Friday, 31 August 2018

Stratford - same again please. Mostly.

Whilst the result at Stratford last season
was most welcome, the artic conditions were less so.

Substantially less so.

With a forecast tomorrow of a temperature
somewhere in the region of the early 20 degrees,
we are going to be looking at a, possibly
30 degree swing in temperatures between
last season's game and this.

I'm sorry, but in a temperate country like ours,
that's just mad.  A bit like Jack.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Barwell, How? Why?


No bar
No programmes
A double figure gate if we hadn't turned up

Genuinely, how do clubs like this survive?

The FA does FA for the little guys (so what's new?)

This story, which slipped out last week on the Poppies website pretty much sums up what is wrong with the way football is run in this country.

FA f*cks over the Poppies

The bottom line is that the club are no longer permitted to stream live TV games from Latimer Park.  The chances are, this won't affect people who are reading this, as we are more than likely to be at the game, but.....

A couple of years ago the Missus couldn't get to a couple of home games, so used her season ticket to watch the matches.  I've also been away on a Saturday before and managed to stay in touch via my Smart phone and Poppies TV.  You've probably also benefited from this service in the past too?

Let's be clear about what the FA are doing here. They are so scared their precious Premier League and their zillion-pound television contracts will be in some infinitesimal way undermined by a dozen house-bound Poppies fans, or overseas followers enjoying a bit of bobbly kick and rush, that they have taken a ridiculously big hammer to crush a nut that frankly doesn't exist!

The three "reasons" given by the FA for a blanket ban on tiny clubs streaming their games to their tiny support are these: -

1. To ensure spectators are not deterred from attending or participating in amateur or youth matches

Do the FA seriously believe Poppies TV stops anyone from attending live games, or local players from playing football?  Madness!

2.  In parallel to the above, protecting clubs' revenue generated by gate receipts

So, a potential, albeit small, revenue stream is closed off.  The home game against Hereford last season made the club an appreciable sum from away fans who couldn't get up to Northamptonshire from Hereford on a Tuesday night.  Honestly, who loses out?

3. To protect the interests of football within each national association.

What does this actually mean?  How does streaming a game to a house-bound Poppies fan who can't stand for 90 minutes impact upon our National Association?  Could the £8 he has to shell out for the privilege of following his team from home end up costing the FA their lucrative Sky and BT Sport contracts?  Just imagine, if this money disappeared from our National game we could end up with Premiership players having to scrape by on 50 or 60 grand a week rather than 150.  So sad!

Seemingly, as long as the FA can continue to strangle the lower leagues to salve the Big Boys, all to the good!  As long as they can continue to whore out the rights to their precious Premier League to all and sundry why should they care about the minnows in their midst?  Wrong. Wrong.  Wrong.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Lee Hughes & Other Old Rockers

Typical.  You wait years for one ex Premier League player to feature in a Poppies game, then two come along at once. Last Saturday we had the unusual sight of a Halesowen side featuring Lee Hughes, ancient slaphead and former jailbird, showing absolutely none of his ex top flight prowess, complemented by the late introduction of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who must be wondering where it all went wrong. Premiership striker in his 20s, coming off the bench six leagues lower in his early 30s. And making that look like a sensible career move.

Whilst this added curiosity value to things, there was a time when it was far from unusual to rock up at a semi pro game and witness an aging star going about his business. This was probably mostly down to money: even at the top level, very few players got rich and most needed to eke out their careers as best they could, even if that meant being kicked by part timers. Plus there were the ones with injury payoffs that prevented them from playing again at a professional level, but still had something to offer or so they hoped – often short lived.   

Finally there was the category of recovering/lapsed alcoholics – see Greaves (Barnet), Best (Dunstable) and almost but not quite Gascoigne (Threshers).          

Over the years we specialised in attracting the services of fading big time players, right back to the marquee signing of Tommy Lawton as player/manager, an event so big it was live on TV in the days of two channels, which must mean that it was watched by a large part of the population with nothing better to do. Derek Dougan was similarly big news – here was a man who not only had played in America against the likes of Pele, he was a regular on the telly as a World Cup pundit. For the first time, Rockingham Road and glamour appeared in the same sentence. Or even on the same page.

Then there was Don Masson, former Scotland captain, who was just passing through, and the Daves Watson and Needham, uncomplicated old rockers who ended their playing days in KTFC pinstriped nylon – slower than in their pomp but giving off enough static to power a small generator.

Plus who can forget the answer to an excellent quiz question: which non League club at the same time boasted a former European Cup winning captain, and Britain’s one time most expensive player?

Can you imagine the equivalent now – John Terry and Andy Carroll? Don’t even go there.
Half the answer to that quiz question
And the other

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Klondike Watch - week 2

9 points from 9.  The only 100% record in the division.  Three straight wins with barely a shot on goal and no striker on the books.  Can't argue with the season so far!

But, on a more important note, the Klondike half-time draw kicked me in the nethers once again.  It's bleeding obvious I'm used to not winning the bloody draw.  What I could do without is seeing the winning Kirk boys whooping with joy upon hearing the numbers.  They celebrated their good fortune right in front of me.  And I mean RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

Tickets sold - 310
Prize fund - £155.00
My tickets bought - 5
Percentage of total sales - 1.6%

Winning ticket - unknown, but not mine
My closest ticket - probably miles off

Distance from win - immense
Ken Samuel's Smug Quotient as
he fleeces me once more - 95% at least.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

6 points from 6? Good, but....

...more important than the results of our bunch of hard-working, non-striker, dwarfs is the result of the half-time draw.

So, what follows is the first of what (unfortunately) promises to be quite a lengthy series of whinges about my not winning our cursed Klondike Half Time Draw.  I fear fully half of the 1100+ articles on PATGOD touch upon my hate / hate relationship with this particular lottery.  It would get mentioned more, but I don't write every piece.....

This season I'm going to try a more scientific approach to winning the draw.  Too that end, I can report the following about Tuesday's game with Kings Lynn: -

Tickets sold - 400
Prize fund - £200.00
My tickets bought - 4
Percentage of total sales - 1%

Winning ticket - 27479
My closest ticket - 27450

Distance from win - 29
Ken Samuel's Smug Quotient as
he fleeces me once more - 89%

Friday, 10 August 2018

Something to show the kids in years to come

Craig Westcarr getting very close to
breaking into a sweat in a Poppies shirt.

They'll never believe it, but we'll

be able to say "we (almost) saw it...!

Enjoy the bench at Boston.

Wow, this is post 1111 on PATGOD.  One thousand, one hundred and eleven attempts to raise a point, a smile or someone's blood pressure.  And to celebrate, we have David Sheppard doing his party trick.  Mmmm.  I wonder if he's available to play up top for us tomorrow?