Every so often, there’s something that decides to slap you in the face and remind you what an absolutely horrible day 28/5/02 was.
Today is one of them.
When I found out that Frenzyville has made the FA’s shortlist for the WC 2018, I expect my reaction was exactly the same as yours – abject repulsion. The thought of Paedo Pete flashing his deformed mug across whatever camera he can find could make you vomit blood. And perhaps worst of all, the stupid and ignorant claiming that 28/5/02 was justified.
Of course, we all know they’re liars. But sadly, ignorance isn’t painful.
Thankfully, I’m not an Ingerlund fan. But for any Womble who is, they must be feeling outright pissed off right now. The WC in their own country but one of the venues sticking out like a gaping wound. What a conflict.
I think we’ve got to be a bit honest with ourselves here – the FA love the idea of Frenzyville. Franchising is in their long-term interests after all – if the Prem eventually becomes a closed shop, they’ll need to start moving teams around to fill spaces in the geographical blackspots. No Prem team in Wales? South Wales United in Cardiff, formerly known as Bristol Rovers. South coast of England under-represented? Bye bye AFC Bournemouth, hello Newbury Athletic.
Remember former FA Chief Adam “Post Office” Crozier’s comments from just after doomsday? Here’s a snippet in case you’ve forgotten. Or forgiven:
“We need to make this clear,” Crozier told the FA website.
“The FA hasn’t given its seal of approval to this decision at all – quite the opposite.
“The FA is very much against it and personally I feel it’s an appalling decision to allow the club to move to Milton Keynes.
Ah yes, the FA were so against it that they’ve given Ingerlund u21 games to the Wankiedome and now this. Crozier may not have been lying, but the organisation he was representing certainly was.
So, where does AFCW come into all this? Well, there are a couple of little things to do – none of which will reverse the FA’s loving given blowjob, but may make an admittedly small point along the way.
Off the bat, we should have absolutely nothing to do with the 2018 bid. Period. If the FA want to start putting banners up, or ads in the programme, we should tell them to fuck off. And if they ask why, tell them exactly why. This might be a good time for the Dons Trust to do something – if everyone in it voted to give it an official snub, I’m not sure there’s much the FA could do.
We certainly shouldn’t allow any canvassing at KM for it.
There’s also a large school of thought that we shouldn’t invite anyone down from the FA for our games now. Inviting Triesman a while ago makes us look rather chumpish doesn’t it? There’s one problem with this though – we may need the FA in the foreness of time. I suppose what we shouldn’t do is be chummy with them any more, to roll out the proverbial red carpet for them.
There is a temptation if an FA dignitary does come down to really piss them off by carrying adverts for the USA 2018 bid. Or the Australia one. Or the Russian one. Now, that would cause a few raised eyebrows and may even get us a couple of column inches too. Imagine picking up an Australian paper and seeing unlikely support for their bid from a team in south west London…
Of course, none of this may be necessary. They still have to narrow down more venues from this list, so if anyone fancies being militant…
I suppose the big upshot of all this is realising just what we have at AFCW, and how powerful a protest tool it is. I think many of our own support are out of step with what other people in football really think of us battling Franchise. Many if not most of us want no part of playing them, but just about every other non-AFCW fan I’ve encountered wants to see that clash.
The days when perfectly rational people wanted us to boycott the FA Cup/getting into the league are thankfully (hopefully?) gone, but even now I sense there’s a lot of insularity involving our fanbase about AFCW. I don’t think many of us realise what a goldmine of a weapon we have in our hands.
Regardless of whether Franchise gets dropped in the next round of balloting, I hope this makes us refocus. By that, I mean the kind of focus I had after hearing the news, and whilst reading the ESS on the tube returning to South London. We need to get AFCW noticed on a more regular – even weekly – basis.
That means becoming a League club.
While us being in the BSP is good, it will only do for a few seasons at most. We may get more AFCW-era coverage than ever before, but it’s still pretty miniscule (beyond local media and the NLP, it’s non-existant). But get one division below Franchise and people will start taking proper notice of us.
Even today, there’s still an essence that we’re a novelty act. Haven’t we done well getting to the Conference? Oh, they’re run by their fans, how quaint. My, they have a few volunteers. Pats on the head all round. But we need to be more than that now – much more. We need to be “AFCW – yeah, a good side. Difficult to play against too”. Our future success will be determined on the field, after all.
Incidents like today should also refocus us on the ground situation, and where we want to really be. Could you imagine the PR coup for us – and against Franchise – if we did get back to SW19? It would show up the lies of 28/5/02 for what they were – lies. Every single argument thrown against us proven to be bullshit. Of course, we know it was bullshit but I don’t think the general public know.
My hope from today is that it makes us realise that how we want Franchise and ourselves to be seen is different from how us and Franchise are actually seen. It may be a little bit unpleasant, and it’s certainly reopening old wounds, but at times we do need to be dragged from that comfort zone some still hold.
If we want to fight the FA, making AFCW a successful outfit is the best way forward. You can’t take them on them directly – they have the legal aces, after all, and sadly there’s no concrete proof of corruption in their ranks to bring them down. This is the organisation that has given us the likes of Ted Croker, Bert Millichip, Graham Kelly, David Davies, Triesman and that shifty Scouse cunt Brian Barwick. None of whom you would lend a fiver to.
But imagine the following : last Saturday of the season in the 2017/18 season. AFC Wimbledon v Franchise in SW19. Franchise have to win to stay up. Sellout crowd (no away fans to be seen, predictably). Our centre forward puts in a last minute winner, sending the Franchise down. The ultimate humiliation for them, because the team they think of as the pub team has put them down with the low-lifes, the scum, the very people Wankie said would never play them.
And maybe, just maybe, the watching FA hierarchy has a human emotion for once and feels a squirming tinge of guilt…