Football In Wakefield & An Issue Of Ongoing Viability

The bulldozers moved in at College Grove in Wakefield last week. This, of itself, should probably not have come as too much of a surprise to those that have been watching the recent difficulties of Wakefield Football Club of the Northern Premier League for most of this year, but as a visual analogy it was depressingly appropriate that a club which has had a disastrous year should have seen its home almost completely razed to the ground in favour of a multi-sport complex by its owners at the same time that those running the club confirmed that it was on the brink of closure. The problems facing this club, however, are no flash in the pan, and the near-levelling of College Grove marks what can only realistically be regarded as the conclusion of a set of circumstances which began more than a decade ago. In the beginning, there was Emley FC. This club was a perennial winner of the Yorkshire League throughout the mid to late 1970s through to the early 1980s, and their upward trajectory continued through the Northern Counties East League and into the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League – which was, at the time, just one division below the Football Conference – in 1991. These were the club’s halcyon days. They remained members of this division throughout the 1990s and managed an appearance on...

Read More