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For one time only…

… I’ve resurrected the SW19 comments section again.

It’s only because of the whole NA departure thing, so don’t get too excited at its return.

Why I axed it just over a year ago is for one simple reason – it became too popular for me to keep proper tabs on it. These sort of things need proper administration, which I simply don’t have time for now.

It didn’t help that some arsewipe was using a VPN to pose as other people, which made tracing them impossible.

So, for this one time only, pontificate away…

Published inMain stuff


  1. Just a quick test to see if it’s functioning again…

  2. JamieTheDon

    Thank you for (temporarily) reopening.

    Does anyone have any idea if we’ve had to pay a proportion/all of the remainder of Ardley’s contract? What tend to be the mechanics of a manager leaving by mutual consent?

    • I don’t know but according to an article in either the mirror or express that someone posted on social media (see: ) Ardley has ruled himself out of other currently vacant jobs “to pursue claims for compensation” presumably against AFCW

  3. Funky Fazza

    I’m feeling slightly underwhelmed about the club at the moment….time is a healer as they say or in football’s case, 3 points on Saturday and again the following week and I’ll be back feeling my old self again.

  4. TokyoDon

    *pulls up chair; opens bag of popcorn*

  5. Kobedon

    I’m amazed Ardley lasted so long, he steadily looked more and more miserable over the last year and a half, so this feels like a bit of a mercy killing. Hopefully once the dust has settled we will appreciate what he did for us on and off the pitch, I hope he will be welcomed back at the NPL as much as any other previous manager.
    I actually think the squad isn’t that bad.
    …..So with a new manager there is time enough to keep us up……I hope they get someone in soon though

  6. E.J. Thribb (aged 17 1/2)

    So. Farewell
    Then Neal Ardley
    That is the news
    We will miss your
    Pre-match interviews.

    We trained well and
    Got back our mojo
    We’ll do our jobs and
    Give it a good go.

    You did your best to
    Lead the fight
    Even if too often
    We couldn’t score all night.

    A true Dons legend
    Loved by the fans
    Until the end when
    You got the can.

    • Alexandra_Don

      EJ very good! Can we have one after every game!

  7. Dave

    All that matters and all that’s ever mattered is AFCW. Sentiment is not enough for any club in any league at any level. We have lost good managers in the past for whatever reason and Neals (Nils) time was up, most probably for the Nils – Nil Points, Nil Goals in so many games often during long winless runs. Those sentimentalists who could see no wrong in Neal’s tenure have obviously ignored the stats that really matter and, despite promotion, the best we could ever manage was seventh. That said, I still wish Neal the best in the future and I hope he lightens up at his new club wherever and whoever that may be.

    • “I still wish Neal the best in the future and I hope he lightens up at his new club”

      Comments like these make me think I should bring back this section full time

  8. Hash

    I have accepted for about a month that he needed to go. Nothing lasts for ever. But the truth is, I am a softie sometimes and I get attached to people, even people I don’t know. Ardley is one of them. In fact I can say in my 20+ years following the Dons, there has not been a single player or manager who I have felt as much of a connection with as him. I always felt he was one of us. From being the only one who gave a toss when we got relegated from the premiership to being at that Chipstead game in the CCL, to becoming our manager, to seeing his face when we beat the scum etc. We will never get another manager like that again but that is part of ‘growing up’ as a club.

  9. Brendan

    Wish neal the best, but now need a manager with contacts. He did great work with the youth. Few now on the books at pl clubs. So doing something good in that department.

    Won’t miss pre-match interviews. Listening/watching those. made me depressed and thinking we where 1-0 behind.

    Now need a manager who knows players, agents and clubs.

    • PPK

      You might be better off praising the academy than Neal on the “few on the books at PL clubs”. Specifically who coached them and not the 1st team manager who wasn’t too fond of the academy training ground.
      Whilst we are at it cheerio Bayes.
      Anyone considered the calibre of coach that Bassey has called on 6 years ago and now when flung into the hot seat? Perhaps his connections are not as rank as people suggest.

  10. BB

    Rob. How are you , ? hope all is well and if you find yourself on the west coast. don’t forget to contact me. It’s been a while but we need a’s my take. He’s gone. Way to late but that may be a good thing, as it’s exposed great holes in model we have and the feeling of them and us that have needed looking at for a while, the DTB elections show that there is a movement for change and this sorry saga may be the beginning of the change we need. Not a move away from fan owned but a move into the 21st century.ardleys parting gift could well be a bright future, and the malaise of the FCB during this sorry episode may inadvertently lead to something we can all be proud of once more.

    • BB – yep, haven’t forgotten the West Coast invite.

      Our current plight has exposed some real faultlines in the way we do things now (or more accurately – what we’ve done in the past 16 years no longer works). That’s normal, especially when you’ve done as much as we have since 2002.

      TB going forced us to change things then, and the same has happened today….

      Steven Ward – NA went beyond a broken record in the last couple of months, to the point he sounded like he was failing to convince himself.

      I saw this observation from a Watford fan on Neil Cox from elsewhere, may sum up a lot –

  11. BB

    I will say however though that he moved the club forward in a way people would never have imagined and I hope he finds a club that he can thrive in , it’s not his fault this last year , he reached his ceiling here and was left to publicly decay. he will be back , he will learn from this and he will lead a team out against us one day. Good luck in the future NA

  12. Stephen Ward

    Thanks for opening the comments again Rob.

    The one thing I’m wondering is what changed from Erik’s statement to him going. Really couldn’t believe it when the news broke on Monday.

    It feels exciting to really get behind the team again, hopefully we get a good appointment & preferably someone who has little history with the club if that’s possible

    About a year ago I stopped listening to Ardley’s post match interviews as he always tended to have an excuse & it got really boring. Listened back to the interview he gave after Shrewsbury & it makes me think we’ve done the right thing. He sounded broken. Sometimes the change is necessary. Hope the board learn this in the long term.

  13. Gizmo

    It was a sad ending but I think the real legacy Neal leaves behind is a much better youth policy (despite his weird reluctance at times to give those players game time).

    The new manager needs a positive approach to that part of AFCW as WFC was able to generate income from many of the yoof players that came through the ranks. Chris Perry is a prime example.

    His expressions on Friday in the dugout during the game showed someone at the end of their tether. He didn’t help himself at times but I’ll be grateful for those Fleetwood and Plymouth games.

  14. Mikedon

    Thanks Neal, but I’ll bet you were relieved when you were finally put out of your and our misery. And it was pretty miserable at the end. Best wishes. Not at all sure why Lee Clark is looking favourite. He’s hardly a ray of sunshine ( in fact he makes NA look positively jolly ). and a few smiles around the place wouldn’t go amiss. His record is poor, and we need someone with a big, fat contacts book. Oh well, the king is dead etc. Come on you Dons.

  15. Mike Matthews

    Best wishes to Neal for the future.

    He got out of ‘jail’ last season, & should have realised he’d run out of drive & ‘moved on’ close-season. ( but we all do it – think we are indispensable…..)
    Its been hard watching AFC this last year – TBH even longer than that. For an ex- youth team manager, he’s had opportunities to bring on our youngsters, yet until this season, never did. Was he ‘instructed’ to use the kids more for this season ? – all very odd.
    We’re going to be relegated – Lets face it. We should get organised & build a team of youngsters with a nucleus of GOOD experienced players.

  16. PPK

    There are some pretty decent candidates throwing their hats in the ring: don’t take a great deal of notice of skybet – there is at least one Premier League club “employee” too.
    Remember, bottom feeding in L1, we can still pay a gaffer £2.5k a week which is a fair bit more than Neal’s £70k starter. Its expected that this rabble will relegate us. As long as it appears in the upcoming window that they do have the connections to improve the playing staff…almost a free hit.
    What is a worry, some of these candidates are pretty strong characters: the autocrat left the board a few years ago but I wonder how the current FCB will deal with this. Perhaps, finally, Palmer will come into his own.

    • alex_the_don

      Hi PPK, can I ask how do you know what Neal Ardley was paid? What the new manager will be paid and who the candidates thus far are?


  17. PPK

    Cheers for opening this up Mr D. Nice to see BB alive and kicking.
    What BB alludes to is the money post; NA was broken. Left insitu for 12 months too long. But “he’s one of our own” scenario probably masked what some observers who were pilloried for saying – the board desperately needed to sharpen up.
    If the incoming manager (NA) had to kick the FCB up the ars to say get on with building a L2 training ground/facilities etc wtf?
    FWIW I don’t think Neal did much other than shoot par. Visibly lame when transfer window rules changed. He is a good egg. A yeoman if you will.
    Now we need some guile – perhaps someone strong enough to shame the FCB via “sources”. The worry is FCB…

  18. Ben Moran

    Sad to see NA go but perhaps inevitable after this season was threatening to turn into a repeat of last season.Hope the new man comes in and gets the players back playing with more joy and back to winning ways.NA deserves his place in our clubs history and yet again the board have shown a goood sense of when to move managers on.

  19. Chris Naughton

    I always felt Neal was honest in his evaluation of how the team were preparing and doing. But no matter what he was trying to do with the team I wonder if they really responded. How many times I have seen the midfield players just get stagefright and play the ball backwards, or just kick it to each other hence lose any momentum in any attack. As for the forwards they do not seem to have much idea – though who was the forwards coach – one Simon Bassey wasn’t it? AAARGH!!

  20. PPK

    Hats in the ring: Rob Scott. Yes pantwetters, he’s Andy Scott’s brother who “we couldn’t possibly let that man near our club”.
    Shaun Derry: Yes, he’s worked with Robinson. Did we forget that Ardley did some of his coaching badges with Robinson?
    Mark Hudson + unknown joint interest.
    Wally – yes: he is not coaching in India. As an aside, could his old side kick Steve Coppell (not in India) be the D.O.F or “consultant”?
    Brian McDermott. One of the biggest scouting dossiers in the South of England.
    Don’t believe SkyBet!

    • No Bassey?

      Hopefully he gets the hint…

  21. Keith Lawrie

    I wish Neal all the very best for the future but results made this situation inevitable. Lots of names being mentioned as his replacement. Please please don’t go for Wally! We definitely need to appoint someone from outside the AFC Bubble. As soon as the new man comes in he should clear away the rest of the old coaching regime(Bassey/Bayes). I still find it hard to believe that Simon Bassey is caretaker. He is just as culpable for the current malaise as Neal and Neil. Why he was retained when Terry left was amazing and it’s even more so this time. What is it that makes him so unsackable? I don’t doubt that he loves AFC but that is not enough for him to be retained anymore.

    • JamPot

      No Bassey at present then no rudder on the ship at all. Long term agree that his time is probably coming to an end but I suspect he knows that. Good servant if limited in aspirations or ability … but he was as a player someone who took no prisoners and I wonder if we will get a reaction on Saturday by that. Calling out players may not have been diplomatic but I think we had gone past that point some time ago. Whether they will just sulk or try to prove him wrong we will see.

  22. JamPot

    Regarding future managers, someone not connected with us (i.e. have worked for us; played for us; or visited AFCW) would probably be the best idea. However I stand to be corrected but neither Cotterell and Wally have be that ‘close’ to us, almost indifferent. Cotterell as manager Wally as coach could be possibles, but I not really caring that much. for me the change is the main thing to break the cycle. Whether it brings about League 1 survival or builds for next year is what will be. Just need to have someone who gives this side passion, identity and purpose. I’ll be happy with that.

  23. Alexandra_Don

    REPD – Great that comments are back, please continue with them. This site is much better than the WUP guestbook. Would be good to have a new manager who has won something, so knows how it is achieved.
    Of the candidates, Paul Hurst may be our best bet – don’t understand why Lee Clark is favourite??

  24. Steve

    Thanks for opening up the comments section, it’s the only one I ever posted on. Being very honest Im sorry to say I never liked Ardley either as a player or a manager, should have parted company a long time ago. He’s clearly a decent guy and I hope he finds another job soon but weve been far too sentimental over him. I have massive respect for Erik but it’s tarnished by stubbornness shown over this, some might say loyalty but I think misplaced. We need a character to replace him, with real time experience of this level and we must stay up this year. I feel Bass is still an integral part of the set up, the first 3 games of the season showed we do have what it takes now need players to…

  25. Comments now closed, although I get the feeling many will want them to return permanently…

Comments are closed.