Any Other Business


February saw a momentous change in the way of doing things at the Vic. After IOR's dogged determination to run Pools as if it were an oil company, the new owners finally resorted to methods used by every other club. Gone were the ideas of advertising for and interviewing new staff in a process lasting weeks or months. Pools lost at home to Stevenage, Ronnie was out and Craig Hignett was in, all in double-quick time. Sad for Ronnie, coming so soon after last season's unexpected triumph, but necessary as Pools were not going anywhere but out without a change.

With Pools' final four games all being against current incumbents of the promotion and play-off places, it's going to be important for Pools to pick up a lot of points before then, as, although Dagenham appear to be stuck at the bottom, the pack above them, which Pools are part of, all seem to be making a fight of it.

Once again a fighting performance against a top side like Northampton was followed by a defensive horror show at Bristol, so no doubt this season is going to continue to frustrate us all right to the end. At least Craig Hignett has moved quickly to bring in a central defender - Pools still have games in hand, but they will be no use if squandered.

Here's an old photo from the days before the Cyril Knowles Stand was built, when shorts were just that, when the original Aldershot Football Club still hadn't gone bankrupt, and when Lada cars were still regarded as safe enough to be sold in the UK. No doubt some readers will be able to identify all the Pools players that aren't Joe Allon, so see how well you do.

Image of players during Pools match 25 years ago

This group of Poolies posing with H'Angus at the Northampton game are in fact a group of friends from the villages of Minnertsga, Berlikum and Burdaard in Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands, who all played football at a rather high level, and enjoy going to football matches.

Image of Dutch fans at the Northampton game

Their names are: Abe Visser, Jan Joostema, Siemen de Groot, Wim Abma, Wim Dijkstra, Willem de Vries, Koos Stapert, Hessel Katsma and Harry Kooyenga.

They booked a trip to Newcastle, intending to see the Magpies play Manchester City, but the League Cup Final caused that match to be postponed. With the flights and hotel already booked and paid for, they were in need of an alternative, and Google led them to Pools.

Since Hessel Katsma works at a flag factory, they were able to acquire scarves, complete with the club logo, so they could blend into the crowd.

They afterwards said they felt very welcome, everyone was kind to them, and they very much enjoyed the game and the atmosphere.

As we've done many times over the last 27 seasons, we recently had a discussion here at Monkey Business about whether it was time for Monkey Business to hang up its boots. The outcome was that all the existing regular contributors are not only happy to keep going, but have excelled themselves this month with what is in fact one of the biggest online editions we've ever done.

However, some new blood is always welcome, and would be good to give the Bizz a bit more variety. So if anyone out there feels like having a go, please send something in. It doesn't matter if you can't spell or can't draw. If you have something worth saying, just say it and we'll knock it into shape. You can contact us by emailing .

For those who struggled with identifying the Pools players of a quarter of a century ago (above), the match was the two-nil win over Aldershot (28/5/90) and the scorers were Dalton and Baker.
Pools players (L to R): Stevie Tupling (slightly obscured), Mick Smith, Nobbsy, Joe Joe Joe Allon, Bakes (partially obscured) and Ian Bennyworth 
The crowd was 2,638. Billy's Contract provided both photo and details, but he's not sure how many travelled up from Aldershot ...though they possibly all came in a Lada!