Sunday, 29 July 2012

The A1 Arse-Bandits Part 3 of 3

Starting to wish I hadn't started this now, but here's some more nearby teams we'll soon learn to hate!

Kettering Town FC

Miles from the Holy City - 7
Population of town - 51,000
Ground Capacity - 6,400
Home Colours - Red and Black
Nickname - Squatters, Diamonds, Ploppies, Sheep-shaggers.  Oh, and Poppies
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 1399, but don't be surprised if that drops a tad this season!

"Must Know" Facts - Had a brilliant 2011-2012 campaign, expertly masterminded by the unbeatable team of Ladak and Maison.  Their unique mixture of business brilliance and tactical prowess turned a moderate team of honest pro's at a crumbling football ground with a thousand loyal fans into a team of grasping prima-donnas in a slightly less crumbling ground in front of about half as many fans.  Bravo gentlemen.  The club are presently halfway through a 2-year plan for League football, meaning this coming season could prove to be spectacular!

St Albans City FC

Miles from the Holy City - 65
Population of town - 64,000
Ground Capacity - 6,000
Home Colours - Yellow and Blue
Nickname - Saints or City.  Might just as well throw "Albans" in the mix too and have done with it!
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 420

"Must Know" Facts - Although the city is overflowing with history, and was a thriving location from even before Roman times, surely it's main claim to fame was that our junior school coaches, going to Wembley to watch the Schoolboy Internationals back in the 1970's used to stop there on the way to the game.  Warm cartons of Ribena and a packed lunch of enormous Waggon Wheels and soggy Marmite sandwiches kept us young un's going until we stopped at Olney for saveloy and chips on the way home.

St Neots Town FC

Miles from the Holy City - 35
Population of town - 26,000
Ground Capacity - 5,000
Home Colours - Blue
Nickname - Saints.  Wow, didn't see that coming!
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 413

"Must Know" Facts - Won promotion to this division last season, so it might be nice to play against someone who actually wants to be here!  John Bellingham, the last man to assassinate a British PM lived in St Neots*  It is also the birthplace to the guitarist out of Jamiroquai, which is right up there with Kettering claiming former Communards keyboardist as their favourite son.

* correct at time of posting.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Hole that dare not speak its name

As excitement builds to a fever pitch ahead of the forthcoming season of Mickey Mouse footie there still seems to be the odd little question that remains unanswered.  Alongside the perennials such as what will the new kit look like, or are there any nice trips to the seaside during the warmer months is another nagging little question - just where will the cash come from to fill the money pit that is Non Park?

Obviously player costs will be reduced from last season - such high quality performers as the class of 2012 don't come cheap!  We may even owe Her Majesty's Constabulary a few quid less for next season (surely even our local plod can't dig up "intelligence" suggesting Chippenham Town FC constitute a clear and present danger...?)

Even though a couple of outgoings will be smaller, our other bills such as rent and utilities will remain the same.  When we couldn't generate enough income with over a thousand of us and occasionally several hundred away fans, how on earth are we going to get by with 500 of us and half a mini-bus up from Arlesley?

The Club (whatever that means nowadays) have their idea of the way forward, and committed their projected outgoings and earnings to paper for our recent CVA.  Seemingly we have a Mr H.C. Andersen amongst our Board of Directors as most of the projected income streams appear to be a work of most entertaining fiction.  Somehow this document manages to show our incomings and outgoings magically matching up!  No, really!  We are going to be solvent for possibly the first time ever - hooray!

How?  Well, there's the small matter of a projected figure in the region of a quarter of a million we expect to make from "Events" and "Donations", which makes up most of the shortfall!  I can't imagine for a moment that "Poppies Events" will magic up any big numbers, and even if if did, could it contribute to the football club given that this is a George Rolls company?  What with that little 5-year ban from football?  And did George ever really intend to plough any profits from this enterprise into the football club?  If so, what would have been in it for him?

"Donations?"  Do we have a Guardian Angel we're not aware of?  Or next week's lottery numbers?  Or the small matter of tens of thousands of teeth for the Tooth Fairy?  There's also the trifling matter of our projected sponsorship of 100K for this season, which better turn up soon too! Not to mention the numerous small companies looking to pay us some 40K this season to rent a few cold, unfurnished rooms from us!

We  managed to scrape through to the end of last season due to a combination of reneging on contracts, the supporters digging deep and the interest of a man who fancies his chances at exploiting our much trumpeted facilities.  Facilities which are well on their way to breaking two football clubs!

Kind of makes you wonder how we might get to the end  of this season, doesn't it.  2012-13 had for so long been trailed as possibly our last season due to issues with Rocky Road.  Who would have suspected that it might come true for a whole mess of other reasons?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Cube to consume entire UK GDP by 2020!

"Money goes in, money goes in,
money goes in, money goes....."
Corby Councillors, never reticent when it comes to splashing other people's cash, have signed another blank cheque for further work on the much heralded cube, taking the acknowledged cost up to just shy of £50 million.  This still represents value for money, as, if the building was actually as fully specified as intended (floors, roofs and running water on all levels) the overall cost would have been a good deal higher.

To you and me £50 million may sound a lot of money, but, frankly, what could it buy you nowadays?  Not much.  A misfiring Fernando Torres.  Three and a half misfiring Andy Carrolls.  Or almost 6 months worth of misfiring Poppies talent as bought in last season by Ladak.

Compared to these options the cube looks like a bargain!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The A1 Arse-Bandits Part 2 of 3

They're local, but we hate 'em!  And once they read this, they'll hate us too!

Chesham United FC

Miles from the Holy City - 70
Population of town - 20,000
Ground Capacity - 5,000
Home Colours - Claret and blue
Nickname - The Generals
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 349

"Must Know" Facts - They play next door to a cricket team- when we played them in a friendly back in the mid 1990's I watched more of this game than the footie.  When we beat them 10-odd years ago in either the FA Cup or Trophy, and, if I recall correctly (doubtful) Matt Fisher came on as a substitute, ran around angrily attacking everyone for 5 minutes before being sent off.

Hemel Hempstead Town FC

Miles from the Holy City - 60
Population of town - 81,000
Ground Capacity - 3,150
Home Colours - All Red
Nickname - The Tudors (at last, the nicknames are getting more interesting!)
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 244

"Must Know" Facts - Town was granted its charter by Henry VIII (hence the nickname we suspect) while he was taking a five minutes break from whoring, eating and chopping the heads of various spouses.  Former half-decent Poppies shot stopper Mark Osbourn was their most recent net minder.

Hitchin Town FC

Miles from the Holy City - 42
Population of town - 30,000
Ground Capacity - 4,000
Home Colours - Yellow and Green
Nickname - The Canaries
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 388

"Must Know" Facts - Professional "Royal-groveller" Jennie Bond comes from Hitchin.  Football club boasts nice bouncy wooden terrace a'la Colchester back in the good old days, although without the thousands packed on the terrace as at Layer Road, this terrace may not bounce quite as much!  Club website has an enormous database of old match reports.  With utter perversity I looked back on the Ryman nightmare to refresh my memory and stumbled upon this quote from the game at Rocky Road, "...but the Canaries can be satisfied with their evening's work in front of a near-1,000 vociferous crowd."  Oh for such a gate, or such an atmosphere at Non Park....

Thursday, 12 July 2012

57 Channels and nothing on!

Even though the number of people happy to stand up and admit they are Kettering town supporters dwindles to the lowest number in living memory, and probably longer, supporter online outlets continue to grow.  I'm not sure the news that we are now a "Two Forum" club is necessarily a good thing.  For one, there's twice as much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands to wade through!  Twice as much blaming everyone for everything.  Oh my God, there may end up being two Pedros!

We know what it is like to have competition.  We recently buried the pretender to our throne - the "This isn't Kettering" blog!  Let that be a warning to anyone else who wants to write at length about a bunch of crappy footballers, playing miles from home!

The new Poppy Power forum has tried to create a distinction between itself and the venerable Poppynet.  There are additional sections covering memorabilia, not footballing topics, travel, international football etc., all under a kind of free form, "anything goes" banner, free from heavy moderation.

Of course, we could all see what would happen next.  Given a long leash, the Administrator probably hoped the members would engage in innovative, exciting and stimulating exchanges, pushing the boundaries of the Poppies online experience. 

In the real world it took mere days for members to start swearing at each other, slagging off Poppynet, issuing threats and getting themselves banned.  And then bleating about "free speech" as though being advised not to bring down a holy jihad on the Site Administrator in someway restricted their human rights.  Anyone running or moderating these sort of forums deserves a medal, and almost certainly a bout of psychiatric help!

The new Forum may or may not last.  I'm not sure there's the interest out there for another site where all the JC haters can gather, and we can wonder in what alternate reality the appointment of Helen Thompson might be considered a good idea!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Rolls - That Statement In Full

I am flabbergasted & shocked at the decision that the disciplinary panel has taken in context to the charges levied against myself.

(I would fight to clear my good name, if only I had one)

I would like to make a few points quite clear. The FA has a responsibility to all "Participants"& that clear guidelines should be given to new "Participants", I received neither of these.

(On Imraan’s advice I tried the “it got lost in the post defence”)

I believe thousands of participants are falling foul of the FA rules as they are not aware of them

(I also believe that if you say something often enough, some mugs will fall for it)  

& I am sure many more people will fall unwittingly into the same trap as I have done & further charges may well be levied against individuals.

(Like the other members of my Hong Kong betting syndicate)

My involvement as club Chairman will have to cease with immediate effect for the next 5 years

(Leaving me free to try to milk whatever I can from the facilities)

but during the meantime the hard work that has already been going on behind the scenes at Kettering Town & with strong leadership qualities from the new board alongside the new manager will hopefully continue.

(Good luck suckers, you’ll need it!)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Question - Is everyone involved in football bent?

Answer - it certainly seems so.

The news that George is to be banned from football for 5 years and be fined £10,000 throws up several questions: -

Is this why he is operating from under the banner of "Poppies Events".  It would appear more than likely that he knew he would be found guilty of the shed load of charges against him, so positioned himself so that he wouldn't be directly involved on the footballing side?

And, if this is the case, and he will simply be using the facilities at Non Park for non-footballing business, what exactly is the point of him being here?

The few, including me, prepared to give George a chance despite the avalanche of stories against him must surely now be wondering does this football club attract only cheats and chancers?  Yes, George, we listened to your flannel.  We didn't necessarily believe you then, and are even less likely to in future.  After all, how can you completely trust someone who thinks that Steve Evans is an "OK guy" and not a criminal toad?
George gets in some practice for his
future community service?
How does the coincidentally-timed winding-up petition against "Kettering Town Management" affect us?

Where do we go from here?  We have a prospective owner interested only in off-field activities, who will be unable to get involved in the footballing side, even if he wanted to.  Unknown agencies are trying to have us wound-up.  We're saddled with the expense of Non Park.  No-one actually owns the club.

Is it too late to get viper Pickering on the phone, buy back a couple of hundred seats back from Alfreton and play in this crappy division from our old, crappy ground?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Burned by the flame

Our underground sources which supply a seemingly constant stream of Poppies information have this morning unearthed the following letter from the head of the local constabulary to the club -

"Dear Mr Ladak / Rolls

May we take this opportunity on congratulating you on what appears to be your survival as a viable entity for at least another year.

We will be in touch shortly to discuss policing arrangements and police intelligence which suggests several of your games this season will need a substantial presence from our officers.  We will, of course, try to be even-handed with our demands upon your club, but with games against teams of the notoriety of Barnstaple, Chipping Norton and, er, the other ones, we would be remiss in our public order duty not to apply anything less than saturation policing.

Which brings us to the reason for this letter.  you will find attached a copies of invoices for several recent events which have required a large police presence, and which are inextricably linked to your football club.

Whilst we appreciate that the recently celebrated Jubilee in London wasn't strictly-speaking a Kettering Town Football Club event, the Northants Constabulary did supply a number of officers, and they cost money.  Given that, statistically speaking there was more-than-likely some people from Kettering at the event, we do not believe a small contribution from the football club would be unfair.

Bird in badly fitting shell suit
carrying a torch
in the Kettering drizzle
- surprisingly expensive!
Again, whilst we freely admit that whilst the Euro 2012 competition may have taken place in Poland and the Ukraine, at least one Kettering fan was there, AND we did deploy resources outside the Earl of Dalkeith - known to be a Poppies supporting hotspot.  Invoice attached.

Yesterday's visit of the Olympic Torch was undoubtedly a highlight for the County, and a chance to show ourselves off to the outside world.  However, and you probably sensed this was coming, the policing costs were very large, and, as most of these officers were in Kettering it is only fair that you contribute to the cost of the entire event.  Not all the costs!  We're not heartless!  But, as the football club shares it's name with the town where the policing was heaviest we feel it only fair that you write me a blank cheque, and perhaps let me have you pin number too?

We will be in touch after the Olympics to settle-up on that event too.  It looks like it's going to be a glorious summer!

Yours sincerely......."

Monday, 2 July 2012

Simply The Best?

In the aftermath of Spain’s Euro victory the world of sport is gripped by the question – is this the best team ever?  And if not, what is?  Are the ball hogging munchkins of 2008-2012 fit to rank alongside the throbbing, sexy Brazilians of 1970, or the Magical Magyars?  But how can you compare between different eras.  Or playing conditions.  What about the ability to eke out a result in front of three men and a dog on a wet night at Frickley?  Why has no one mentioned the Kettering Town team of 1988/89... FA Cup 4th Round AND Conference runners up in the same season.  Well we just have, and it’s time to see how the present World and European champions stack up in comparison.

1. Casillas v Kevin Shoemake. Being called upon to make a grand total of two saves and one catch in the knockout stages of the past three competitions? Come back when you’ve got your gloves dirty. Shoey gets the nod. SHOEMAKE

2. Arbeloa v Mark Nightingale. Most judges plump for the claims of the silky Madrid ace, even though he wouldn’t know how to execute a sliding tackle in the snow, taking man and – on a good day - ball without slamming into the advertising board two feet back from the pitch and impaling his knee on a protruding stud bolt.  NIGHTINGALE

3. Jordi Alba v David Heywood. Ok we’ll give them that one. ALBA

4. Ramos v Lil Fuccillo.  A tough choice, with Ramos earning points for being a goalscoring defender throughout a glittering career, but losing nearly all of them for being plastered in stupid tattoos. Lil, meanwhile, revealed no narcissistic inky squigglings when he rolled up his sleeves when the going got tough, such as when we were losing to Welling with time running out. LIL

5. Pique v Russell Lewis. There’s something deeply wrong when a defender stays as pretty as Pique after 90 minutes plus extra time. Where’s the blood soaked bandaging or Cro Magnon forehead?  And proper defenders are called Gerry or Ged or maybe Gez, not Gerard.  LEWIS

6. Alonso v Richard Brown.  Obviously Brownie.  No need to explain why.  BROWN

7. Iniesta v  Paul Richardson.  Granted, Iniesta has a mind boggling pass completion rate of 107% and once kept the ball for an entire game on his own, but we’d like to see him try that after a Macclesfield defender has put him into the cinder track in the opening exchanges. Tigger, however, fell over too often.  INIESTA

8. Xavi v Andy Wright. Both graduates of a famous footballing academy - in Andy’s case, Desborough.  Ok, Xavi has the medals but he never had to earn them after putting in a full shift for the fire brigade. WRIGHT

9. Torres v Ernie Moss.  Can you hear the ho-hums Fernando?  Girly haired show pony who only scores in end of season games, versus the immortal – sorry, immobile – Ernie.  More false teeth than a false 9, but none better at falling over and awarding himself a free kick to earn a bit of a breather.  ERNIE

10. Fabregas v Robbie Cooke.  If you had to choose one man to latch on to a half chance in the gloop of a midwinter six yard box after being kicked by Nigel Ransom for 89 minutes, and then inevitably get booked for dissent, there’s only one winner.   ROBBIE

11. Silva v Cohen Griffith.  A one man tiki taka with his mazy dribbling from the halfway line, our heart and head says Cohen.  But just to preserve a sliver of balance we’ll give it to the other guy.  If only because he got lucky and didn’t have to work his way up from Leicester United.  SILVA


Next: Cruyff’s Holland v Big Ron’s Southern League North champions

Yeah Yeah. We once won the Maunsell Cup FOUR years in a row.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The A1 Arse-Bandits Part 1 of 3

Time to annoy a few teams closer to home...
Arlesey Town FC

Miles from the Holy City - 38
Population of town - 5700
Ground Capacity - 2900
Home Colours - Light and dark blue
Nickname - The Blues (Wow, how imaginative!)
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 170

"Must Know" Facts - Managed by former Poppies "star" Zema Abbey, or at least did last season....The town has a smaller capacity than Non Park! did we mention Zema Abbey?

Bedford Town FC
Carol's rear - What your
open palm was made for!

Miles from the Holy City - 27
Population of town - 80,000
Ground Capacity - 4000
Home Colours - All blue
Nickname - The Eagles
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 292

"Must Know" Facts - Bedford is the birthplace of a number of notables.  Comedians Ronnie Barker, John Le Mesurier and Barry Fry are old Bedfordians.  From the  world of sports there is Harold Abrahams, and toothy hottie Gail Emms.  And from the world of eminently spankable bottoms there is Carol Vorderman.

Cambridge City FC

Miles from the Holy City - 47
Population of city - 125,000
Ground Capacity - 2300
Home Colours - All white
Nickname - The Lilywhites
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 348

"Must Know" Facts - We never beat City!  They did the double over us the last time we were in the same division and then knocked us out of the FA Trophy a few years later.  Bascially, we are their Lincoln City. Former Poppy Neil Midgeley has seemingly been at Cambridge for the past 20-odd years.  Not as famous as Oxford.