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, April 10, 2011

CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDER

Published in the Southern League Central Division game v Northwood Saturday 9th April 2011. We won 4-3 in front of 303 people and stay in the play offs.

You’d think when a club comes up with a way of getting more punters through the turnstiles, regular fans would be shaking their rattles in agreement. Unfortunately, it seems some supporters would rather have the terraces to themselves.
Despite being in the Conference Bath City always struggle too persuade the egg-ball loving townsfolk to give football a go. So they came up with an idea to try and get Bath's Polish community to come and watch the club. One of their directors said ‘'I have met a prominent member of the Polish community and he was enthusiastic about the idea because the community suffers from a lack of integration. We were already planning a substantial discount for Bath's student population so I proposed rolling in the outreach to the Polish community as well.” Bath fan and film director Ken Loach gave it the thumbs up saying 'It is a good idea, I hope they will chant in Polish.' With the nod from the Equality and Human Rights Commission the promotion paid off with Baths second biggest gate of the season, with more than 1,800 fans turning out to see City win 2-1. OK so the Polish people taking advantage of the deal was in single figures but there were 150 students. Others might have been attracted by the adverse national publicity the club attracted. Some supporters moaned and of course the Daily Mail was up to its usual rabid frothing indignation.
But one grumpy Grimsby Town fan really took the biscuit complaining to the Non League Paper. ‘I am half Scottish, and part Italian, as a minority nationality, I duly asked for my discount at the turnstiles. After all, should not ALL nationalities be treated equally and fairly. I was told ‘No, you’re not Polish’ by the turnstile operator.’ She then droned on to anyone who would listen, wrote to the club and the Equalities Commission. ‘Football is about equality from the top to the bottom – and I really don’t think this is helping matters.’  Get a bloody grip, it was a one off to try and get and get new fans supporting the club. Why not complain that OAP’s and students get a discount or that bloody kids get in free or for a quid. I’m surprised she even managed to get through the turnstiles with that massive chip on her shoulder.
I’ve seen one Barkingside fan (and there ain’t too many of them) letter complaining when the club offered free entry to one game to increase crowds. What about us season ticket holders he fumed (what all two of you?). At least I couldn’t see any complaints about Hitchin Towns Ladies Day where every woman that attended got in for nothing and received free entry for the raffle. In a crowd of 628, 126 were ladies and club secretary said "We are delighted. This sort of figure vindicates our strategy of reaching out to the broader community." Could this work at Slough or would some Rebels just use it as an excuse to practice a bit of cross dressing?

So Ms. Grumpy Grimsby if you’re gonna write letters of complaint then at least do it about something that stops people coming to games. You could start with England’s helpful decision to kick off against Wales at 3pm on a Saturday thank you very much. Mind you as watching England is usually about as entertaining as having your teeth smashed out with a sledgehammer, my cousin Mark said it just gave him more incentive to go and watch Slough play instead. 

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