Match Of The Midweek: Rotherham United 2-0 Aldershot Town (3-0 Agg)

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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9 Responses

  1. Michael Wood says:

    How does one write a FA law which allows Rotherham to move to Sheffield for financial reasons which makes it impossible to move Wimbledon to Milton Keynes?

  2. John (Hendon) says:

    My guess is this:

    Rotherham to Sheffield (specifically the Don Valley Stadium) – 4.1 miles.

    Wimbledon to Milton Keynes – 62.0 miles.

  3. NC says:

    ‘That Rotherham United should be here this evening at all is, in its own small way, a miracle. They have had two spells in administration, the second of which cost them a seventeen point deduction at the start of last season’.

    Not that surprising when they were able, almost uniquely at this level, to pay 6 figure fees for 2 players at the start of the season (Pope and Le Fondre). Still, better to spend the money on new talent than squander it on St John’s Ambulance, etc….

  4. Michael Wood says:

    So John your rule would have stopped Brighton playing at Gillingham when they needed to almost certainly and depending on where the arbitrary line you draw is stopped Bradford City playing at Elland Road in ’85. It might have also effected Wimbledon’s ability to move ground in London, depending on the ad hoc decision as to how far the are of effect from a club is.

    This illustrates the point I’m making. To be able to make any set of laws worth reading you have to create consistency and it is very difficult to think of a way to do this in a way that allows some stadium movement and not others. Using John’s anything under 60 miles as an example what if Carlisle had to move or they would go out of business and could go to Kendal Town which (Google Maps tells us) is 60.1 miles away.

    Does such a move get thrown away and Carlisle go out of business because we have a hard and fast rule on 60 miles? If we can flex then what basis do we do it on? Do we allow any movement under 60 miles? Would Wimbledon moving to Slough – half of the sixty mile difference – be welcomed?

    So your guess John only serves to illustrate the difficulty in setting such laws and the simplistic approach that has been taken to commenting on them.

    So I ask again totally unsatisfied by the idea of having an arbitrary distance cap how does one write a FA law which allows Rotherham to move to Sheffield for financial reasons which makes it impossible to move Wimbledon to Milton Keynes?

  5. Wayne Bennett says:

    Interesting comment by NC on squandering money on players, like Rotherham are English footballs worst offenders, lol.

    Regarding the move, the move to Sheffield is temporary, while a new ground is built (summer 2012) like so many other clubs. The Dons move to MK was a lock stock and barrel permanent flit, quite different. This has only happened once before in English football, in 1930 when South Shields moved to Gateshead, and also changed their name to that of the new locality. Rotherham’s situation is more akin to that of Chester when they played at Macclesfield, Charlton when they played at West Ham and several other clubs. They will be back in Rotherham soon, Wimbledon never intended to go back.

  6. Wayne Bennett says:

    Forgot to add, Rotherham face expulsion from the FL and forfeiting a £750k bond if they do not move back, so the league is being quite firm with this. Compare this with Wimbledons intention to stay put permamently in MK and you have the reason the law was drawn up, after the Dons had moved and in order to prevent that happening again.

  7. Michael Wood says:

    While there is an idea that the move is temporary – certainly it is desired and agreed to be that way – there is no way to enforce any club to maintain a permanent home. In fact the very fact that Rotherham are moving from Millmoor to another part of the Town shows that the idea of a permanent ground is not the question. The “this is your ground and you must stay there” approach to this problem is out of the question.

    Rotherham do face FL expulsion as so we can see how the authorities are pushing this idea that Rotherham United should play in Rotherham. The question is how does one define what is “in Rotherham” or for that matter “in Wimbledon”

    How does one write a law that enshrines that idea of a club having to be within a community without putting geographic ties which would prove unfair.

    If Bradford City were to move to Odsal from Manningham it would be greater distance than Millmoor to the Don Valley stadium although the former is within a City and the latter moves from one Town to another City. A distance in miles cut off point is obviously not going to work, how does one define the community that supports a club and how does one yoke a team into that.

    (I should add, as a note, that aside from the usual misgivings about Ronnie Moore I’ve no beef with Rotherham or Wimbledon for that matter. What I’m interested in is how does one frame up a set of rules that can bend enough to help out clubs that need it – and my club has played home games at four different stadia dotted around West Yorkshire – but protects clubs from being moved away from the communities that have supported them. In other words it is not about Rotherham or Wimbledon defending themselves it is about using the experience of these clubs to think about that – as fans – we would most want the laws to be to protect us in both situations)

  8. Wayne Bennett says:

    I think you are misunderstanding what is required. There is no requirement as such for a permanent ground to be nominated, nor is there a distance limit. As I understand it the rule is *only* that a club should play within the boundary of the town or borough it represents, therefore the closeness or otherwise of DVS, which is right next to the Rotherham/Sheffield boundary is irrelevant, DVS is on the wrong side of that boundary and that is why Rotherham must find a home within Rotherham. There is no problem with ‘ground hopping’ as long as they are within your borough and have a current safety certificate. So, practicval considerations set aside, your Bradford example would be perfectly legit, so long as Odsal is legal in its own right. It is quite easy to determine ‘what is in Rotherham’, you just look at a map.

    My opinion is that this rule is right and proper (even if it did result in my club being chucked out – we knew and agreed to abide by the rules in Jul 2008, no point moaning in 2012 if we’re not ready)

    The alternative would be to open up the prospect of similar situations to MK Dons, where a club owner decides to take ‘his’ football club to another part of the country. Rotherham themselves were threatened with this in 1980 when the then chairman wanted to move the club to Essex, Romford to be exact. Their own club had recently ceased trading and Mr Johnson wanted RUFC to move in. Such as that should never be allowed to happen.

  9. Michael Wood says:

    So we have a generic idea that a club should play within the community from which draws a support and it is fairly clear that Rotherham is distinct from Sheffield but take as another example that of Bradford (Park Avenue) who have long since stopped being anything to do with the team of Bradford who played at Horton Park Avenue but do play in Bradford.

    However plans are afoot to move them to the very edge of Bradford, so close to the edge that while the entrance to the stadium’s car park would be in Bradford, the stadium itself would be past the boundary to be in Leeds. (See link at the foot)

    A permanent move to another City but one which retains a connection to the current fan base but one which could easily be ruled as illegal as being very much what MK Dons did (Moving to another City forever)

    As I say I’m not trying to argue for one point or the other just highlighting the difficulties involved in creating a rule that allows some cases without disallowing others that might be considered morally legitimate.

    The link

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