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December 1972

Note : The news from thirty years ago has an archive below

As appeared in Rothman's Football Yearbook 1973-74 (4th year) :

The Queen Anne Press, London 1973


I Willie Johnston signs for W.B.A. from Glasgow Rangers for 135,000 pounds -a record for a Scottish league player. . . George Eastham is appointed as assistant manager of Stoke. . . Jock Stein, Celtic's manager, is severely censured for remarks made to the referee in last month's League Cup tie against Dundee.

2 Arsenal beat Leeds 2-1 in an exceptionally hard fought game at Highbury. Two penalties (one for each side) and a Radford centre palmed into goal by Harvey decide the issue. Referee Thomas books five Leeds players plus Alan Ball of Arsenal. . . Liverpool (4-3 winners over Birmingham) increase their lead to three points in Div. 1. . . Burnley, Bolton, and Mansfield are the other table-toppers in the Football League. . . According to a 'Sunday People' story the 'no offside' experiment in the Metropolitan League is a flop, and might be scrapped before the end of the season.

3 In France, players go on strike in support of Lyon footballers, who were suspended by their club because they attended a Trade Union meeting.

4 Liverpool drew I-I with Tottenham in the League Cup, and the fixtures are piling up for both clubs. Bill Shankly says: 'Frankly I wouldn't have minded if we'd lostfor the sake of the players. The more games they play, the more likely they are to get injured.' . . . It seems that Arsenal will put Peter Marinello on the transfer list. Manager Mee is sympathetic to the 22-year-old player's view, that he must have first team football if he is to advance his career. . . George Best leaves Manchester without permission, and is seen in a London nightclub in the early hours of the morning.

5 Best is put on the transfer list by Manchester U. Brian Clough of Derby is the only manager who declares interest and might bid for him.

6 John Bond of Bournemouth is also interested in Best, but the player says that he would like to join Chelsea. . . Tottenham reach the League Cup semi-final by beating Liverpool 3-1 at White Hart Lane. . . David Herd, the Lincoln manager, resigns and player coach Graham Taylor, aged 28, takes over.

7 Norman Hunter is suspended for two matches. . . Joe Royle (Everton) might need a manipulative operation on his back injury and could be out of the game for the rest of the season. . . The latest enquiry for George Best comes from the U.S.A.
Clive Toye, general manager of the North American league champions Cosmos says: 'We have talked to the other seven league clubs for the purpose of getting them to join in putting up the 350,000 pounds transfer fee. There is no doubt that Best's appearances would boost attendances throughout the league.'

8 Ron Davies is suspended by Southampton for seven days for breach of club discipline. . . Aberdeen put Joe Harper on the transfer list and several English clubs are interested in this goalscoring striker.

9 Harper goes to Everton for 180,000 pounds -a record for a Scottish league player. In turn Everton sells Alan Whittle to C. Palace for 100,000 pounds . . . Hibernian win the Scottish League Cup, beating Celtic 2-1 in the Final-it is the seventh consecutive Final in this competition for Celtic, and the third losing one. . .In England, Ian Hutchinson makes a sensational comeback to first team football. He scores twice in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Norwich . . . Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-1 away, and as Liverpool drop a point at W.B.A., narrow the gap on top of the table. . . Internationals Peter Cormack (Liverpool) and Francis Lee (Manchester C.) are sent off.

10 Ajax Amsterdam are out of the Dutch Cup-in the first round they draw with N.E.C. but lose on penalty-kicks.
Malcolm Allison expresses an interest in George Best. According to him the Manchester C. players would welcome the Irish international. Chairman Eric Alexander says that the club has no intention of bidding for Best, and manager Allison was talking 'out of turn' . . . In future Don Revie will fine any Leeds player who argues with a referee. Only skipper Billy Bremner will be allowed to approach the ref. and ask courteously for an explanation. Bremner will be given an armband to signify his captaincy in Continental fashion. . . Southern League team Margate will be home to Tottenham in the Third Round of the F.A. Cup and Chelmsford will be hosts to Ipswich . . . Holders Leeds open with a difficult tieaway to Norwich and finalists Arsenal will be home to Leicester on Jan. 13. Toppairing: Wolverhampton v Manchester U.!

12 Margate want to switch their cup tie to Tottenham . . . Both Orient and Arsenal are protesting because their own gates would be affected. . . Mike Summerbee (Manchester C.) is sent-off in a friendly v Q.P.R.

13 Margate decide to keep the home advantage against Spurs. . . Liverpool beat Dynamo Berlin and join Tottenham in the last 8 of the UEFA Cup. . . Norwich beat Chelsea 2-0 in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge. . .
Chris Chilton (Coventry) is to quit league football due to a serious back injury. . .
Northampton buy Gordon Riddick (Orient) for 4,000 pounds. . . Peter Wall goes to Orient on loan from C. Palace. . . The 'Three' squad picked by Sir Alf Ramsey for Wembley against the 'Six' includes Bobby Charlton, Steve Heighway and Jensen of Moenchengladbach.

14 Alan Hardaker backs Leeds' plan that team captains should be allowed to wear armbands. In his view anything that might improve discipline should be tried and encouraged. . . The George Best story takes an unexpected turn-Louis Edwards, Manchester United's chairman announces that Best will start training with the club and he is 'presumably' off the transfer list. . . Hugh Curran is cleared of the charge of bringing the game into disrepute. . . Bristol C. paid a club record 70,000 pounds for Bobby Gould.

15 Five league games are postponed due to the 'flu epidemic. . . Alan Hardaker says that most football studs in use are illegal and dangerous.

16 A sad day for Manchester United! They lost 5-0 at Selhurst Park against C. Palace -their heaviest defeat for four years. . . Newspaper speculations indicate that Frank O'Farrell might resign over the treatment of George Best. . . Tired Liverpool drop a point at Ipswich . . . both Arsenal and Leeds are closing-up on them.
'Pop' Robson is one of the seven players to score twice in Div. 1 and now leads the goal-scoring list with 15. Attendances are stilllow-Portsmouth have a gate of under 5,000- their worst since the war for a league game.

18 The F.L. decides that the Spurs v Wolves League Cup semi-final must be played on Jan. 1. Bill Nicholson says that Monday is a very bad day for staging a game, and his players are bound to have some kind of New Year's Eve celebration. Bill McGarry is also unhappy about the date. . . Arsenal put Peter Marinello and George Graham on the transfer list. Neither of them are happy playing in the reserves, and the club is sympathetic to their ambitions. . . 500 Old Age Pensioners will be given free tickets for the 'Common Market' match at Wembley . . . Sir Alf names his squad for the Holland U-23 game, but both Newcastle selectionsMacdonald and Barrowclough-are wanted by their club for a rearranged league match v Leicester.

19 Sensational developments at Manchester United. The Board of Directors sacks manager Frank O'Farrell, coach Malcolm Musgrove, and chief scout John Aston.
On the same day George Best announces his retirement from football in a letter to his club. O'Farrell says that when he asked about the reason for his dismissal, he was told that the team is at the bottom of the table.

20 Manchester U. pay up O'Farrell's contract and the other sacked officials will be 'all-right' financially. . . Ray Kennedy and Dave Thomas are called into the England U-23 squad. . . Tot ten ham beat Wolverhampton 2-1 in the League Cup semi-final first-leg at Molyneux . . . The Norwich v Chelsea game is abandoned six minutes from the end due to thick fog, with Norwich leading 5-2 on aggregate . . . John Robson the Derby full-back is sold to Aston Villa for 90,000 pounds.

21 Ex-players Bill Foulkes and Pat Crerand will run Manchester U. until a new manager signed. Sir Matt Busby says that the Directors have complete faith in the squad and that they feel certain that the club's league position will improve rapidly. . . Football League agree that the second-leg of the Tottenham -Wolves Cup tie can be played on Saturday Dec. 30th. The league match schedule for the same day between the teams will be postponed.

22 Brighton sign Lemmie Robertson from Halifax for œ17,000 plus Willie Irvine . . .
Tommy Docherty gets the go-ahead from the Scottish F.A., travels to Manchester and signs the contract as manager of United at a reputed salary of 15,000 poundsper year. Docherty says: 'Only one word can sum-up my feelings-fantastic! My aim has always been to be the best manager in football. And I know that at Old Trafford I will get the best possible chance of proving that I have what it takes'.

23 A dream-start for the Docherty-era at Manchester-almost! United lead with a Ted MacDougall goal until the last minute when Clarke equalised for Leeds . . . Arsenal also drop a point and Liverpool lead the table by two points just before Xmas. . . In the Second Division Burnley drop a home point v Oxford and Blackpool lose 4-0 at Nottingham F. . . . Ricky Heppolette, the Italian-born Preston N.E.
player, signs for Orient (55,000 pounds) . . . John McMahon of Preston N.E. scores the quickest goal of the season-12 seconds after the kick-off.

26 An eventful Boxing Day programme-50 players booked, four sent-off! . . . Keyin Tully is dismissed by ref. Ted Jolly in his first league game for Burnley, and Terry AJcock (Blackpool) follows him shortly-Burnley win 2-1 and haye a three points lead in Div. 2. Q.P.R., 3-1 winners oyer Orient are second-in this game the visitor's striker, Derek Downing is sent-off . . . Leeds beat Newcastle 1-0 with the help of a twice-taken penalty. Tan McFaul saves Giles' first spot-kick, but ref. Ralph Lee decided that the keeper moved too Soon. Newcastle Manager, Joe Harvey complained: 'How can refs. sleep after decisions like this? Every time we come here we seem to get robbed by penalty decisions.' . . . Jimmy Scoular, the Cardiff manager is booked by ref. John Yates after he called Bristol City's 1-0 win over his team 'the biggest robbery since the croWn jewels were stolen' . . . Manchester U. are back at the foot of the table after their 3-1 defeat at Derby. . . Crystal Palace beat Southampton 3-0 with two Rogers' and one Craven goal. Don Rogers has scored seven times since his transfer from Swindon !

27 Tommy Docherty signs George Graham the Arsenal player for 120,000 pounds. 'He is in the class of Gunter Netzer' said the Manchester U. manager, Who once bought Graham for Chelsea from Aston Villa for 6,000 pounds. . . Bobby Kellard leaves C. Palace for one of his old clubs, Portsmouth, for a 12,000 pounds fee.

28 Another Scottish player joins Manchester U., Alex Forsyth, the Partick Thistle full-back signs for 100,000 pounds. . . Brighton are taken over by two London business men, Who were already on the board. Money will be available for new players and the aim is to escape relegation. . . Trevor Morris, former manager of Cardiff and noWa Welsh F.A. official says that the Third and Fourth Division players should be part-timers. According to him they are grossly overpaid and that is why several clubs face bankruptcy. . . Franz Beckenbauer (W. Germany and Bayern Munich) has been elected 'European Footballer of 1972'. Muller and Netzer were joint second, Cruyff fourth and Keizer fifth in the voting.

29 Alan Hardaker presents a historic new deal for football. The League Management proposes a smaller First Division (20 clubs), four up-and-down throughout the league, fewer televised matches, a nine month season to run from Sept. Ist to the end of May, and a possible change in the offside law! Other minor reforms include bonus points for goals and the ban on non-competitive matches (benefit, friendlies, etc.) during the season. The club chairmen will discuss the proposals on January 16th in London. Mr. Hardaker opened his lengthy statement by saying that 'the falling attendances this season have now shown definitely that there has been a lack of interest in the Football League competition.' At the same meeting the chairmen will be presented with a demand from the Players Union to consider a new type of contract for footballers, which would be in line with the Industrial Relations Act and the E.E.C. principles on 'workers freedom'.

30 Tommy Callaghan is the new coach of Manchester U. . . . Graham Souness (Tottenham) signs for Middlesbrough for 30,000 pounds . . . In an exciting League Cup semi-final match, Tottenham drew with Wolverhampton and the Londoners reach their seventh final in a top competition since Bill Nicholson took oVer the club in 1958. Wolves cancelled out their one goal deficit in normal time, but Chivers scored the vital goal in the 111 th minute. . . In the league, Liverpoo1 stretch their winning sequence at home to twelve this season by beating C. Palace 1-0 with a Cormack goal. . . Arsenal draw 0-0 at Stoke and seven matches are cancelled due to the 'flu epidemic. . . Channon of Southampton is sent-off at the Dell v Coventry . . . Jock Stein, the Celtic manager is taken to hospital for observation, and it is announced that he'll stay there for tWo weeks. . . Bremner, Heighway and Cruyff pull out of the 'Common Market' game.



1967 January-December
1969 August-December
1970 January-June

1970 July August September October November December
1971 January February March April May June

1971 July August September October November December
1972 January February March April May June

1972 July August September October November December
1973 January February March April May June

1973 July August September October November December
1974 January February March April May June

1974 July August September October November December
1975 January February March April May June

1975 July August September October November December
1976 January February March April May June

1976 July August September October November December
1977 January February March April May June

See Calendar 1970 and Calendar 1971

Bob Dunning
9 January 2005

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