A Grand Day Out


Can you imagine waking up after a 12 year sleep (6 pints of Brewdog Punk should do the trick) and the first thing you do is pick up the recent newspaper beside your bed and seek out the sports section.

You could be forgiven for looking at the league table (below) and, apart from thinking that Sutton is a misprint for Southend, you would naturally believe that you were looking at the top of the League One table.

Regrettably this is not the case and as we all know it's the current state of play in the National League. It makes sad reading indeed, for seven previously proud, established Football League clubs to be lying and rotting in this God-forsaken league which is full of cheats, time-wasters and third-rate referees who give the word incompetence a bad name.

My blood boils when I see some of the teams which have now replaced these 'proper' clubs in the Football League hierarchy, such as the likes of loads-of-money Salford, Wycombe, Cheltenham, Stevenage, Forest Green and the mighty Crawley Town.
"I would only expect to play these teams in the first round of the FA Cup."

To my perverted way of thinking, I would only expect to play these teams in the first round of the FA Cup. Sadly, the boot is now on the other foot. My worst nightmare would be for Pools to be drawn away to Harrogate Town in the first round of the Cup and in their match day programme I can imagine the editor referring to the visitors as being "plucky, non-league Hartlepool."

In the cold light of day the reality is that the Salfords, Cheltenhams et al are where they are on merit and the likes of Pools, Stockport and Chesterfield are also where they are on merit ...or poor bloody uselessness.

The reader might have noticed that I haven't included Morecambe and Fleetwood in this tirade. I have no gripes at all about these two former stalwarts of the non-league scene now being in the Football League. Basically they are both relatively Northern and handy to get to. A nice, scenic trip along the A66. Both nice little towns. Good fish and chips and some nice pubs. And in Wallace-and-Gromit speak "A grand day out."

I have no problems at all with Barrow being a bona fide League club either as, apart from being a nice drive out, I can remember the days when they were a bona fide Football League club.

There could be an argument for incorporating the National League into the Football League and it becoming League Three. If nothing else this would remove the stigma of Pools and other fallen giants being non-league clubs.

Similarly much the same thought could be given to putting a Honda badge (or that of any other Japanese marque) on to the front of a French car. Deceiving, but it still won't work.

Front Page