When The Lights Went Out

AFC Wimbledon supporters will already be aware of the occasionally intransigent ways of the Ryman League. A couple of seasons ago, when an administrative error meant that one of their players was incorrectly registered with the Football Association of Wales rather than the FA, they were docked fifteen points until an independent committee stepped in and reduced the punishment. Now, almost two years on, they’re at it again. This time, the victims are Redbridge FA, and the crime is failing a fllodlight inspection. The punishment might just turn out to be the club’s very existence. Redbridge FC started out as a merger of Ford Sports and Brigg Sports in 1959 under the name of Ford United. The club played was semi-adopted by the Ford Motor Company and played at the company’s Ford Sports & Social Club. However, the company withdrew its funding from the club and allowed them only a one year rolling contract on their stadium. This arrangement wasn’t acceptable to the Ryman League, so they moved to the Oakside Stadium in nearby Redbridge and changed their name accordingly. On the pitch, they had been briefly reasonably successful, getting promotion to the Conference South, but they dropped like a stone between 2005 and 2007, back to the Ryman League Division One North, ground-sharing with Essex Senior League club Barkingside. Life is difficult enough for anyone at this level...

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