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 14, 2013

CHASING THE TEN PER CENT


Printed in the Southern League Central Division game v Godalming Town Saturday 14th April 2013. We lost 3-2 in front of 287.

I recently heard a phrase that really stuck a cord. ‘Football is all about chasing the 10 per cent.’  The 10 per cent of games that are fantastic to watch, that really stick in the memory, that give you a sore throat in the morning! That’s not to say the other 90% are a complete waste of time but football owners know they can seriously play on the fact that football is so addictive otherwise a lot more people would say that 10% isn’t a very good return for your money.
Take me as an example. A five hour train trip on a Bank Holiday Monday to watch one of the worst games of football I’ve ever seen at The Gore in the biting wind, sending me in a serious grump on the way home. Fast forward five days and guess what? I’m wandering around Royston ready to do it all again.
To say the last few footballing weeks have been something I want to forget is an understatement. The wheels on the Slough Town promotion bus have seriously come off and with some of the top teams still to play and three games a week, even a play off place is something we will have to really fight for.
There’s been endless rants on the forum about why this is. I prefer to keep my opinions to football friends as I don’t see what airing our dirty linen in public can achieve for a small football club that relies on part time players with jobs and families and fans volunteering to make sure we have a club to support. Besides I haven’t got a bloody clue about all these formations people keep going on about.
But what struck me is that we often come across as big time Charlie’s. A big club in a very small tea-cup.
So have we got a bit too big for our boots?
Do we miss Chris Sliski to bang all our heads together and tell us to get a bloody grip!
At Burnham I heard Slough fans shouting about who would want to go their every week. And it seems we can’t go a week without mentioning how small someone’s crowd is like size really matters. Well in the case of Burnham, come on. They are a village side; even the bloody landlord of their nearest pub supports Slough. But they are top of our league and do a fantastic job with their youth team football and are part of their local community.
In Royston the posters read ‘This is the big one.’ Clubs look forward to our visit cos they know it’s a payday but it also means that thanks to our large travelling numbers we are heard, warts, grumbles and all. Of course it’s only right to wind up some teams, that are big time Charlie’s like us. But it also means fans (if they have any of course) and players want to stick one on us.
Funny old game? Would the Mansfield manager have survived if we had beaten them on penalties? I doubt it. Now they look like favourites to win automatic promotion back to the football league.
Of course I’m writing all this in the cold sober light of day, being all reasonable. Football makes you unreasonable. Biased, lop sided. Should have gone to Spec Savers. But I think a bit more respect from us supporters to other clubs wouldn’t go amiss.
Getting out of a league with just one automatic promotion is bloody hard and it feels like we are stuck in a Southern League central division nightmare loop never to escape. So let’s hope there a few more favourable twists and turns before the final whistle.
A few more of those 10 per cent games for us to cherish. 

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