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.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Published in the Southern League South and West match v Truro City. Saturday 25th October 2008. We drew 3-3, conceding in the last minute to a team who have only shipped 6 goals this season and are favourites for the title. Crowd 295.

With economic recession now sweeping the globe, I have an idea of how to attract more people to our games. Let’s patrol the mean streets of South Bucks and round up those wealthy bankers who’ve got us in such as mess, and put them in the stocks before the game so people can throw rotten veg at them. OK, it might seem to harp back to medieval times, but with seemingly no laws for ripping off whole economies, it seems only fair.
Being questioned in Washington Richard Fuld, boss of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers said he felt "horrible." The chair began questioning him "Your company is now bankrupt and our country is in a state of crisis. You get to keep $480m. Is that fair?" Lehman also gets to keep his houses including a $14m ocean-front villa in Florida and one in an exclusive ski resort, plus an art collection filled with million dollar paintings. I’m sure he does feel "horrible."
We have become blinded by a wealthy elite, but as the economy goes down the pan, the super rich won’t face redundancy, be clobbered by fuel bills, or lose their houses. No they walk away with millions.
This sort of behaviour isn’t really surprising when you consider that in law, the corporation is considered a "person." But what kind of person? Using the World Health Organisation's checklist for personality types, Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation, concludes that it has the personality of a psychopath! It has a callous disregard for the feelings and safety of others; deceitfulness; an incapacity to experience guilt; failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviour. Infact shareholder profit is its only motivation.
The problem for football is that these psychopaths are in charge of our clubs and running and ruining the game. At QPR Britain's richest man Lakshmi Mittal owns the club with Formula One bosses Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore. Season tickets prices have gone up 50% and increase are now planned for match day tickets. They recently tried to charge visiting Derby fans £40 to watch a game until the Football League stepped in. Man United asked QPR if they wanted to make the tickets for the league cup match cheaper but the QPR board declined. Still QPR fans can now dine in the grounds own Cipriani restaurant, with Briatore declaring that QPR would host "boutique football". Hello? "It's like... if you have a hotel, a boutique hotel, that only has 50 rooms, while a grand hotel has 400 rooms. We only have 20,000 seats, and we will offer the best service to the fans... you know, it's going to look amazing."
QPR’s Loyal Supporters Association issued a statement saying they are against all forms of discrimination - including discrimination on economic grounds. “We feel the club is excluding a section of our fans who are no longer able to pay the very high prices asked. It may also be a very short sighted policy, given that the economy is in recession, people are losing their jobs and inflation is rocketing. People may make the choice in these hard times to stop paying high prices to watch a live match.” But then these loyal but poor fans are hardly who the new owners want to come and see the new "boutique football" on offer.
So if you fed up with being ripped off come and see Slough play instead. Cheap footie watched from the terraces – you might even be able to grab yourself a cup of Bovril if you ask nicely, and get to throw some rotten veg at some psychopathic bankers.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Printed in the Southern League South and West match v Uxbridge
Saturday 11th October 2008. After winning 3 games on the trot and
being eighth in the league, we go and lose 2-1 in front of 293

The collapse of the financial markets, thanks to a casino of greed and
short term gain, isn’t so very different from the way many of our
football clubs are run. Alan Sugar once remarked that many of the
chairman that run footie clubs are like the bloke who blows all his
money in a weekend, then spends the rest of his life paying back for
the blow-out.
So will the collapse of the financial system affect football? Already
Liverpool’s plans for a new ground are on hold; but then the two
Liverpool owners bought the club with banks money not their own, and
banks aren’t so keen on lending cash to anyone at the moment.
West Brom have no shirt sponsor, while Aston Villa has donated its
shirt rights to Acorns, a children's hospice. Meanwhile both West Ham
and Manchester United have lost their shirt sponsors; Man United now
presumably sponsored by the American government who have taken over
AIG, the world's biggest insurance company. Does that mean that anyone
who dares beat them will have President Bush threatening a missile
attack for having the cheek to damage the United brand? Will offending
referees be carted off to Guantanamo Bay?
While not related to the credit crunch the story of Gretna Town is
just another example of how suicidal it is to hedge your bets and rely
on one mans cash. Non league is littered with these examples – Colne
Dynamos, Telford United, Hornchurch….
Which is why it is important we all join the Slough Town Supporters
Granted we’ve finally got a chair and management team who have knocked
order and financial stability into the club, but rather than holding
out a continuous begging bowl we need as many streams of income as
possible. Of course this is difficult without your own ground, but
just as we are getting it right on the pitch (and isn’t it nice to be
enjoying football again!), it’s just as important we are getting it
right off the pitch as well. The Supporters Trust have a pivotal role
to play in this.
This season the Trust have sponsored the Under 18’s. Have paid the
costs for the first team and Under 18’s to train at the Polish club.
They run the 50/50 and 500 draw. They organise and subsidize coach
travel to away games as well as put on occasional events and of course
the annual sponsored walk.
If things ever go tits up we probably can’t expect to be bailed out by
the government (isn’t it ironic, all these financial companies that
lobbied hard to have all restrictions lifted on them so they could do
as these please, now need government support. I also love the way
these people equate the interests of the financial sector with the
interests of everyone else – yes getting a million pound bonus really
does help me out. Thanks). But if things go wrong the Trust are also
in position to take over the running of the club.
We are in the midst of an unprecedented financial meltdown, with the
world markets collapsing around us. Perhaps supporting a football team
seems a bit frivolous during the coming times but as one supporter
pronounced "Obviously, if people lose their jobs, some will have to
give up going to the match if they need the money to feed their kids.
Mind you, I'm not one of them!"

* To join the Trust go to the Trust hut before our home games. And
don’t forget to throw your loose change into the collecting buckets on
the way out.