Tag: Rotherham United

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

The Don Valley Stadium, on the Rotherham side of Sheffield, couldn’t be much much less like Millmoor, Rotherham United’s home from 1907 until 2008. Millmoor may have been a little untidy but it was home for The Millers, with a scrap metal yard behind one of the stands beind the goal, the crane from which stood in full view of the pitch, as if Ted Hughes’ “Iron Man” was sneaking a peek every Saturday afternoon. Don Valley, by contrast, feels like an ultra-modern, twenty-first century, multi-sport venue, yet it feels almost  inappropriate for a League Two club to be playing here. The yellow steel piping and tent-like multi-span roofs over the stands give it an almost continental feel, but the running track makes creating an atmosphere difficult. Even this evening, only one stand is full – such are the pitfalls of playing in a 25,000 capacity stadium when your average crowd hovers at around one-sixth of that number. There are a shade over 7,000 here this evening and they’re making quite a racket, but Don Valley is lodgings rather than a home for Rotherham United. They plan to move into a new home of their own in two years’ time. 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...

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Football, Finances and League Two

The new League Two season has started with everybody financially stable – more or less – but Lincoln City supporter Keith Duncombe doesn’t feel that the authorities are going far enough. In 2002 Lincoln City FC nearly closed down. In fact, the club was 24 hours from having its application to enter administration in court considered when two of the then Board got together to try to secure enough funding to make that a reasonable possibility. One re-mortgaged his house; the other pledged a not inconsiderable sum of money. I shall be eternally grateful to them that they made these selfless gestures, as it ensured the survival of the club that I have followed all my life, and that has had fans from three generations of my family on the terraces and in the stands cheering on the “Mighty Imps” since the 1920s. But it was touch and go, and I know several fellow fans that travelled to Birmingham for the court hearing and who thought at the time that we just wouldn’t make it. The fans played their part too, and not just those who supported the Imps. I spent many a long hour on the net  at work persuading, cajoling and plain begging fans of other clubs to buy a seat (for £10) at Sincil Bank as part of the “Sponsor a Seat” initiative that eventually raised...

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Trying To Get Inside The Mind Of The Football League

Back in the day, struggling Fourth Division clubs had to regularly undergo the annual ordeal of re-election, in which the bottom four clubs in the table along with any non-league clubs that would fancied their chances took part in a vote to retain league membership. It is often said that the voting was seldom an objective affair. One story goes that Gateshead FC charged visiting club dignitaries for drinks in the boardroom, and were ejected from the Football League by the other clubs when they finished third from bottom in 1960. The flipside to this was at Hartlepool United, where the hospitality was so lavish that they never needed to worry about losing their membership. We thought that this had been done away with in 1987, when meritocracy seemed to have been brought in with automatic promotion and relegation between the Fourth Division and the Conference. Two decades on, however, the nagging feeling is starting to take hold that this meritocracy is all so much smoke and mirrors and that, in fact, the League’s members are acting as selfishly as ever. This may seem like a harsh assessment, but the thirty point deduction given to Luton Town earlier in the summer gave the impression of being almost vindictive in its severity. This has been followed up this week with the League’s decision to dock Rotherham United seventeen points for...

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