Sunday, 31 March 2013

Roll on next season part 2

We're all busy pondering which league will have the benefit of our patronage next season.  Currently it looks like a toss up between the Southern League Midland division and the Northern League Southern division (where's the Midland League, Midland division when you need it?)

A George Hepplewhite chair -
more Wycombe than Kettering...
Given that in the past 10 seasons we've graced the Ryman League, the Southern League, Conference North and Conference National, you've got to have been unfortunate, as a non-league club, not to have lined up against the Poppies in recent years. Add to that the smattering of non-league teams currently plying their trade in the Football League and it's pretty hard to look at many divisions without finding someone we've gifted 3-points to.

And yet it used to be so different.  Prior to relegation into the Southern League a dozen or so years
ago, we'd become part of the furniture of the GM Vauxhall/Conference/Gola League.  Never quite a prized Hepplewhite, or Chippendale, but more of a comfy DFS sofa, with bits of the padding protruding from the sides.  How we used to chuckle at the Frickleys, Fishers and Leamingtons, and their passing dalliance with the "big time" whilst we remained as an almost fixed point in the footballing firmament.

In reality though, the main difference between then and now was the fact that 2000 of us used to moan about the club, rather than 200 now!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Roll on next season!

Not the most sensible title you'll ever read on PATGOD is it?  Why on earth, after the last couple of seasons, would anyone willingly wish to plunge into another season of probable Poppies strife?

  • Turning out at a lower level than even our Grandparents would have ever recalled us playing at. 
  • Still playing at Steel Park.
  • At least until Burton Park Wanderers ground is brought up to whatever lowly standard it has to be to host our new found level of football (which will probably be reached when we buy some goal nets!) 
  • Radio Northampton ignoring us and our Micky Mouse League entirely.
  • Quality of football so low most of us reckon we could jump onto the pitch and give it a go.

And that's all dependent on shedding Non F*cking Park, and Non F*cking Chairman!

The main thing I'm looking forward to is the return of large numbers of our stay-away fans.  None of us enjoys watching our club struggle so badly in front of some hideously paltry attendances.  If all goes well between now and next season most of the reasons given by our stay-aways will have been removed. 

The talk in the media is quietly positive. There is talk of offers flying around to rid us of our chains and give us the chance to start again. Sure, we'd be starting at a level not far above a kick around in a park with your mates, but it would be Kettering Town FC, under fresh leadership, with large supporter influence, hopefully soon back in the Borough of Kettering.

So, with no Imraan and Irthlingborough surely hundreds more of our former supporters will be back on board?  There's only so many times you can accompany the Missus on Saturday shopping trips surely?  I have always had a sneaking respect for those of our fans who stood by their principles and stood down during the Non Park period, but surely this reason must be coming to a natural end?

But if they don't come back, what are we to make of all the protestations against our Chairman and playing at Legoland?  Were these merely convenient excuses to stop attending Poppies games.  I never really understood the anti-Imraan element excuse of non-attendance.  No-one had much in the way of a problem with the diminutive weasel when he was buying us success.  A genuinely principled stand would have been to protest when he was paying players far more than a club our size could ever afford. But no, the protests weren't exactly thick on the ground when we were winning promotions and having FA Cup runs were they?  Just when the ride was over.

So, we'll look forward to welcoming everyone back next season.  Kettering fans should be watching Kettering Town FC play.  No excuses.  When things were going well we all said we'd support the club evermore, through rain and shine, and that the Poppies,"made us happy when skies were grey."  Well, now's our chance to prove it.

I truly hope the end of that song shouldn't have been....."providing we have a club chairman paying unsustainable wages, at Rockingham Road, because I only enjoy watching my team when they just happen to be playing against a host of former League clubs!"

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Posh!!! DO IT!!!

What was I thinking by advising Peterborough United not to de-camp to Non Park?  In one fell swoop we would be rid of both Ladak and Max's folly, and free to start rebuilding our club away from the clutches of the Rolls, Cousins and Hills of the footballing world.


C'mon Posh!  What are you waiting for?  Why continue to play at your crumbling sinkhole, (presumably) paying over the odds to your evil council for the right to play on your own ground?  No more than a couple of miles away (give or take) is a superbly appointed football ground just waiting for you.  Why not enjoy your football is quality surroundings featuring such attractions as: -

  • A pay car park, with hourly rates roughly equivalent pro-rata to parking in Central London
  • A tannoy system which delightfully varies between inaudible and deafening
  • Some working toilets
  • Lots of unused rooms
  • The possibility of heating in certain, select areas of the stadia complex
  • Some functioning food and drink bars - only lacking stock
  • Only two previous, careful owners
  • A barely used pitch
  • Better than average chance the ground won't flood every week
  • The distinct possibility of installing a hot water facility at a later date
  • Probable connection to electrical supply one day
  • The previous club's logos can be easily peeled off the structure
  • Midfield dynamo and confirmed burger-fan Lee Tomlin already knows the way there
  • A quiet, local, non-inbred populace, who just happen to all look like each other
  • Good, honest, football friendly landlord and owner who will bend over backwards to help

So,what are you waiting for?  If you don't snap this desirable property up quickly you may well end up losing out to your fierce rivals from Coventry (note to the owners of Coventry City FC- all the above benefits could be yours!)

Get in touch quickly.  Email the owners today to secure this wonderful facility at bentcriminalc*

Your initials could be here!

Friday, 15 March 2013

POSH! Don't do it!

Rushden Town - no more
Irthlingborough Diamonds - no more
Scum - no more
Poppies - hanging on by the skin of their teeth

How many more clubs want to take on the curse of Non Park?  Whilst we appreciate that clubs such as Coventry City and Peterborough United may be using that grizzly hole as a bargaining chip to get better terms at their own grounds we feel this warning is the least we can do.

Who's next to threaten a move to the back of beyond?  Manchester United looking to trim a few quid off their rates?  Barcelona looking to force the hand of their local government to build a jacuzzi block?  AFC Scum to have the last laugh and go home because Wellingborough won't let them paint over their name on the Dog and Duck gates?

Obviously no club which has a level-headed Chairman with the interest of his club's supporters in mind would dream of getting entangled at Non Park.....hard luck Posh!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

There is always someone out there making your season look good!

There was me thinking that Woodford and Hinckley were the only teams casting envious eyes in our direction.....

Their supporters would carry their team off the pitch as conquering heroines following a mere 7-0 reverse!

The best idea I've had so far today

Listening to the radio and hearing that our illustrious county footballing cousins Northampton and Brackley have away fixtures this evening at Morecambe and Workington respectively has made me almost glad we're in such a Micky Mouse, regionalised league these days!

Freezing conditions, several hours travelling and returning home in the early hours of Wednesday morning is all the promotion chasing teams at Brackley and Northampton have to look forward to. 

Wouldn't it be a far better idea for everyone to stay local and, say, Cobblers play Brackley, and Morecambe play Workington for league points instead?  "But", I hear you cry, "They are in different divisions.  As well as being impracticable, illegal, and unworkable, it's also deuced unfair!" 

That is why I've also just invented the sliding scale of "Goal Head-Starts and +/- home advantage", the number of which depends on the difference in divisions and who was supposed to be at home.  In this case  Workington start 3-up and Brackley start 2-up against their higher placed opponents.

This may sound nuts, but I'm willing to bet that there are a few dozen Cobbler fans scrapping ice of cars and eyeing the forecast nervously who would be prepared to give my new scheme a go.  And who knows, there may even be at least one fan from South Northamptonshire's footballing hotbed who may benefit also!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Welcome to our happy family

If nothing else, it has the makings of a good quiz question: which club was relegated three leagues in two seasons?  As we prepare for what it is hoped will be a soft landing into the next division down, whether it be Evostik Village Club North or South, it seems fair to assume that any supporter who has stuck with things thus far is probably in it to the end.

In fact, bizarrely, there are even a few who seem to have STARTED supporting the club this season. We know of at least one who chose to invest in a season ticket after decades of non attendance – which depending on your point of view is either a stirring example of loyalty, or dementia.

I’d love to ask one of these new fans, in the style of Mrs Merton, what first attracted you to the ruined ashes of Kettering Town? It certainly wasn’t the excitement, or atmosphere, or a positive points tally. 

Maybe the appeal is spiritual.  What could be more purifying than atoning for your sins by doing the modern equivalent of thrashing yourself with birch saplings? Whilst watching a thrashing.

Anyhow, we’re very glad to have all the support we can get. Every fan is numerically quite significant – as much as 0.5% of the attendance. Bring a car full and add a couple per cent to the gate.

And next season, who knows? If we are officially Ladak free and no longer a toxic brand, and playing back in the borough if not the town, those who have quoted one or both as their reasons for staying away will hopefully reconsider.  This will hardly lead to a surge in support, not at 8th tier level, but even an extra 100 would be valuable in a league where double figure attendances are the norm.

A return to Kettering in its broadest sense would also, we hope, lead to a union of KTFC and KFC before the split gets too entrenched.  As a fledgling, effectively youth team set up, KFC could become the under 18s – assuming it is possible to tell the difference between all the under 19s in the first team. Again this would bring a few more back into the fold and prevent a lasting rivalry that would benefit neither club.

All this presupposes of course that egos and personalities don’t get in the way. Bearing in mind the talent that Poppies supporters have for falling out with each other, that might be optimistic.

This is the club that for years ran separate buses for drinkers and non drinkers, with all the mutual goodwill and tolerance of Celtic v Rangers.  Not to mention the pro and anti Trust factions and all those with a grievance about somebody or something else  - often dating back to the days of John Nash.

Perhaps what is needed is a peace and reconciliation process led by a figure who is loved and respected by all. Anyone got Mo Farah’s number?

Saturday, 9 March 2013


Whilst we all appreciate the ongoing efforts of numerous worthies to see out this season and jealously guard the 2-match unbeaten run we are enjoying, deeper, more pressing issues continue to bubble away.

We all hear stories of Imraan (remember him?) falling out with Cousins, and not paying him his outrageous rent anymore.  And tales of Non Park being readied for someone to play there.  And suggestions that work at Burton Park Wanderers is far more advanced than suspected. 

We've been living hand to mouth for so long that we've kinda forgotten the fun of speculating and making wild, unsupportable guesses as to what is happening at our football club.  Are we about to be released from our Nonce Park Noose?  Will Coventry City be putting us out of that particular misery? Or are AFC Scum "going home?"

It's an "If", and a big "IF", but what if a greatly reduced Poppies emerges from the wreckage of Imraan's tenure with a club free of both him and his "Project Non Park" pretentions?  A new start in a BPW Southern League Midland division.  OK, it's a million miles away from where we believe our club should be.  But surely the chance to re-constitute a club and start again with a fresh slate doesn't come along everyday.  We might have the chance to fashion a KTFC we can be proud of, rather than one we are a bit embarrassed by.

The sooner we have some real news about our future the sooner the fightback can begin.  C'mon Richie et al.  Give us the news that the Poppies can start looking forward again rather than back!  There is the possibility of us spending a generation in the wilderness, but given the choice of that or oblivion, I know where I stand!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Race with the Devil

The news that last Friday's face night raised upwards of £1700 confirmed a few things to me: -

For one, do we need to actually play football games anymore considering we can raise the same amount of money by sitting on our arses, drinking and shouting at horse races that happened several years ago?

At least one race is ruined by the footage starting with the race being won.  Now, this was perhaps understandable in the days of videotape, when the race might not have been rewound, but how the hell does that happen with a DVD?

You still get the "Race-Night-Pro" who will hover until the Tote almost closes so that he can place his bets on the horse which would generate the biggest return for his bet.  Do they not realise that you are supposed to bet on a horse because of its amusing or faintly rude name?  How tedious to win an extra quid betting on the long-odds nag, when you can enjoy shouting out, "Come on Dog's Pizzle!" repeatedly and with gusto!

And, if there's one thing I've learnt from years of Poppies Race Nights, it's this - NEVER BET AGAINST JOHN CECIL'S HORSES!!!

It is uncanny the number of times JC's horses canter in ahead of the pack.  It's almost as if he is a Race Night version of Lester Piggott (minus the tax evasion), or Frankie Dettori (minus the drugs).  I have taken to scouring the race list just to see his initials, and then betting my shirt on that nag, even if it is called "Tomorrow's Dog Meat" or even "Tomorrow's Man Meat".

The only thing which stopped me returning a handsome profit on Friday was the fact that JC had bought a number of horses on the night, meaning his name didn't appear on the race sheet.  This didn't stop him winning race after race though, given the number of visits he made to the winnings table. 

He must have pocketed more envelopes stuffed with cash than all of Harry Redknapp's recent QPR signings put together!

And the title - "Race with the Devil?"  Well, I assume some sort of pact with the Horned One must have been entered into to have such luck.  AND, this is the 666th post on PATGOD!!!  Ooer!