Day: November 21, 2011

AFC Bournemouth: There’s Something About Eddie

It was a minor exchange among ‘readers’ comments’ in Bournemouth’s Daily Echo newspaper. But it summed up much about AFC Bournemouth under current chairman Eddie Mitchell. The exchange concerned the relationship between parent company, AFC Bournemouth Limited, and a company set up by Mitchell, AFCB’s then-largest individual shareholder, called Black Label Events (BLE), which runs catering and conferencing at Bournemouth’s Seward Stadium. One reader believed they were separate entities and that Bournemouth wasn’t “entitled to any profit” from BLE. “The way I read it,” another said, “isn’t (Mitchell) saying the opposite?” You could almost envisage Mitchell hanging up his “Mission Accomplished” banner. Property developer Mitchell’s disingenuousness has peppered his chairmanship of the club, and he came to national attention in September with behaviour which even FIFA President Sepp Blatter might have considered “a bit crass.” At a September the first fans’ forum, he told a dissenting supporter to “go and support Southampton.” And after Bournemouth’s 3-0 home defeat to Chesterfield nine days later, he took to the pitch, microphone in hand, to offer some (tired and) emotional suggestions to fans chanting for his departure. Events immediately surrounding these rants were expertly covered by Ian King at the time, but things had been brewing for ages. And post-rant events have provided more intrigue, and more trademark Mitchell disingenuousness. Since becoming chairman, in June 2009, Mitchell has carefully chosen his words,...

Read More

Football In Wakefield & An Issue Of Ongoing Viability

The bulldozers moved in at College Grove in Wakefield last week. This, of itself, should probably not have come as too much of a surprise to those that have been watching the recent difficulties of Wakefield Football Club of the Northern Premier League for most of this year, but as a visual analogy it was depressingly appropriate that a club which has had a disastrous year should have seen its home almost completely razed to the ground in favour of a multi-sport complex by its owners at the same time that those running the club confirmed that it was on the brink of closure. The problems facing this club, however, are no flash in the pan, and the near-levelling of College Grove marks what can only realistically be regarded as the conclusion of a set of circumstances which began more than a decade ago. In the beginning, there was Emley FC. This club was a perennial winner of the Yorkshire League throughout the mid to late 1970s through to the early 1980s, and their upward trajectory continued through the Northern Counties East League and into the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League – which was, at the time, just one division below the Football Conference – in 1991. These were the club’s halcyon days. They remained members of this division throughout the 1990s and managed an appearance on...

Read More