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07/6/2013 9:45 pm  #1

Into the Void

As a longserving regular, I, like most of us, am used to suffering, but the last couple of years has been akin to rolling naked in barbed wire while drinking my own vomit. Not so much in terms of the - often dire -  fare served up on the pitch, but the underlying cancer that seems to have stricken our club. 

Let's not get too carried away over our Glorious History - we had a Golden period in the late fifties and a pretty decent patch in the mid seventies and, of course, we should be proud of all that. But most of the last fifty years has seen gradual decline and - every now and then - spectacular failure.

The thrills and spills - all be it at a significantly lower level and - yes, triumphs - of 2000-2009 made the whole thing worthwhile for me. Teams full of commitment, character and often a fair amount of flair either failing heroically or battling their way through to long overdue triumphs.  

Yet every dawn has been a false one, with our failure to build on success. Some of our decline has been outside our control - a crumbling and hugely expensive white elephant of a ground and a battle to survive while the balance of power in local non league football drifted away from London (look at Walthamstow, Hendon, Enfield and the rest - Dagenham survived and prospered by eating other clubs). But throughout my time as a supporter, there has been a general failure to inform, engage or value the supporters, and we are paying the price now (in contrast, I hate to say it, to Sutton - vomit and turd for a strip, black hole of a ground, but a club which involves its supporters and its community eg by promoting itself in local schools).   

This was a problem in the Sandy Lane days, but the chasm of indifference towards the supporters has since reached stratospheric proportions.The current absence of any communication, particularly at a time when supporter involvement is - surely - crucial to the club's survival, is beyond belief.

Do we have a team? Do we have a manager? Do we have a club? Can we do anything to keep this corpse alive? Does anyone give a Rubbish?

Last season's shambles at Eastbourne Town convinced me that the answer to all of these questions was a fairly resounding 'No.' Bugger all support. A desperate scramble to field eleven players. Surely it was time to call it a day, rather than prolong the agony as a pathetic, pitiful joke of a club.

Our performance that night, with the players giving everything in a valiant and undeserved defeat, helped to convince me otherwise. The possibility at the end of the season that the supporters could reclaim at least a part of the club - and all of its soul - gave many of us cause for optimism, and the turnout at Crawley Down and the supporters v players night re-inforced that feeling.

What has happened since? Buggered if I know. Do we still have a club. Same applies.

I do not want a breakaway outfit - Imperial Fields could not have existed without the old club and we should remember that - nor am I interested in slagging the Members. Last time I went to a meeting, it was full of supporters who cared about the club. But it was also utterly powerless. We were presented with a proposal that reduced the shareholding of the members' club, presented with no alternative and it was insinuated that the football club was a drain on the resources of the parent organization. What bish bosh.

If we are to survive, it must be on our own terms. We can't carry on as a joke club. If there is a viable alternative to a breakaway club, I'd like to hear it. How about some communication. - before it's too late.


08/6/2013 5:24 am  #2

Re: Into the Void

Thing is Tim..................we're f*cked without a breakaway club


08/6/2013 5:36 am  #3

Re: Into the Void

Would like to put on record without people like Tim ,Tooting wouldve been f*cked a very long time ago. Proper supporter hope your doing well mate



08/6/2013 6:11 am  #4

Re: Into the Void

Well said Tim.


08/6/2013 2:14 pm  #5

Re: Into the Void

Hi! Tim, Enjoyed the posting, I must say I have missed your muses with no programme, lets hope they continue next season.


08/6/2013 8:21 pm  #6

Re: Into the Void

Good post Tim.....


08/6/2013 9:22 pm  #7

Re: Into the Void

Thanks, Ash.

Spending the last six six weeks in a darkened room on a diet of anchovies and custard hasn't done any more damage to my mental or physical health than the last couple of years at Imperial Fields, but it would be nice to know whether the club has any plans for the coming season.

Given the continuing uncertainty, a breakaway club may indeed be the only viable option, but it would require united backing from the supporters, and that, presumably, will depend on whether our comatose giant of a club can stagger into action in the next few weeks. From where I stand, it doesn't look promising.

Either way, we need to make an informed decision and a clear and quick indication about the state of the club.would help.

Loyal supporters and all that, but having to wait two months for an announcement is ludicrous.

I do have a pile of stuff ready for the next few programmes though, just in case.

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