Daily Archives: June 13, 2009

Ground Developments

Some of you may have noticed that the latest edition of ‘What’s The Latest From The Cherry Red Records Fan Stadium – Kingsmeadow’ featured a worrying problem in terms of ground grading – namely that if we fail to move the pitch 30cm (a foot in old money) away from the hoardings on the Strank Stand side of the field we will fail it. Apparently there are two solutions. The first being to move the pitch closer to the John Smith Stand, this being extremely expensive due to the fact a Perspex shield must be inserted in front of the supporters for fear that opposition wingers/linesmen (that’s right… opposition linesmen…) may be covered in spittle and pie crumbs sprayed in their direction should said winger/linesman irritate the incumbents of this stand.

Previous rumours the club would also have to install an elaborate air conditioning system to prevent smaller supporters asphyxiating, overcome by the dense, thick, acidic clouds that develop in this area (due mostly to the stale urine on supporters that stand here reacting in a sweaty environment to form toxic gases), have now been overcome by the over subscription of The Tempest, meaning this stand will be flooded with ‘normal’ folk next term, who mostly do not stink of piss.

That means we should be seeing the end of those horrible A-boards next year, which although ideal (but seldom used) for hanging flags on, did look a little strange compared with the rest of the ground. Taking these down and adding ‘proper’ fencing round will not only please the Health and Safety Officer, it will look more aesthetically pleasing too, thus satisfying those of us who like that kind of thing.

Finally, the KRE has been re-profiled to allow for better viewing from this terrace. Sadly it will largely be occupied by visiting supporters until the new turnstiles are built, meaning its going to get worn down by the knuckles of opposition fans by the time we get to occupy it. While on the subject of the KRE, have you noticed despite its name it’s got to be a good fifty yards at least from Kingston Road itself?

Back in the day when the AFC era was new to us all, it acquired the nickname ‘The West Bank’ in homage to our former home end at Plough Lane. This was quietly dropped after a few seasons due to the three pronged strike that was 1) It wasn’t on the west side of the ground 2) It couldn’t in any way be described as a ‘bank’, and 3) it wasn’t even the main home end anymore!

Plus as I see it now, it’s the only part of the ground that doesn’t have its own sponsorship deal yet (unless you support Kingstonian and wish to remain bloody minded, still thinking that the now covered end should still be referred to as ‘The Athletics End’… do they refer to the John Smiths as ‘The Allotment Terrace?). Now I’m sure Ivor and Keith are on the case here, and I’m sure they are doing the best they can to find a commercial partner willing to put their name to the (Not) Kingston Road End.

Now I’m one of those people who still find shirt sponsorship slightly distasteful, so it may seem strange to you that I’m hawking an idea around to have this terrace renamed. But I’ve had an idea – or rather I’ve stolen an idea from various other clubs who have done the same who I have conveniently forgotten the names of. The idea is you sell tickets for £25 (or £100 for four tickets minimum for commercial entries) and whoever gets pulled out of the hat first wins the naming rights. There should be no limits to the amount of tickets sold to any individual, so even in these uncertain financial times you should get even small firms buying them by the bucketful.

Bear in mind this part of the ground is going to be used mostly by visiting supporters, which means it will gain nationwide exposure. You could further tempt companies by adding a number of runners up prizes – a free programme advert, numerous free entries into the Dons Directory, every business mentioned in the programme. Plus the price will be cheap enough to tempt individuals to buy tickets in the hope the stand will be named after them, so again you could throw in a couple of shirts as runners up prizes for them too.

It seems to me as though the club are happy to allow the terrace to remain sponsor free – yet I’m no marketing expert, there may be a bloody good reason for this. For example how will Tempest and Paul Strank feel about their five figure deals knowing that the Fred’s Window Cleaning Terrace has only cost three figures for a season? Plus the marketing team will probably look like a bunch of mugs when they turn up at one of the big boys asking for Proper Money, only for these big time players to find one of the clubs key stadium sponsors are Bills Butchers….

Still, how cool would it be to have a part of the ground named after your business, or even you as an individual? We could even see ‘The Anonymous Don Stand’! (I can just see visitors turning up at the ‘Meadow now asking ‘Who the fuck’s the Anonymous Don?’ and home fans coming back with ‘Exactly…’. This could also open doors to other sponsors who don’t yet have a relationship with us. Am I the only person wondering why the South London Press has hoardings at Millwall, Palace and Charlton but not at Kingsmeadow?

There are probably those of you out there who think this is a reasonably good idea, and those of you who don’t. All I can say is, operating in a market where our budget is everything, if we are going to lift our skirts to be defiled by corporate cash, let’s at least make sure we rinse every penny out of it to make it worth our while. 

Tagged , , , , ,

The General Specific (Saturday 13th June ’09)

It’s the first football-free Saturday of the summer as far as English football is concerned. If you haven’t found anything worthwhile to do with your time yet, rest assured I’m still here, churning out Dons related commentary. Plus if you absolutely cannot do without your football fix, remember football is like the British Empire used to be… somewhere in the world the sun will be shining down on a season still in full swing. So if any of you have any Irish, Scandinavian or South American blood in you, there will be a live game that will interest you somewhere on the net.

Of course, my own interest courtesy of my wife’s heritage stretches across the Atlantic ocean, to Foxboro’, Massachusetts, where my New England Revs won’t be taking the field tonight. Alas they face Kansas City away tonight, a game that kicks off at 1.30am UK time, not quite important to justify staying up to watch it in a Conference where over half the teams will qualify for the play-offs.

Having watched an English League season derided as too predictable, the MLS faces a different problem in a country where everyone loves a winner – there are just too many tied games. For example, D-Becks very own LA side have only won once in twelve outings so far. Its ok, as they have drawn nine others, meaning they still remain midtable in time for Becks to return for a season of spraying cross field passes and jumping on Landon Donovan.

I may stray into MLS territory a few times this summer, so I apologise in advance to anyone who may be offended by it, this is mainly down to my regretful decision to cease full time operations on my general football blog Control>Shoot. I couldn’t commit enough time to justify the project, and I noticed the output from this here Anonymous Don’s blog was slipping in terms of quality, so its time to put it to rest. It may reappear many years down the line, perhaps when the economy is looking brighter and our much talked of relocation to New Hampshire comes to fruition.

But the Anonymous Don ain’t going nowhere just yet. So enough of the site news, lets move on to Dons news, in bold so anyone scrolling through the crap at the beginning can see where the article really starts.

Yawn!

Yawn!

So we now know our opponents on the 11th July are… Wycombe Wanderers! The first of two visits by League One sides this summer, meaning we can at least wish them all the best before they take on the MK bastards, but my first thoughts on playing them were something along the lines of ‘Oh no, not them again, we only played them last November!’ I’m not sure what I was expecting, perhaps something unexpected like visitors from foreign shores, or a local Championship club, but with the exception of seeing our new players in the flesh for the first time, the game has ‘uninspiring’ written all over it. All of which must read pretty insulting to a Wycombe fan, so I apologise to them, but such a fixture so early in the campaign will fail to meet the expectations of the casual supporter, featuring as it will multiple substitutions and a pace that could be described as ‘walking’ at best.

(More information for passing Wycombe fans – if we had organised a friendly with AC Milan’s first team at full strength, us Wombles will still be moaning ‘it’s not the same if Kaka’s gone to Madrid…’).

That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to it! I yearn to see a Wimbledon side in action, and any kind of action will do right now! That’s why I mentioned earlier in the week that the women’s game should move to a summer season – well not quite summer, I think it should kick off around November/December time and conclude late July/August, therefore picking up improved support when the leagues are at their most interesting. It goes without saying that’s just my opinion, I’m not sure the ladies will be too fond of kicking off in the freezing cold winter…

Wellard

Wellard

Its been the on-off-on again move of the summer, thousands of words have been written about it, and the fans of two mighty clubs are on tenterhooks as the player himself weighs up a vast financial offer from an iconic supporter owned institution over the side that made him a star. No, I’m not talking of ‘Him’ to ‘Them’ (although despite my dislike of trashy redtops I did laugh at the Suns ‘Night In Paris’ headline…); I’m talking about Wellardo to Real Wimbledon.

As our very own occasional club summer newsletter ‘What’s the Deal At Kingsmeadow, Then?’ advised us in its fourth outing of the close season, Terry Brown has been on holiday (which conjures images of a ruddy faced Brown drinking wine on the veranda of a Torquay restaurant while being hounded by the man from the SLP – expect him to refuse to talk to certain media outlets for a time next season due to their crass invasion of his privacy…). I’m sure his well earned break will have no effect on the transaction going through – so long as the players demands over image rights are met of course.

Quite whom the other midfielder the article talks of is I know not. In fact I daren’t hazard a guess, in case I’m made to look a fool (no change there then…). Perhaps it’s the more ‘experienced’ player that will hold the midfield together in times of need that a section of the fan base have been calling for. After all, we go into the season with no expectations, but a player of that description could be the difference between mid-table mediocrity and a push for the playoffs, experience the younger players will find invaluable when the big push for League football comes. 

Tagged , , , , , ,