Monday, 28 October 2013

And you thought Pedro had issues with the Poppies? You should read his thoughts on Formula One!

Does the procession that is Formula 1 point the direction in which football is going, at least at the "top" levels?  Yesterday, somebody won their 756th grand prix in a row giving them their 97th consecutive world championship.  Once upon a time I'd have been interested in it.  I used to manoeuvre my Sundays so that lunch would be just before 1 o'clock so I could a least see the start of a grand prix.  No more.  Yesterday, I didn't even need to manoeuvre anything to watch the start but instead I just read my Sunday paper.  I didn't even find out who'd won the race until the afternoon (although of course I knew who'd win it barring mechanical interventions).  Such was my (lack of) interest.
This is a "sport" with a rich European heritage that used to have multiple grand prix in several European countries.  The racing could be really exciting (some of us are old enough to remember Nigel Mansell's racing) and the title winner uncertain until the last race.  But nowadays it's a "formula" held at plastic circuits in kelptocratic countries watched by one man (no women of course!) and his dog, mainly on satellite TV owned by decrepit disgusting moguls (as the formula itself is).

How soon before football goes the same way?  In many ways it already has.  We know with six sigma certainty who the top 4 of the premiershite will be, and I'm no longer taking bets on Chelski actually winning it and it's only October!  As for the Shampions League, it hardly takes a genius to guess who'll probably be in the final (perm two from Farca, Fail Madrid and Bowow Munich).  And how long before games will be played at plastic grounds in kelptocratic countries watched by one man (no women of course!) and his dog, mainly on satellite TV owned by decrepit disgusting moguls (as FIFA itself is)?  The great luminaries at tee premiershite have already tried the idea!

Maybe football at our level will become more attractive because it is more honest, less predictable, and more genuine?

We can only hope!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Jake Newman - making goalies look good

Jake's view of football - you've got to feel for him!


Friday, 25 October 2013

Can this level of football become any more Mickey Mouse?

Farewell then to Scott Cross, who left Daventry for us for all of a week before returning whence he came.  Patgod would like to place on record our thanks for Scott's efforts, and indeed his goal in last week's defeat to AFC Hayes - the all important consolation strike.  Not many Poppies players end a stint with us with a goal to game ratio of 1:1.  Who knows, during his third stint with us I may even recall him!

It does seem as though the players in this league flit around between teams on an almost hourly basis.    Seen from above this League must look like the world's biggest musical chairs game.  The registration office at Southern League HQ must employ the same number of people as Northants County Council, and that's only to keep track of Poppies player movements.

Apparently, earlier this week it looked like our front line for the Chertsey this weekend was likely to be Lewis Wilson and Scott Cross.  Now, it's looking more like whoever turns up early on the day and /or fits the No.9 and No. 10 shirts best.  And that includes Stewards and bar staff.

If we'd needed to put names on the backs of shirts this season there would have been every possibility that we'd have been well and truly back in debt by the end of this season, if only with our kit supplier.  That said, we're saving a fortune on loyalty bonuses and testimonials!

Scott - giving the Poppies the cold shoulder (groan!)

Monday, 21 October 2013

How did we forget to ask about the Alumasc Parking situation?

A lot of questions were asked at last week's meeting.  Some trivial questions were asked, about such things as Winding-up orders.  Some more important questions were also asked, like when we will have chips available at home games.

But none of us remembered to ask if any headway has been made with borrowing / hiring Alumasc's enormous and empty car park on match days.  It is laudable that the club has plans for building and growing the Poppies, but if we can't get access to this enormous car park on our doorstep any future growth might be hampered.

Item One - Every game sees dozens of cars parked on the grass verges on Polwell Lane, just waiting for an officious plod to come along and indulge in the easiest mass ticketing binge of their lives. 

Item Two - The parking issues for locals who must be sick of us descending on their streets every fortnight.

Item Three - An enormous, 98% empty car park, which backs onto Latimer Park.

Surely there can be a way where Item Three can ease the issues of Item One and Two?  If nothing else, I would imagine that the Police would prefer to see numerous parking problems could be eradicated by using an existing, adjacent facility?

Obviously, with the club saved, our club officials have nothing much to do (!)  Presumably this will be the next cause to take up!  C'mon Ritchie, get it sorted!

No room at the inn for Poppies fans

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Back where we belong?

Pecking orders change over time, as we are painfully aware!  Once upon a time we were so intent on attempting to overhaul the oft-teetering Cobblers that we gave little thought to the other County non-league clubs who trailed meekly in our wake.  Happy days.

Nowadays we are a little further down the pecking order (if you hadn't noticed!)  Brackley, Corby, and Daventry are all closer to the still-faltering Northampton Town than us, and even the AFC Inbreds MK II are breathing down our necks. 

And yet, thanks to being back in the Borough we are at least starting to attract our motley collection of moaners, gripers and whingers back to home games.  So, although we trail behind many of the County's finest clubs in a footballing sense, we are once more the best supported Northants team outside of the league.  We have even overhauled the mighty Inbreds even though it is commonly accepted that they are the best and biggest thing to happen in the history of football.

A quick dip into Kings Lynn's fabulously interesting website shows us as being the 42nd best supported team in Non League, above  numerous Conference North and South teams.  14 Conference North teams are currently attracting less paying customers than our mis-firing Poppies, whilst only 4 Conference South teams are currently packing more in than we are getting at Latimer Park.  Only one team in Calor Premier can boast bigger gates, and poor old Hyde in Conference Premier must be looking at our 600+ gates enviously.

The Turnstile League

Back in Northants, the mighty Brackley may be beating everyone out of sight, but still can't encourage many people to go and watch them.  In fact they can't even hold onto the few fans they have as their home gates have slipped this season to just 300.  Unsurprisingly our former landlords at Corby are seeing plummeting gates.  And without a game against either Brackley or us to look forward to, it's unlikely the plastic jocks will be flooding back to Steal Park anytime soon.  AFC Inbreds are attracting a hefty 500+ to the Dog and Duck.  Probably equivalent to the rest of their division put together!  But still less the 7-800 we were told they were attracting last year when we were struggling to break the magic 150 during midweek winter games in Corby.

Who knows, if we actually start winning games any time soon we might need to break open the 4th side of Latimer Park!

Northants football - packing them in!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Bugger Orf, Brazil!

This makes fascinating, and humbling reading. 

Poppies - Just Giving Campaign

Hearing from Ritchie last night how indebted the Club are to the 30+ grand raised by the Just Giving site and the Trust's continuing efforts, makes you realise just how close we have come to going out of business forever.

After the remaining monies "owed" to Keith C*ntsins are paid over tomorrow (Wednesday) there's no one out there making it their job in life to destroy us.  With the exception of a few inbred spuds down the A6 of course....

Seeing how many individuals, a lot with no connection to the Poppies pledged their money to keep us alive is one of the few heartening developments in the modern game, where the Internet and people who care about grassroots football came together.  There's no way to properly thank everyone who helped us survive.  So we won't even bother to try!

Instead we'll take this opportunity to say, "Thanks for nothing, South America!"  Looking at the map of the world, we see funds coming from a few barely acknowledged footballing hotspots such as Vietnam, Canada and Thailand.  But the Poppies received an obvious, "F*ck you" from the hosts of next year's World Cup!    That said, we got sod all from the next two countries lined up to host the game we Brits invented, Russia and Qatar!

So, PATGOD will happily lead the Poppies-supporting world in calling for a boycott of Argentinian beef, Colombian narcotics, Brazilian muff-cuts, Russian vodka, and Qatari.....whatever Qatari produce!

Qatar - would have loved to help out,
but are a bit short till payday

Saturday, 12 October 2013

All a bit boring now

With the imminent threat of extinction at least temporarily lifted, life in Poppy-land is threatening to become a little staid.  So, until such time the club can shoot it itself in the foot again, we thought we'd dust off an old fanzine stand-by - the groan-inducing, supposed, look-a-likes.  Who better than our current touchline ranter?

Midge Ure, contemplating murder after
"Vienna" stalls at Number 2
in the charts for 4 weeks behind
Joe Dolce.

Dean Thomas, lining up a 70 yard
punt at Shoey's net.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Poppies at the Gates of a New Dawn?

Assuming the funds required by C*ntsins are in place, and are paid in the next 28-days we are going to finally pull ourselves clear of our previous nightmare existence.

No more Ladak
No more Non Park
No more Morrell
No more A6
No more Rolls
No more scumbag landlords
No more dodgy property owners
No more poxy electronic scoreboards
No more cold chips
No more paying three quid simply to park and shell out another 18 quid to watch your team not try
No more waiting for DRC to find their chequebook
No more f*cking Kimberley Suite
No more Strikers Bar with no bastard drinks

141 years and counting.  Put that in your pipes and smoke it all your Direone and Jock whingers who were hoping for us to fold.  The Direones didn't even last 20 years, and the irrelevant plastic jocks would have folded years ago if their council didn't build them a new ground every decade.

Mid-afternoon yesterday the news came through that we had been reprieved at the High Court and that the Poppies could finally peep out from under the cloud of the constant horror show that supporting the Poppies has been over the past couple of years.

We may well be at a mortifying low level of football, but we are still playing football!  We have honest people running the club, people who are fans of the club.  We can now start again and build properly for the future, building a sustainable club, and avoiding the boom/bust mentality of the Ladak days.  At least that's the theory.  I'm sure that by the weekend some of our more vocal complainers will be demanding managerial changes galore and hosts of expensive players to be signed.

And tonight we have managed to overcome the mighty Romulus (yes, a real team) and head into the FA Trophy first round proper, only 6, 7 or possibly 8 straight wins from Wembley!  Halcyon days!

It almost makes you glad to be a Poppies fan.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Rounding the final bend

By this time tomorrow we will either be drowning our sorrows at the final end of the Poppies, or celebrating our survival in the only way we know how - by demanding Thomas's sacking / more terracing / better players / moaning about admittance prices etc.  Statistically speaking, the club has never been closer to ceasing to exist as it does tonight.  At every other "final" court case we have at least walked unaided into the dock to hear the verdict.  This time, the death sentence has already been passed, and we are entirely dependent on an outsider deciding whether he can be bothered to commute our walk to the gallows to life at Latimer Park (or at least 5 years).

We all wish Ritchie and his, hopefully, crack unit of expert litigators all the best for tomorrow.  We can but hope that at least one amongst the team arguing on our behalf is a descendant of the famous barrister, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Massingberd-Massingberd, VC, DFC and bar, who, if Edmund Blackadder is to be believed, really is the best legal mind to have in your corner when it comes to the crunch.

We can all think of a thousand good reasons why the Poppies should be allowed to continue.  We could list dozens of golden memories here.  Numerous examples when the town was brought together by 11 blokes in red, kicking a football around a muddy field.  But, at the end of the day, they all count for nought in the face of the courts, a judge, and a businessman, who for reasons best known to himself, seems intent on finishing us and getting no money, rather than working with us and taking home the thick end of 70K.

Hope to see you all on the other side tomorrow when we can get back to simply moaning about how rubbish we are!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Bitter Taste of Being Financially Prudent

Lewis Wilson's move to some team called "Shitehawk" has confirmed a few of things to me.  Firstly, it perhaps explains Wilson's thumping return to form last Saturday.  The opportunity to play for team no one has ever heard of before doesn't come along every day.

Also confirmed is our greatly reduced circumstances, where it is dangerous to have anyone play for us who puts in an even slightly above average performance as they can be snatched away by any of the thousands of teams which are now above us in the non-league pecking order, with the offer of a half season contract and a packet of pork scratchings. (see Nathan Fox and his snatch back by the plastic jocks).

These greatly reduced circumstances that mean that only one of our players is / was on more than a month's contract can be positive when it means that mouthy, Twitterphile, non-footballers like Dave Deeney can be jettisoned at a moment's notice.  It seems less of a good idea when we lose good players to clubs that may have a made-up name, but can actually pay them.

This is what happens when you try to stay within a playing budget you have set yourselves.  We all applaud such sentiment, but, boy, does it sting when it slaps you in the face.

That said, there's no need to lose sleep over Lewis's departure.  As has been seen with both him (joining us 3 times in under a year) and Henry's return, players seem to do the rounds at this level and can reappear at a moment's notice.  I'm still waiting for Joel Gyasi to roll up to Latimer Park soon, but can happily do without another Deeney stint!

"Pick that f*cker out!"  Lewis almost certainly doesn't say.