Thursday, 1 September 2011

That it should come to this

I've been involved in quite a few football related protests in my time. I've turned my back on play. I've sat in the away end. I've blown up and released black balloons to drift across the pitch. I've proposed motions on fan ownership at party conference and lobbied MPs to support the fan ownership advocates. I've stood outside the ground as my team played inside. I've written for the 'alternative matchday magazine' which outsold the official programme five to one.

But I've never heard of the playing staff going on strike before.

Sure, you get the occasional prima donna in the Premiership who decides that he is being harshly treated and refuses to play. But it's never been a team thing. And it's certainly never been done with the manager's tacit approval.

But that's the situation at Plymouth Argyle.

I'm not an Argyle fan. I was at Home Park last month to watch my team (AFC Wimbledon) get a wonderful 2-0 win and celebrated like a loon at that result. But I was also at Home Park on occasions when I was growing up and wanted to go and watch some football. PAFC was my nearest team and, whilst I wasn't a fan, it was still good to go to see them play and I have always looked out for their results.

Their recent trials and tribulations should not make happy reading for any football fan. The news of the 'takeover' doesn't seem to have resulted in the wages being paid and the staff and players are now considering withdrawing their labour. I hope that this (at a time when the Premiership and Championship are not playing) might gain them some attention.

What is happening at Home Park is truly terrible and Messers Ridsdale and Heaney need to get their act together and ensure everyone is paid what they are due. If not there will be nothing for it but for the FA to step in and forces some return to a semblance of normality. (I don't have a lot of confidence in anything involving the FA and sense however).

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