Any Other Business


If December was a month of extreme weather, leaving us without much football to comment on, January was a month of extreme football - extremely good and extremely bad. It's getting to be a bit bizarre that Pools can play well against Derby, be woeful at Accrington, play well against Wycombe and Cambridge, then go back to woeful again for Exeter's visit. Hopefully the new signings will improve things, but that sort of inconsistency suggests the problems are in motivation rather than skill.

With Pools now finding themselves in the final place above the drop zone, it could be another hairy finish to the season. And if Ronnie Moore expects praise, should he pull off another great escape, we suspect that Poolies will be happy to point out who got the team into that position anyway.

Having mentioned both the drop and Accrington above, here's something appropriate from 54 years ago. Accrington Stanley, one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888, had financial problems in 1962 (how they don't now is a miracle on the gates they get!) and resigned from the league. Thus Oxford were able to take their place without the need for a league club to drop out. The League clubs tended to look after their own hence Pools' record number of re-elections. Ironically, when the re-formed Accrington Stanley came up from the Conference, they took the place of Oxford in League Two.

Those of us who were around that long ago may not have noticed a slight inaccuracy in the previous paragraph. In 1962 the press covered the demise of Accrington Stanley with great emphasis on their having been one of the twelve founder members of the Football League, conveniently forgetting one important point. Which was that founder members Accrington actually resigned from the league after only five years. Another Accrington club, Stanley Villa, was renamed to include the town's name, and 28 years later the same Accrington Stanley went up with Pools into the new Division 3 North.

Going off at a tangent, there is a Lancashire folk music singer/comic-and-serious songwriter who goes by the wonderful stage name of Stanley Accrington. He's made no less than twenty albums since 1981, all with football-related titles like Into Administration, Through the Turnstile, Ground: Zero (get it?) and Offside Trap. He's at Whitby Folk Week every summer, and here's his website if you're interested: