Tag: St Albans City

A Welcome Return To Ian Ridley

We wrote on the subject of the light at the end of the tunnel at St Albans City, now of the Southern League, at the end of last week, and are pleased to be able to update those that had not been paying too much attention over the last few weeks. The club, which has had the smell of dry rot hanging around it for the last couple of seasons, was bought out by local businessmen two weeks ago and they had already announced that they were looking for a new chairman. Well, earlier this week they confirmed that they had found one, and it means a very welcome return to Clarence Park for Ian Ridley. Ridley will be well-known to some of you as a senior football writer with thirty years of experience in the national press, and a well-publicised spell as the chairman of Weymouth FC a decade or so ago. Mistakes were made there, but Ridley was candid enough to own up to them in his outstanding book, “Floodlit Dreams”, which was one of the most illuminating books about non-league football of the last decade or so. He also returned to Weymouth as chairman there and had a spell as a director at St Albans City under its previous ownership before leaving in 2006. His experience will be a valuable asset to a club that has...

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Cautious Reasons For Optimism At St Albans

It has been a wretched season for St Albans City. Twenty-five years at the sixth level of the English pyramid -one of which, the 2006/07 season had been spent a division higher in the Blue Square Premier – came to a crashing halt this season in a fog of humiliation, as they were docked ten points for financial irregularities and finished well adrift at the foot of the Blue Square South. As some noted at the time, even that points deduction proved to be a red herring. The final league table confirmed that, even without it, they would have finished bottom of the table anyway. All of this felt a long way away from the scenes at The Dripping Pan in Lewes at the end of April 1986, when City, needing a big win to guarantee their promotion from Division One of the Isthmian League, scooted to a 7-1 win. They had spent the previous twelve years playing at this level. In a non-league culture that still seemed to treat the concepts of promotion and relegation as faintly dishonorable and at a club that that had a long history in that division, being one of the first clubs to be relegated from its top division in 1974 had hurt. A further relegation, again on the introduction of a new basement division had followed. This particular embarassment, however, had been quickly set...

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The Shaming Of St Albans City

After almost one hundred and three years, St Albans City of the Blue Square South made their first trip to Wembley in an official capacity on Friday, but there was no silverware to be won from the disciplinary committee of the Football Association. The club had been charged with financial irregularities during the 2008/09 Blue Square South season and the punishment meted out by the FA was harsh – a £7,500 fine and an immediate ten point deduction that sinks the club to the foot of the Blue Square South table and may prove to be the death knell for their season. The FA’s statement on the subject was terse and to the point: At a Regulatory Hearing today, St. Albans City FC were deducted ten league points and fined £7,500 after a case of financial irregularities was proven. The Conference South club were found to be in breach of the following FA Rules – C2(b)(ii), C1(b)(viii) and C2(b)(iii). The three breaches are in relation to financial irregularities in respect to payments and expenses to players. In summing up, the Chairman of the Regulatory Commission had serious concerns over the financial irregularities within the Club during the 2008-09 season. Such irregularities enabled the Club to have an unfair sporting advantage over others within the League which is simply unacceptable. St Albans City FC were warned as to their future conduct...

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Match Of The Week: Lewes 3-1 St Albans City

In heraldry, it’s called The Rule Of Tincture. Metal should never be placed upon metal. St Albans City arrived at Lewes this afternoon with a mix and match kit. Their choice of outfit, yellow and blue striped shirts with white shorts and socks broke this rule – yellow represents gold and white represents silver. St Alban himself, had he a particular interest in the conventions of heraldry (and, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate) might well have been appalled. He would probably, however, have been even more enraged by the travesty of a performance that a team bearing his name managed this afternoon at The Dripping Pan. Perhaps no-one had reminded them of the importance of this fixture. St Albans went into the match one place and one point above Lewes, third from bottom, in the Blue Square South table. With one win in their last twenty-three matches, there is no question that they are facing a scramble to avoid relegation from this league and this match felt as if they are sleep-walking through this situation. If they are to have any chance of avoiding that relegation, it is a truism they need to be winning matches like this. If they can’t guarantee winning matches like this, then they need to at least be in the game. As a bare minimum, these games need to be contested....

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Match Of The Week: Luton Town 4-0 St Albans City

It was in March 1983 that I first went to Kenilworth Road. Parents of the children junior school that I had starting attending had recently knitted what they believed to be the world’s longest ever football scarf and we were invited to show it off on the pitch before Luton’s First Division match against West Bromwich Albion, which then featured on Anglia Television’s “Match Of The Week” (from which this weekly article takes its name) that evening. Somehow, I managed to cope with the ensuing celebrity. A lot has changed in the intervening twenty-seven years. Luton are a non-league club now and this brings with it a different set of pressures to those that David Pleat was under during the early 1980s. Every single dropped point layers another heap of pressure upon their manager, Richard Money, and there will no respite from this for Money until the club is back in the Football League. St Albans City sit a division below Luton Town, but these are two clubs that inhabit different universes. While Luton are playing for a place back in the top ninety-two, the Saints are struggling to keep their place in the Blue Square South this season, a job made that may be made that much more difficult if they are docked points by the FA after a recent investigation into financial irregularities. With just one win...

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