Outside the Box: Ankara's away as Mayor and young Turks prove troublesome

Here's a cast-iron prediction for one of today's results: in the Turkish Super League, Ankaraspor will lose 3-0 at home to Kasimpasa. In fact they will continue to lose every game for the rest of the season by the same margin and finish bottom of the table with no points and a goal difference of 0-102 from 34 matches. The authorities have decided on this drastic punishment because of the club's "anti-competitive links" with local rivals Ankaragucu. The supposed capital city rivalry became compromised when an Ankaraspor executive suddenly took over as the chairman of Ankaragucu while his father, the local mayor, remained as chairman of Ankaraspor. A couple of unexpected transfer deals between the two then followed. Ankaragucu could yet go down as well, as despite the appointment of France's Roger Lemerre, the winning coach of Euro 2000, they are only a couple of points above the remaining two relegation places. Of course, it could never happen here. Imagine, say, Robert Maxwell moving from Oxford United to Derby County, and leaving his son Kevin in charge of Oxford, who then sell their best player, Dean Saunders, to Derby. Impossible? Ask Mark Lawrenson, who was sacked as Oxford manager for protesting about the deal.

Pain in neck for Whitby

Talking of predictable results: one floodlight failure may be a misfortune, three tends to bring concerns about the hand of Far Eastern bookmakers. But remarkably, three instances affecting Whitby Town of the Unibond League this season have all occurred at different away grounds. First there was Retford United in October, then Marine in November and last week it was Frickley Athletic. Talk about the dark side – Whitby, according to Bram Stoker's tale, was the town where Dracula landed when he first came to England. The club have also had games postponed because of snow, waterlogging, frost and other clubs' cup games. They went 39 days without a match on either side of Christmas and have played five fewer fixtures than Stocksbridge Park Steels, who are just below them.

Wheels off for Barrow boys

Regional variations in weather and pitch conditions have resulted in similar oddities this season. Going into this weekend's matches, Ebbsfleet United, who claim to have one of the best pitches in non-League football, had played six games more than Barrow, who trail them by four points in the Blue Star Premier. Harrogate, bottom of the Conference North, and postponed again on Tuesday, have not given up hope of catching Vauxhall Motors, who have played five games more but are only five points ahead of them. Further north, our old friends Fort William have managed only 18 Highland League games, six fewer than Lossiemouth, who are two places ahead of them. The Fort's problem, of course, is winning any: although two wins is better than Strathspey Thistle and Rothes, who lie below them (just) in the table.

More Turf gags please

Text of the week came from Richard of London to the BBC's online commentary of the Burnley-Stoke game in midweek. "The pitch is lacking grass at Burnley? Do they need Moor Turf?"

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?