Football In Wakefield & An Issue Of Ongoing Viability

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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6 Responses

  1. I’ve always thought that Wakefield FC would have a limited shelf-life. It’s akin to a franchise – moved into an area well away from it’s traditional home with no connection to the community it placed itself in. Not a good start for a non-league club. Especially in an area full of other well established non league clubs with strong community roots.

    The Wakefield postcode area has a thriving non-league scene and Wakefield FC were always going to struggle to attract support within an area that already supports nine other clubs that play in the National Football System.

  2. Ian says:

    Yes, the word “franchise” has come up several times whilst reading forums trying to get a handle on the situation at the club. The question that I find difficult to answer is “Who does this club serve?”, because if its local communuity wasn’t interested and much of the original support stayed with AFC Emley or returned after the new club was formed back in the village, it’s difficult to see why it should still be playing at the level that it is. Perhaps the only answer is to drop back to the amateur leagues.

  3. Max says:

    Wakefield is a city, not a town. Most follow Leeds, Huddersfield, Barnsley or the Sheffield clubs, and have for generations, so it would always have been a battle to establish a club here. That said, there were noises of trying to get football in the new rugby stadium that is planned for near the M62, but i think that’s more the rugby fans wanting to legitimise the stadium as for the ‘community’ when that’s a load of nonsense.

  4. I don’t see any reason why Wakefield couldn’t sustain a Step 1-3 non-league club, in the same way the likes of Guiseley, Stocksbridge, or Farsley have done. Personally I don’t really go along with the argument that locals already supporting league teams means it would be doomed to failure. The likes of Handsworth, Sheffield FC, Bradford PA, as well as the aforementioned, have managed decent crowds despite being close to league teams, and a large section of their support also following a league team concurrently. People go to non-league as much for its removal from the ‘big club’ characteristics as anything else.
    The most obvious way to build in this day and age is through the kids/junior sections, and the community involvement aspect, which Wakefield FC appeared to be trying to do. But it’s in its current league position it’s identity is unclear due to the Emley connections, which it may be better to cut and start again afresh from a lower level.

  5. Jonathan Stone says:

    In response to this article and in particular Max’s comment, Peter Matthews was at Belle Vue last night and was asked to speak to a meeting about Wakefield FC and their current plight and possible bright future. I can confirm that Wakefield FC, along with the majority of other prominent amateur RL teams in both Wakefield and the adjoining Leeds area have been invited to be part of the Newmarket Community Stadium and sports facilities project. There is an open standing invite for any sports club to use the proposed facilities. Wakefield College are keen to move their sports and leisure students out to Newmarket site as they are vacating Thornes Park. If the project is given the go ahead they will be a large indoor sports hall built along with lecture space, dance studios and gym facilities. As such, Wakefield Netball and Wakefield wheeled cats have also been invited to get behind the project as they are losing their home when Lightwaves closes early next year. As well as the stadium itself, there will be two fully flood lit pitches, a grass pitch with a small spectator stand, perfect for hosting amateur football, RL, RU finals and also a new 4G fully synthetic pitch (same as the new Widnes Vikings RL pitch) suitable for fully contact Rugby and football. This means that the grass pitches can be in kept in first class order for hosting competitive games.

    So sorry Max, this is not a load of nonsense to legitimise anything, this is a true community facility for all and the more clubs and sports that get involved the better for the sustainability of the project. The Community Trust WANT the facilities to be used 16 hours a day, with Wakefield College and Wakefield Trinity being able to train during the working day, as anchor tenants for the project, with other sport clubs using the facility early mornings, evenings and weekends.

    Peter Matthew is keen to make Newmarket Wakefield FC’s new home and the Community Trust have invited them to make it their new home!

  6. A Cynic says:

    Even between Wakefield FC, Trinity and Wakefield College, there still won’t be able to affoid the Stadium.

    You can all the other facilities eslewhere – they are simply being added on to legitimise Trinity’s desire to have a Stadium – one that they can’t afford as they are are club that is always on the brink of a financial mess.

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