An old romantic

by Mystical Mike

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

“If I tell you I’ll have to kill you.” Not the words of a secret agent but rather a Non League Football manager I was trying to get some information from this week.

Now, as much as I’d rather not be acquainted with the old concrete boots, the world of football behind closed doors is becoming somewhat of an unhealthy fascination for me.

We all want to know what goes on in the buying and selling of players. We want the latest on-the-ground developments and the first word on the inner sanctum of our club. I blame the media, I blame politicians wanting to be seen on blogs & TV and I blame our own sense of sheer nosiness.
My club, Chelmsford City, have been involved in their own off-the-pitch publicity in recent weeks, leaving the fans baying for answers as to the future of the club.

Similarly take a look at the messageboards of Weymouth, Dorchester, Rushden and Diamonds. In fact, look at any club in football and they’ve all got their own very individual off the pitch stories that the press, the fans and the rest of the Non League world want to hear and write about.

Even worse than wanting to know about our own club is wanting to find out if there’s any truth in the demise of one of our near neighbours. Or even better, if our title or relegation rivals face impending doom. It’s not that we’re vicious but some people look for any sort of leg-up in their own team’s fortunes – even at the expense of others.

For anyone that has seen their club suffer I’d hope that they reflect on these stories sometimes with a pinch of salt and often with the view “there are some things better left unsaid”.

As a country we very rarely get to hear that the Prime Minister was ‘that close to pressing the big red button’. Or in business, how much goes on under our nose that we’re unaware of, but the wheels keep turning?

I for one still have absolute faith in the honesty of true football fans. Sure there are some unsavoury types out there but call me an old romantic, I’d like to think not every club is about to go under.

Despite my constant bashing I still have faith in the FA trying to turn around our game and in the ability or our game to right itself from within.
It’s important, therefore, we embrace organisations like Supporters Direct, get those fans on the board, and keep half an eye on how our clubs are run.

The simple fact is, not every story has a conspiracy behind it and not every club is uttering in the style of the great Private James Frazer from Dad’s Army: “we’re all doomed”. So let’s get back to enjoying what really matters, the football.Non League Show

Caroline Barker presents The BBC Non League Football Show
Every Monday from 9pm via
Real Football, real fans.
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