Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

A time for alliance

Posted by John Beech on December 14, 2009

One of the great strengths of the internet is its underlying democracy (except, of course for readers in China and North Korea).  Anyone can start their own blog or Facebook group. But therein lies one of its weaknesses – there is no quality control and no underpinning rationale – any nutter can post their loony views to an unsuspecting and unwilling readership.  Ok, you can cut that sniggering out. Yes, you at the back, with the silly bobble hat and the monitor with the furry gonk.

The internet would be a curse to, say, the Recruitment Secretary of the People’s Liberation Front for Judea, as any Life of Brian fan will recognise. Apply this factionalism to football supporting and you may just recognise what is happening on the web with support for your club.

Consider three current examples:

  • Portsmouth
    The News today carries the following:
    The Pompey Virtual Alliance [see here for its composition – a domain name has been registered but is not yet active] have issued a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Pompey’s board.
    The supporters’ group, comprising of 13 web-based Blues fan sites and message boards, this evening took the unprecedented step.
    Their strongly-worded reaction comes in the wake of increased supporter anger towards the way the club’s finances are being run
    .” (1)
    If the thirteen groups had issued individual statements at various individual times, they would never have had the impact that coverage in the local newspaper brings.
  • Chester
    As their club continues to face very serious problems, fans have set aside traditional factionalism and formed a single body to voice their concerns – City Fans United. Their strapline is One voice… One passion. What they are achieving is One passion… One voice, and a much more powerful voice than when the various groups spoke with multiple voices.
  • King’s Lynn
    On Facebook there is now a plethora of groups, many of them recently formed, and I’m not going to give them the oxygen of publicity. If ever there was a time in the history of the club for one passion to produce just one voice, now is it.  And that one voice has to be The Blue and Gold Supporters Trust (or 3 and confusingly 4 on Facebook)
    Linnets unite!  You have everything to gain.

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