Moritz Volz loves the English weather

VolzFulham defender and unofficial English Tourist Board spokesman Moritz Volz has leapt to the defence of the English climate. The German told The Guardian's Small Talk [Cue Land of Hope and Glory in the background]: "It's not as bad as people say it is. England has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world when the sun is out. People have this idea, probably from Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes, that England's always rainy, but it's nice and mild: you have flowers blossoming here as early as February. I can't knock the weather, but mind you I've never lived in Middlesbrough." Click here to read the full interview in which Volzy sets the record straight on Hoff. [Rob Parker]

March 26, 2007 in Fulham | Permalink | Comments (0)

Moritz Volz 'Danger Volz' t-shirt from TShirts365

VolzyA Pies legend we haven't heard much about from a while is Mr Moritz Volz. Well, the eccentric Fulham utility-man is back on our radars thanks to this t-shirt from TShirt365. This Danger Volz t-shirt is available for £14.99 by clicking here. Volzy's excellent website is always worth a visit, particularly to keep up to date with the life of Moritz through his diary. [Rob Parker]

March 15, 2007 in Fulham, Gear & games | Permalink | Comments (0)

Steve Marlet wonder goal

Attention football fans. It would seem that there is a Steve Marlet imposter knocking around. Do you remember him? Used to play for Fulham? Well, this bloke in the video looks like him, and indeed, there was a Steve Marlet who played for both Fulham and Lyon (who this goal was scored for)... but this goal is incredible... so it surely can't be him can it? C'est impossible.

March 6, 2007 in Fulham, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obscene season ticket prices to be slashed?

Money_4 News reaches us that Premiership chairmen are going to be forced into cutting 'obscene' ticket prices because fans have just about had enough of being the victims of daylight robbery every weekend, and as a result, football has reached a tipping point.

Two top-flight chairmen have expressed the same view, both of whom predict price cuts all round next season. 'It is a serious issue that has reached saturation point across the country,' said Phil Gartside, chairman of Bolton. 'We feel duty bound to make a stance by reducing the cost for our season ticket holders, and I'm sure other clubs will follow suit next season and listen to public opinion.' But surely the tickets are inflated at the chairs' behest?

This weekend saw ManYoo fans protesting about the amount being charged to let their fans watch their side at Fulham. They were asked for a whopping £45 to watch their team, and that doesn't include travel and grub... although they hadn't got far to travel from Essex eh? Ho Ho Ho... I'll get me coat. A senior executive from another of the Premiership's 'big four' clubs told Observer Sport that prices could not go any higher. 'Officially we are monitoring the situation,' he said. 'But privately we have realised that ticket prices have reached their maximum, at least in the immediate future.'

These warnings come slap bang in the middle of an attendance slump. Despite an increased capacity at Arsenal and Manchester United, the average attendance is down from last year, and whilst the big four continue to sell out their games, the overall Premiership average is down by more than 1,000 year on year and now stands at 32,775, not including this weekend. What is causing fans to stay away? Well, once, you could watch the footy and not dent the wallet too much, and know exactly when you'd be going out. Basically, high prices and amended kick-off times to enable saturated TV coverage aren't encouraging fans to get down the ground. 

Of course, a lot of money is generated by the TV rights, which obviously help clubs to bring in new players and the like. That said, the Premier League negotiated a new £600million, three-year deal for overseas TV rights to the Premiership. Add the £1.7 billion Sky and Setanta will pay to screen matches in Britain, and the £400m for internet and mobile phone rights, and it seems scandalous that ticket prices continually increase. Each club will be getting around £900m per season (starting in August).

Apart from drops in season ticket prices, a group are also want away matches addressed. The Football Supporters' Federation want a fixed price for all travelling supporters. 'Away fans in England are unique. You would not get 5,000 Milan supporters travelling to Juventus. If prices were to stay in line with the Taylor Report's recommendation, then £15 would be a fair price for those who travel to watch their team.' The report, published in January 1990 in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, stated that 'it should be possible for seating to be £6'. With inflation, that would mean fans paying just £9.60 now, rather than the average of about £30.

So what's the answer? Well, looking at Germany's Bundesliga, the average attendance was approximately 40,000, which is superior to our league matches. In fact, it's about a quarter more fans in through the turnstiles, shouting for their team. German fans can buy tickets for as little as £10 or £15 for all games, and in some cases, terracing is being used, which gives a fan a feeling of real unity, as opposed to the sterile stadia over here. What is interesting is that the Bundesliga is renowned for its competitiveness, with many teams standing a chance of winning it. Should we look at the German model to fix our game? [Mof Gimmers]

February 26, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, News balls, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (2)

Who Ate All The Pies? Not the Manchester United fans, that's for sure

103895100_15Manchester United fans are being urged to boycott the traditional half-time pie in protest at the inflated ticket prices they have to pay to attend away matches. The leaders of a campaign to cut ticket prices are telling fellow United fans not to spend any money at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground tomorrow.

The protest organisers want fans to lay-off the pies, programmes and prawn sandwiches as they claim they are being "ripped off" by other Premiership clubs. United fans have paid £45 for tickets for the Fulham match, while fans of rivals Manchester City paid just £25 when their side visited the London club.

Organiser Pete Doyle said: "If a few thousand Reds don't buy a thing or place any bets maybe we can persuade Fulham to reduce their prices to a reasonable level next season. The team we support might be wealthy but it doesn't mean all Manchester United fans are. We have to pay inflated prices everywhere. If other clubs cannot fill their grounds with their own fans it's not down to us to balance their books."

Fulham have defended their pricing policy claiming that all their matches against the Big Four have been rated Grade A+, meaning that home supporters too pay an elevated price. [Via BBC, Rob Parker]

February 23, 2007 in Fulham, Manchester United, News balls | Permalink | Comments (2)

Moritz Volz's Hoff boots sell for £295

Hoff_boots_forwebMoritz Volz's Nike boots embroidered with 'The Hoff' have sold for £295 at auction. The boots boasted a 100 per cent strike rate as they were only worn in Fulham's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa when Volzy was on the scoresheet. Stick here to see what else the German flogged. [Rob Parker]

February 8, 2007 in Fulham, Funny old game | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunderland and Fulham try to play in the snow

A bit of snow today means the UK has all but ground to a halt. Here is a video of last season's abandoned match between Sunderland and Fulham when it appeared to be raining snowballs. This is dedicated to all the hardy Pies readers who could have made it to work but decided to be snowed in instead!

[Rob Parker]

February 8, 2007 in Classic Moments, Fulham, Funny old game, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vincenzo Montella L'Aeroplanino t-shirt from Tshirts365

MontellaItalian striker Vincenzo Montella is well on his way to becoming a cult figure at Fulham after three goals in three substitute appearances. And where there's a cult figure there usually follows a TShirts365 tshirt. Voila! This airline-style top is a reference to Montella's aeroplane goal celebration and accompanying nickname ( 'L'Aeroplanino'). Click here to buy it for £14.99. Just remember which website tipped Montella to be a hit first!

[Rob Parker]

January 24, 2007 in Fulham, Gear & games, Kit parade | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jimmy Bullard, angling superstar

Jimmy_bullard_2 Jimmy Bullard, who is currently recovering from a season-ending knee injury, is gaining quite a reputation as a top-flight match angler. Angling Times reports that the Fulham midfielder recently won a carp competition at Gold Valley Lakes (a fishing venue near Aldershot) using the innovative 'pva bag method'. Fishing tiny walnut-sized bags filled with a mixture of pellets, and hair-rigged pellets on the hook, Bullard tempted carp to just under double figures for his match-winning 87lb 6oz net. Here's a pic of the Bull with one of his scaly victims (Jimmy's the one with the curly hair).

At this stage, I'm obliged to make a joke about Fulham being Premiership minnows, but I'll resist the urge… oops, too late.

January 24, 2007 in Fulham, Funny old game, News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

Volzy auctions off a load of football memorabilia

Polaroid4_1 Fulham's Moritz Volz, who is fast approaching Ian Holloway as a Pies icon, is auctioning off a load of his football memorabilia, including his Nike 'Hoff' boots (he loves David Hasselhoff), a load of signed shirts and his own Germany 06 Panini sticker album. Here's the link to the auction. If you like what you see, place a bid – it's all for a good cause. Only a few days left to go, so be quick.

And by the way, you HAVE to check out the simply awesome cover of Sting's 'Alien in New York' that now greets visitors to Volzy's splendid website. Let's start a campaign to get it in the charts… all those in favour, say 'Ja!'

January 24, 2007 in Fulham | Permalink | Comments (0)