Day: April 10, 2012

Rangers Supporters Groups & Doing The Right Thing

At virtually all clubs in crisis, supporters are portrayed as victims, with lashings of sympathetic media coverage coming their way. So it has been with Rangers fans. Fans are occasionally admonished for not caring about financial recklessness while it funds success. But such a charge is nothing compared to the mismanagement of their clubs. People are paid – very highly, naturally, which is part of the problem – to care about club finances. And fans should be able to trust them. Football is a leisure activity for supporters, after all, although doubtless that concept would currently produce hollow laughter in Burslem, Portsmouth… and Govan. When Portsmouth collapsed in a financial heap in 2010 it was merely the venue for a high-stakes financial battle entirely separate from football. And one individual’s financial strategy landed Rangers in administration, while another man’s strategy may yet keep them there. So it is partly understandable that Rangers fans have had victimhood bestowed upon them in the traditional, clichéd manner – the usual tales of ‘the greatest fans in the world’ flocking to support their team, determined that their club “will never die.” To be fair, the Rangers reality has nearly fitted this narrative. Their first game in administration, at home to Kilmarnock, did sell out… eventually. There were only 1500 tickets unsold for the Hearts game two weeks later. And the Rangers Fans Fighting...

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Chester FC & Northwich Victoria: Poles Apart In The Same Division

End of season title deciders in non-league football have a tendency to bring out vastly inflated crowds which hint at the potential of a club were it to be playing at a higher level, and this weekend was no exception with a crowd of 5,009 people turning out at The Exacta Stadium in Chester to see Chester FC draw 1-1 with Northwich Victoria to lift the Premier Division title in the Northern Premier League. Yet this was far from being so much as an ‘ordinary’ end of season title decider, because seldom have two clubs both circling at the top of a division had such differing prognoses for the future.  Yesterday’s match brought Chester their second successive championship since their reformation after the mid-season financial collapse and closure in 2010, and promotion to the Blue Square Bet North for the start of next season marks the arrival of the club in the division that the original Chester City might have found itself had it been allowed to continue to limp along under its previous, thoroughly discredited ownership. That the club needed to be allowed to die and be reborn during the 2009/10 season was a truth that was an uncomfortable one to have to swallow, but the reborn club’s success has vindicated those that boycotted the club during its final weeks in order to force the issue. More importantly than that,...

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