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It only took three points

So, we’ve finally found out our fate – three points deducted and a fine of £5k that is suspended.

Plus costs, which given the price of tea and biscuits these days means we’ll be short of £100k.

While we await the more detailed description of what happened, my initial thoughts : we pretty much got away with that. Previous clubs who have been done for this sort of thing (mainly Hereford) have had the points and £10k taken away.

That our fine is suspended means that providing we don’t do it again until the end of next season, we won’t have a hole in our finances.

So we’ll pay it next year instead.

TBH, I’m pretty ground down with all of this, because it’s just embarrassing. The three points don’t matter as such, the £5k can be absorbed if we fuck it up again, but I’m just finding myself more and more pissed off with this club.

This is the second time in seven years that we’ve had points deducted for administrative cock-ups. I was watching Sky Sports News when they announced this, and they stated that we were “unaware” that Nicholson was ineligible.

“Unaware”. Jesus – if that is the issue then we need more than an investigation. Why the fuck have we gone through this again?

Seriously, this makes us look like a bunch of bungling amateurs who only have the veneer of being a professional football club. This season, it ultimately doesn’t matter, even if it makes us look shittier in the League table.

But imagine this had happened before this very day last year? Do you even want to contemplate that scenario, even though that is now in the annals of history?

On a more contemporary note, how would you have felt if we hadn’t beaten Plymouth and Southend? To be down the bottom because we’re not very good is one thing, to be down there because of an admin error is something far worse.

It’s around about this time that I start ranting about how we need to finally become a proper, professional football club. The trouble is, I feel like I’ll be wasting my time and energy in doing so – I might as well throw my head repeatedly against a brick wall.

If I do that, my head won’t hurt as much as wanting AFCW to become better run.

I’ve heard that the DTB have already investigated this, and no doubt there’ll be the usual lip service about “learning lessons”. Well, we had a big lesson seven years ago with Darlogate…

And in the last couple of years, your editor has heard more than enough Chinese whispers about how “shoddy” our admin is. Their words, not mine. Indeed, somebody who is/was involved with the cash side of things on matchday said the following words to my face at a game late last season:

“It’s not if there will be another Darlogate, but when”.

He wasn’t wrong, was he?

I’m not convinced this won’t happen again, and I wonder whether there is more to the suspended fine than we think – is it the FL’s message to AFCW to get its fucking house in order? Have they effectively said that they’re watching what we do for the next season?

If they are, perhaps the suspended fine should be £50k instead?

With this club’s admin, you hope it finally gets its arse in gear, rather than expecting it to. This is a perfect jab up the arse, but you have to wonder whether it will really compute.

And I have one big nagging question – why is it just about every other club manages to get its transfers right and AFCW can’t? It can’t be that difficult if clubs with smaller resources like Morecambe, Daggers and t’Stanley manage it.

How many other times have we been lax in checking things? Not just in transfer dealings, either. Those aforementioned Chinese whispers can’t all be down to paranoia, no smoke without fire and all that.

This club’s modus operandi has needed an overhaul for a good couple of years, and this summer it HAS to be done. If it means more staff, so be it. If it requires more office space, then stop trying to cut corners with the spending and do it.

Because today we had a fucking massive wake up call.

And I wonder what NA is thinking right now? His hopes of pushing us into the best finish of the AFCW in the FL have now been scuppered, and it’s not his fault.

If we had got fined £10k (or more) without it being suspended, then if that had gone out of the playing budget NA should have walked. As it is, he has apparently worked even harder to cover for the club’s mistake, and he must be feeling seriously fucked off with his employers right now.

By the time you read this, we may have a more detailed description of what went on, and why. If so, SW19 will be putting fingers to keyboard. Right now though, we have t’Stanley to look forward to this Saturday without anything else the club can do to balls things up.

Though no doubt we’ll find out soon enough that we forgot to sign Danny Hylton’s form properly…