28 April 2011

Fact File: Queen of South Museum

Queen of South Museum

The Queen of South is a Scottish league club, founded in 1919, currently playing in Division One.

Location: in the main stand of their home ground Palmerston Park, Dumfries.
Opening year: 1994
Annual visitor number: 400 to 600
Collection size: 1000 objects (almost all are on display)

Museum objects include club player related artifacts like the Scotland top of Billy Houliston and boots of Bobby Black, both local legends. They also have a match shirt worn by Brazilian star Zico in the 1982 World Cup Finals.
The most impressive object among the silverware is the Southern Counties Charity Cup that dates back to the 1880’s. Queen of South has won that cup no less than sixteen times.
One of the less predictable objects in the collection is a piece of fire damaged wood from the old stand fire from 1964.

Queen of South is struggling severely with their finances at the moment. If the club can succeed with their plans to build a new stand, more room will be given to the club museum.

Thanks to Ian Black, Museum Curator, Queen of South

Read more about Queen of South on their website
and about their financial situation on BBC, here and here

27 April 2011

Museum Boots V: Williams

The Swindon Museum & Art Gallery holds a pair of boots in their collection that belonged to Fanny Williams. They are made of brown leather with leather studs in size five. She was born in 1894 and played for the Swindon Town Ladies team in the 1920's. Not much is known about her career and even her interest in Football.

From the BBC article (A History of the world):
Ladies football developed during the First World War. Employees of munitions factories formed teams to play against each other. Many of these teams disbanded at the end of the war. However, in some areas, ladies football developed firmer roots and continued into the 1920s. Despite opposition and the Football Association banning ladies football on their grounds, the English Ladies Football Association was formed in 1921. The Ladies Association set up a national Challenge Cup competition in 1922 which was won by Stoke Ladies FC.

Click here for the Swindon Town FC website

25 April 2011

Swedish club Utsiktens BK lost everything in the fire

Disaster struck the Göteborg football club Utsiktens BK on Sunday night when their club cabin went up in flames. Staff, fans and players were devastated. The cabin was one of many that are found next to the sports facilities of Ruddalen.

None of the other cabins were damaged. The suburb where Ruddalen, Västra Frölunda is located has been tormented by vandalism and worries for some time. Young punks have been setting cars on fire and assaulting the police and fire brigade. The city of Göteborg has lately been troubled with these scenes but lacks the ability to find a solution.

Utsiktens BK built their club cabin in the 1970's and kept pretty much their entire property there, kits, boots, balls, computers, etc. Sadly they have also lost the material culture of their history and heritage. All of their achives, old photographs, pennants and trophies. It's all gone.
To great extent Utsiktens BK has lost the physical evidence of their history and achievements. This is truly shameful and will scar the collective identity of Utsiktens BK. They are a small club but their loss of proud artefacts and tokens of fond memories is just as great as if it had happened to one of the big clubs.

The game in the Swedish Division 2 (fourth division) against Kållered om Monday was cancelled. Utsiktens BK was formed in 1935 and their current manager is Glenn Hysén, former central defender of Liverpool FC and the Swedish National Team.
A couple of weeks ago his son, who playes for Utsikten, Anton Hysén came out as the first openly homosexual professional footballer in Sweden. It was a milestone in Swedish Football.

Picture: The remains of the Utsiktens club cabin on monday morning, from GöteborgsPosten

21 April 2011

Copa del Rey - a museum piece in pieces

Real Madrid won the Spanish Cup, Copa del Rey this week against archrivals Barcelona. It has been reported that during the celebrations defender Sergio Ramos dropped the trophy in the street from the player bus which accidentally ran the trophy over.
The trophy is now in bad shape but is to be repaired before being displayed in a trophy case in the Real Madrid Museum.

Read more here (timesunion.com)

15 April 2011

Modern Football needs Museums to promote Nostalgia

Museums have a considerable place in the football world, in terms of promoting history and trademarks. The history displayed at football museums, especially at club museums have often been described as being one that promotes the past highlighting successes, wins and past glories.
Discussing history only in positive terms creates and ideal image of the past commonly known as nostalgia.

Mark Bushell, at the National Football Museum in England, has written his dissertation about the UK heritage industry, nostalgia and football terrace culture, in which he aims to establish whether football supporters have developed a need for nostalgia as a result of the commercialism, globalisation, bourgeoisification and the social and economic disruptions that has affected football in recent years.

The aftermath of the three arena disasters at Bradford, Heysel and Hillsborough in the middle and late 80’s led to what is known as the Taylor report. This report recommended all-seat arenas which led to extensive refurbishments among the stadiums in the UK where more than 75% predated the First World War.
This meant huge costs, as the clubs had to pay themselves, and some clubs were forced to share home grounds.

When the FA Premier League was created in 1992, the top teams received a £304 million TV contract with British Sky Broadcasting which was the starting point for an escalating market and enormous sums of money in television revenues. The clubs have been developing in to business companies with shareholders demanding profits and with ridiculous player salaries, from the £15-20 000 a year, fifteen years ago to £30 000 a week for the top players.

Needless to say, the fans have been marginalised and have to pay a high price to be loyal to their teams. Chelsea raised the price of their season ticket almost eight times in six years and prices with other clubs have also been raised several hundred per cent (probably more now since 2000 when Bushell wrote his dissertation) and the loyal supporters are declining in attendance for corporate sponsors and wealthy fans who experience football as leisure (Bushell, 2000).

The trend is not as clear in other countries but it is apparent that the business aspect of football is rapidly increasing on the expense of the sport and all the smaller clubs. The past, for many fans and supporters does seem like a better place and the times before Heysel, Bradford and Hillsborough are remembered with affection. Football museums can indeed be argued to function as a place for nostalgia where fans and supporters can be taken back to the days of old.
- excerpt from "Football is Forever", 2006.

Note: Today, 22 years ago, the tragedy at Hillsborough struck. 15 april, 1989
Read more on BBC

14 April 2011

The question remains: Who needs who?

“ -museums need football far more than football needs museums” - Kevin Moore (Museums and popular culture, 1997)

One of the central qoutes of the museological discussion on Football and Museums adressed in "Football is Forever - the establishment and purposes of Football Museums".

What do you think?
Does museums need football more than football needs museums?
Or does Football need museums more than museums need football?

Two key issues:
1) Museums need the popularity and potential diversity of football audiences
2) Football needs the structure of museums to care for the memories and histories in an escalating development where a different past is left behind in the race for modern football.

Truly a valid discussion topic for museum and football experts alike.

13 April 2011

Display of Football during wartime

Came across a temporary football exhibition at The Royal Air Force Museum in London: "Tin Hats and Football Boots."

From the Royal Air Force Museum website:
This display explores the contribution made by various members of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal Football Clubs to the Royal Air Force and Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War whilst examining how important regular competitive football was to the upkeep of the capital’s morale.

Ellen Solall, football fan and curator:
"It was only whilst conducting research into local history for a Museum project that I realized how integral both Clubs were to London’s war effort. For 90 minutes both players and spectators could escape the horror of war and life would, for a brief period, assume an air of normality – all important for maintaining morale and a reminder of more peaceful times."

"Tin Hats and Football Boots" is on display until 4th July 2011.

11 April 2011

Adidas will sponsor the German Football Museum

In the planning of the German National Football Museum, set to open in 2014, the DFB (Deutsches Fussball Bund) has landed a large sponsor deal with sportswear company "Adidas". (report from sportspromedia.com)

Adidas and the German National Team have a close relationship: Adidas has since the World Cup in 1954 provided the Mannschaft with their football wear. And now, Adidas commits to sponsor the construction of the museum with ca 6,7 million Euros, and in return they will be allowed to open an official store on the premises.
The budget of the museum's construction has been raised to ca 34,4 million Euro and therefore the DFB are seeking sponsors. The DFB itself has put in some of the profits from the 2006 World Cup and North-Rhine Westphalia state government also carries a large sum of the total funding.

Construction of the Deutsches Fussball Museum in Dortmund is scheduled to begin in May 2012.

7 April 2011

Museum Boots IV: Gamst Pedersen

These Adidas boots were worn by Norwegian striker Morten Gamst Pedersen in the Euro Qualification match against Denmark in Oslo on 26 March. After the game they were donated to the Norwegian Football Museum (Fotballmuseet) which is located inside Norway's National Stadium Ullevaal where the match took place. The game ended 1-1, by the way.

The print: "Stolt fjellabe" ("Proud Mountain Monkey) is explained on Pedersen's blog:

After the Norway-Denmark game I gave the “Proud mountain monkey” boots to the football museum on Ullevaal stadium. It isn’t much, but since it was some focus on the boots and the museum wanted the boots it was easy to give them to the football museum. I’ll explain what the fuzz was all about regarding the boots before the game. Denmark is completely flat, in fact flat as a pancake. The tallest “mountain” in Denmark will just come in among the top ten buildings in London. So the Danes get altitudes sicknes when they’re 50 metres above sea level. So in all their dizziness they call us Norwegians mountain monkeys. And in respect to the “flat head” people of Denmark I got printed “Stolt fjellabe” which of course means proud mountain monkey, on my football boots.

Read the full post here

6 April 2011

Canadian Hall of Fame inductees of 2011

The Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum in Ontario, Canada has released the names of this year's inductees in their Hall of Fame.

Among the chosen few is Jimmy Nicholl, born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1956. Playing right back, he earned 73 national caps for Northern Ireland, including particiaption in the World Cup Finals in 1982 & 1986. He spent most of his professional career with Manchester United (winning the FA Cup in 1977) but also played for Rangers, Sunderland, Toronto Blizzard among others. As a manager his biggest success was winning the Scottish League Cup with Raith Rovers in 1994. Since June 2010 he's been the manager of Cowdenbeat F.C

The 1979 team of Vancouver Whitecaps is also to be honoured. The achievement of winning the 1979 NASL featured a few breath-taking games and is of great local importance.

That year, Vancouver won it all and became the city’s first professional sports team to win a major North American Championship when they defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Upon return to Vancouver on Sept. 9, 1979, as many as 100,000 people lined Vancouver’s Robson Street to salute their heroes during a championship parade, arguably creating the most historic moment in Whitecaps history
- from the Whitecap website

The induction celebration will take place in Toronto's Liberty Grand on Saturday, May 28
See all the inductees here, at website of the Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum

Clip of the '79 Soccer Bowl Final

4 April 2011

Design agency Music to brand the English National Football Museum

It was announced that Manchester design agency Music is to brand the English National Football Museum. In accordance with the re-opening of the museum later this year in Manchester, following the move from Preston, the National Football Museum will have a new graphic profile. See more of Music's work on their website http://www.designbymusic.com/ Read more here on the "Drum" website The Museum at Manchester's Urbis Building is due to open later this year, with a targeted advertising. Music’s approach to developing the brand identity for National Museum Football has involved creating a flexible system, which enables the museum to reflect the breadth and diversity of football’s appeal, to football fans and non-fans alike.

3 April 2011

FC Porto to open a Museum?

A currently unverified rumour on Wikipedia has it that the portugese club FC Porto plans to open their museum to the public soon.
Balls & Boots are searching for further information on this.

FC Porto has more than 20.000 cups and trophies in exposition by its Museum situated in the Dragão Stadium. The Museum is not yet open for public viewing, however it will open in a couple of months.

Museo del Calcio, Italia: Catalogue available online

When browsing the website of Museo del Calcio (the Italian Football Museum in Firenze) their printed catalogue was found, easy readlible on-screen.
Its 134 pages covers mainly the history of Gli Azzuri, the Italian National team, and the Italian Football Association but also an introduction to the museum's collections, archives and displays (including a floor plan).

So, if you know your Italian you'll have a nice time a head of you. Otherwise it could also be a good chance to practise your Italian language skills.

Click here for the catalogue

2 April 2011

Moving the English National Football Museum

Almost a year and a half ago, it was reported that the National Football Museum of Preston, England was to be moved to Manchester. When the decision was made final it was not an uncontroversial one. Preston and Lancashire officials claimed to be treated wrongly and put forward the heritage value of Preston as venue for the National Football Museum as it is the place for England's oldest club. However, they city and region lacked the ability to fund the museum and the trustees of the museum got their relocation to Manchester.

The move will presumably attract more visitors than in Preston, which is also one of the major reasons for the move. The aim of 400 000 visitors a year is four times the latest average visitor number in Preston. The National Football Museum is set to open in the autumn of 2011 in the Urbis exhibition centre, Manchester.

And there are talks if the current museum, in Preston, will remain open as a secondary site, with a smaller number of exhibits and items in storage. That will depend on extra funding being found.

Blog refreshened

Yes, indeed. "Balls & Boots" has had a refreshing refurbishment with a new design and some new more effective features. Call back soon for a rundown through the Football Museum TopTen, as read in Offside Magazine and a glance at the new National Football Museum in England.

More to come