Another Saturday with no football. More work for Alan Couch to try and rearrange these fixtures with the number of available midweek slots rapidly disappearing and snow continuing to cover the Grosvenor Vale pitch (I’ll try and upload a couple of pictures I took yesterday).
I went down to the ground at lunchtime yesterday and met with Gordon and Leo to talk about a number of things, ranging from our finances, to the long term stadium situation, to current work we are doing in the community to Gordon’s testimonial activities.
As always when sitting down with Gordon and Leo I can take heart from the fact we have complete confidence that these guys know how to manage a football club properly. Stability and professionalism are two key words for both Gordon and I – there really is no other way of doing things.
In contrast I have just finished reading a book which is well worth a read to those who want to see what life can be like when you do things very differently.
‘39 days of Gazza’ tells the story of the time football icon Paul Gascoigne took over as manager of Kettering Town. The book is written by Steve Pitts, a journalist on the local paper and chronicles the events that took place during a period between the end of October and early December 2005. It really is nothing short of sensational and the complete opposite to the way you would expect a Club to operate in the Conference North Division at the time. Tales of massive promises, big investment, going full-time, the glamour of Paul Gascoigne (as well as the dark side) and taking the Club into the Football League are undone almost immediately by a series of factors, not least the inability to realise that Clubs succeed on strong foundations, not instant gratification.
Kettering have enjoyed success since that time through the tenure of Mark Cooper and the side that he built. But with him departing earlier this season to manage Peterborough it will be interesting to see whether Kettering can maintain their progress.
It is many years since we last played at Rockingham Road and it is a place that many Wealdstone fans will have great memories of having won the Gola League title there in 1985. Our paths have taken different routes since those days. Kettering are now well placed just outside the play-offs in the Blue Square Premier, having enjoyed great FA Cup success this season, drawing with Leeds United only losing in extra time in the replay.
On the flip side recent reports suggest that Imraan Ladak, the man who brought Gazza in, has just stepped down as Chairman, following on from a total ban from the Football Association and the likelihood is that even if they achieve a play-off place they will be unable to take it because of issues with their stadium.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Clubs need to be able to stand on their own feet and to match their ambition to their situation. That said we also know that winning is everything in football but to avoid the turmoil that so many clubs appear to face on a regular basis, the only route to success is on the basis of strong foundations, stability and good management throughout the Club. And if you get these factors in place, I think the success is all the more sweet when it happens.