Tag: Crawley Town

Match Of The Midweek FA Cup Special: Crawley Town 2-1 Derby County

When the full-time whistle blew at Broadfield Stadium this evening with Steve Evans gesticulating at the referee in the background over the amount of time added on at the end of the match, there was an outpouring of joy and delight that the stadium has probably never seen before. It would probably not, however, be overstating things to say that this joy was only scantly mirrored in the outside world. Non-league football probably hasn’t ever seen a less popular set of “giant-killers” (if, considering everything, that is how this match can really be framed) and, for those of us that love non-league football, the feeling of ambivalence towards Crawley Town on an evening such as this has felt odd, almost unnatural. We’re supposed to love our giant-killers. Instead, tonight felt lop-sided, as if the planets had slipped out of alignment. The Daily Mail chimed in this morning with a hagiography of the club that contained some surprising assertions. It claimed, for example, that “Crawley’s home gate has doubled to around 1,200” this season, which is just plain wrong – their average home crowd this season is 1,694, up from 913 last season but almost identical to their average home attendance – 1,682 – of two seasons ago. In addition to this, it would appear that, according to this report, the selection of lower division footballers that have pitched up...

Read More

Steve Evans: Football Manager. Convicted Criminal.

At Broadfield Stadium last night, Crawley Town beat Bath City in the Blue Square Premier to move up to seventh place in the table after four matches. A crowd of 1,252 people turned out to watch it – hardly, one might think, a ringing endorsement of the “Project Promotion” that the club has put in place since new owners decided that money was no object in buying the club a place in the Football League. Perhaps the people of Crawley aren’t quite as excited at the prospect of “Project Promotion” as those running the “project” might have hoped. Should they continue to win, the likelihood is that crowds will increase, but the wider reputation of Crawley Town remains low. There has been some degree of distaste at the way that the club has been throwing its money about, but even this has palled at the continuing involvement at Crawley Town of one of the biggest bête noires of  modern football: Steve Evans. Why, though, is Steve Evans so despised? It’s easy, from a distance, to assume that the ongoing antipathy towards Evans is an antipathy like any other. An abrasive “larger than life” character will always stir up negative emotions in the supporters of other clubs, but Evans seems to strike something baser – a raw nerve that provokes florid and colourful streams of abuse, something that makes others...

Read More

Compare & Contrast In Sussex

Perhaps the most important thing about a financial crisis at a football club is how the club itself reacts to the situation that has pushed it to the edge. Two non-league clubs in the south of England, Crawley Town and Lewes, have given every impression of being in a perpetual state of flux over the last few years but their behaviour this summer couldn’t have been more different, with one choosing a new ownership structure which should go some way towards ensuring that its recent near-death experience is never repeated, while the other has decided to go down the opposite route and spend, spend, spend. Crawley Town’s name has become synonymous with financial management for several seasons, with debts rising as high as £1.8m in 2006 before being cleared, although the club did end up back at the High Court in London in March of this year, fighting off another a winding up petition. Azwar Majeed, one of the brothers that had driven the club so close to the edge, ended up in prison for tax fraud. One might have expected the club to have learnt that financial prudence is key to the club’s long-term survival, but their behaviour in the transfer market this summer is raising concerns that their cycle of boom and bust is about to start again. Since the start of July, when Bruce Winfield became...

Read More

Match Of The Week: Crawley Town 1-1 AFC Wimbledon

One of the paradoxes of the FA Cup is that the more likely a club is to win it, the less they care about it. This doesn’t apply at the Fourth Qualifying Round stage, though, where the possibility of a big payday and the comparative glamour of a live match on the television looms on the horizon.

Read More

Little Rays Of Sunshine

It’s probably fair to say that we would all like the league tables at the end of the season to have been decided by events that take place on the field of play. This is why the points deductions that were handed out by the Football League during the summer left such a bad taste in the mouth. The damage at Rotherham United, Luton Town and Bournemouth was done long before this summer, and the cost of it is, by and large, being borne by people that were little if not nothing to do with what actually went wrong. So far this season, the Football League has managed to hold up reasonably well financially, but there’s nothing in the general long-term prognosis isn’t good. If the economy continues to shrink, then season ticket sales are likely to fall sharply. Clubs may be about to discover that they are a luxury that many people can’t afford when times get hard. Considering that most of the worst financial crises have, thus far, been fought off, one might have expected that the majority of league tables were being decided, for once, by what occurred on the pitch, but that’s not completely true, and one league is leading the way when it comes to handing out heavy sanctions for errors – The Blue Square Premier. The BSP has earned itself a reputation for...

Read More