It's difficult to know where to start with this week's news. Usually the close-season is a time of long, drawn-out transfer sagas, not much in the way of football action and a time to kick back and relax. This week we've seen nearly £150m splashed in big money transfers, England rack up 10 goals without reply, and a victory for football fans everywhere. Without any further ado, let's get TWTW under way.
First up, we'll tackle on the pitch matters. England are seemingly certain to qualify for South Africa 2010 now, after comfortable victories over Kazakhstan in Almaty and Andorra at Wembley. With the RMT's strike action in London putting the kybosh on many peoples' travel plans, along with precious little assistance from TFL or Brent Council, it's harder to know which game was more difficult to get to. Either way, it looks like Capello's men can start planning some time away from home from June 11th next year. Elsewhere Wales earned a creditable 1-0 victory in Azerbaijan.
Off the pitch, well, it's all gone a bit mad. New Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has gone transfer crazy, breaking the bank to sign up not only Kaka but also Cristiano Ronaldo. With more signings on the agenda for Los Merengues, the age of the galactico is clearly back upon us. For all that money, Madrid could've bought Newcastle United and rescued Setanta from the brink of collapse at the same time.
We also showed our concern for Take That fans this week (beyond our usual concerns about their taste in music, that is). Tens of thousands of fans packed the Stadium of Light in Sunderland to see the boys on their current UK tour, but it was all incredibly unsafe. The music fans, you see, were standing in the stadium, dancing in the aisles, and generally doing all the things that we as football fans are told week in, week out that we're not allowed to do at the match (well, perhaps not the dancing bit). But it's alright, as apparently 'dynamic testing' was commissioned to ensure that the structure could withstand the rhythmic gyrations of a crowd of lusty females. What's the difference between a music crowd and a football crowd? We're damned if we know.
In something of a contrast to the megabucks world of the Bernebeu, Accrington fans will be relieved that their club have come to an agreement with HMRC over an unpaid tax bill. The club had been threatened with a winding up order in the high court last week, but have arranged a deal to pay back their debt.
It's been a big week for us, too, as the FSF and Liberty have struck a blow for the common fan. Greater Manchester Police have admitted their misuse of Section 27 (something we've been saying for over half a year), and have paid out a big sum of compensation to Stoke fan Lyndon Edwards, with hopefully more to come. All in all, it's a bit of a result, and hopefully the police will think again before treating football fans unfairly.
From a big week to a big weekend - if you've not yet heard about Fans' Parliament 2009, you've probably been living under a rock. The FSF's annual shindig takes place next weekend in Newcastle, and offers a great opportunity for fans of all teams to come together and debate the issues of the day, as well as finding time for a pint or two. Full details can be found here, and it's FREE, so you've no excuse not to pop along. All we ask, though, is that you let us know we're coming - so register here.
Finally the FSF would like to pass on our condolences to the family of Gordon Lennon, the 26 year-old Dumbarton captain, who was tragically killed in a road accident on Sunday.