Sunday, 21 February 2016

Even Further Beyond a Joke!

Ken Samuels's heroic one-man effort to hold back the boiling online-fury of online-Poppydom after yesterday's postponement shook loose an interesting timeline of events.

At 9.30AM Ref One calls game on.
At 1.30PM Ref Two, after a bit of rain, calls game off.
At 2.15PM Ref One, returning after his game had been called off, suggests he would have allowed our game to go ahead.

Don't worry.
This is non-league.
We don't pass on the floor!
We appreciate that not every postponement is cut and dried (with no pun intended).  There are games where the referee barely has to get out of his car to know the game simply isn't going to happen (see December /Jan this season).  Other games are tougher to call.  The pitch could be touch and go, with really damp patches being forked.  At the same time the forecast is for wall-to-wall rain, and the opposition team are on the phone, asking whether they should set off.  No one would relish making that decision!

But at this level, when a game is seriously touch and go surely the official must make every attempt to allow the game to be played.  OK, a poor pitch will affect the quality of the spectacle, but this is Latimer Park, not Wembley (in case anyone's unsure).  We don't expect too much in the way of quality (heretical, I know...)   Give us a bit of goalmouth action, more goals for us than them and a few contentious decisions to boo, and most of us will cheer the final whistle, and leave happy.

Perhaps even more important than making a few hundred miserable Poppies fans slightly less miserable for a few minutes every week, continual postponements exponentially hurt clubs at this level.

Clubs at our level have one crack at making money - one game every fortnight to take money over turnstiles, bars, burger van and in the sponsor area.  We don't have lashings of TV money to cushion the blow of postponements - unless you count the money taken by Poppies TV of course!

This one game per fortnight (or 3-games a week as we'll have until May) is our only chance to pay for our club.  So calling a game off this late is a absolute killer.  Beer is bought in.  Food has been prepared.  Players are in attendance.  Supporters have travelled to the ground.  All of this costs money.

Calling a game off at this stage should be the last resort.  If the game can possibly be played, it should be attempted.  It's a bit muddy?  So what.  Get out there and play!

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