“The Bogend Forum for Tooting and Mitcham Utd FC fans”


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24/8/2021 6:52 pm  #1


Come to Imperial Fields for free

I have ascertained that a few of the regular posters on this forum are “lapsed terrors”, who have decided not to attend any more games at Imperial Fields because they have some axe to grind with the ownership or direction of the club. As I have said in posts on that subject, I respect people's right to not attend the match and to spend their money on whatever they want to spend their money on.

What I don’t understand, however, is why those people might use the forum to hark back on times gone by and bemoan the state of the club as it stands when, on the pitch at least, there is actually much to be positive about. This feeling pervades the stands also. The impression of the club from this forum feels to me very different from the impression of the club *at the club*. The stands are pretty positive, the craic at the ground good. The football, while at times frustrating, is often scintillating and never without excitement. We are the champions of London. We have finished curtailed seasons near the top of the league, featuring an exciting mix of emerging talent from the academy and experienced players from levels above our own. One could not possibly suggest that a team boasting the talents of Jake Rose, Akheem Belford, Tom Jelley, Kyrique Garvey-Williams, Dontai Stewart to name but a few could be lacking ambition. Two seasons ago we needed a goal scorer, so plucked one of the most prolific in the league in Danny Williams. The managers wanted a goalie with better distribution, so took the one widely regarded as the best in the division in Gary Ross. Peter Wedgeworth returned. This is not a management team, or a club, that lacks ambition. If young players move on- Ghandour, Bassett, Odusanya, Jones, Coleman, Folarin, Beeden, Morgan-Griffiths etc, it’s because they’re quality and move up a level, or two, or more. Why this is considered anything other than a wonderful reflection on the club is beyond me.

Anyway.

A couple of years ago, a number of the “newer” supporters at the club- myself included- decided to start a blog site about the club, with the aim of spreading the word about the club to people who haven’t been down. We raised money to take up a sponsorship of the club, and in return got two season tickets. The organisers- myself included- have our season tickets, so we don’t need to use them ourselves. As such, we decided to offer the tickets to anyone who wants them on a match by match basis.

So, if anyone on this forum doesn’t want to put any money into the club, for reasons I don’t care about, here’s the offer- come back to the ground and see a match and we’ll give you the ticket. We’ll *give you* the ticket. We’ll give you two. You can choose not to buy a pint or a programme so you can keep all your money. But you might find it’s nice to be in the stands. You might find the football exciting, if not the football in back rooms of your mind, which I’d be willing to bet probably wasn’t as good as your reminisces make it out to have been. I bet you’ll enjoy it back at Imperial Fields. And if you don’t, well it hasn’t cost you anything.

More info here;

https://www.southlondonisblackandwhite.com/home/bog

 

24/8/2021 9:49 pm  #2


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

I've always thought that "free tickets" are the best way to attract new supporters. Apart from the slibaw tickets the club could provide a pair of free tickets to St George's, local schools, junior football clubs, local charities, the cricket club - even the Darby & Joan club.

 

25/8/2021 8:38 am  #3


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

It’s my understanding that the club ensures all the youth and academy players have access to the first team games, and I believe players are entitled to give some free entry to friends or family. I don’t know that many clubs offer “free tickets” to larger groups beyond that.

St George’s charity have had a sponsorship taken out in their name by a pair of “new supporters”, you’ll see they have a board up on the hoardings.

We’re offering two free tickets to every home game, charities and schools would be very welcome to take them. If anyone has any connections to such organisations, please share the info above.

     Thread Starter
 

25/8/2021 9:27 am  #4


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

We can all be really angry / disappointed by where the club currently stands league wise - and really the decline started in the early 80s so way before the current leadership - but there are some great initiatives led by the likes of Adam and if we are not going to be a top non league club on the pitch then at least we can be a top club off the pitch.  I put together the volunteer rotas for matches and we cover about 20 match day jobs plus Lyn’s stewards which are all unpaid roles, and an overall pool of about 40 people prepared to lend a hand. Always could do with more if anybody on the forum can help at all. Thanks.

 

25/8/2021 11:17 am  #5


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

I think you have highlighted the main reason for the split in Tooting support.  "if we are not going to be a top non league club on the pitch then at least we can be a top club off the pitch."

I don't want the club to be great off the pitch if the 1st team isn't progressing at all.  You say that we have been in decline since the 80s which is true to a large extent.  But even then we were trying to build a team for promotion.  Its just that we failed!

Moving on to the current regime, great strides have been made developing the academy and the youth structure.  We have done well moving players into the pro game compared to other non league clubs.  The club has worked hard to get planning permission for the new buildings and the Farm Road project.  The club seems to have done well extending links to the wider business and social community.

So it seems a great deal of effort and cost has gone into developing the club off the pitch.  Which of course is admirable and important.  But I just don't see the same effort and application into progressing the 1st team.  Even the appointment of Ashley and Cornelius seems to have been made with youth development in mind rather than first team success.  Obviously I hope they can deliver both.

But I don't want to be celebrating ex-players in the premier league in years to come or setting up great charitable institutions in the community at the expense of a competitive first team.

I don't want to besmirch the work done by the management team or the many volunteers who give their time freely.  They are all key to running a football club at our level.  Its just that I don't want the 1st team to be an afterthought once all of the off field activities have taken precedence.

 

25/8/2021 1:03 pm  #6


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

i was just about to post a reply to bestys post when end of the lanes came through and he basically said most of what i was going to say.
Besty i take your points about all the good work that has been done at the club bringing through players from the academy,under 23s etc the fact that they go on to play at a higher level is great but it does not seem to benefit the first team in fact in my opinion the only benefit seems to be to the agents who are attached to the club.
Its almost like a revolving door for no benefit whatsoever to the first team.

As for some of us old supporters seemingly living in the past as is bestys implied meaning then yes he is 100%
right this club has reached the quarter final of the old amateur cup,the quarter final of the fa trophy,and the quarter
final of the fa vase we also were isthmian league champions twice when that league was considered the cream of non league football.

can anybody honestly say that the present setup will ever come near to when we were a real football not a nursery
for the pro clubs.our owner has been here for nigh on 20 years and for most of the time things have not progressed 
so i would just like to say that to any supporters that think everything is great i think you are deluding yourselves.

 

 

25/8/2021 7:17 pm  #7


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

Appreciate the replies.

I have realised what it is that I don’t understand about the chat on here. It’s that some folk apparently stopped supporting their team when they stopped being “successful”. That’s absolutely people’s own prerogatives, I just can’t pretend to understand why there’d be any desire to ignore the team’s contextual successes in the present, instead choosing to compare the apparent failures with past achievements. And all of this online. At least if you came to the games you could celebrate goals whilst still getting the chance to moan about the club’s (supposed) broader demise over a beer.

Like I said before, recent seasons have been busted up because of covid. During that time, the club have been active in trying to get promoted. Absolutely nothing about what the club has done in that time disproves that. Any complaints about the club being a stepping stone for youth prospects have simply chosen to ignore the moves being made for established players. Hamlin, Jelley, Rose, Ross, Williams, Dixon. Nathan Daly. It’s not as if we field 11 teenagers every week. Sometimes results don’t go as we’d like, but that’s football. And also two entire seasons have been voided. When lockdown 1 started we had just gubbed 2nd place Hanwell at their place. Our last game before lockdown 2 was a cup game where we outplayed an Isthmian prem team and were unlucky to lose after a missed penalty. We didn’t get a chance to build on these results. When we did, we beat Hanwell with 10 men and went on to win the London senior cup.

This thread started with an offer of free tickets, which somehow led to “the club should give out more tickets”, which somehow led to “youth development has usurped first team aims”, all of which is obviously ridiculous. I think it boils down to people choosing the easy option- reminiscing about decades-old glories from the comfort of their homes instead of getting out and supporting the team which they think has been abandoned by “the club”.

Who’s doing the abandoning, lads?

That was my last post on the forum. If anyone wants the free tickets, contact me via Brassneck.

Peace out x

     Thread Starter
 

25/8/2021 7:48 pm  #8


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

you are wrong besty i still go to the games my first game will be saturday and i still support the team you obviously dont get the point that far from living on past glorious i like many other ( old supporters ) feel that we shouldant be where we are now.

we have a national league standard ground but where do we find ourselves ? playing in a rubbish league with 
teams with no history and compared to tooting next to no assets the difference being these clubs have ambition and i think this is the point you are missing completly.

If what we have got at tooting now you are happy with then say no more obviously you dont have any ambition as far as the club is concerned,and by the way i will be there saturday and if you dont think im a genuine supporter dave irons will point me out,

 

25/8/2021 9:57 pm  #9


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

I really don't think people are only about supporting a successful team. After all, we've probably only had about 10 "winning" seasons in the last 40. And only 1 Cup win in about 25 years between about 1980 and 2005.  So a lot of people have continued to support the team through many poor seasons.

So it's not about success on the field per se. It's more a case that I think the first team should take priority and I don't think it has for a while.  I still think the club management (not necessarily Bosah and Nwadialor) are more interested in bricks and mortar and getting grants for non first team activities etc.

You know, the club seems very proud of our youth set up and as we know, a few players have moved on to bigger and better things. But I'm not really seeing the youth success reflected in the 1st team.  Maybe Dontai Stewart will smash a few goals this season and prove me wrong. I hope so.

Admittedly I agree that we were well set for a promotion push in the last 2 seasons and I am also well pleased that we were one of only a few clubs who tried to actually win silverware last season - and a great run to the final it was.

And nobody will be happier than me if the current team get promoted in my 48th season following the team.  And if we can establish ourselves in the Premier division then I'll be very happy to say I've changed my mind.

 

26/8/2021 5:38 am  #10


Re: Come to Imperial Fields for free

endofthelane wrote:

I really don't think people are only about supporting a successful team. After all, we've probably only had about 10 "winning" seasons in the last 40. And only 1 Cup win in about 25 years between about 1980 and 2005. So a lot of people have continued to support the team through many poor seasons.

So it's not about success on the field per se. It's more a case that I think the first team should take priority and I don't think it has for a while. I still think the club management (not necessarily Bosah and Nwadialor) are more interested in bricks and mortar and getting grants for non first team activities etc.

This is what it is all about: not the team, not the team mangagers, but the owner.  Some of us will no longer support HIM.

And nobody will be happier than me if the current team get promoted in my 48th season following the team. And if we can establish ourselves in the Premier division then I'll be very happy to say I've changed my mind.

Me too, but what then? To have all the money taken away as in the case with Billy and George which resulted in the whole first team bar two players leaving and relegation even though Mark Beard did a heroic job with a tiny budget? Or  as with Frank and Paul when there was no increase in budget, we lost our most experienced player (Kevin McClaren) and were totally humiliated and relegated.  That is what finally opened my eyes and led me not support Adkins anymore.

 

Last edited by evthedog (26/8/2021 5:43 am)

 

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