Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: Buy Now, before the Panic Sets In

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: Buy Now, before the Panic Sets In

Article excerpt

Byline: John Gibson

WE'VE embraced the longest day and the nights are already cutting in.

Newcastle United report back to headquarters to hone their skills in only nine days' time and play at Hartlepool 12 days later with the Premier League roaring full-blast into action come August 16.

Have you enjoyed your summer break?

Excuse me, has there been one?

The European Championships have vibrantly filled the void without bothering to invite us to the banquet or miss us.

Football rules as king, greedily eating into the season of less popular sports.

Once there were cross-over careers when footballers became cricketers for the summer months.

Versatile performers like Denis and Leslie Compton, CB Fry, Raich Carter, Harry Storer, Willie Watson and Chris Balderstone wore both flannels and football boots with great distinction.

However, such men no longer exist. At the start of it all in the 19th Century the football season was October to March, cricket April to September, but gradually the bat and ball game has been squeezed and allowed only passing exclusive limelight before having to play in the shadow of its bigger brother.

Oh, true, Wimbledon provides a fleeting diversion but only for a couple of weeks. The Open for a mere few days. No prolonged challenge to the juggernaut that is Association Football from either tennis or golf.

Already we're gearing up for another season beginning, a time when dreams can be realised and doubts crushed - or so we hope.

Except that Kevin Keegan has kept his powder dry in the transfer market which is more worrying than reassuring.

United require major action whatever the propaganda spouted to reassure nervous followers, but as yet nothing has materialised.

Find Kevin a pen quickly, my friends, because a few signatures are required! …

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