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Pre-FCUM thoughts

As it’s the morning before the FCUM game, a little reminder of our last game against them.

It will be interesting to see what’s changed, both on and off the pitch. Not only for ourselves, but the whole FCUM thing. I’ve got to be honest and say my views towards them have veered into indifference these days. I’m not really bothered how they do, and I find the “our way of doing it is best and yours is wrong” arrogance annoying from our own support, let alone theirs.

One does suspect that this fixture has lost its lustre a bit, and I don’t think we’ll get any more of our own fans going today than usual because of the opponents. This despite Supporters Direct’s best efforts. Always believed that this fixture means more to FCUM’s fans than our own anyway – read their messageboard and they’re really looking forward to it.

Us? Well, there’s always been a fair amount of our own support who back the FCUM thing to the hilt. But also, there seems to be as many who aren’t so enamoured by it. Their views are remarkably similar to those you hear from a lot of non-league clubs, and some League ones too. Including, dare I say, some fans of Big Yernited…

Today’s crowd will confirm or rubbish that theory – there may be 400 or so coming down the M6 but we may have less there than the Brighton game.We’ll know by about 1530 today when they finally shut the bar.

Incidentally, one thing to pick up on from Anon Don’s comments last night, about us not going on trips to Germany/Sweden/Korea while FCUM do. OK, it’s annoying when it happens (especially as I have contacts at Lok) but I think that sums up the difference between the two clubs.

See, AFCW has, after some initial confusion, set itself up as a professional outfit that is looking to get back into the League. It doesn’t feel the need to make a political point because the very club’s existance is a political point. Therefore, it doesn’t feel so obliged to do these “bonding” friendlies. Next season, don’t be surprised if we do a tour of somewhere like Scotland a la Oxford. Whatever we plan will be best for the team in pushing towards the League.

And people accept that from us. Indeed, expect it. Nobody complains if AFCW has a shirt sponsor, or does a trip to the IoM to build our name up, or even pay £20k for Wellard and Gregory. It’s the way of the footballing world, and you have to live in it.

FCUM on the other hand? To this day, I still don’t know what their long term aim is. Is it to get the side into the Conference or even League Two? Is it just to be an affordable “community club”, whatever that entails? At some point, they may need to rethink their ways of making money if they get up into the Conf North and start competing with big spenders. Can’t see the average FCUMer, so used to watching Yernited in Europe and beyond, settling for middling around against the likes of Blyth Spartans for much longer…

But if we assume that FCUM are a political club, more willing to take political actions in football, and forgoe pushing itself up the leagues to keep “pure”, then it’s no wonder they accept trips to the Saxony and the Far East. It appears that we were due to play Bucheon ourselves (again, in a tie-up that very few of our fans seem to give a toss about), but apart from the holiday in Korea why would we want to go? In stepped FCUM to once again prove the political point.

If there was a new club in France that wanted publicity, FCUM would be there at the drop of a hat. We wouldn’t. We are unlikely to play “bonding” fixtures against Oxhey Jets for example, because for us there’s no mileage in them. The standard wouldn’t be good enough for even our stiffs and all we’d do is play on crappy pitches with inevitable injuries. FCUM would. And there is the major difference between the two clubs.

Anyway, do enjoy today’s game. Just don’t sing “Do you come from Manchester?”…

By the way, I’m glad people have appreciated the incorporation of the old match reports into the “main” site again. I’m far happier with this now than I was with the “separate” archive. And I think it looks better too. Worth the work thus far.

And yes, I know the search box is crap…