Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Billionaires, bling and bad times - fear not there's a non-league team that needs your support!

Geordies demonstrating - this time against Jerry Springer the Opera

What a few weeks it has been in the soap opera that is the premiership. We've seen the barcodes having their annual balling their eyes out moment as they realise that King Kev is not the Messiah but more a naughty boy. Whilst in the City of Manchester's council house the "long-suffering City fans" - what as long-suffering as Accrington fans? - are putting tea towels on their heads and genuflecting at the feet of royalty from a regime that doesn't give two hoots about human rights. But hey their previous saviour Frank Sinatra was deemed "good and proper" so who cares.

In fact who does care. It appears that cash counts and today's football fans are only bothered about who's got the biggest wad. Over on Merseyside Liverpool fans under the banner of Spirit of Shankly are marching because their rich owners are not rich enough.

Bill Shankly must be spinning in his grave.

Other Liverpool fans have formed AFC Liverpool

Disgruntled, disenchanted and disfranchised Manchester United fans walked away from their club when the Gimp Brothers Glazer indebted their club to catastrophic amounts. Some walked away from football forever - others formed FC United of Manchester. They are loving it. As are the AFC Liverpool fans. And the AFC Wimbledon fans.

However you don't have to form a football team just to get your kicks on a Saturday afternoon. Check the papers, open your eyes there is already one on your doorstep. Ask yourself why you fell in love with football in the first place. And whatever that reason was you can bet you'll get your fix at your local non-league team. For here are teams that are run on a shoestring that would actually welcome your support rather than treat you like a number/animal. There will be a clubhouse where you can have a beer. A terrace where you can have a fag. No stewards and police to shove you around. You'll speak to the players and you might even get the bus to the game with one of them. You might even work with the players and you'll know that they are not being paid 60k and wondering what bling to buy this week.

The referee will hear your abuse and you can banter with home fans and have a beer with them afterwards. This isn't the world of "Sit down shut up". More "Stand up and shout your head off".

Your £2 for a programme will help the club - as will the couple of quid you pay for your pint. And the quid for your pie will go in the club's coffers rather than the £4.20 that goes to some franchised plastic bollocks you get at premier league grounds. The raffle ticket will help the club buy a new match ball and the only agent hovering about in the background will be a travel agent on his or her day off watching the game.

And out on the pitch you'll see players that stay on their feet, that rip into a tackle and don't complain when they take a slight knock. You will of course see goals and incidents. Bad refereeing and missed chances. Everything you see at the top level. Including great skills. It won't cost £48 - more like £4.80 - to get in and you know that money will be helping to keep the club alive and not lining some rich chairman/agent/director/shareholder/player's pocket.

For as football at the top level descnds into madness the time is absolutely ripe for the normal fans to reclaim the game and what better place to do it than down at your local non-league side.

1 comment:

Finton said...

V good thread this Vaughnie.

I missed this last week for some unknown reason....