Nottingham Forest, Huddersfield and ‘the most lucrative fixture in football’ | Soccer



We’re going to have to preview Big Cup on Friday, aren’t we? That means we won’t be able to talk about the other big game taking place this weekend. Yes, it’s the Oscar Wilde Final on Sunday afternoon, the match everyone’s seemingly contractually obliged to refer to as the most lucrative fixture in football, albeit only by people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Yes, approximately £ 170m blah future revenues for the winners drone next three years chunter waffle blah, but the occasion itself should be loved on its own terms, right? That’s right!

Admittedly, there hasn’t been a properly exhilarating Championship play-off final since Reading nearly came back from three goals down against Swansea in 2011, although West Ham and Blackpool were reasonably engaging a year later, and we hear physicists became fascinated by Aston Villa and Derby in 2019, specifically the strange, frenzied molecular oscillations occurring in Frank Lampard’s bottom lip. But the overall point stands – there were three 4-3s and a 4-4 back in the day – and we’re due a good one, right? Yes, that’s right!

Whether or not Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town are best equipped to deliver this belated classic is a moot point. Huddersfield have played at Wembley on two occasions since the turn of the millennium. They’ve prevailed on both occasions, but only on penalties, failing to score a single goal in normal or extra time. Forest meanwhile have contributed – ZDS final aside – one goal on their last two visits to the national stadium, way back in their early-90s League Cup pomp, and that against a knackered Oldham Athletic playing their 643rd match of the season. Though to be fair to Steve Cooper’s 2022 vintage, they made a nine-course banquet of seeing off Sheffield United in the semis last week, so some similar drama isn’t beyond the realms, right? Well, maybe. Perhaps. Here’s hoping.

That’s undersold that, then. You’ll thank us when the seventh and deciding goal flies in at 6.23pm on Sunday.


“We can not believe or understand this craziness, the love involved. How far will fans go? As far as a plane ”- Diego Maradona’s daughter Dalma attends the unveiling of an aircraft, which has been designed as a flying museum in tribute to the Argentina legend. Fans, we’re told, will be able to board the plane and leave a message for Maradona, “interact” with him through AI and see memorabilia from the World Cup-winning 1986 team.

The Tango D10S is unveiled in Morón.
The Tango D10S is unveiled in Morón. Photograph: Tomas Cuesta / AFP / Getty Images


“Canada’s heady success in reaching the Human Rights World Cup has caused some people to forget recent history off the field. By hosting a friendly against Iran on 6 June, the powers that be have overlooked how Iran shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in Tehran just over two years ago, killing all on board, including a large number of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. It is now reported that Canada will also pay $ 400,000 to Iran to cover their costs. Iran still has to pay any compensation to its victims ”- Alain Etheringon.

“Concerning your recommendation to ‘ask our grandads’ about the Intercontinental Cup (yesterday’s Fiver), what exactly does The Fiver think the demographics of its readership are?” – Harriet Osborn.

“José Mourinho being gloriously happy at winning Tin Pot, despite him going on record almost a decade ago to say ‘it would be a big disappointment for me [to be in Big Vase]’, never mind Tin Pot, is the biggest irony since the author of How to Murder Your Husband’ was found guilty of murdering her husband ”- Noble Francis.

No big deal…
No big deal… Photograph: Chris Brunskill / Fantasista / Getty Images
And big deal.
And big deal. Photograph: Marko Đurica / Reuters

“I can not believe I’m lowering myself to this. Well, actually I can. But the audience isn’t applauding £ 1,000, £ 6,000 or any size of jackpot prizes on Pointless at the moment (Fiver letters passim). The last two series have not been recorded in front of audiences because of Covid ”- John Mackay.

“I recently appeared on Countdown which, in the post-Covid era, no longer has a studio audience. I think they just pipe in applause after the event ”- Craig Fawcett.

“A tip of the cap to relegated Burnley for showing us there’s always a grain of truth in those old sayings. Misery loves Kompany ”- Mark McFadden.

Send your letters to And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o ‘the day is… Alain Etherington.


Get your ears around the latest Football Weekly Extra. And while we’re at it, Max, Barry and the pod squad are going back on tour. Tickets to live shows in June and July are available here.



Police will confiscate the passports of 880 England fans before the Nations League tie against Germany in Munich on 7 June as part of an extensive security operation.

As Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané prepare to clock up almost 200,000km of travel – not even on the pitch – this season, a new Fifpro study has found the culture of overload in elite football is putting players’ health at risk.

Game No 70 ahoy.
Game No 70 ahoy. Photograph: John Powell / Liverpool FC / Getty Images

Manchester United fans have been told their job now is to stand by new manager Erik ten Hag. “He has set out a long-term vision to build a successful, exciting team,” cheered football director John Murtough. “[His early appointment] has given clarity and confidence. ”

Lucy Bronze will follow Georgia Stanway and Caroline Weir out of the Manchester City Women door when her contract expires shortly.

With Arsenal’s options up front limited, Eddie Nketiah is expected to stay and accept a new long-term deal.

Norwich City suit Stuart Webber accepts the club made things too easy for opponents on their way through the Premier League trap door. “Did we make Carrow Road a tough place to come for opposition teams both on and off the pitch? No we did not, ”he sighed. “We accepted being average too quickly and that’s something we have to look at. It starts with us first and foremost, and it probably ends with us. ”

Swindon Town boss Ben Garner is being linked to the vacancy at Charlton Athletic.

Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic have been forced to disband due to rising debts at the Chinese Super League club. “If more care and support had been given, it would not have ended up like this,” fumed former manager Lee Jang-soo.

And the flamin ‘A-League All Stars gave Barcelona a decent game before going down 3-2 in Sydney. “For 70,000 people to turn up, as the head coach in my first debut, it was simply amazing,” said Dwight Yorke, who took charge of the All Stars. “[This] shows how popular football is in this country. It just takes Barça to bring it out. ”

For those who prefer their News, Bits and Bobs purely in pictures.
For those who prefer their News, Bits and Bobs purely in pictures. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images


Iñigo Alexander heads for Colombia to detail Luis Díaz’s long road to Liverpool.

A job lot on replicas, fair play.
A job lot on replicas, fair play. Photograph: Charlie Cordero / The Guardian

Eduardo Camavinga is the supersub ready to shape Real Madrid’s future, writes Jonathan Liew.

The seven ages of Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool. By Sachin Nakrani.

Madrid tyro Rodrygo gets his chat on with Josué Seixas.

How the Boehly deal was done: Jacob Steinberg with the inside story of Chelsea’s takeover.

And if it’s your thing… you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!



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