Monday, May 29, 2006

Dead cat bounce

This is a chronicle of the march to a Champions League final. Well, I hope so. Though, in truth, I doubt it. On May 6th 2006 Oxford United were confirmed as the 91st best team in the country. Sadly, this also means the second worst team in the football league. With it came the ignominy of relegation out of the football league into the Nationwide Conference.

Their last game was the best the 12,500 all seater Kassam Stadium has ever seen. A ripsnorting 2-3 defeat in front of a capacity crowd which was supplemented by hundreds of people peering in the stadium's gaping open end. It was a game of high drama and tension which ended in catastrophe. To have hit the bottom in this way seems like a good place to start a new blog on the subject.

At least I assume it's the bottom. Oxford's highs have been fairly stratospheric for a club of its size, in 1985 it was promoted to what is now called the Premier League, they won the 1986 Football League Cup in front of 100,000 people at Wembley. Now they are winners of the world's biggest dwarf competition, occupying a league where a crowd of 1,000 is deemed good going. Oxford could indeed fall further down the 'Non-League Pyramid' though beyond the Conference, I've no idea what that's made up of.

The story of how Oxford hit the bottom will no doubt fill up this blog during the dark winter months, but in the meantime, we will while away the summer months depicting the preparations for next season and musing on what might happen.

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