“What’s the latest that the entire season of a league has been cancelled and annulled (before 2020)?” wonders Yes, That’s A Twitr on, um, Twitter. “Did any leagues get halfway into an ultimately annulled season? 3/4 of the way? 80% of the way? Has there ever been a season that was completed and *then* annulled?”
Alex von Fintel supplies a highly comprehensive and very possibly unbeatable answer. “The 1922 German football championship, the 15th edition of the competition, saw no champion determined after the first final ended in a 2-2 draw and the replay in a 1-1 draw,” he writes. “Hamburg were initially awarded the title because the other finalist, Nuremberg, had been down to seven players through injuries. In the break of the extra time of the replay one Nuremberg player decided he couldn’t carry on, bringing his team below the required number of eight players on the field.
“Hamburg was awarded the title but Nuremberg successfully protested – the referee should have blown to start the second half of extra time and then immediately blown his whistle to abandon. Hamburg understandably launched a counter-protest and were awarded the title – but then declined the championship, probably under pressure from the football authorities. So the 1921–22 season was effectively abandoned 0.1 seconds before it would have finished – and it really was the ref’s fault.”
There have been famous cases of league titles being stripped from clubs for reasons of corruption after a season has been played. Marseille in 1992-93 and Juventus in 2005-06 were both denied the title with differing decisions taken on what happened to the trophy. PSG, despite finishing second, did not accept the French title while Internazionale did in Italy. But Alex’s suggestion may take some beating.
“Which player has won the most competitions?” asks Glenn Coburn. “Surely James Rodríguez must be up there; he has won 23 trophies in 14 different competitions.”
“I don’t know if this is the definitive answer, but I once read the former Porto goalkeeper Vítor Baía had won 40 major competitions in his career,” says Alan Gomes. “This link lists a mere 34 major trophies in 11 competitions.”
A couple of suggestions: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s haul of the League Cup and Europa League with Manchester United took him to 16 different competitions if you include the Johan Cruyff Cup in the Netherlands, the Trophée des Champions in France and the Community Shield, as his old friend Pep Guardiola would. Big Zlat’s teammate at both Ajax and PSG, Maxwell, has won 16 too, having collected medals in Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France.
Striking goal droughts (2)
Fergal Harrington has a suggestion to add to the previous Knowledge’s lead-off item of famous strikers on goal droughts. “Just one to add to the list is none other than Ireland and Liverpool legend John Aldridge who took 20 games to score his debut goal for Ireland,” he says. That came against Tunisia in a 4-0 win in October 1988 at Lansdowne Road. Fergal offers mitigation for Aldo, who ended up scoring 19 goals in 69 matches, a much lower rate of scoring than his league record of 330 goals in 610 matches. “The tactics used by Big Jack Charlton probably were different to the way Liverpool were playing.”
“Who were the first football club to have an official website?” wondered Chris White back in 2016.
“I can help,” yells Martyn Amos, thrusting his arm in the air. “Ipswich Town were the first club to have a website (unofficial or otherwise). In fact, I used to help maintain it. It was set up in 1990 by Phil Clarke, who worked at BT in Martlesham (near Ipswich) when the web was still very much experimental. He then passed it on (1993-1995) to Paul Felton, who was a student at UEA in Norwich (boo, hiss).
“After Paul graduated, he passed it on to me, as I was, at the time, a PhD student at Warwick (1995-1996). Paul then took it back in 1996, and ran it until 2001, when the club finally woke up to the potential of the web, and got a local company called AWS to run it … There used to be some discussion with Sheffield United fans about our claim to primacy, but I believe that it was decided in our favour.”
Can you help?
“While researching a quiz I’ve compiled about Grimsby Town (if you’ll allow the plug), I noticed that all eight of the fifth-round ties in the 1993 FA Cup were won by the home team,” writes Tom Johnson. “Has there ever been a last-32 in a cup competition with all 16 ties being won by the home team? Or any earlier round?”
“Has a player ever celebrated a goal by kissing the badge of a club he was on loan to at the time?” asks Tom, also.
“I was wondering if a player has ever scored 100 goals for three different clubs?” wonders Dom Douglas. “I can think of a few who have done it for two (Ronaldo, Cavani and Shearer spring to mind) but three would be a truly awesome feat.”
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