These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FINANCIAL RELEGATION

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
people.


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
Trust.
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.

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