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.

Monday, November 19, 2018


Printed in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying round game v Weston-super-Mare on Saturday 24th November 2018 We lost 3-2 in front of 426 people.

Imagine giving up your day to rattle buckets outside your clubs football ground during match-day. You raise an impressive £35,000 to help fund your football clubs charitable arm that uses the power of sport to deliver everything from health checks, school work, skills, training, support for those with disabilities and of course football sessions for everyone to enjoy. 
A couple of weeks later Brighton and Hove Albion decides, along with the majority of other Premier League clubs, to agree to a £5 million goodbye to the outgoing chairman Richard Scudamore. A man who has earned over £26 million in 19 years for basically feathering the nests of the footballing elite.
In what sort of insane world is this right? How would you even have the brass neck not be so embarrassed you'd hand it over to football charities? 
Only Huddersfield, Wolves, Leicester, Burnley and Crystal Palace to their credit had the balls to say no to a golden handshake while others defended the indefensible. People like former pornographer-in-chief and now West Ham United owner David Gold “He deserves everything he gets, this is all very appropriate and we’re all very pleased.” Just as pleased no doubt with the fact that you’re paying a peppercorn rent to use the London Stadium at taxpayers expense. 
The money works out at about £250,000 per club and We Are Brighton compiled a list of what the cash could have better been spent on including money off season tickets (instead of the inevitable rise), free travel to away fans, buying eight new minibuses for Albion in the Community and get this, paying every person employed by the Albion the Living Wage. The money could also add over a quarter of the cash to the sports and recreation budget of Brighton and Hove City Council. As We Are Brighton pointed out 'Grassroots football is dying and a lot of it has to do with an appalling lack of facilities. Cuts from central government have forced councils to chop away at budgets allocated to sports and recreation, leaving substandard changing rooms, dangerous pitches and a lack of basic equipment such as suitable goal posts. At the start of the parks football season for example, teams turned up to find mountains of grass left all over their pitches because the council couldn’t afford to pay anyone to clear up five months worth of cuttings, rendering most pitches in the city unplayable. A freedom of information request revealed that the City Council spent £866,540 on sports facilities in the 2013-14 financial year, a figure which is bound to be less after five further years of cuts.' Newcastle's contribution could he handed over to Gateshead Council who plan to save £246,000 by no longer providing maintenance for bowling greens and football pitches.
We are now entering Children in Need season. Where just like those at Albion in the Community, people do extraordinary things and go that extra mile to raise money. Yes its fantastic that £1 billion has been raised since it began but to put it in perspective that’s the same amount the Prime Minister bribed the Ulster Unionists with just to stay in power after the last election. Infact, being you know, the government they could reduce the number of children in need tomorrow if they made it a priority. This might sound odd coming from someone who runs a charity, but like all charities you try and wean yourself off grants. One of our primary aims is working with pupils with struggle in the classroom. Not so long ago our books were full with pupils who got a more hands on education, rather than an academic one which was failing them. Some even get the only qualifications they would ever receive building their self-esteem while learning practical skills, helping them do better in school and even making them enjoy education. However, thanks to school cuts we are now having to fundraise to support schools sending their pupils to us. Our work is the sort of thing Children in Need would fund. So the virtuous circle goes; Government cuts school funding so parents, children and charities fundraise to keep services going. I think this is called trickle down economics. Or passing the buck. What's more the Children in Need grant form is a crystal maze of questions where at the end too often the computer says no. All that time and money filling in forms when if schools were properly funded they would pay us the going rate for our work and our small charity could get on with what we set out to do (you know, helping kids) rather than forever holding out the begging bowl.
Maybe it would be easier to see if the Premier League have any jobs going. Or maybe i'll just write Scuds a begging letter.


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