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Come 6th May we should know who has won, the reds or the blues. Not at Westminster, perhaps, where things point to a draw and a period of post-election extra time to sort things out. But in the contest between Manchester United and Chelsea, we should have a Premiership winner.

In Britain, the relationship between football and politics used to be limited. In the 1910 general election, T Gibson Poole, chairman of Middlesbrough FC, ran as the local Unionist candidate. He persuaded his squad to campaign with him and tried to bribe Sunderland players in the local derby. The scam…

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