How we got caught up in Poppygate

Did we save the day for England? Well not quite but the way we’ve things have worked out with the England fans team has been great and we have seen once again the importance of developing relationships.

The saga over the past couple of days over whether FIFA would allow England (and the other home countries) to play wearing a poppy is the type of story made for the Daily Mail and the other tabloids and sure enough they’ve risen to the occasion. A happy by product of this has been the coverage we’ve received, as we host the England Supporters in their match against their Spanish counterparts.

We’ve got to know Garford Beck since we’ve been at Ruislip. One of his roles in the game is as manager/organiser of the England fans team. Garford brought the team to Grosvenor Vale for a recent game against the Welsh and as they had a good experience wanted to bring the team back for the games against Spain and Sweden in the coming days.

We’re very happy to help. Anything which brings people onto the site is normally a good thing and the bar take is most welcome too. Following the Welsh game , the two forthcoming matches were both allocated to one of the pitches run by Wealdstone Juniors at the top of the site.

However, as the poppy story broke, the Mail and others were able to report how the England Supporters will be wearing a specially designed kit with the poppy as an integral part of it. This really caught the imagination. Sky are now due to come down and the BBC are also showing interest. High ranking officials from the Spanish Embassy are coming, and we also expect some senior figures from the Football Association. So Saturday’s game is suddenly big news. It will be now played on the main pitch as well and we are keen that not only the players and organisers but all our guests enjoy their experience of Grosvenor Vale and want to come again.

From a practical point of view we might need some help too. Paul Rumens, Peter and Pauline Worby, Fingers and Leo Morris will all be making sure everything is where it needs to be but we might need some others to help too and would welcome any Wealdstone fan who can get along on Saturday to help – we will get any specific message about help required out on the website or Forum.

And these relationships are important. Notwithstanding fees received for use of the site and money taken over the bar, I have no doubt whatsoever that the more good relationships we have with people in the game, the more this can only benefit Wealdstone FC in the long term, whether through future commercial opportunities or just through added interest in the Club.

Stop press!  FIFA have relented and are allowing England to wear the poppy so maybe the press interest in coming on Saturday will fade but let’s hope for some coverage that makes us proud of Grosvenor Vale and Wealdstone FC.

 

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About howiejk

Chairman of Wealdstone FC since May 2007

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