These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the National League South in a swanky new ground. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Printed in the Southern League South and West league game v Thatcham Town Monday 25th August 2008. A 1-1 draw in front of 278 with Thatcham equalizing in the eighth minute of injury time!

I know beggars can’t be choosers, but some of the travelling this season is ridiculous. I’m not having a pop at Truro, but surely at this level, travelling should be kept to a minimum.

The pyramid has been a wonderful thing for the non-league game. Successful clubs can rise and rise until they ‘do a Wimbledon’ and gatecrash the big four in the Premiership (Oh, sorry that sort of nonsense was stopped by the Premiership rules which says you must have a dodgy foreign owner in order to win the league).

It’s mad enough that in the Blue Square Premier the part-timers of Barrow will be travelling to the part-timers of Lewes, let alone that four leagues below them Slough have long trips to Cinderford and Bridgwater.

I know there is always going to be problems for clubs out on a geographically limb, but with oil prices rising and the knock on effect that has with everything going up (except wages, where the poor must eat gruel, while the super rich must be not be allowed to pay any taxes in case they up sticks and go and live elsewhere) travelling is becoming a serious expense for clubs already struggling to make ends meet.

OK, some Slough fans will argue that the Oxfordshire and the South West is preferable to the M25. Well, actually shopping at Tesco’s is preferable to a journey on the M25 (maybe not) but that’s not the point.

I think one way of overcoming some of the problems is creating a Blue Square Midlands, although knowing our luck we would win a couple of promotions and be shoved in it for a laugh. Ideally the Blue Square Premier should be regionalised as well, but that’s never going to happen until lots more clubs go bust and Altrincham get a relegation reprieve for the 12th year running.

I know its exciting going to new places after years of Boreham Wood and Billericay.

And quite frankly a trip to Truro beats a day out at Windsor’s Slug Meadow any day of the week (well maybe not a weekday as we’d all have to take two days off work just to get to Cornwall and back, and wouldn’t we laugh if the game was called off!). But can we have some common sense, so we don’t see the first club go bust cos they can’t afford their transport bills.

Maybe Slough can find an oil baron to sponsor us? I’ve heard the Saudi Arabian monarchy are looking to invest in English football teams to help present themselves in a more favourable light. If the ex Thai Prime Minister can pass the football leagues ‘fit and proper’ test, then no doubt a few more authoritarian human rights abusers should be ok.

Maybe Anil the coachdriver, can convert the supporters coach to run on chip-fat – there must be enough old buckets of the stuff lying around footie grounds to keep his coach running for years. Or maybe we can just suck the chip and burger fat directly out of the stomachs of those rotund non league fans that want to loose a few pounds and will do anything to help keep their local football club alive.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Printed in the Southern League South and West Division league game v Burnham Saturday 16th August 2008. A fast and furious 2-2 draw in front of 315 - our best league gate for quite a while.

So at last our luck seems to have changed. Instead of having to play at our lowest ever level, Slough Town Football Club got a reprieve thanks to Halifax Town going into administration. We didn’t get relegated. We won’t be playing in the FA Vase or the Dog and Duck Division 12. Instead, it’s as your were, staying put in the Southern League South and West section.

It was strange that last game of the season. We lost to Fleet, yet as the Fleet players huddled in the middle to celebrate a play off place, it was the Slough players who were cheered off by at least 200 Rebels in attendance, fifteen of them who had walked 26 long miles to get there.

Let’s be honest. We deserved to be relegated, and each season clubs get a reprieve I feel that it can’t be right, especially with teams like Altrincham cheating relegation for the third season in a row. But what the heck. We deserve a bit of luck after 10 years of gloriously nose diving into oblivion.

But you must also earn your luck. After years of financial mismanagement which started long before we lost our ground at Wexham Park, we have got a chairman and committee who have started putting the building blocks in place to run a sustainable, successful, community run football club. Sometimes you just need to hit rock bottom to make some serious root and branch reform.

And about bloody time too! So with the new season upon us, I approach it with anticipation and hope that we won’t be in another relegation battle and could even reach the dizzy heights of the top half of the table.

The reasons to be cheerful?

Youth Team. A new Slough Town youth team playing in the Allied Counties League. A stepping stone into the first team; a chance to hold onto some of our promising youngsters.

Stall in the Observatory. For over five weeks this is a wonderful way of raising the profile of the club. I spent a couple of hours watching all comers, taking fixture lists, chatting to the stall holders, trying to attract business sponsorship and generally reminding people that Slough Town FC exist.

Lottery. A regular steady income raising cash for the club – and a chance to pocket some money yourself. Go on, it’s only a fiver a month standing order.

Meetings in the Herschel. Following the successful end of season bash in the friendly town centre pub, get togethers have taken place during the closed season. The landlord Tom has sponsored today’s game, and its got to be a good thing to have a presence in the town, again reminding people that Slough actually has a football club!

Adverts in Slough Observer. Opening the local paper to a full page coloured advert for the club. Brilliant – with apparently more to come. There are also match day posters available for people to put up in their local shops and pubs.

Season ticket promotion and sales. Luring us with a chance to win a thousand quid if we bought our season tickets before the end of July was a masterstroke. To date ticket sales are 136 compared to 82 last season – a 65% increase for a team that’s been relegated twice in two seasons!

Local Radio. Time106 FM will be promoting and covering all Slough’s matches this season, with regular news, information, promotions, match reports and interviews.

Supporters Trust. The Trust continues to back the club and at its recent AGM agreed to donate £1,500 to Slough Town juniors to help pay for match fees at Beaconsfield and £800 to pay the training fee facilities’ for the first team and the junior team at the Polish club. So don’t forget to renew your sub and throw any loose change into the collecting buckets at the end of the game.

The proposed new ground at Arbour Vale. Watch this space!

Our chairman. Final word must go to Steve Easterbrook who has brought his professionalism to the club. Steve is approachable and not afraid to get his hands dirty such as helping to run the Observatory stall.

So here’s too the new season – well it can’t be as bad as the last two can it? And it’s not just because I’ve got fingers crossed and blind optimism that I think we will do alright, but because of lots of bloody hard work that’s been happening behind the scenes over the past few months.