Newcastle United commands yours and our every waking thought but occasionally we spot stuff that we think is interesting and want to point to for the cognoscenti who regularly tune in to this here website.

We are by no means are all over everything going on in football so if you see anything you think might appeal to us flag it in the comments boxes and we’ll have a look at it. Blogs, Books, Magazines, Fanzines, Websites, Podcasts, Documentaries and if you want to review any of it it for us be our guest. Just keep it short and tidy as it will be popped in here. 

If you see anything through the week – give me a nudge on yon Twitter (or whatever American weirdo Elon Musk is calling it this week).

Life’s A Gamble

The 10-month ban imposed upon our summer signing Sandro Tonali has focused minds on the issues related to gambling addictions and there have been some excellent coverage of the contradictions and hypocrisies related to football and betting too.

This article in The Guardian by Aaron Times caught my attention and I’d recommend it as an excellent read for those who want to understand more about the juxtaposition of gambling, football and the penalties for those who transgress the game’s rules – click here

There is another piece in The Guardian revealing the response of a betting company to a player who has spoken out about football and gambling which is worrying on a number of levels – click here

But a must watch is the BBC programme – Paul Merson – Football, Gambling and Me – which you can catch on i-Player and I’d heartily recommend – there is a cameo appearance from our own ex-player Keith Gillespie who as we all know has had issues of his own – click here

That’s not to forget our very own Charlotte Robson who hosted an excellent podcast with Richie Paxton from the Epic Restart Foundation, a charity which supports those with gambling addictions. This is available to Patreons only but it’s another reason why you should sign up to our Podcasts – click here

Anyone with concerns about gambling should seek help – the enclosed may be a starting point – click here

TRUE FAITH – Live Event – 5/Dec/2023 – The Stand, Newcastle!

Suffer Little Children

I think for many we’ve got a varied awareness of cases of historic child abuse in football going back to the 70s and 80s. The case of Barry Bennell at Crewe and Man City was pretty well documented but closer to home we should be aware of the abuse suffered by ex-Newcastle United schoolboy player, Derek Bell from George Ormond who coached with our club in the late 70s/80s – there is excellent coverage from David Conn, The Guardian with Derek from 2016 which although is a hard read is an important one – click here

What has sailed under the radar in England by and large is the scandal involving the Celtic Boys Club and Celtic Football Club. You might be aware of some of the distasteful insults fired at Celtic – Big Jock Knew etc but one thing is for certain this has been a scandal which has damaged the reputation of one of the world’s most storied clubs but more importantly caused untold damage to dozens (possibly unknown numbers) of vulnerable young boys who have carried their trauma into adult life. I listened to the Podcast on Spotify but its available on loads of other platforms (the main ones obviously) – though you will be outraged by what you hear as I was – click here

The People’s Game

Excellent piece here in The i by Daniel Storey who explores supporters taking ownership of our game in Sweden and it’s a heartening read and discovery that there is another way for football other than oligarchs, nation states, franchises, spivs and sportswear owners ruining football – click here

Forza Italia

Readers might have detected a love of Italian football (Calcio) from some of us down the years – the culture of Ultras, stadia and general vibe so for those who share our interest we though you might be interested in this here website – Calcio England – insight into the Italian game which is helpfully written in well, English – hope you like it –  You should also be following TF’s great friend Peter Embleton who’s love of Italy and especially its football is next level – follow him here

TF Long Read: When Tino Came to Toon

Financial Fair Play

Everton supporters may be bracing themselves for a points deduction due to breaches in Financial Fair Play but they should be by no means the only ones. Man City and Chelsea are well in scope of some punishment (though it will be instructive to see what happens). These two articles in The Guardian – Will Unwin – click here on the commercial revenues Man City are apparently generating to fund the farce of their trophy winning machine.

Then of course there is Abramovich’s funny money which took Chelsea to the summit of European football and stunk to high heaven – The Guardian – Rob Davies and Simon Lock – click here

What a lovely game we all love eh?

Keep On, Keepin’ On …

Michael Martin, @TFMick1892