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.

Friday, December 28, 2018


Printed in the National League South game v Wealdstone 1st January 2019  We lost 1-0 in front of 985
The decision to scrap replays in the FA Cup 5th round, says all you need to know about football (a decision which would have denied Rochdale their chance to play Tottenham at Wembley last season and add to the hundreds of thousands they made from their cup run). The football authorities continue to bend over backwards to the top teams, but like spoilt brat corporations demanding tax cuts this is never enough, threatening to take their ball home and set up a Super League if they don't get their own way.
Anyone who takes even a cursory glance at football knows its the economics of the madhouse (talking of madhouse Mourinho spent £537,000 staying 895 consecutive nights in a Manchester hotel!). The Premier League agents, players and clubs are like drug addicts hooked on TV cash while clubs in the lower leagues throw good money after bad to try and grab a place at the table.
Thankfully Slough have a chairman with his head screwed on and now its official – Steve Easterbrook is the second best chairman in the land! Against League 3 asked for supporters to vote on the best and worst owners. It was no surprise that Blackpool were the winners for worst whose fans continue to boycott the club until their dodgy owners have left the building.
The winner was one who really stands out from the crowd and is refreshingly honest. Andy Holt is chairman of Accrington Stanley who are seriously punching above their weight in Division One with the smallest crowds and the lowest budget in the Division. Not afraid to speak his mind and very open about the financial aspect of running a club, Andy is a twitter breath of fresh air. I couldn't resist asking him what the FA could do to support lower league clubs and make the game more of a level playing field.
Andy Holt “The first thing that has to happen is an acceptance by all that football clubs play a major role in local health, well being and social life. They are starting to get this. There’s no point worrying about the high street because of the success of Amazon when the shops are gone. Action should have been taken 10 years ago. There’s no point of worrying about pub and clubs closing because of big pub companies actions when many are derelict. It’s too late. Communities are under attack from all sides and policy has to resist this decline in a timely fashion. I am meeting an all party group in Westminster next month on this. There has to be a sea change in attitude, proper regulation and distribution of funds. We see the social impact of leaving these decisions to the market. 
I am continually in trouble for speaking my mind, but feel someone has to. There are many clubs on the edge. The truth is without change our clubs are doomed. The mathematics behind the finances assure this, year on year smaller clubs are squeezed further by the rich clubs who effectively set the rules. We are in the second phase at Accrington Stanley FC, the first was to stop the rot. The second is to grow the club, which is a number of initiatives taken over different time frames, £1 a pint short term, school shirts long term initiative. Whatever I do I can’t beat the authorities if they continue down the path they’re on.”
Anyone whose been watching Sunderland Till I Die can see that while football might be big business, it isn't a business in any other sense of the word. It's one of the only ways left in our fragmented society of bringing people together. The problem is you need very deep pockets and a bit of luck to keep peoples dreams alive. It's just lucky for Accrington and Slough Town fans that they have people in charge who have their heads screwed on.


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