I find the following editorial from the inferior non league paper, Non League Today, as mystifying as it is worrying:
The newly-formed AFC Liverpool have won their `case` with the Football Association and have been placed into the Vodkat North West Counties League Second Division (Step 6).
The FA`s National League Systems Committee originally wanted AFC Liverpool to start their campaign in the Liverpool County League instead of the NWCL, despite the NWC being happy for them to start out in their competition.
However, at Monday`s meeting in Soho Square it was decided to relent and allow the disaffected Reds` supporters` side to begin life at the same level as FC United of Manchester when they formed a couple of years back.
I have nothing personally against AFC Liverpool, or any other of the fan-based clubs already formed. However, I reckon we are heading for dangerous waters and something needs to be done to prevent more of these `clubs` being formed.
If supporters want to attempt to buy into current clubs – as at Bromsgrove Rovers for example – then I have nothing against that. Indeed, back in the 1980s I was party to Kettering Town having supporters` representatives on the board of directors.
But`clubs` being formed from disenchanted fans should be halted by the FA.
If you are unhappy with the way your non-League club is being run/managed, there is currently nothing to prevent you from starting up an `AFC…….` and apply for acceptance into a Step 6 league – dangerous!
Steve Whitney, who wrote the piece, is entitled to an opinion, of course, no matter how wrong. But what he’s not entitled to is to voice this opinion in his paper without even attempting to back up any of his points. He fails to explain what his problem is with Fan Owned clubs, uses emotive language such as ‘dangerous’ on at least two occasions without taking the trouble to explain why it’s so, before finally signing off by suggesting that setting up and running your own club isn’t as dangerous as taking over an existing one and doing what you want with it. Clearly Mr Whitney has, despite his feeble ‘I have nothing personally against AFC Liverpool, or any other of the fan-based clubs already formed’ protestation, some sort of issue with us and our like, it’d be nice to know what it is.
Mr Whitney’s viewpoint isn’t an uncommon one, and it’s an issue I dealt with last week in my Mersey Paradise post. But, and I hate having to repeat myself, even when it’s completely necessary, it was bullshit then, and continues to be so. That Mr Whitney sees fit to use his paper as a mouth piece for these views is sad, bu as editor, his right. But perhaps you have to ask yourself if it’s the sort of paper you should be buying, even as a second choice for when they’ve run out of The NLP.
For Mr Whitney to suggest that the increase in Fan Owned Clubs is dangerous is to suggest that transparency in dealings, having a say in the future of your club and the game, and the reinvestment of all profits in to the game is dangerous. You have to wonder exactly Mr Whitney’s problem with that is, don’t you?
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