Ah, the good old late Friday update, when everyone else buggers off to go home and get drunk/laid and won’t bother reading this until at least Monday….
Anyway, first things first : the Margate report will be up on Sunday, as I’m doing a TFP roundup tomorrow evening. So no complaints please.
There was going to be a Leyton report, but for one slight problem – there wasn’t actually a match. Well, there was, but whether through sheer misfortune or fuckwitted planning, I got a text message at 6.15pm that it was off. Very handy, especially as I was five minutes away from the ground. Thing is, why leave it so late? OK, in Leyton’s case they really must have had a freak downpour in a very short space of time, but once again a postponement happens at exactly the least opportune moment.
Are clubs too keen to get matches on? I guess that’s why inspections are held about 60 minutes before kickoff – leave it as late as possible and just hope for the best. I know this will make various insurance companies go white, but I would suggest a 2.5 to 3 hour time limit for a game to be called off – if it’s playable 2/3 hours before kickoff, the game goes ahead. Nearer the time? Too late, let the players really earn their corn. The ref can always abandon the game if need be. Besides, if we get a deluge next time we play Billy Ricky, and their goalkeeper acts like he’s just died again, perhaps he might end up drowning…..
Onto more pressing matters : you-know-what rears its ugly head again. Firstly, the hearing was going to be on 13-14th March, but it turns out our QC and/or Erik can’t make it. At least it does prove that Jim Sturman does get involved at the coal face, so to speak. Can you imagine Sturman, who has dealt with some of the real top judges in the land, having to face the old tinpot dictators at the FA/Ryman? Especially now we know that it’s a real headmaster/pupil relationship
Now, we have a twist in the tale, and it’s about 20 miles north-east of SW19 Towers. The salubrious, well-to-do settlement of Newham, to be more precise. Turns out that West Ham United have been charged themselves over the two Argies playing for them. Why? Because they “failed to disclose” that they were owned by that rather dodgy as fuck sophisticated looking Iranian bloke. In short, they didn’t tell the Prem League that the players weren’t actually theirs.
So what has this to do with AFCW? More than a bit, actually. Basically, the Hammers could be deducted points over this, although SSN allegedly said that games could be replayed. Certainly a fine anyway, and needless to say WHU will oppose this with all their might. It’s accepted that if found guilty it’ll be about 5 points deduction.
Already, you’ll be thinking about a certain number between 17 and 19, and while some may try and establish some parity of 5 points with 18, it puts our harsh punishment into even more perspective. In WHU’s case, they’re accused of witholding registration. Read the statement where they even state that in black and white. At least the FA didn’t accuse us of doing it deliberately.
The only real problem for us is the timing of the West Ham saga. Their hearing will come around the same time as our appeal. While it would be better if WHU was the case to hook things on, it looks like we’ll have to do the running first, if necessary. It could be fun if both hearings were on the same day at Soho Square. Think about it, mass protests outside, Haydon and that walking hammer thingy for the soft, cuddly publicity opportunities outside with fan delegations inside. AFCW will have Sturman, Erik and a couple of others. West Ham will probably have the ICF….
It does make me wonder just what is going on behind the scenes though. Are our trials and tribulations being examined in close detail in darkest East London? OK, Sturman hasn’t had any dealings with WHU himself, but football is pretty incestuous at the best of times and I don’t doubt that somebody at West Ham “knows” somebody involved IYSWIM. What it does say to me is that somebody down the line is going to do over the FA like a kipper eventually. With Wenger’s outbursts as well, the FA might have to start earning their living for once.
Anyway, enough of all that. I am sorry for turning this into a West Ham site. I’m off to write a 600 page article on Bobby Moore before going down the old rub-a-dub and talk endlessly about how much of a gentlemen Reggie and Ronnie were. Dear old Joey Pyle was buried about a mile away from me this week (seriously), gawd bless im
Oh, and one other thing – looks like one of your editor’s other clubs is also having difficulties with the authorities. Perhaps we ought to have a pre-season tournament with City, Alty and WHU (and I suppose Bury could come along as well)? Just make sure that we don’t have any tournament rules on playing registered players…