Posted by sean on July 25, 2005 at 4:50 pm in Football with No Comments

Bristol Rovers take on Bristol City in a pre-season friendly this evening. Somehow I don’t think the word “friendly” is very appropriate though. Police are expecting trouble and the local pubs have been shut.

The rivalry between Rovers and City is one of the most fierce and renowned in football. Putting both teams and fans together is like leaving a Chav and a Goth in a locked room together for an hour, blood will be spilt. This aside it should be a good game, if BBC Radio Bristol are broadcasting the game I may tune in as I’m always keen to keep an eye on how the local teams are doing.

The thing that has always surprised me about these two clubs is that they both represent Bristol, one of the largest cities in England yet both have failed to hold any significant honours.

I lived in Bristol for many years when I was younger and know fans of both clubs, both are well supported in and around the city. From what I can see is that they fail to hold onto any of their big name players. City have only recently let their best player Leroy Lita leave while Rovers failed to hang onto big name stars Marcus Stewart, Nathan Ellington and Jason Roberts.

Unfortunately like with most lower league clubs in England, financial implications mean that the upcoming players do move on or refuse to sign new contracts and stay at their club.

Exceptions of this include Hull City and Wigan. Hull have won consecutive promotions and are now in The Championship while Wigan can now call themselves a Premiership team (for this season at least).

The way Hull and Wigan have become successful is a combination of excellent management alongside great wealth being pumped. Effectively they are a lower league Chelsea.

I’m hoping these local teams can sort themselves out once and for all and eventually make it to The Premiership or at least The Championship. This, of course is if it in no way affects my beloved Leeds United (who will hopefully be going up next season!).

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