Supporting Sunderland is like living in a fairy-tale. Before you interject and say: "Who is this clown? He must be a lunatic, let's bottle him", let me elaborate. I don't mean fairy-tales in the modern sense. I mean the original works.
My reading habits being rather gadfly-ish (ie all over the place), the other day I picked up a book lying around at work called Fathers, Sons And Foot...
When we see the ugly and offensive spectacle of Yaya Toure being targeted for racial abuse in the recent match in Russia, it goes to show that some parts of the world have yet to even get to the starting blocks.
As if there were not enough ways for professional footballers to land themselves in hot water, Twitter was born. A social networking website where any person can connect with millions of other people has now meant that footballers are putting themselves in the spotlight by airing their views online.
Over the past couple of seasons, I've felt that the Premier League has become a little bit stale... However, this season I can't help but feel there is an added buzz from various different aspects of the league and it's rekindling the special vibe that usually surrounds English football.
I might as well be honest with you right from the start: this article will contradict itself. It will set off by being one thing but in the end will turn out to be something else, in many ways similar to a Premier League season.
After the protracted sense of gloom that accompanied last season, a break was much-needed but with a new manager, new signings that have created excitement in abundance and a new, invigorating challenge, it promises to be a year to embrace.
Interestingly, it's not just the top clubs who have whipped out the cheque book this summer. Norwich, Swansea, West Ham, Southampton, Cardiff and Liverpool (yes Liverpool fans, you're not a big club anymore) have all spent more than £15 million each over the summer.
On August 17, football fans will witness what they've never seen before - Manchester United walking out for a Premier League match without Sir Alex Ferguson as their manager. The eyes of the footballing world will be focussed on David Moyes, the man hand-picked by Sir Alex, as he attempts to fill the biggest shoes in the business.
There aren't too many club legends to talk of in the history of Malaga CF, most notably because of their chaotic rise to the top of Spanish football. Since adopting their current name, however, their fans have seen a gradual improvement at La Rosaleda and this year was no exception.
Belles will be replaced by Manchester City: a club with neither history nor pedigree in the women's game, but, as we all know, one with an awful lot of money. The implications for fans of smaller clubs everywhere are clear. Yet national media coverage has been modest so far.
Outgoing interim manager Rafael Benitez may have led Chelsea to Europa League glory and a top-three finish in the Premier League this season - but suggestions the Spaniard has had a successful reign at Stamford Bridge are wide of the mark.
I'm sure managerial consistency plays some part in a club's success. Players like to know who they will be playing under before they sign a new contract. However, I don't believe that the reason for United's success was club's managerial consistency
He's gone. The manager who took an underperforming squad, turned it into FA Cup winners in his first full season and then unforgettably lifted the Premier League trophy in his next has gone. And, on balance, I think it's the right decision.
A year ago I was extremely fortunate to commentate on the dramatic and historic moment when Manchester City grabbed the Barclays Premier League crown with virtually the last kick of the season. I was very proud to play a smaller role in the exceptional Sky Sports coverage of Sir Alex Ferguson's last home game as Manchester United's manager.
As a Newcastle fan, I'm quite used to hearing ridiculous things - usually from our own supporters. But this one really tops the lot. Sports Direct News (yes that's actually a thing) has claimed that "low-level" talks have taken place between the Magpies and Wayne Rooney's agent, although an official offer is yet to be lodged. Go figure.