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.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

GLASS HALF FULL


Printed in the Southern League Central Division game v Thatcham Town Tuesday 9th October 2012. We won 4-1 in front of 198 people.

For the past year I’ve been working with other people on my estate to try and re-open our local boozer as a community pub. None of us get paid and as anyone who has set up a totally new venture will know, there’s a hell of a lot of work to do. Meetings, business plans, more meetings, leases, licensing and then the small matter of trying to raise up to 200,000 to make it happen! And because we want to make it the first co-operative pub in the country on a housing estate we will be issuing shares and have been working on a prospectus. Why am I telling you all this apart from the fact that this is a sales pitch to ‘buy someone a pub for Christmas?’ Because occasionally people ask or post remarks implying that we should get our bloody finger out and get the pub open. Forget that everyone is working, has families, is giving up a considerable amount of their time for free. From the outside the pub sits empty and nothings being done.
I think that’s a fair analogy with running a non league football club. Most people go to a match, maybe have a pre match pint, buy a programme, a raffle ticket, watch ninety minutes of football and go home. If you don’t like what you see you can post straight away on our forum and if we really get ourselves into a hissy fit, tell everyone who will listen (probably all 20 of us) that we will never darken the turnstiles again unless X happens.
Now I’m all for fan power and salute the people behind AFC Wimbledon, FC United of Manchester and especially the fan owned club pioneers Enfield Town. But really boycotting us at the moment is seriously cutting off your hand to spite your face.
This isn’t unique to Slough Town, I spend too much time on other clubs websites when researching my pieces (ok I’m just being nosey) and many of them are so full of woe after a defeat that it brings a tear to my eye. Some so full of anger I wonder if its one of our supporters posting.
When our backs were against the wall, Slough supporters stuck together and despite enduring defeat after defeat, carried on supporting our team. When we lost 9-0 to AFC Wimbledon their fans clapped us off the pitch, their mascot bowed, their applauded our coach and brought so many drinks for those of us that stayed behind that I can’t remember leaving.  Fast forward a few seasons and the club has come on in leaps and bounds but with last season’s third play off defeat in a row we are stuck in some nightmare southern central division one loop. And it’s draining moral. Our new ground remains tantalizingly close, we’ve all seen the wonderful plans, it feels real, and yet we continue to groundshare.
But some time you just have to step back and smell the coffee. Glass half full or half empty?
That’s why I propose something simple that won’t cost the club a penny apart from a bit of time. It can be done after a match so no one has to make a special journey. I’m talking about an occasional fans forum. To clear the air. To give a chance for people to ask questions. For people in charge to let us know why certain things happen.
People could of course speak to people behind the club in the bar after the game. They don’t usually bite.  Our management team aren’t idiots – they might make mistakes – hell, even I do. But they are doing our best.
Football at our level it is about being part of a community, supporting your club through thick and thin, victories and defeats. Sometimes it’s worth taking a step back and seeing that when it comes Slough Town FC our glass is a whole lot fuller than it has been for a very long time. Cheers!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can one comment fairly if the recipitent can alter or refuse comments made against their blog?
you can have as many forums as you like but at the end of the day supporters prefer teams that win or at the very least those that are seen to be trying on a regular basis.
robin baker esq.

3:30 pm

 

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