Football “is central to English culture and modern society” say Arts Council

THE National Football Museum in Manchester has been awarded official Designation by the Arts Council – the first time a sporting collection has been granted this status.
The unparalleled collection of football history at the museum has been officially recognised for its significant collection of football history by the Designation scheme.
Objects including the winning ball from the 1966 World Cup and a shirt from the world’s first international football match in 1872 have now been formally recognised for their historic and cultural importance.
National Football Museum’s Deputy Director and Head of Collections, David Pearson said: “We are truly proud that our outstanding collection has won Designation status.
“Not only are we the only sporting collection to win such an honour but it also endorses our view that football heritage is central to English culture and modern society.”

Premiership Predictions – London to reclaim title from Manchester

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THIS season, more than any I can remember anticipating, is a hard one to call.
The top three teams from last season, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, all have new men at the helm.
Arsenal underperformed last season – but then, Arsenal have underperformed for a good few years now – while Spurs and Liverpool could both be facing up to life without their star men next season.
I can’t see any other team seriously breaking into the top four, but which of these six elite squads will is a hard call.
There’s my disclaimer out of the way.
But neck on the line I find it hard to see past Mourinho’s Chelsea for the title.
His team has a strength in depth matched only by Manchester City, with some real creative talent in the form of Hazard, Mata and Oscar – plus if anyone can hit the ground running it’s the Special One, a manager adept at settling into new clubs, with the benefit of having been here and done it before.
It’s this that gives him the edge over Pellegrini’s star-studded legions of Manchester City, who I’m placing second come May.
Last season, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal gave themselves a mountain to climb, and they climbed it admirably during the second half of the season. If they come out of the traps in the same form as they finished last time around, I can see them overhauling David Moyes and Manchester United’s defending champions, who’ll have to settle for fourth place.
Liverpool and Spurs I see missing out, without the depth in their squad to maintain a season-long campaign – although I will tip the Lilywhites’ new boy Roberto Soldado for the Golden Boot.
Tomorrow, I’m going to have a look at the other half of the table and predict who’ll be relegated…

Shy Rooney harbours stand-up dreams

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ALTHOUGH he’s anything but timid on the pitch, according to reports the only thing holding Wayne Rooney back from a comedy career is shyness.
You may think that he’s the sort of person that thinks Jongleurs is Nigel de Jong’s nickname but you’d be wrong.
According to a friend of Rooney’s: “He’s always been a funny guy and has said before he’d love to be a comedian.
“The only problem with Wayne getting up to tell a few jokes is his nerves.
“You wouldn’t think it, but he does get nervous. He hates getting up to talk in front of crowds, let alone tell jokes.
“But he’s got some good material – some of it pretty controversial.”