Filed under: Season Review | Tags: Bury FC, Gandhi, Invison, NPL, tinfoil hats
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Mahatma Gandhi said that. Wise words indeed from the dhoti wearing peacenik. And while he may not have been talking exclusively about FC United’s 2007/2008 campaign, he certainly had it in mind. Though definitely not when he came up with that ‘non violent resistance’ lark. I’m not sure even our Mahatma would have come away from Goole or Garforth unruffled. The British Raj had nowt on the West Yorkshire Police. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind? Aye, so does CS gas.
I digress. In the end 2007/2008 will be remembered as a good campaign. Almost a great one. After the processions of the previous two seasons it was great to not only have competition, but to have a real fight against teams (in some cases) better than us. Bradford Park Avenue were probably rightful winners of the title, but Skelmersdale, Curzon Ashton, and until the last month of the season Bamber Bridge, were all great opponents. To only miss out on winning a third consecutive championship by a solitary point was galling, but our subsequent success in the play-offs took the edge off the pain. And hey, isn’t FC United all about experiencing new things? Though I don’t suppose I’d have been quite so chirpy about the whole affair had we been humped by Skelmersdale in the final.
So that, coupled with our Copa del Presidente success, was the ‘then you win’ bit that Gandhi promised us. What of the ‘then they fight you’? It seemed for a while that everyone was lining up to have a go. The LMC, Bury FC, the weather, Sir Alex Ferguson (again). We’re a young club still finding our feet, we’re bound to make mistakes (I, for instance, can barely be described as young, yet I walk around in a continuous shroud of wrongness) but that doesn’t mean we’ll sit back and let people bully us.
The club, on the fans’ behalf, made a right and proper stand against the NPL and Invision over the Curzon Ashton fiasco. To put the wishes of a tinpot operation like Invision above those of several thousand fans is ludicrous, and the subsequent boycott was not only the right decision, but the only one. After all, if a club such as ours – one set up by bolshy gets for bolshy gets – doesn’t protest against this sort of administrative idiocy, who is?
And then there was the whole Woodley Sport game cancellation. Which for a while looked to have been terrible sabotage. The conspiracy theorists went in to overtime, donning their tinfoil hats, and logging in to their underground networks to come up with the alarming news that Sir Alex Ferguson and Tony O’Neill had bribed Iain Mills in the Masonic Lodge to discredit us. And while that suggestion was never thoroughly discredited (*cough*), it seems more likely that we dropped a bit of a bollock, and Bury were a little out of order. But let it be said on record that none of that takes away from the fact that Iain Mills is a short-wearing, black-pudding snuffling tosser of the highest order, and I laughed like a drain when he stepped down from his position as director of Bury. Good luck with the court cases, Iain.
(And should anyone wish to read the CSCI Inspection Report on Mill’s care homes, you can here).
So that was that. From a personal view point what should have been my most enjoyable season as an FC United fan was somewhat tempered by moving to London and missing out on most of the fun. But following from the armchair isn’t entirely new from me, and living the FC United dream vicariously is almost as much fun as being there, but without the hangover. Ever the optimist I’m sticking out my neck early on and saying promotion next season isn’t out of the question either. We’ve the backbone of an outstanding side, and providing we keep ’em (Back off BPA!) we should, like J-Stand, do alright.
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