Cultured Football #127
Success for Fan Owned Exeter City. Saudi Money Driving Market. Another Shot for Released Players. Importance of Huddles.
This is Cultured Football, where the best football writing of the past seven days is carefully selected, just for you.
Exeter City's rise to the top of League One has been achieved through fan ownership, smart investment and unity
By Adam Bate for Sky Sports
Two decades ago, with the club saddled with £4.8m worth of debt and years of mismanagement biting hard, fans of Exeter City took ownership of their team. It hasn’t always been easy but overall theirs has been a story of success proving that other ownership models are not only possible but even preferable.
By Ryan O'Hanlon for ESPN.com
For some time it looked as if football clubs were finally learning how to live within their means. The unexpected infusion of almost a billion by Saudi clubs changed all that (although, for accuracy’s sake, it is largely English clubs who have acted recklessly with their money yet again).
By Sam Dalling for The Guardian
Whilst most football players returned to their clubs in mid-July, some had no clubs to return to. A few of these eventually find a way back in but for many, especially those just out of the academy system and with minimal experience, there is no route in. It is on the latter that Steven Caulker is focusing his Behind the White Lines residential training camp, looking to give them a way to show their talent in the hope that they catch someone's attention and the mental fortitude to face what comes next if they don't. Caulker is the latest in a (growing) line of players who has taken it on themselves to help players released by academies, even though clearly they shouldn't be the ones looking to provide a solution.
Like what you see? Subscribe so you don’t miss out next week.
Huddles are great at building team dynamics and easing player anxiety. Seems obvious but I’d never given them a second thought before reading this piece. Thoughtful, insightful and thoroughly fascinating.
By Christian Schmidt for The Analyst
A highly entertaining 2-2 draw away at Bayern Munich confirmed that Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen are the real thing. Not only is there talent all through the side but there is also the kind of determination to succeed that marks them out as dangerous rivals for the Bundesliga title.
If you liked any of this week’s picks, why not share Cultured Football with someone else who might like it just as much?
Last Week’s Most Read: Under the Flight Path
By Dominic Bliss and Stuart Tree for Terrace Edition
“It's probably fair to say the crossover on the Venn Diagram of plane spotters and groundhoppers is not insignificant.” So begins the delightful piece about Bedfont FC that is as far removed from the hysteria of the transfer window as you could possibly be. Delightful.