Today, I learnt something about AFCW. Maybe it was something I already knew, and reading back it was certainly something I should have known but for some reason didn’t believe. But after The Bankruptcy Court 3 Mark Goldberg 2 I’ve learnt it now.
AFCW is one hell of a strong organisation.
It seems that we handle anything that is thrown at us, certainly as a fanbase and now as a football club as well. As a collection of individuals, we’ve handled the Crystal Palace mergers of 1981 and 1986. We handled Hammam’s get-rich-quick sale after the FAC final in 1988. We handled the move to Shitehurst in 1991. We handled the club’s outright refusal to speak to Merton from then until 1996. We handled Dublin. We handled WFC’s decline from about 1998 until 2000, including relegation and the players taking the piss. And of course, there was that little matter of club relocation……
The first game after 18 points were stolen from us (and don’t give me that “it’s the rules” bollocks – they were stolen from us. And you fucking well know it) could have gone very badly wrong. Had we not performed, had we shown precious little guile or endeavour, and Satan forbid even lost a game, we would have been in trouble. The confidence would have slumped, arses would get twitchy, and there would be less stomach for a fight. The whole thing could have collapsed today, and not just on the field as well.
Today, we had to prove ourselves. Today we had to show the world that yet another injustice against the Wimbledon fanbase wouldn’t knock us down. And you know what? We did.
Forget that the scoreline was just one goal in it. Had Bromley scored their penalty, or put their wayward shot in the net, we would have netted a couple more in response. That’s how it was. For a mid-table (and no, it’s not even remotely funny to write that) side like ours to come back like that is special. Today, AFCW proved once and for all what it’s about.
Think about it, how would most other teams in our situation cope? OK, not every club or indeed every set of players will spiral downwards. But when you add the pressures that being AFCW does bring (and let’s not dismiss it as us being BBB – it’s a fact of life), the whole thing could have broken right there and then. But I think it’s because of the timeline of events I wrote above that has gotten us through it.
Make no mistake, the injustice felt is real. People do want to fight back, and not just because of a draconian-applied rule. I felt it today. It’s people who you stand near who would shoot the likes of Turvey in a second who bring it home to you. And not the hot-heads either. It may be a banner up the TE. It might be something childish like putting flags over the Ryman hoardings. But it all adds up.
Today, it was officially confirmed that AFCW was no longer willing to be fucked up the arse.
OK, we’re not going to start burning effergies just yet. Though Phillo’s plug for WH Smith at the end was pretty funny. And while I don’t agree with the boycotts of away grounds there is scope for a bit of a propaganda war. Saying things like that, blocking off signs etc may seem trivial, but actually they’re not. When you consider that something minor like what we’ve had causes so much aggro, something even as petty as that speaks volumes. Imagine if we were able to blacken the Ryman name? Don’t forget, the owner of the Ryman is also involved with W&H, so there’s a lot more to it than just mere sponsorship. Drinking club, anyone? Do not underestimate the power of propaganda, no matter how small it seems.
The plans in the secret nerve centre also known as the AFCW boardroom are hatching, of what we don’t know. But there’s a twist in this sorry tale to come, I can feel it. It may not happen this season, but it could well manifest itself next campaign. And I think we might like it..
As for on-pitch stuff, when they went 1-0 up I feared the worst. It was a ricochet of sorts, they slid in and just rolled my eyes. And boy, did they milk the celebration. Thankfully, we came back, and when Fergie found himself all by his lonesome, that was that.
Second half? Bit scrappy in places TBH, but elsewhere we were immense. We wanted it, and boy did we get it. Fergie again and Rosco…… E, but it could have been a couple more. Bromley did make a go of it, and how the fuck they managed to put the ball over the bar from about 3″ out is something I will never know. Not that I’m upset they did. And as for AL’s penalty save….
Course, they scored at the end, but it was a brave consolation goal for the vallant losers.
Had enough? So have I. Here’s…..
Plus points: Winning. At KM. Character well and truly displayed. Coming back from a goal down. Keeping the pressure up. AL’s penalty save.
Minus points: The aggro of the last three weeks.
The referee’s a…….: Gives wankers a bad name, apparently. Far too many offsides for my liking, but other than that I have no reason to want him dead.
Them: Bloody hell, there were a lot of them. Was this the highest ever turnout by a visiting team to KM (not counting FCUM)? As for their team, we’ve played them twice this season and neither time they’ve struck me like Braintree did last season. They were better than they were at their place, but even so I would have been pissed off had we not won. Goldberg is putting money in, but will they be another Chelmsford (ie too much money, too little incentive) when things get tough? More to the point, who cares? If they continue to play like that against us in future, I certainly don’t.
Point to ponder: Speaking of Bromley, does anyone reckon there could be a bit of a genuine needle/rivalry brewing between us? The signs are there : the slight hangover from Coney Hall. They seem reasonably supported, although that could be down to Goldberg’s money. They chanted today that they hated us and gave a little hint that they meant it. A read of their website shows they don’t really like us, and it’s fair to say they’re not our favourites either. I think we actually enjoy beating them – witness the song “1-0 and you fucked it up” by us today. I don’t think it was entirely tongue in cheek.
OK, there’s no incident I know of (yet) that one of our fans and one of theirs meet each other in the street on a non-matchday and go at it toe-to-toe. But they have to segregate us for games. And one of them even went to the trouble of buying a Welsh flag to wave at us. Either that or he was actually Welsh. I suppose if we find ourselves at the same level as them for the next few years this could become a little bit tasty. Still, it saves us having to be all bumlicky……
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Sky Sports, the Mayor of Merton and Allen Batsford there as well. This has been a strange week. (2) Haven’t written about the appeal, I needed a break from writing about it all. I did notice the Mitcham and Morden MP (thankfully not my local one) has put her â‚¬0.02 to the Sports Minister. Is there an election or de-selection process in operation? Hmm. Lest we forget that if it wasn’t for the interference of said MP whilst local councillor, we would have probably spent today watching WFC beat Fulham or QPR at Beddington Lane.
Anything else? Not mentioned anywhere else I’ve seen, but so indicative of AFCW. Who got the biggest, most heartfelt cheer when our team was read out? Step forward Mr International Clearance Man himself, one J Darlington….
So, was it worth it? Yes, and then some.
In a nutshell: If grit won points, we would have been promoted by now.