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.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A RETURN TO THE BAD OLD DAYS OF KNUCKLE-DUSTING BADGERS


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division games v Stratford Town and Farnborough December 2017 (two games, one programme) We drew 1-1 with Stratford in front of  598 and beat Farnborough 5-1 in front of 668

It was a return to the bad old days with knives and knuckle-dusters reportedly found by the police. The Brighton v Crystal Palace game had been hyped beyond parody but the pantomime villain ended by being Sussex Police. 'Oh no they didn't' cried Crystal Palace fanzine Five Year Plan and the cops had to admit that they had made the whole thing up. Yes some people broke in but did that justify kettling fans who had tickets for so long that they weren't allowed in? Yes, some people let off flares but to honest the atmosphere was much better than the game of football on display. It couldn't have been an easy game to police so why make things up? As a wizand old protestor i'm used to police doing this to suit their own agenda, but even the Brighton Chief Executive came out fuming saying the cops really hadn't helped things with such a cock and bull story.  
Anyone who follows German football shouldn't have been surprised when Cologne fans turned up en-mass for a Europa game against Arsenal. It had been 25 years since their last game in Europe and since then they have been relegated five times, nearly gone bankrupt and made a sponsorship deal with a non-existent company from Cyprus. So 20,000 Germans invaded London despite being allocated just 2,900 tickets. Many had bought Arsenal home tickets and wore their colours so they could get in. One Arsenal fan said 'Koln fans were brilliant. It's the kind of support most fans in this country can only dream of. The Premier League has become so sanitized and fans have become irrelevant to most clubs and treated with utmost disrespect.' In the end it was largely peaceful but the football authorities were furious – how dare fans create an atmosphere at the Premier Leagues top library, and duly fined the Germans for supporting their club.

Clapton is a small team in the Essex Senior League that has seen its crowds grow from an average of 25 to hundreds of new supporters, priced out and fed up of league football. They get behind their team, create an atmosphere and are more than welcome by most clubs in the league who usually struggle to get three figures through the turnstiles. But the Clapton Ultras are political and we all know that's a crime for any football supporter. The other week the Met Police banned all their supporters from attending a London Senior Cup game. And with a crowd of just 28 looked like home fans were banned as well! Then on the Saturday Southend Manor did the same. Why? The Ultras are unhappy with the man who runs Clapton and are themselves boycotting their teams home games. They went to Southend anyway, I mean who wants to miss a day out by the seaside, and cheered on through the fence. We moan about a lack of atmosphere but the authorities don't like fans that are noisy, political, organised and have the cheek to stand up for the rights – they just want them to sit down, shut up, be complaint, wealthy and put up with being charged a fortune for games that are moved at the drop of a TV hat.

I don't want to go back to the bad old days – my uncle stopped taking me to Fulham after crowd trouble with Spurs and Chelsea. Even big Slough games were quite hairy at times. There is still some head-bangers who like to go to football; often grandads by day with their bald heads and fat necks that turn into Neanderthal man on match-day, but treating all football supporters like they've committed a crime isn't the answer.

* Before twitter I used to hang around Clapham Junction station in the winter months waiting for the dreaded call – 'The game is off' and I scuttle back to Brighton looking for any match that had escaped the bad weather. No more with our 3G artificial super-pitch. The Boxing Day birthday knees-up game is safe; save for a Trump inspired nuclear war (which would burn the pitch) or more snow than the Alps. So spare a thought for Dudley Town who have had to call off games because badgers kept digging up the pitch looking for worms and insect larvae to keep them going through the harsh winter months.

* You wait an eternity for Slough to assemble a fantastic team, and well, if any of us really needed confirmation of just how competitive the Southern Premier League is, then check out the table for the 10 top rated teams in England. Hereford are 2nd, Slough 4th, Kettering 5th and Kings Lynn 9th. Piece of birthday cake getting out this league.




3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Brighton rebel love reading your blogs hope to see you in van south next season from a wealdstone fan

6:19 pm

 
Blogger brighton rebel said...

Cheers and so do I. Lot less traveling for starters (although looks like Whitehawk which i can get too by bus are heading the other way)

3:11 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://fansagainstcriminalisation.com

Paul. Celtic & Slough Town

2:08 am

 

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