cottage ground.

Al Fayed was a close friend of Jackson, who died in 2009, and he told Fulham’s website: “I hope many fans of his will visit the statue from far and wide. And I hope that Fulham fans will appreciate seeing the finest performer in the world amongst them, the finest fans in the world.”

Originally Al Fayed had planned on placing the statute outside his Harrods store in Knightsbridge but following its sale, he decided to switch the site to Craven Cottage.

According to The Sun newspaper, League Two side Stevenage have been branded as cheats by rivals alleging ‘sneaky time-outs’ half an hour into every game.

The Sun claims that players have been ordered to fake injury so the rest of the team can talk with the manager during the stoppage.

A League spokesman told the paper: “It has been brought to our attention and we are in the process of addressing it with the club.”

The main topic of conversation on BBC TV’s Match of the Day programme on Sunday night was whether Chelsea’s Fernando Torres (£50million) or Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko (£27million) was the worse buy of the season.

Just in case that didn’t register with you first time, that’s SEVENTY SEVEN MILLION POUNDS worth of outlay on two footballers who may turn out to be flops.

As if the world isn’t a mad enough place already  . . .